God Made All of Me (Book Review)

If you think your child is too young to start talking about protecting their bodies and naming body parts by name, you might want to think again.

Just like many topics in life, our kids are remarkable on picking things up very quickly and we can find ourselves surprised later in life how much they knew at a very early age. My parents never had "the talk" with me, but I knew about sex as young as 5-years-old. Thankfully, I have never been a victim of sexual abuse, but let's just say that high school and college were eye-opening, and shocking, to me with how low people view themselves and treat other people's bodies.

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb do an incredible job at simply and carefully laying out what it means to protect your body, what God has made our bodies for, and how we can use our words to keep us safe and aware of what others might try to do to our bodies. I read this book to my boys without flipping through the pages first and was pretty surprised at how engaged they were the entire time. My two older boys are 5 and almost 3 and they are at the "curious stage." They want to know everything and I couldn't think of a better time to explain to them important things related to the human body.

Many people believe that only young girls and woman are susceptible to sexual abuse, but actually 1 in 6 boys will also experience sexual abuse in their lifetime! Having boys, this statistic made me realize that I can't be naive to the fact that my boys need to know what is right and wrong behavior and how they can use their voice to 1) tell me and my husband if something happens and 2) that they can and should always say "No!" to unwanted sexual conduct.

God Made All of Me teaches kids and adults the importance of naming each body part their actual name. Predators are very likely to use other words and not actually say "penis," "vagina," "breasts," etc. It is, therefore, important for us to use these terms at home so that they are not uncomfortable words but become second nature. The book also discusses who should be allowed to touch our bodies, when it is appropriate, and when it is necessary to say "No, please stop touching me!". 

I am so thankful that there is a book out there hat is raw, simple, and straight to the point. If we do not teach our kids what God intends for the bodies he has made, then someone else will. I may not be able to stop or prevent harm from ever coming to my kids, but with books like this and prayer I can at least give them the tools they need to protect themselves.

I was listening in on the boys conversations recently and my oldest told our middle son, “Our penis is a private part and you can say 'No! Don’t touch me!' Don’t be afraid. God made our bodies.” Even when I think they aren’t paying attention to me, they are. :) 

I HIGHLY recommend this book for parents of both boys and girls. Do not be afraid to be uncomfortable, but give your children the tools they need to respect their bodies and the bodies of others around them. 

This book was given to me in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

IMG_6508.JPG
IMG_6509.JPG
IMG_6511.JPG
IMG_6512.JPG
IMG_6514.JPG
IMG_6515.JPG
IMG_6516.JPG

my one year postpartum body.

Max is a little over 12 months now and that makes me one year postpartum. This experience post-birth has been much different than it was after having Calvin. Much of this is because my expectations have changed. After my first pregnancy I assumed I would quickly fit into my normal jeans and that my tummy and hips would all go back to normal. But after giving birth nothing is the same and some things get better, some worse.  

So, this time around I didn't put any pressure on myself. I worked out if and when my schedule permitted and I came to terms with the fact that my breasts would never look the same, like never. Instead of looking at my jeans and feeling sorry for myself for my fitting into them I donated them. My sweet husband let me get any new pants I needed to feel confident and comfortable. I may be 3 pants size bigger than I was when I got married but I like to think of it as graduating into womanhood. My new body has unwanted sag, wide hips, a few stretch marks, a new chest size, a lot of new hair frills on my head, some under eye darkness, and a few new birth marks. My new body is also stronger, healthier, and is the only body I will ever have. I can chose to love this body and take care of it or I can chose to despise it. Thankfully, Nick is always helping build my confidence and affirming how he loves the way I look. If it wasn't for him making me feel beautiful I would probably question myself. 

I recently realized that I hear so many moms talking down about their appearance or their dissatisfaction for how they look. This only further discourages me and makes me more self conscious. If we all walked with more confidence in the bodies we were given and made these bodies a priority, then maybe we could change our perception of what beauty is (at least, just a little bit).

If we walked in truth about who God says we are and truly believed it than we would convey our beauty to those around us. When we walk with our shoulders down, slouched over, not caring about how we portray ourselves we are telling our kids and those around us that we do not matter. Your body has helped bring life into this world, that is something to be celebrated in itself. That is something to see beauty in. You may need some help sometimes to let that beauty shine (haircut, new shirt, manicure, some mascara) but make sure that even though you will never be the old you, the new you is just as important and worthy of value. 

