This is MY Mom Body: Part 1

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog{Find the rest of the posts in this series HERE}

It’s incredible how much we can allow ourselves to be affected and influenced by our Body Image, but as moms, we can all truly appreciate what it is a Mom Body can do.  It can survive sleepless nights, fight through exhaustion to feed and care for children, carry babies, sometimes breastfeed.  Sometimes you have nothing left, but find the strength to hold a bottle until those last few gulps are gone.

Moms are amazing, and they come in all shapes and sizes.  Sponsored by Oakdale OB/GYN, and in partnership with Gina Zeidler Photography and Sarah Hrudka Photography, we have been working on this photo series to show just that – the differences, the similarities and the strengths that can be found within a Mom.  The moms who have shared their stories are both from our team and our readership.  We all have a story to tell, we all have strength and we are honored to be able to share these journeys with you.  Today is the first of three days of this series and we hope you see a bit of yourself in one or more of these women.


This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I’m finally happy. Not only with my body, but with myself. I finally have the confidence to even think about doing this shoot – which, just a few years ago, I would have completely skipped over and told myself, “This isn’t for you, Patty.”

I’d love to have my daughter tell her future children that I gave her confidence and told her she was beautiful, but that seems a little lame to me. Instead, I want her to tell her future children that I’m awesome, that I taught her how to do things on her own, that I made sure she could think for herself and form her own opinions, and that it’s ok to wear pink every day if that’s what makes you happy.

The hardest transition for me was realizing that my life isn’t my own anymore – now I have to make decisions for what’s best for my family, not just me anymore. That’s a little shocking once that realization hits. And also, buying children’s clothes when you’ve never done that before – what size again? How do kids shoes fit? I had no idea – there’s a HUGE learning curve!

I’m pretty proud of my leg muscles – I can bike 15 miles hauling my child in a WeeHoo.

My advice to my daughter about her mom bod? Coconut oil and shea butter. And don’t worry about public pools – all the moms “let it all hang out” so they can play in the pool with their kids. Be the mom in the pool, not the one on sideline.

One daughter: Simone – age 3

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog


This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog
When I found out I was having a girl, I was excited for all the things we would get to share as mother and daughter. One thing I am determined not to share with her is my body image issues. I want her to know that it is important to take care of your body and that strong, healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. This is a message that I did not get as I was growing up. It is something I struggle with everyday. Taking part in this photo shoot is an opportunity to share this message with her and with other women.

I want my daughter to tell her children that I will never stop learning. Even when I’m not in formal education, I find hobbies and activities to pursue and expand my mind. I read books and magazines and blogs. I listen to public radio programs and watch nature programs on TV. I want them to say that I have a random collection of knowledge that may or may not come in handy some day.

When Elodie has her children, I want her to think about the amazing thing that her “mom body” just did. It grew a human being and brought that person into the world. That is miraculous. Give it time to heal and adjust and grow into the new you. Embrace the new you in your new “mom body,” and marvel in what you just did.

The hardest part of motherhood so far is that I’m naturally an introverted person. I have always enjoyed “me” time. Time when I can curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. There isn’t a lot of “me” time in motherhood and that has been a hard transition. I’m rarely alone since I had my daughter a year and half ago. There are no more lazy Sunday mornings reading blogs with a cup of coffee. Weekends get busy and then they fade away into busy weeks. I want to be present and focused when I spend time with my daughter and husband and in order to do that I need to find the time to re-charge my introverted batteries now and then.

The one thing about my body that I am especially proud of is that it can do ANYTHING I want it to. I ran a marathon. I grew and delivered a baby. I bend it this way and that in yoga class. I am going back to school (your brain is a part of your body, too!). I can carry and rock a sick toddler for as long as it takes. Everything that a human being accomplishes in their lifetime is in one way or another connected to their body. It is amazing what we can do.

