There's a lot about my body that makes it look like it's straight out of a science-fiction movie. Despite working out four days a week and eating healthy(ish), having three kids has wreaked a havoc that is going to require a scalpel, a chainsaw, and a fairy godmother to undo.
I keep waiting for my prebaby body to bounce back, but my youngest is now five and all that's been bouncing is my belly, like a bowl full of very fleshy jelly. My stomach will forever be frozen in an 18-weeks-pregnant position, though now hanging over a C-section scar. Stretch marks have claimed more territory on my torso than I ever dreamed possible. When I put on my spandex workout pants, it appears as though I'm smuggling an upside-down double stuffed chalupa between my thighs.
But . . . for better or for worse, this mom bod has endured the abuse of carrying and nurturing three children (and OK, maybe some Mexican takeout here and there) as well as 40 years of significant gravitational pull. It's been tattered and torn, and I'm actually pretty proud of what's been capable of, despite what society deems acceptable if not impossible.
So here is a list of my five favorite things about my body because, to borrow one of my favorite quotes, "Mother Teresa didn't walk around complaining about her thighs. She had sh*t to do."
1. My Booty
I challenge you to find a better way to make that backside burn than pushing a double stroller — usually filled with three kids who've just eaten a lot of lunch — here, there, and everywhere. The big cat exhibit at our zoo is at the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. The hill to our neighborhood park is so steep that I see visions of my dead grandma calling me home by the time I reach the top. Beyoncé I am not, but this booty got some bounce.
2. My Biceps
The majority of the world was not built at a child's eye level, but that doesn't stop them from wanting to see it. Picking up my kids to see what's on the top shelf of the pantry, hoisting them off the ground when they fall, carrying them for what seems like days at a time (sometimes two at a time) when they're too tired to walk, rescuing them from the top of the monkey bars . . . the line forms to the left to buy tickets to this gun show.
3. My Boobs
I've always been on the more endowed side of the fence, but after three kids, my John F. Kennedys command some serious respect — well, with a little help, that is, from a supersupportive bra. Let 'em fly free and innocent bystanders could easily be knocked unconscious lest I startle. But the other day I put on my old push-up bra and as I looked straight forward, I could literally see them in the bottom of my peripheral vision. I'm like Jessica Rabbit's older, more conservative sister that prefers yoga pants and a sensible shoe.
4. My Stomach
As I mentioned earlier, I'm a long way from throwing on a two-piece and frolicking around our neighborhood pool. I'm deep in the tankini game and I've come to accept the fact that there's no turning back. However, my stomach makes an amazing pillow and it's my kids' favorite place to rest their sweet heads, which I love. Also, the top pooch makes a handy little resting shelf for when I'm at a party and my arm gets tired from holding my wine glass.
5. My Laugh Lines
Kids are funny, man. I mean . . . REALLY funny. I have never laughed like I have with my kids. I wish I could bottle it up and take it with me everywhere. But for now I'll just have to settle for the deep crinkles on either side of my eyes to constantly remind me, and the rest of the world, that while my body is not model-perfect, I have laughed and loved way more than my fair share.
Hannah Mayer is a nationally award-winning blogger, humor columnist and exponentially blessed wife and mother of three. She would trade everything for twelve uninterrupted hours in a room with Jon Hamm and two Ambien. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or at her blog, sKIDmarks.