Katie Suzanne-Barnes Klein (30) and Carla (16 Months)
Seattle, WA. Photographed in Madison, WI
Katie shares -
"Since becoming a mom, I have more respect for my body, and believe my body is tougher and stronger than I ever thought possible. There are moments, that I do feel self-conscious and self-doubt does creeps in. Then I try to take a step back and look at my daughter, I remind myself that my body carried this sweet child and to embrace my body. I don't want to tell her to love her body but I want to model love for my own body for her. I will never have my "pre-pregnancy" body and that is okay, I have a new body that I think is pretty rad.
For me, once Carla joined our world, my love for her was way stronger than I ever thought possible, and I instantly felt the "mama bear" in me. I joined a fitness group for moms and babies which turned into "my village" and I grew a loving and supportive community. I took Carla to music classes and play dates on a regular basis and still do, filling the calendar with friends and laughter (sometimes tears) fills my soul. The adjustment to parenthood went smoothly with some challenging moments. These challenges were lack of sleep, being across the country from family and childhood friends, changing my career as a special education teacher to becoming a stay at home mom and over analyzing parenting decisions.
I also expected I would breastfeed which was not our reality. My supply went low, and Carla was loosing weight fast. For one week, I felt guilt, sadness, a sense of failure, I then took some time to self reflect and take a deep breath. Carla is okay, I am okay, and formula was one of the best things that happened for our family. I realized fresh air and a shower can reset my mind for the day. My husband is my rock and his belief in me as a woman and a mom helps my confidence incredibly and I couldn't be this strong if it were not for my husband, friends and family. I continue to strongly rely on my network and feel blessed to build this relationships along our journey.
I believe in this movement. Everyone has a story to tell and every woman has a body they should be proud of. I have a lot of strong, amazing women that are close to me in my life. I would like to help encourage all women to love and embrace their beautiful bodies. This is an opportunity for me to show my embrace, especially for my daughter.
Don't feel like you have to do the BEST thing all the time, there are a lot of great options. Over analyzing can distract you from the moment and take away the fun. Take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and DO YOU.