One daughter: Elodie, 18 months

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog



This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I chose to do this shoot to show true vulnerability. My body is far from perfect and never had been. Yet my son and my step kids look at me and see laughter, fun, and enough strength for the occasional arm wrestle. I’d love my kids to remember that I never shied away from having fun and participating with them. That I showed my love in many different ways and always tried to fill our home with laughter.

I went from being a single mom to being a stepmom. To say it was hard is an understatement. The growing pains of going from one kid to four took a long time to overcome, but we are a happy blended family of six now.

My favorite body part is my arms. They are not sculpted, but they are the perfect length for wrapping around my kids and the perfect strength for giving the boys a run for their money at arm wrestling.

I want my daughter and future daughter-in-laws to know their bodies are beautiful and stronger than they know. As a nurse, I have seen the true agony of pain and the amazing brilliance of healing. No amount of Hollywood retouch can shine brighter than a mom body!

4 Children: Sullivan 10, Lennon 14, Mykeala 11, Charlie 8

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog


This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I wanted to take part in this project simply because I don’t really want to participate. This terrifies me and I never want fear to keep me from something that might positively impact myself or my children. I want my children to know that it’s okay and important to talk about and to do things that are hard. And I want my girls to know that even if you’re not thrilled with your body, you can be proud of it. These photos are important to me because they are the only ones I have that have a presence of all five of my children – I’m holding the three that are here and the blanket that held the two we lost just after delivery.

I want them to remember that I was strong. That I never gave up. That when the hard things happened I was very honest about the pain, but always got back up. And that I loved to bake them cake.

My hardest transition in motherhood has been going from two to three kids. Eight months in and I’m just now starting to feel like I can breathe again. I hardly remember the first 6 months, which is devastating, but just reality. Somehow, the beginning of having three kids felt a whole lot more like five and I was just not prepared for it to be so all-consuming.

My body failed me when I needed it most and failed to sustain two of my five babies past 20 weeks. My mind got me through. My heart got me through and the strength I found within both from my faith sustained me through my hardest days. My body fought all odds to bring me my youngest last winter but it’s my mind, heart and resolve that I’m proud of. THAT is what helped my legs to stand when I couldn’t fathom getting up again. That is why these photos are important to me. Without my mind pushing through, I would still be weeping in bed, rather than hugging my babies. The only thing your Mom Body really needs is to provide love and security for your little ones. Hugs, pats on the head, a safe place to snuggle, that is all they need. I want my girls to grow up knowing that their heart matters the most, and as long as their mama hearts loves those babies, their mama bodies are just as beautiful.

5 Children: Sophia 6, Evelyn 3, Wesley 8 months, Hattie 1/5/13, Emerson 6/26/13

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog


This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I was at my heaviest weight right before this pregnancy. I was finally getting back into a solid routine to lose weight but then I got pregnant and lost the routine, again. I started this pregnancy at a weight I ended with my son’s pregnancy, so already it wasn’t an ideal situation in my mind. Not only struggling with my own body image, but at 17 weeks, we were told our baby has a syndrome in which most pregnancies result in miscarriage – well, here I am with this growing belly! I’m far beyond my comfort zone, but I’ve learned I only become stronger as I allow myself to be freely open and honest with myself and others in such situations. Emotionally and mentally (I’d say physically but my feet hurt), I feel really good right now – that’s important.

I want my children to remember that I loved so hard.

The hardest transition into motherhood for me was the love. Oddly enough, this is something I fear the most about being a mother…”How can I possibly love anymore than I do?” Six years ago, I was young, selfish and naive – but now, every single ounce of me id done and provided for out of love for my family.  It’s a lot, and sometimes a lot to take in. My son and I have this incredible, loving bond and it almost scares me that there’s room for more in my heart. Recently, it’s brought me to worry constantly how he’s going to handle Kindergarten, his birthday and a new sibling all in the SAME month. I feel a lot of guilt and pressure that I won’t be able to be “Mom” 24 hours to him at such a transitioning point in his life, or as I have for over 5 years.  My husband reminds me all the time that our son will be fine and I will too…It’s just a new routine we work our way into, as a family of four.

