societal pressure

‘My breasts are different. My hips are different. I’m happy with different. It means I did everything I wanted my body to do.’: Mom says ‘there is no bounce back’ after childbirth

“This amazing thing happens when you become a mother: you transition into something different, something new. I can work out every day and get in awesome shape, but I still haven’t bounced back. I can go out with friends, do the things I’ve always enjoyed, but I still haven’t bounced back.”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘My son was 6 and my daughter was 3. Where do I go for guidance? I opened up to my best friend about divorcing my husband of 11 years.’: Mother of two finds strength in sharing divorce journey

“What I do feel is an inner peace, an inner confidence and happiness from within. I have grown so close to my kids and they continue to push me to be the best person I can be. I look into my son’s eyes and I push myself to show him a confident, independent woman who deserves respect. I look into my daughter’s eyes and I strive to be the example of a woman paving the path of ‘doing it all’ while still expressing her emotions. It is so important to me to continue to build myself up and keep my children’s environment stable, healthy, and consistent.”

‘Let go of the expectations. Enjoy the lights, do away with the to-do lists, breathe, and hold on to the people you love.’: Woman reminds us to cherish time with loved ones this Christmas

“Why does this holiday season feel so weird? Maybe it’s because all I want to do is sit around and watch Christmas movies, but there’s always somewhere to be. Or maybe it’s because I’m so busy buying the things the stores are telling me I need to be busy buying that I’m not looking at the gifts right in front of me. Can we just…oh, I don’t know…stop? And breathe. And enjoy. And be with each other. THAT is where the holiday lives.”

‘Here’s to being 30 and married!’ Everyone lifted their glasses in unison. I drove home in tears, 33 and single.’: Woman faces ‘stigma’ for being ‘unmarried and childless’

“My breakup was fresh. I had 2 weeks to shove all my belongings into trash bags. I noticed some whispering, glances my way. They finished off with a hurried cheers. ‘Lisa! Do you have any funny dating stories?!’ The exchange was, frankly, humiliating. I felt like I was deficient in hitting life’s expected mile markers: Marriage. Children. More children. As innocent as conversation can be, it hurts.”

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