Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Can't I Accept My Post Baby Body?

It's taken me a while to decide to write this post as I wasn't sure whether people would understand. There are so many body positive people around and I hate to admit it but I still can't get on board with loving my post baby body. In fact I hate it. I am the least body positive person you will find and when I see people loving their post baby shape and embracing their bodies, i'm jealous. I want to feel like that. So why can't I?


This is a question i've been asking myself for a long time. I see images on instagram of amazing mums embracing their shape, going to the gym, the healthy eating images, mums eating boxes of chocolates etc and they are all confident and happy with the way they look. However, when I take a picture I can honestly tell you I scrutinise it for about an hour. Millions of silly questions and thoughts pop in to my self doubted mind. Do I look fat in it? Oh my god look at my chin! My legs look massive. I look huge in that coat. I am never, ever wearing that again. Why can't I just look at the picture and be happy? Why do I sit there and tear myself apart like some deranged, hormonal, high school chick. I thought the days of worrying over how other people view me were left at the school gates 15 years ago. 

It doesn't just stop at photos. We have a long mirror in our bedroom. Every time I walk past it, I stand there and analyse myself, from the front, side and back. Why do I keep doing that? Nothing will have changed in the couple of hours since I last checked. I'll get dressed in the morning (which by the way takes ages as i'll have spent the best part of half an hour finding something that covers my mum tum and jumping up and down to squeeze into my jeans) and then I stand there and criticise myself from top to bottom. My husband constantly tells me off about this and has threatened to remove the mirror as he's sick of seeing me body shame myself on a daily basis. 

Here's how I view other mummies and their take on their post baby bodies. You either get the chai eating, smoothie drinking, in the gym 24/7 mummies or the I am embracing my curves and scars and my body is beautiful mummies. Why can I not be in either of these categories? So as a nearly 32 year old mum of 2, one naturally and one through caesarean I am the mummy who hates my stretch marks and scars, hates my curves and hates my extra weight gain. There i've said it and I feel better for saying it. 


I've written this post to hopefully show other mums who feel like me that it is actually ok to say it. It is ok to say you know what, I feel and look like shit. I bet there are other mums out there who put on a front but deep down they feel like shit. I'm saying it's ok to say it as I've honestly come to the point where now I've said it out loud i'm going to start making a change to help me learn to love myself.

But back to the original part. Why haven't I been able to accept my post baby body? When I sit down and really think about why i'm so unhappy it's pretty clear that I had very unrealistic expectations of what I'd be like after having kids.

I'm not gonna lie, I expected to look like an instant milf after giving birth. I imagined the photos of me holding my newborn with a bouncy blow dry and glowing skin with make up on. I imagine waltzing out of the hospital, holding on to the car seat and owning the corridor like it was a catwalk. In reality the glow on my face was sweat, I had a nighty on from Primark with was a size 16 and something that my great nan would have worn back in the day and my outfit for leaving hospital resembled the tracksuit trend from the 90's. Don't even get me started on the walk. The only thing I was owning was a John Wayne impression. Not to worry, i'll be in the gym in no time and sipping coffees with my friends in my skinny jeans wearing my sunnies. Wrong!!

I wasn't expecting to still be in maternity jeans for months down the line or hideous over sized nursing clothes. This is not what I imagined. I was expecting to have the sass and confidence that matched Kim Kardashian. When we went to a wedding I was expecting look as elegant and graceful as Kate Middleton, truth be told I looked more like Mrs Blobby. 



And that is where the problem lies. The expectation and the pressure that is put on us by the media and every day life to bounce back into shape and look as good as you did 9 months previously. Our cultures obsession with weight is draining. It makes me so angry that I've spent the best part of four years obsessing over something that is insignificant. I should be focusing on motherhood and setting an example to my girls. Do I want them to scrutinise themselves over their weight the way I do? Hell No!!! It would break my heart if I saw either of them analysing themselves in the mirror. It's time to change.

Nobody tells you how hard motherhood is going to be. How tiring it's going to be. How somedays you won't even be able to leave the house, let alone get dressed and look and feel a million dollars.

Don't get me wrong I love exercise and healthy eating but I should be doing that because I want to do it not because i'm hoping it'll make me some sort of size 6 queen. 

It's going to take a while but eventually I will be a body positive mum. I will embrace my curves and I will find myself sexy again. I've just got to remember that very point. It will take time!! 

I've got to stop being so hard on myself and realise that my truly amazing body not only grew, developed and looked after 2 babies, it then managed to safely bring them into the world. It has also never failed me during my years of motherhood. Ok there have been some blips and a couple of minor operations but it managed to feed the girls, get me up in the middle of the night, carry them when my arms were exhausted and keep me going when I was sleep deprived. Having a mummy body is a miracle really when you think about it! Mum bodies are awesome!


So there you have it. Four years down the line my journey to accepting my post baby body has just begun. 










