Monday, 14 October 2013

Coming to terms with the battle scars...

I have written and re-written this post. I've typed and deleted, re-typed and edited. I've ummed and aahed, I've nearly deleted the whole thing and then changed my mind. I've showed it and asked opinions and then changed it again.


Because in so many ways my head is still a bit fuzzy on this issue, and I want to get it right when I write about it. I want to get it right because its big to me, its a battle I've been fighting, and still am in many ways, and because it'll be something many of you can resonate with. But I think its an area we can respond wrongly to, and I have responded wrongly too, and.... I'll just start, shall I?

Something bothered me last week; it was this...


I saw it on Facebook. At first, I had a little chuckle to myself because OH BOY do I know this issue! Two babies in 18 months has just about done as much damage to my body as its possible to do... I've had it all... and I've shed that tear.

Yet still it bothered me.

Pre-babies, I was never one to be hugely concerned with my self-image. I've generally always been pretty content with the way I looked... I never had an issue keeping the weight off; I could pretty much eat like a horse and it did very little damage. I had the usual girly wish-list - you know, "I wish my nose was a bit smaller" and "I wish my legs were skinnier" but in reality I was pretty content.

And then I had babies.

Two babies in a short space of time have taken their toll. I'm not gonna lie. Post-Heidi I've had to have physio to recover my "shot to pieces" (in the words of one midwife) stomach muscles and in all honesty, I will never look the same again. Yes, it knocks your confidence. Yes, you wonder if you're still beautiful to the Father of your children. Yes those insecure thoughts rear their ugly head from time to time... and yes, if I'm honest, I have shed tears about it.

But when I really stop and think, I'm so grateful for every single imperfection now. That last girl in the picture above should not be crying...

The stretched skin, the slight overhang, the realisation you are going to need a new wardrobe? They are the battle scars, the war wounds of our babies being carried and delivered. We have beautiful babies to show for it. The honour of motherhood. So many would long for the stretch marks and the little pot belly... so many would long to be fighting hard to lose their baby weight... so many would long to be asking the questions we're asking.

I could spend my time wishing I looked the way I used to. Wishing I could wear the clothes that I used to, wishing I could change in the swimming pool changing room without fearing a pitying look.

But do you know what? The way I look tells the story of our children. The wonder of what a body can do. The skin that used to be taught and firm now loose and stretched carried my darling girls. It is a wonder. It is a miracle. It is a God-ordained beautiful thing.

The scars and imperfections are beautiful because they proclaim the wonder of the human body and point to the incredible detail of the Creator God who designed it.

When we're feeling low about the way we look; if we're feeling insecure, fed up, sad about the state of our bodies post babies... lets remember the reason that we look the way we do. The scars are an honour. They remind us of the gifts we have. However much we sometimes think we'd love to look the way we used to, lets be honest... we wouldn't change it for the world.

I just wanted to share another post too... if this is something you are struggling with too, THIS post has really helped me...


  1. Thank you Claire for the precious gift of our lovely granddaughters. We love you just the way you are xxx

  2. Thank you for being honest and pointing people to the Creator :) And I'll be asking you to remind me of this in months to come!! xx

  3. Thank you for being honest about your feeling and pointing people to the Creator :) I'll be asking you to remind me of this in months to come! xx

  4. Well said Claire x

  5. Claire this is so thought provoking. I have printed it out in order to pass on. Hope that's ok

  6. I've thought those thoughts too, & pondered them when looking at Egypt's ancient art. Their women were portrated as slim & elegant, but with beautiful bellies; proud of child-bearing I think! Fertility was & is so important but we('re told to?)/ want to 'have our cake & eat it'! I guess we all naturally want to stay young; in our minds ageing doesn't come naturally.We were initially created to live for ever. Be proud of your bulges, but, especially in your weaker moments, take heart that over time they can firm up. Although you'll never be quite the same again, and may not fit into those clothes, you can eventually lose bulges. Whatever, you are beautiful, like your two lovely girls xox

  7. Claire, don't have doubts as to your appearance. You are beautiful and Dave fell in love with YOU, not how you look, although you look great, but your character and your personality. To boot you have two beautiful children to be proud of.

  8. We have resurrection bodies to look forward too! : )

  9. As you said Claire, it is a 'miracle' to have children.I blame the media that put so much pressure on mothers these days: perfect bodies, perfect wives, perfect mothers, etc. We are only human with our faults...But honestly, you are doing a 'great' job in all those areas and I think you look amazing (I know...whatever people say can't make it better if that's how you feel... But wanted to make a point of saying it).xxx

  10. You look great and dont worry about anything! You are a wonderful mum and a caring wife, and always think about others before yourself. We love each one of you. Love Ma x x x

  11. This is such a reflective and encouraging post. Could I share it on Little House in the Borders facebook page? It's been many years since I had a baby and I've grown used to my body and how it is now but I think it's easy to forget the initial shock at the inevitable change especially when we are surrounded by images of air-brushed celebrities. I know many women friends and family members who would feel encouraged by your wise words and the reminder of 'God creator'. Helen

  12. Very thought provoking post and I wholeheartedly agree with what you say. This is a message that needs to be aired again and again.

  13. Isn't it a shame that the picture doesn't give the same message as you do in your post? The woman with the child shouldn't be crying, they should be giving out a positive image of being happy, despite the fact that their body has changed! Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

  14. Couldn't agree more. Well said and great post.

  15. I read this at the time but I see I didn't comment - I think maybe because I too had not sorted out in my head how I felt about it all, feeling that I *should* agree with every word you said but still too busy shedding that tear! I think you really say it all here, you are right, our post-baby bodies are a reminder of the precious gift we carried inside us. And why could that not be beautiful? Even shot to pieces stomach muscles or sagging skin. Not pitying, but admiring looks is what that should invite. People in swimming pool changing rooms should be raising a glass to you, you brave woman, having two beautiful little girls in 18 months! xx

  16. Chrissie Challis15 October 2016 at 16:55

    Thank you Claire, this had encouraged me very much! X

  17. Children are definitely worth it.
    I was thinking recently about how so many of us desire to be more attractive but some of the most attractive women in world seem to have experienced a lot of heart break.
    "Hotter" doesn't equal happier.


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