Within the past 2 years my body has been in it’s best and worst shape, ever. I’ve seen my body transition in ways I’ve never known, it’s incredible but ultimately has done miraculous work at perfectly growing my two children – no matter it’s size/weight. I’m finally learning to embrace that. I’m hoping to one day to look back at all the stressors I’ve had recently and feel so proud at the work my body has done.

I will tell my daughter and future daughter-in-law, be comfortable in your skin and always make sure your actions and lifestyle is done in regards to yourself – please, don’t worry about the others.

2 Children: Vance – age 5, Elvie – 33 weeks

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog



This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I wanted to take part in this photo shoot because I am starting to become proud of my growing size, especially after struggling with infertility for 7 years. As someone who has struggled with my weight and relationship with food my whole life, the changes in my body while pregnant have been fun, exciting, terrifying, and stressful all at the same time. I don’t have the typical “cute D belly” rather I have a little bump in my belly so it looks like a “B”. Strangers tell me I don’t have the “right” shaped belly to be almost 7 months pregnant and I think-Really? Is there a RIGHT shape? Marketing has no boundaries really, whether you are a size 2 or 7 months pregnant-we get images of what bodies should look like. Our pregnancy is a miracle after trying IVF with donor eggs. We had one embryo survive and a baby boy due in November!

I want my children to tell their children about my kindness and belief that all people have a story that makes them who they are. I take the time to find out what people’s story is and find a connection with them.

I’m almost 7 months pregnant, and the hardest thing so far has been dealing with the changes in my body and energy level. After struggling with infertility for 7 years, and watching my friends have babies with ease, it was hard to open my mind and heart to motherhood for others, while I was stuck. Now, it’s hard to believe I am actually going to be a mom in just a few months!!

I love how strong I am. I am an endurance athlete and when not pregnant, I train for 2 mile swimming races across Lake Superior and regularly compete in long cross country skiing races, 20-50 kilometers long. I love them! I love how strong my legs are and my lungs can carry me for hours and I’m still smiling. I also love my freckles. 🙂 They pop out for sure when I’m skiing in the sun!

We are having a son, and I don’t know if he will marry a man or a woman, but I would tell young girls or women close to me that it is a wonderful time to practice letting go – try not to control your body, let it relax, and take care of yourself. Your body is strong and beautiful in all it’s stages.

One Child: Baby Boy on the way

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog


This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

I wanted to do this shoot to help inspire other new mamas to celebrate their bodies RIGHT NOW – not wait until they’re the same size or shape or weight they were before.

I hope my children remember that I loved experiences more than things, journeys more than destinations and our family more than any of it. And that my terrible dancing never stopped me.

The hardest transition into motherhood has been that learning that the transition never stops. I didn’t birth a baby and become a mom. I’m becoming a mom – the best mom for my little critter – every day.

My body is well-rounded (in more ways than one!). It can run marathons. It can pick up barbells. It can wake up and stay up when it needs to, night or day. Miraculously, it can GROW A HUMAN. And feed it. A lot.
I want my daughter to know that your body is a story, and it’s OK if the mom-bod chapter looks different from the ones before it. Be proud of it, be thankful for it, be amazed by it. Focus on all the mind blowing things that mom bod can do – confidence, gratitude and wonder look fabulous on everyone.

One daughter: Ingrid, 7 months

This is MY Mom Body | Twin Cities Moms Blog

This is MY Mom Body Photo Series | Twin Cities Moms Blog

This is MY Mom Body Photo Series | Twin Cities Moms Blog


2 Responses to This is MY Mom Body: Part 1

  1. Airika
    Airika September 14, 2015 at 8:40 AM #

    GORGEOUS! But even more importantly such amazing voices and moms.

  2. Sara September 14, 2015 at 8:45 AM #

    Wow, great photos and stories! Way to rock it, mamas!

Leave a Reply