Dear Size Two Mom,
You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but we met briefly the other day in the fitting rooms at a local clothing store. We each had a toddler in tow, yours a little girl about six months older than my little guy. You were looking for a dress to wear to a wedding, but I was there just to try something pretty on in hopes of looking in the mirror and seeing a glimpse of the body I knew before pregnancy. As I was sifting through the clothes on display, you walked barefoot out of the fitting room to ask my opinion on the pretty floral dress you were wearing.
“Do you think the petite size two is too snug?” you asked, tugging at the waist as you turned around in front of the big mirror. “Do you think I should go with the regular size two instead?”
I immediately wanted to hide the size tags of the dresses I had just pulled from the sale rack. You don’t know this, size two mom, but I have always struggled with my weight, and the changes that having a baby brought to my body are something I still struggle to accept, especially since they stubbornly remain eighteen months later. I looked at you and wondered how you looked like you’d never even been pregnant, still so trim and tiny. I don’t know what part of the “bouncing back” memo my body missed, but it apparently missed a lot of things that you didn’t.
Speaking of bouncing, your little girl seemed to inherit your vivacity, because she spoke with the same pep in her voice that you did as she chatted cheerily away with Elmo on your phone, holding an animated one-way conversation in the way only toddlers can. I tried to picture myself in your place six months from now and wondered what life would look like with a two-year-old. But my future just looked tired and depressing next to your energy and healthy, slim body.
I wonder, size two mom, if you ever look in the mirror and hate what you see? Does having a great body make you happy, or are there things you wish were different? I wanted to ask you if you had any secrets you could share with me, any how-tos that would help me be like you, because you seemed to have it all: energy, beauty, a body that was easy to dress, an adorable toddler, money to spend on a dress just for an event.
But you don’t know me, and I don’t know you, so instead, I just smiled and said that the petite size two looked great on you. We exchanged a bit of small talk, chatting about mom life, before you left to buy your dress. I tried on a few things but couldn’t see past the extra curves and rolls left on my body after pregnancy…extras that somehow you didn’t have, and it seemed to make your life so much better than mine.
Dear size two mom, I wish I would have looked past the dress and its size to tell you that you looked great, because you did. And as much as I wished to be you that day, I know that just because I couldn’t see your struggles when I compared myself to you doesn’t mean you don’t have any. I know that our children are loved just as much regardless of what size their mamas are. I know that every mother is beautiful because she carries God’s image in her own unique way. I know that God doesn’t use a measuring tape to tell us whether we’re beautiful or not. I struggle to be content in my body, but it doesn’t mean my life is worse than yours. I know this to be true, but I don’t feel it most days, so I guess I’m really writing this letter to remind myself of the truth that needs to sink deep into my heart.
Dear size two mom, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but we met briefly the other day in a fitting room, and you were beautiful. And I hope someday to look in the mirror and see that I am too.
Kristi Clark is a young wife and mother with a passion for stories and creating beauty out of the mess of everyday life. She writes about her family’s journey of making home in Maine at her blog (coming soon). She also shares her thoughts and creative work on Instagram.