Chloe Sosa-Jarrett and Cole (13 months)
Chloe shares -
"I wish I could say that I had a positive body image before parenthood but it’s never been great. I’ve always been overweight and bigger than most people. I will say that being a mom has taught me to be more patient with my body because I want my child to grow up surrounded by people who are confident and self-affirming. I’ve learned a new appreciation for my oddly shaped breasts because they have nourished my little peanut since day one and they are the reason I can nurse while lying down. Although I’ve always been bigger, parenthood is inspiring me to get more active so that I can comfortably run after my child on his most rambunctious days.
I feel like I adjusted to parenthood in a trial-by-fire way. I had very little time to prepare myself for being a stay at home mom during my maternity leave and once I started to feel like I had the hang of being at the beck and call of a tiny infant dictator all day, it was time to go back to work. I thought balancing my work as a teacher and my duties as a mom and wife would be easier but the truth is, they knocked me on my ass within days. The commute alone was draining and I fought the urge to pass out on the couch every evening before 8pm. Most of the time I lost and now I’m learning to pace myself, follow my baby’s lead and MOST IMPORTANTLY, LEAN ON MY PEOPLE. I’ve always been too independent to ask for help and now, I hesitate but push myself to follow through because I know it’s what’s best for both me and my family.
I am a work in progress, and every day is another day of practice and fully living my truth. But if I could tell my younger or former self one thing, it would be to try and see myself the way my child and family see me. If Cole could talk, I think he’d say “that’s my mom. She’s loving, sweet and funny, especially when she tries research-based parenting. She doesn’t always get the whole mom thing right but I wouldn’t trade her pb&j sandwiches and open bar milkies for anything in the world.” I want that to be how I feel about myself too so I’m working on it.
The parents who’ve been featured thus far are my heroes. Reading through the stories of other parents has helped me realize that there’s really no one right way to do things and that I need to trust my instincts. It has also shown me that most people survive the trials and tribulations of first-time parenthood and are in love enough to try again. This gives me hope, and keeps me looking towards a bright future filled with loving happy little people which I can nourish, support, and love on for a lifetime."