Jenna S. Burke (41), Grace Frances (4), and Jane Dorothy (1)
Boston, MA | Buffalo, NY
Jenna shares -
“I have had miscarriages, but, for me, personally, I don't think of them as losses. They were early enough and before my two children that I think of the children I have as what was meant to be. I remember being sad about it in the abstract, but I rarely think about it as I sit here today.
Becoming a mother of two girls made me realize how important it is to pass along messages of body acceptance and body positivity to them. I never want them to feel shame or anything less than love for themselves and their bodies. I have been really good about re-framing my thoughts about my own body so I do not say or think anything negative about my own body. I'm so grateful for the fact that my body was able to give life to my two little perfect humans and provide nourishment for so long. I love, even now, how they squirm closer to me or prefer to lie directly on top of me or caress my arm or squeeze my back to get comfort and feel loved. I like they are so comforted by my physical being.
Having children rocked my world. It was physically difficult (although I was fairly lucky with both births that there was no lasting physical trauma). Breastfeeding was really hard and painful. It was scary and exhausting to be 100% responsible for this new person. I didn't do a lot for myself in those first few months. I wasn't eating proper meals, I wasn't drinking water, I wasn't exercising, I wasn't showering, I wasn't sleeping. All things I had taken for granted before having a baby. But, over time, I adjusted. I still eat meals in between jumping up and down to fetch things for the kids. I still don't exercise as much as I'd like. I still don't sleep. But, this is the new life. There's a certain harried contentment about the new normal. I think its how I thought it would be. Maybe I didn't envision it being quite as hard as it actually is, but I look back on my own childhood and my own mother and I think I have the same harried contentment that she had being a mom to small children. I also didn't envision is being as wonderful as it actually is. How much love I would feel just looking at their faces or watching them play and grow.
I wasn't prepared for how much I would love my children. I suppose by the second baby, I knew, but when I looked at my first daughter for the first time, it was unlike any feeling I had ever had. I loved her so completely and so instantly. And I love her and her sister more every single day. Love grows. Love changes you. Kids made me less selfish and way more connected to the world around me.”