My postpartum body is not what I thought it would be, it's much better. Each imperfection is a reminder to me on my value in Christ and the blessing it was to have birthed my two boys. I hope that I won't ever be that mom lets herself go. It is easy to put myself on the back-burner, but it takes selflessness and a little bit of time to care about my health and the way in which I present myself to my family and to the world. I hope that on those mornings when I feel too lazy to care about myself that I will remember I am a mom, wife, friend, daughter, and neighbor. I hope I will remember to walk in confidence and to find my beauty in Christ alone.  

Do you struggle with loving your postpartum body? Do you wish you could go back to your old self? Do you think you are beautiful? Do you care to give yourself a little love and attention?

 Our 5 year wedding anniversary aka Thanksgiving Day 

Our 5 year wedding anniversary aka Thanksgiving Day 

 One of my best friends who is always encouraging me. She exemplifies beauty that is shown from the outside in and reverse.

One of my best friends who is always encouraging me. She exemplifies beauty that is shown from the outside in and reverse.

 My pre-baby body that is forever gone but not necessarily missed. 

My pre-baby body that is forever gone but not necessarily missed. 

the road to weaning.

Max will be ONE next week. I know every mom says this but really where did the time go!? When Calvin was a little nursling I remember looking forward to his 1st birthday so much because it was always my goal to nurse him for a year. Well once his first birthday rolled on I was not ready to wean like I had anticipated. I had grown attached to our little nursing routine and loved the downtime with him. On his first birthday we went from 5 nursing sessions a day to just morning and evening. I would pump once or twice during the day so that I wouldn't get mastitis or anything and Calvin took the road to weaning just fine. Once he was 15 months old I cut out the morning nursing session and then at 17 months we dropped the evening one.

If he ever woke at night I would change his diaper and offer a sippy cup of water. I am always thirsty at night and I always figured he woke because he was thirsty (although maybe only I was). Calvin would take milk from a cup sometimes but for the most part he just stuck to solids and never wanted any milk which was no surprise since he hated bottles. 

Max is similar to Calvin and still rejects pumped milk from a bottle. He has never been a lover of nursing. He is a quick eater and wants to move on to the next thing. I am not sure if we will have anymore biological children again so I often find myself sad at the idea of weaning. There is no real other reason as to why I like to wean at a year other than I want to wear normal bras again, want to sleep on my tummy without leaking, and want to feel 100% back to myself. I don't think it is selfish to want these things since I spent a year sharing my body with little Max. I am so thankful that God allowed me to be able to nurse both my boys and will look back on these times with fond memories.

My plan is to go down to just morning and evening nursing with Max. The poor guy doesn't see it coming, but I am at peace with my decision and hope he takes the transition well. He is a healthy little guy and the time would inevitably come for me to stop breastfeeding him. It is still up in the air as to when we will be completely done nursing but since I am a woman of habit I am sure it will be similar to my timeline with Calvin. 

My last stash of milk has been donated to a friend and soon my pump will be packed away along with my nursing bras. My birthday is in January and I see a trip to VS for some bras in my future. I may have scars on my breasts and if I look in the mirror I do not recognize my body but these are good signs and reminders of the body God gave me to help birth and nourish my two boys.

Weaning is definitely a journey for both mom and baby. Max will most likely never remember me nursing him in a few months when we are totally finished, but I will always remember our special bond. Whether you breastfed for one day or for a year like me you can probably understand what I am going through. Every milestone your baby goes through is a reminder of how fast time goes when you are a mom. 

My Max will no longer be a baby but will be a toddler on Black Friday. He may not get mom's milk but he will surely enjoy a plate full of turkey, carrots, stuffing, cake, and his first slice of apple pie. 

When did you wean your baby? Did you have a hard time letting go? How did you go about cutting out sessions, abruptly or slowly? Any advice?

 Copying big brother by going on the slide the wrong way.

Copying big brother by going on the slide the wrong way.

 Got a picture of some of Max's first steps.

Got a picture of some of Max's first steps.

 Sharing some slobbery snacks with me at the pediatricians office

Sharing some slobbery snacks with me at the pediatricians office

 Swinging on Halloween at a Trunk or Treat, not wearing a costume because it was another hot night in San Diego.

Swinging on Halloween at a Trunk or Treat, not wearing a costume because it was another hot night in San Diego.

 Beefy ribs or milk? 

Beefy ribs or milk?