Please tell me I am not the only one…..
You know that moment you go to the mikveh for the first time after you give birth to your baby? It’s that time where you undress yourself in front of the mirror and you’re faced with your own brutal nakedness. No high-waisted skirts, no flowy dresses, no baggy sweaters. That’s it; the new war scars and belly are in plain view. Highlighted by the mivkeh mirror and lighting. Who has time to notice these things when we are so busy taking care of the family? I spend so much of my time praying for God to give me the strength and energy to get through my day. I need to match my toddlers’ energy. But in that moment of nakedness, in the mirror, I feel so broken and unrecognizable. As the mikvah attendant checks me, I can feel tears in my eyes. I have no desire to be seen naked by anyone. Where is my confidence? What is beauty anyway? And what is all this vulnerability God is asking of me? So raw and so naked!
G-d created me a woman and in the process of having children my body has been completely changed. Those stretch marks and darker skin on my belly are a reminder of motherhood. I am changed from the core; both physically and emotionally. On my walk home I pray that my husband will still think I am beautiful and that for the rest of our lives together I will always be his beauty. And then, in a deep way I acknowledge and appreciate our Torah for trying to protect the Jewish home. And this is tonight’s prayer: please God give all Jewish women beauty and confidence. And may our homes be filled with ahava, achva, shalom, v’reut.
-Written as a mom and a pelvic floor therapist. I want women reading this to know that mivkeh night can be hard. With it comes many emotions. So many women are struggling with body image and self-confidence. Perhaps the next time we see our flaws in the mikveh mirror we can thank them and our bodies for serving us well.
Yaffa Megan Jacobowitz
Pelvic Floor Therapist