Many years ago, when I was in the early phase of recovery from an eating disorder, I challenged myself to buy a pair of pants embracing my butt. They were not my usual baggy style, were well-fitted, and had glitter on the butt! It was an “opposite action” to wear clothing that my internal body image critic would have never allowed. And, as all opposite action creates, it helped me develop a sense of esteem in myself by practicing an “esteem -able act.”
Many women do not like their butts, literally. Occasionally I find a woman who loves and/or accepts her butt. Jennifer Lopez is the poster child for embracing her butt as an asset.
According to Harvard medical School research, the fat found in large buttocks and hips may even protect against type 2 diabetes.
Fat found commonly around the lower areas, known as subcutaneous fat, or fat that collects under the skin, helps to improve the sensitivity of the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar and therefore a big bottom might offer some protection against diabetes. The research shows that…people with pear-shaped bodies, with fat deposits in the buttocks and hips, are less prone to these disorders.
Cell Metabolism, Dec. 2008, Diabetes in Control: news and Information for medical professionals, January 20, 2009, Diabetesincontrol.com
Wearing different kinds of pants (glitter or not) no longer challenges me and esteem able acts have become different in my work as a Mom and Psychologist. Now getting my “butt” out of the way has become “But I don’t have TIME to work on my book!” or “But my child won’t eat vegetables, no matter HOW I prepare them!”
Whatever your butt or but issues, see if there is a way to find an opposite action, even if it is a baby opposite action step to get your but out of the way, remembering that often what’s in the way IS the way .
PS Babies love their butts. Try to remember a (or create for the very first) time when you could love yours.
1) Having a birth plan determines the way labor and delivery happens.
Creating a a birth plan is important as a guide, while realizing the baby has not read the plan.
2) Good mothers easily breastfeed.
Breastfeeding can be easy or difficult, and most likely, both. Good mothers breastfeed, good mothers formula feed, and good mothers do both.
3) You can (and should) get your baby to sleep through the night.
Your baby may sleep at night, may not sleep at night, and may sleep in spurts or have difficulty sleeping. There are lost of tools you can try for assisting your baby to learn good sleep habits and some of them may be effective.
4) Only bad (poor, mentally ill, single, uncaring) mothers get depressed.
Postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders affect 1 in 5 women. There is no correlation with level of caring or direct predictive factor with previous mental illness, level of income, marital status. Recovery is possible. You do not have to suffer alone.
5) You can get your pre-baby body back & this determines your happiness.
Your body will change after having a baby. There are various places this happens, some of them may go back to the “way they were” and some of them won’t. You can still be a happy, fulfilled, sexy, empowered, loved woman. Getting your stomach back is not the key ingredient in this equation.
6) You will be mostly the same person with a few acutraments like a diaper bag after having a baby.
You will not be the same person anymore. Motherhood changes you, in profound ways you can’t imagine ahead of time. And this develops over time. Give yourself at least as much patience, kindness, time, and commitment as you do your baby as you grow your new mother identity.
7) You will and should feel sexy and available to your partner postpartum.
You will most likely feel exhausted, pulled on to care for your baby physically, have challenging body image, and your hormones can take years to re-regulate. It’s ok to include these challenges in assessing your availability for and communicating with your partner.
10) You should have the “right” daycare, preschool, college lined up for your child prior to giving birth.
There is not a shortage of schools. Finding the right school is a sorting problem, not a shortage problem. You can take your time, notice your child’ temperament, and re-asses ongoingly throughout your child’s life for the right fit. YOU are the constant that is a safe secure base from which to learn, grow, and be them self.
There are many, many, many resources available for support if you are wanting to challenge these myths!
For a list, see: the “Pregnancy and New Mothers section” http://www.drlindashanti.com/resources.html