Jennifer Barrett (32), Josephine (4.5), and Jackson (20 months)
Jennifer is a repeat project participant. You can view her original photo and story here.
Hailey, ID | Missoula, MT
Jennifer shares -
“I feel like parenthood has made me more aware of body image issues in the media and children’s toys, over sexualizing and falsely representing variations of typical bodies. I also feel like since becoming a parent I’ve felt more comfortable with my tummy not being flat and embracing the stretch marks on my body. Whereas before, as a teenager, I was always embarrassed and ashamed that I had a squishy tummy and stretch marks on my thighs and breasts.
Becoming a parents for me was tough. With our first child, we had lots of things not go as planned and many things about our birth that I was disappointed about. This sent us into postpartum with lots of anxiety and guilt. To this day I feel like the relationship between me and my daughter is sometimes tough because of the traumatic beginning to it. No one had ever told me there would be possible negative outcomes related to birth. I had been so excited to become a parent and when all my expectations hadn’t become the reality, it was a struggle for me. It took me 18 months to even talk about my first birth and the anxiety I had.
I feel like participating the first time three years ago was the turning point in my mental health as a parent and my healing process. This movement allowed me to have my second child, my healing birth experience. Although it was far from perfect, it helped me heal and I hope to talk about my experience to help other parents feel not so alone in this world and culture we live - it can feel and be such a lonely place!”