Elle Dunn (31) and Maisie Grace (4)
Moline, IL | Des Moines, IA
Elle shares -
“I am on a mission to become fearless. To push my limits and hanging out with a bunch of people I don't know in my underpants is pretty far out of my comfort zone. I left Maisie's dad almost two years ago. I realized that if I could be a bad ass single mom, I could also do all of the other things that I thought I could never do. In the last two years, I have gone back to school, trained to do a half marathon, become a vegan, read a crap ton of books, quit drinking, started to meditate, and basically I've embraced life. I want Maisie to see me and know that anything is possible. To know that life is here to be lived, and that it's OK to put yourself out there.
I reached 240lbs after Maisie was born. I never felt bad, or looked at myself in a negative way but I felt off and tired and I realized that I needed to change after a pair of size 22 pants were too tight for me. I've never looked down on overweight people and I loved my body, but I realized that I needed to make a major change for my own health because I was eating garbage and not exercising and I just felt bad. I am now a healthy 150 lbs and I can run and move and keep up with Mais.
Postpartum was rough. I didn't suffer from postpartum depression but I certainly suffered from postpartum rage. Not at Mais, she was a pretty great baby, but at my partner. I just felt such intense anger at the fact that I was caring for this child, and going to work, and cleaning the house, and cooking, and doing everything, and he was just living his life like he did before we had a child.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself. Being a parent is hard. Being a perfect parent is impossible. You will fail and your life will never look like those people on Instagram. Your house will be dirty. Your child with be dirty. Your hair will be dirty. It is okay. Give yourself space and grace to fail, because that is where the lessons live. And don't forget to stop and enjoy the little things. The dishes can wait, but you might never get to have another Beatles sing along with a little girl dressed up like a butterfly.”