Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Jelly Belly

Hip Hip Horray for another formspring question!  Here goes nothing...

I've got belly jelly (4 BIG babies worth of it) how on earth do I climb in bed and feel good rockin' my belly jelly, and not just be acutely aware of it's jiggle the whole time?!?

Well...isn't that the question of the day?

When Aubrey and I received this inquiry, I quickly called dibs on the chance to answer since I feel this falls into my particular specialty...let's just say I have the jiggliest, wrinkliest jelly belly this side of the Mississippi.  It really, truly is ugh-worthy, I promise.  No matter what I do, I just can't seem to shake the jello (pun intended ;).  After 4 babies, each one stretching things out a bit more, I've finally come to accept the fact that the wrinkly skin and loose muscle just isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

So...what's a girl to do now?  I've learned to tolerate my ever-present tummy-folds but toleration doesn't exactly foster sexual prowess and confidence au naturel.  Of course, there's all the usual answers:
  • lingerie to cover up provocatively
  • role-playing to help a girl pretend to still be a toned young thing
  • denial in an attempt to ignore (la la la what jelly belly? la la la)
  • and, of course, plain ol' fashioned leaving the lights off

While all valid answers, they're really just a band-aid, aren't they?  They cover things up, not help them heal.  Well, just like with an owie that's being covered a bit too often and a bit too tightly, sometimes it's just better to rip the band-aid off in one quick painful pull.  Which means...[cue scary music]

  • leave the lingerie for the real special occasions (although, honestly, there's many a husband that will claim anytime he gets the rare summin' summin' post-baby is a special occasion)
  • enjoy being you, the mother of your beautiful children and your husband's wife, rather then imagining you're someone and somewhere else
  • not to mention, leave those darn lights on

In short...really, truly accept your body for what it is.  Heaven knows, I'm not claiming I've got this down, I can't even help cringing when I accidentally catch a glimpse of my one month postpartum belly in the mirror. I am, however, trying.  I'm attempting to believe my husband when he insists I'm gorgeous and oh-so-sexy.  I'm trying to view my stretch marks and wrinkles as battle scars in the war mommyhood wages on my body. And, five and a half years and four kids after I officially became a mom, I'm trying to love, not just tolerate or even accept, but love my body for the amazing things it's done and does everyday.  While it's still a bit of a struggle every time I climb into bed, I finally feel like I'm getting there.  I don't know if I can honestly claim I'm "rockin' my belly jelly" but I like to think one day maybe I will.


  1. Well said!! Mommy's bodies are particularly amazing. They have been part of creating life and that is something to be proud of. However...there is something to be said of the scars left behind, not to mention the extra 5, err, 20...okay plus pounds that need to be shed. Not just the mommies but any girl that that looks at her body and sighs (not the content, but frustrated, don't want to deal sigh). Here's to hopin' that we can believe our hubbies when they have that gleam in their eye and say that we truly are the most beautiful thing they have ever seen.

  2. I agree, accepting yourself and accepting your husband finds you beautiful is the biggest thing you can do for yourself. I also find working-out helps. It helps me be more accepting of my body. I feel sexier when I've worked-out. I also have found that a year later (of working-out), I might still have the extra skin, a little pooch, and stretch marks, but my tummy is definitely toning up and getting a little definition. Happy Dance!

  3. Loved this answer --Acceptance. In my case, I think hit may be ME that has a harder time accepting/embracing my post-baby bod than my husband! Perhaps one day I too can rock my belly jelly ;-)

  4. I know I'm late on this post, but it hits home to me. I believe I am the person on the east of the ol' miss Whit is leaving out of the post. Four kids for me and I have the condition where the muscles in the stomach have split. Uggh, uggh, uggh. Sigh. My sweetie thinks I'm one hottie and I struggle with that. I want to be the sexy co-ed (I really never was). But-like Aubrey said, doing something like exercise or anything really for yourself helps. Don't feel guilty; feeling happy adds to the sexiness. Going and getting your hair done, getting your nails done (or a box of them from Wal-mart), hanging out with the girls, watching a chick flick, or attending a book club. All of this little things can help with feeling better about yourself. I feel lighter, after hangin' with the girls, I feel like my brain is used for something other than keeping tabs on the littles when I've discussed a book, and when I've gotten the hair tamed I definitely feel less hag-like. Little things about helping us to love ourselves has helped me a lot.