Amy Potter (43), Ethan, 19. JorjaAnn, 12. Maximillion, 5. Benjamin, 3.
Photographed in Seattle, Washington
Amy originally participated in the project in Seattle in January 2015. You can view her original image and story here.
Amy shares -
"Parenthood has impacted my body image over time. It was nineteen years ago when I had my first child. I was young and very hard on myself to be perfect. Over time I have learned that it’s more important for me to be happy on the inside versus perfect on the outside. My body does not look like how I want it to, but I have four people who love me regardless and that takes away the sting of imperfection.
It’s been three years since I gave birth to my youngest and even though I’ve experienced postpartum journeys before, I’m surprised how long it’s taken me to start to regain my identity. Just recently I’ve been feeling like me again. I love having babies and nursing them, but it takes a lot out of me. I kind of lose myself for a while there. With each child, I’ve become a stronger me, though—stronger in my self-love.
Being a parent is difficult. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s all that matters to me, though. There is no perfect. There’s only the best I can do. When I sneak out and go somewhere by myself, I feel kind of lost without my children by my side. I need them as much as they need me.
I participated one time before—right after my youngest was born. The past five years have been really difficult for me. I had no idea how hard having two children so close together would be. I feel like I lost myself so much. Everything I do is for my kids. My body isn’t as young as it used to be and I feel like I’ve recovered from pregnancy and childbirth more slowly this time than before. I’m emerging a better person, though. As my youngest gets older, it’s like waking up from a long sleep. I have a greater love for everything than ever before. I struggle sometimes when I look at myself in comparison to others, because I’ve always been critical of my body, but I tell myself how strong I am and remind myself that there are four people who will always look up to me. My daughter is now at the age where I developed eating disorders so long ago. I want to do my best to show her healthy thoughts and how to love herself so she doesn’t always criticize herself as I have."