Worn Well

Why Tara Rock Is Proud of Her Body’s New Normal

Tara Rock Teva

After giving birth to her son, Tara Rock embraces her body’s new normal and takes pride in its capabilities—stretch marks and all. 

Words and photos by Teva Explorer TARA ROCK.

“Nothing can prepare you for motherhood,” is a statement I’ve heard thousands of times. I’ve tried to understand it but I didn’t really know until I was in the thick of it. And even then, I might be too dazed and sleep-deprived to realize what’s going on.

Besides the fact that I am this tiny little human’s entire world, everything is different. My sleep schedule, how I spend my day, if/when I take a shower, whether I work or not, how long it takes me to leave the house, how much laundry I do, how I drive, what I eat, if/when I eat, and my body.

Yeah, let’s talk about my body for a sec.

My body will never be the same after giving birth. To keep it PG for you all, I’ll stick to the superficial stuff (and you can imagine the rest). I have stretch marks in places I never did before. My belly hangs out a little more than it used to. My skin is loose and I probably get five more wrinkles on my forehead every time my baby cries and I don’t know how to soothe him. When I tell people my body will never be the same again they answer with pity or “Don’t worry it will go back to normal.” No, no it’s not. This is my new normal and what’s wrong with that? Tara Rock Teva Midform Universal Leather

Tara and her son on their island home of Hawaii. Pictured: MIDFORM UNIVERSAL LEATHER in DESERT SAND.

Teva Midform Universal Leather

Pictured: MIDFORM UNIVERSAL LEATHER in DESERT SAND.

Before I got pregnant and gave birth I had very different expectations for myself postpartum. I didn’t want to “let myself go” and hoped to maintain my same pre-baby shape. But after having gone through labor and seeing how powerful my body was (and still is), I think very differently about women, our bodies, and the expectations we have for ourselves. I grew a life inside my body for nine months and then pushed him out, all on my own. I have earned every rip, every stretch, every loose muscle, and every sagging part of my body. I earned this body (even though our culture today tells me otherwise). This is my new normal and I should be allowed to feel comfortable in it. I am mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger than I have ever been before. I deserve to wear my body as a medal of honor and courage. Mamas, we brought life into this world; we should be honoring and respecting these bodies as living temples. It looks exactly how it’s supposed to. Tara Rock

Teva Midform Universal

One thing that hasn’t changed since having a baby? Tara’s style. “I have always liked effortless, easy looks that don’t require a lot of attention. My footwear is no different. I want my sandals to be easy to put on, easy to pack, and versatile. I’m really into neutral colors right now so the leather Universal Midform is my go-to look.”

I think we need to change the conversation about women’s bodies pre and postpartum. I always hear the term “bounce back” but I hope we can change our minds about our body image as women—especially those who have gone through such an incredible rite of passage. After going through pregnancy and giving birth, I think women are beautiful, powerful creatures. We should be treating them that way regardless of how they look. So whether you’re still bulging, you gained 100 lbs, or you have stretch marks like a constellation across your belly, mamas, you earned it and we are capable of incredible things. Be proud of it. All of it!

Teva Original Universal White

Pictured: ORIGINAL UNIVERSAL in WHITE.

Teva Original Universal White

Pictured: ORIGINAL UNIVERSAL in WHITE.

Tara Rock for Teva

Tara Rock Original Universal White

Pictured: ORIGINAL UNIVERSAL in WHITE.

After giving birth, I don’t get to do the same things I used to. I rarely get to surf, and it takes me an extra two hours just to leave the house if I haven’t already been held prisoner by the notorious “nap time.” But those moments we do go to the beach or go on a hike are really special because my son is experiencing it for the first time. I love watching him take in the world around him. He looks up at the trees in utter amazement and touches the ocean water with astounding curiosity. And even though these excursions are less frequent than I’m used to, I get to see everything through new, fascinated eyes. I’m not just enjoying the outdoors and world around me anymore. I am sharing and learning with my little human. And to me, that is so much more special than experiencing it on my own. A walk down the street seems so much more fulfilling than a flight across the world now. I’m looking forward to teaching him to be a steward of the land and watch his relationship with it evolve into something beautiful. I think that’s worth a few missed surf sessions. Tara Rock Flatform Universal

Pictured: FLATFORM UNIVERSAL LUXE in BLACK.

Flatform Universal Luxe

Pictured: FLATFORM UNIVERSAL LUXE in BLACK.

Shop the latest sandal styles featured in this story at TEVA.COM.