We have a secret.

We have a love/hate relationship with our stretch marks.

Most women get them (about 90%, in fact) during pregnancy, and while there are dozens of so-called stretch mark preventing and erasing creams on the market, we're not sure any of them really work.

You know what does work? Seeing the beauty in your “stripes" and embracing them as a part of your motherhood journey.

Stretch marks remind us that we are different than we used to be.

Stretch marks remind us that we are strong.

Stretch marks remind us that we are miracle workers—that we created a human inside of our bodies. WHAT.

Stretch marks remind us about things that sometimes make us sad—sad that our tummies and bodies aren't as tight as they used to be. Stretch marks can make us feel heavy with the burden of motherhood. They're a tattoo of our responsibility that never leaves. Stretch marks can make us feel mournful—they're reminders that the carefree life we had before kids is gone. There is no shame in stretch marks, but there is, sometimes, grief. And that is okay, and real and true.

Because stretch marks also remind us that we are warrior mamas who face challenges with strength.

Sure, they may annoy you from time to time, but those marks got you to where you are right now: with that beautiful baby by your side.

We allow ourselves to be sad, sometimes, about out stretch marks. But when too much negativity creeps in, we speak a truth back at those negative thoughts: I am a warrior. I made a human, with my body. I am beautiful.

Here are 8 reasons we embrace our tiger stripes.

1. We're superheroes who grew babies inside our bodies. And we have the stretch marks to prove it.


A photo posted by Erin Anthony (@erinleighanthony) on

2. We're all different. That's something to celebrate.


A photo posted by Brenda DeRouen, J.D. (@_ohbrenda_) on

3. They unite us in the sisterhood of the motherhood. We're all in this together.

4. Our bodies literally expanded to make a little house for our babies. And that's AMAZING.