"I love side by side photos but mine are never the 'right' way society deems it should be," writes mommy blogger Laura Mazza.
Laura is pregnant with her third child. In a beautifully real piece on how your body changes in pregnancy and postpartum, Laura talks about a major issue with society.
"I see it all the time, [women] who think their bumps are too small or too big. Who have people constantly commenting on their pregnant bodies. Constantly saying 'you're sooooooo tiny!' Or 'you're soooo huge!' like it's okay to comment and a growing baby makes it free for all," she writes.
She understands this because she's dealt with it.
Even though she's much smaller in the first photo, it's that photo she is more embarrassed by.
"You know, on the left I was 14 weeks pregnant. First child. I thought I was huge. HUGE. I was embarrassed at how bloated I looked. I spent time hiding my stomach even though people knew I was pregnant. I even wore spanks to a wedding because I was afraid of how jiggly I looked. I wanted to get to the right size before I celebrated my bump. I was embarrassed that my husband had this blimp of a pregnant wife and all these people would constantly remind me that I'm gonna have to work hard to go back to my prebody. That I better not eat too much... I look back and that makes me sad."
"Now I think I'm about 9 weeks, this is my third child. I double the size of the first. There's no muscles in there, I didn't lose the baby weight after the first kid, nor the second, and after this kid I won't rush to lose the weight after this one either. The baby is a size of a pea, and in there's some noodles, some banana lollies and about a kilo of watermelon... doesn't look like a bump should at 9 weeks, but I don't care. I won't hide my little pouch. It's growing a baby and I should be proud of it."
Laura has this amazing message every woman — especially every mom — should really listen to.
"I've been through so much with this body, how can I resent it and hide it away? Bodies change. It's brought me children, it's gone through battles, it's had cancer scares with lumps in my boobs, it's fought mental illness, it's wrestled with no sleep and been a home to three kids. Worrying about how big I look surely does it an injustice."
"I am a woman, I am a mother. I'm not a perfect size 0, one day I might be but at the end of the day, I'm a perfect mother to my children and future children. I am happy, my children are happy and to me that is all that matters in life."
Way to go, Laura. Most of us women could benefit a lot from looking at ourselves that way.