I have written about body confidence many times now; it’s something I feel strongly about and I would do anything to encourage other Mamas out there that they look and are amazing.
I am also someone who usually lets other peoples negative comments wash over me without any worry. But sometimes people may throw out the odd comment that can stick in even the toughest of peoples minds.
So I was on the phone to my mother and she said my brother had shown her some of my bump photos from Facebook (she isn’t on any form of social media as she’s convinced it’s the anti christ of everything). I replied saying “ahh that’s good, it’s growing so much already”. To which she replied with “you should stop eating so much”.
Now I don’t care if it’s my Mum, Sam, a friend, or a total stranger, but my response to this is WTF!
My relationship with my mother is often quite fiery; we’re very different people and can often end up bickering. And she isn’t backwards in coming forwards; if she wants to throw out a comment that may rile me she will do so. A few years ago I’d have been so upset and possibly even listened. As I’ve grown up and developed my own mind, I now know how to handle it. So in this instance I just replied with a blunt “no”. I changed the topic of conversation and that was that.
But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t played in my head all morning. Not just because it was, quite frankly, a stupid comment, but because this is why so many women out there have body confidence issues. This can be during pregnancy, after you’ve had the baby and any time in between! The pressure from the media, society and even each other is immense. So to have anyone say anything that makes you feel as though you are being judged, or that’s detrimental to your body changing through pregnancy is a pressure you really don’t need.
Pregnancy, as beautiful and rewarding as it is, is also incredibly challenging. Your body is no longer your own; it’s at the beck and call of the amazing human it’s growing. It’s going through a seemingly endless list of side effects that are not of the most pleasant; morning (all fucking day) sickness, heartburn, cramps, restless legs, exhaustion, going off your favourite foods and cravings for certain things at a drop of a hat. As you get bigger you have people throwing out the standard comments; “have you got two in there” and so forth. It’s not always easy. Equally it’s not always hard. Just remember you’re a friggin hero for getting through pregnancy, and birth! What you’ve accomplished and coped with is immense and at the end of it all you’re rewarded with your beautiful baby. I honestly can’t think of a better reward.
So if you fancy a cake just have a cake. My rule is everything in moderation so I tend to make sure my main meals each day are healthy But one thing I have learnt, especially since going through my pregnancy with Josh, is that I know my own body. Instinct is an insanely powerful thing; it’s instilled in us as mothers anyway. I know I don’t eat dreadfully despite a fairly serious addiction to chocolate, I know I get plenty of exercise and I know I generally always get my five a day. My Mother had also mentioned about how much harder it is to lose the baby weight after a second baby but, as I told her, this is not a priority to me. When this beautiful baby arrives my focus will be on him or her, breastfeeding, balancing my children, and keeping myself feeling positive. I suffered with the blues for a good couple of weeks after Josh, and this time I want to do all I can to remind myself that I’m doing a good job, that I am a good Mum and that if I want a piece of carrot cake then I’ll have it.
You get a lot of advice when you’re pregnant. And a lot of it is often unasked for. Nod along, be polite, but don’t take any shit. You got this Mama, just as I have. And yet another thing I’ve learnt is exactly how I will raise my children, and encourage them to be positive in their image and in others. I can honestly vow I’ll never let my children have any doubt in themselves at all.
Spread all the positivity and block out those negative nancys (no matter who it is, and how much they may not have meant it).