Instagram l @theballardbunch

Woman Praised For Her Honest Postpartum Body Post

Every mom goes through the struggle of loving their body after they have a baby. For nine long months, moms grow a tiny human inside of their belly and eventually, bring a beautiful bundle of joy into the world. After almost a year of carrying a baby, it's only natural that our bodies need time to adjust back to what they once were.

Becoming a mom can be a bit of a roller coaster.

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

While we're so happy to have a new love in our lives and taking care of our children, there are moments where we feel bad about ourselves and what we go through after giving birth.

After having our first baby, our body tends to bounce back a little faster.

Unsplash | Dragos Gontariu

But by baby number two, three, or even four—our bodies take a bit longer to adjust all the physical changes caused by pregnancy.

Some moms, while proud of their big families, are unhappy with their bodies after having multiple children.

Unsplash | Laercio Cavalcanti

It takes a lot to love your body and love yourself once you feel you can no longer have that "flat tummy" again.

Now, moms on social media are embracing their postpartum bodies and it's inspiring other moms to do the same.

Unsplash | Ryan Franco

Mom bloggers on Instagram and Facebook have begun posting inspirational posts online showing how they've learned to love their bodies and adjust to a new life with their postpartum selves.

Hashtags like #ThisIsPostpartum are going viral with photos of real moms showing off their mom bods.

The posts range from inspiring and empowered, to honest and heartbreaking.

Sandy Ballard is one mom who decided to share her own picture her post-baby body.

Sandy has three children and shares her life with followers on her popular Instagram and YouTube pages, The Ballard Bunch

Sandy often shares intimate details about her life as a mom through her social media channels.

In this post for World Breastfeeding Month, she opened up about her feeding journey with each of her kids, accompanied by this beautiful photo.

And she documented her changing body through her Instagram account during her third pregnancy.

In this post from last year, she wrote that she was measuring at 34 weeks when she was only 30-weeks pregnant and that her, "stretch marks are here to stay."

Even though she's accepting of her body, like all moms she knows it isn't an easy journey.

Unsplash | megan lynette

Even after going through the postpartum phase three times, Sandy knows that each pregnancy and recovery period is unique.

Recently, she posted a photo in a bathing suit with her three kids.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

In her post, she wrote: "Nine months in, nine months out. Or something like that. This is postpartum (x3). This is mushy belly, jiggly booty, & bowling ball boobs because #breastfeeding."

Even though she has a "mushy belly", Sandy is ready to hit the pool.

Instagram | @theballardbunch

"This body is pool ready. Is it skinny? No. Is it what it used to be? No. Did it bounce right back? No. But it’s a body & it’s at the pool."

Sandy went on to explain everything she's been through as a mom.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

"So it’s pool ready. It grew three giant babies. It stretched to capacity & stretched some more. It nourished two of those babies round the clock. It was cut in half twice. It could barely walk without help, but here it is still standing. I used to spend hours wishing away everything about how it looked. "

She reflected on how hard she was on her body.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

"All the stretch marks & imperfections. I could name them off at the drop of a hat. I put things off until I lost the weight."

Sandy then realized that being so focused on her body meant that she was missing out on motherhood.

Instagram | @theballardbunch

"Then I realized I was missing out on their lives. These little people I love so much. I worked so hard to carry to term. I delivered them. I did it all for them. Then I wanted to sit out & cover it up & hide it."

Sandy realized that her family was more important than how her body looked.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

"Why? Because society tells us we should be one way or have a beach body. Well after my third baby I finally realized I already have a beach body & full arms & a full heart. These kids are watching me & listening to how I talk about myself."

She's taken on a new perspective for postpartum life.

Postpartum is beautiful. For every scar & stretch mark & wiggly body part, there’s a woman desperate to have those lines, desperate to have given birth & here I am with not one but THREE healthy happy babies. Praise the Lord for that. "

She wants to remind moms to focus on making memories, not on how your body looks.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

"Don’t waste time praying to be skinny cuz it ain’t gonna work, trust me. Spend time playing in the pool with your kids. Spend time thanking Jesus for the miracle of motherhood."

Sandy concluded with an important reminder: Your kids won't remember what you looked like.

They'll remember the memories you shared together.

"They won’t remember your lack of thigh gap, they will remember this moment when you had so much fun together. I am working hard to love the skin I’m in."

Clearly, Sandy's post inspired so many moms on Instagram, as her post has over 1,600 likes and comments.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

One user said: "Thank you for this! It’s so inspiring to us moms who don’t feel like we fit in with what the world thinks our bodies should look like. I talk down about myself often wondering what I can do to get in shape or to lose those pounds that’s so hard to get rid of but then I think to myself “this is who I am, I carried 2 babies to term and one angel baby”. My husband still thinks I’m beautiful and my daughter compliments me often. It gives me the strength to love who I am and not worry about what others may think. So, thank you again."

We're so glad Sandy shared her story.

Instagram l @theballardbunch

Clearly, if we can learn anything from Sandy, it's that while we may be uncomfortable in our new bodies, it's normal—and, we have to look around and see how resilient and beautiful life is when we have such wonderful little humans that came from us.