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30 comments

  1. I think it's very hard to accept your post baby body, regardless of your size or shape. I was a size 8 until the day I gave birth and you wouldn't have known Id just had a baby, but my post baby body is still very different to my body before. I might look the same with my clothes on, but clothes off is a different matter!! Our bodies are amazing, I think it just takes us a while to realise that?

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    1. It takes ages to realise that. I'm slowly getting there x

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  2. What an interesting and personal post. I agree the comparison to others in the spotlight can't help!

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  3. I am the same and do find it really hard. It doesn't help that I have a sedentary job and never have energy to do anything at the end of the day. I hope its just a phase and it will pass x

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  4. Really honest post and one most of us can identify with. I think a lot of it is the norm isn't the same anymore, we have a new norm we try and conform to, which is just unrealistic

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  5. This is the reason I rarely look through social media, I only use it to post about my blog if I can! We never really know what's going on for people and the images we see have been edited so that we feel like these people are happy and everything is wonderful. Don't believe all you see. It's easy to put a brave face on things when posting on social media, so I'd bet half the pictures you've seen weren't posted by people who were totally fine with how they looked.

    It's good that you can be so honest. Maybe it's worth thinking about what you attach to how your body looks. Is it self-worth? Is it that you compare yourself to others? I hope you can find a way through to love yourself. No one is perfect x

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  6. I've definitely struggled with my post baby body its something i know a lot of mums will relate to

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  7. It is ok to be honest about how you see your body. For me I know that I find it difficult to accept my own body and your right it is partially influenced by the media. Hope you feel more confident soon xxx

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  8. It's hard when your body changes as it does with child birth. You look so great to me Kerry. I think we are very hard on ourselves as women.

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    1. I think that's part of it. We are very hard on ourselves x

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  9. I am the same, I hate the weight gain and how my stomach is after having three children. My third pregnancy really made me unhappy with things and I am totally lacking in confidence now xx

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  10. I am the same but also I think I have just accepted my shape for what it is. I have birthed five children and my body looks as though its been through those times too. And I think I'm OK with that. x

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  11. I use to think like this. I had 4 children and it was hard to get back into my jeans. How do people get straight back into there jeans!? I stopped worrying and let nature take its course. Let my body go back when it was time. Then after a few years I started to run and that help a lot :)

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  12. I know what you mean. I looked horrible after birth, lol. I slowly got myself back months after.

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  13. I know how you feel! I'm still struggling to find a happy medium with my post baby body too! x

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  14. it takes so long to get used to things. I have had 3 children and there is a just 3yrs 8 months between oldest and youngest so my body is very different to how it was. It is hard to accept the changes sometimes

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  15. What really cheeses me off with these insta mums is, that they have all the help in the world and probably dont focus as much on their baby, plus a little photoshop doesnt hurt lol! But I worry about my mum tum, but I embrace it, you live once right!

    Lindsey xx
    http://www.londonmumma.com

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  16. I hate my post baby body! I struggle to come to terms with it. I need to kick start a healthy eating regime!

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  17. It's hard. We are bombarded with messages of skinny women the women who give birth and the next minute they are running on the beach in their bikini. Life isn't like that. We are real, human and the beauty is inside us!

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  18. I totally understand where you're coming form. In fact I'm ok with my body right now only because I'm pregnant, but pre pregnancy my body was not how I wanted it. And I hated it. And obviously when this baby comes out I've no doubt I'll return to not liking what I see. It's great to have all these positive image mottos but ultimately it's down to how each person feels about themselves. I've come to accept my body- but that doesn't mean I like it and don't wish I had a fairy godmother! lol

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  19. I haven't had a baby but my body has certainly changed since many of my Crohn's flares. I find media pressure really hard with all insta filters and everything! Ahhh!

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  20. Our bodies are completely different after kids, and we have to learn how to love them. However it'seems flipping hard!!

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  21. Oh yes, totally relate to this. In fact, I have a blog post along these lines that has been sat in my drafts for several months because it's such a hard thing to talk about. I had three children in just over four years and my body is not what it was. It is hard when you don't feel good about yourself. x

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  22. I so relate to this, I would never scrutinise my friends and what they look like, and yet I'm super harsh on myself. It's daft really, like you say we have carried amazing little ones into this world, so a few bulges is nothing. I would much rather the stretch marks and bulges and have them, than have a size 8 physique and be without them. Celebrate the flab, within healthy guidelines obviously! ;-)

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  23. I really dislike my post baby body and having had six kids it is shot. The problem is that I am too lazy to do anything about it too

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  24. I actually quite like my stretchmarks but I am so critical of any weight I have put on. I'm hoping by the time I go away I'll have shifted the final few inches from mt waist!

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  25. My tummy is so saggy and is covered in stretchmarks. I don't think it was this bad after the first 2 but now it seems to have given up. I'm not that bothered. No one has to look at it, I'm fine with never wearing a bikini again!

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