When I was 22 years old, I fell pregnant with Jamie, this was the biggest life changing moment, I knew everything was about to change. Little did I know that the effects of these changes were so drastic. Even though I had a relatively easy pregnancy, my body was not my own, I was swelling in places I didn’t know existed and feeling uncomfortable with my body and self-image. It wasn’t all glam. A swim in the pool made me feel like a beached whale and the view of my tummy and feet from my angle looked 10 times worse that it really was.
When Jamie was born I became somewhat obsessed with losing the 15 Kilograms I had gained during the pregnancy. (For me this is a lot) Previously, I would wonder why woman “let themselves go” after their pregnancies, now I know why it is so tough, and although this is a reality, there are ways that we can make ourselves feel beautiful. (And I’m not talking about weight here) If we feel beautiful, we will display that beauty on the outside and it will shine. I attempted exercising for a couple of days after getting the go ahead from my Gynae, but that was short-lived. Damn, new born babies are hard work! My Body had changed for good, my ribs weren’t were they used to be, my stomach muscles were lazy, and lets not talk about my boobs! There was no turning back to my 21-year-old body and at this moment, I knew I had to start treating myself better, emotionally, and “get your shit together” became my mantra!
After the pregnancy, I naturally began neglecting myself, and in this time I could not find the motivation and strength to get up and do something about it. We have all been there, envying the pretty girl with the rocking body, but It is not about looking at the next person and envying their beauty, wanting a better body, a permanent bronzed tan or legs so beautiful it would make Barbie jealous. And it is certainly not about the fear of being judged by others and their worthless opinion of your image. It’s not about losing an excessive or unhealthy amount of weight, eating celery for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or wearing fresh make up to bed (please don’t do that) It’s about who you are, being comfortable in your own skin, what you were given in this life, and how you use it. It’s about treating yourself better, in a way that makes you feel fulfilled. If you are not content with the way you feel, it’s about time you start finding your balance and do what you need to do to make you happy.
Once you are satisfied, the only weapon you have to defeat the fear of not being good enough is to embrace it.
Psychologically, we put ourselves in a state of mind portraying that we are either okay or not okay with the choices we make in our everyday lives. Whether it be the outfit you picked, the number on your scale, or the way you did your hair (or didn’t). We use some sort of psychological defense mechanism. Yet, when we wake up and look in the mirror we are faced with reality – “I am not happy with this”, “I need to do something about this”, “why am I so unhappy with myself”, “I need to make time to do my hair and manicure my nails”.
Let’s face it, we as moms have a tough job. Endless responsibilities and needs that have to be fulfilled daily. Yes, it makes us Strong, Brave Women, but we hardly find time for ourselves. We put our entire family’s needs (including the dog) before our own.
Don’t let it drown your soul.
You owe it to yourself to do whatever it takes to make you look at yourself in the mirror and smile with content.
Many times when I have some much needed ‘off duty’ moments, all I want to do is catch up on sleep or sit with my feet up, reading, or catching up and watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy. As nice as that sounds (wouldn’t that be great RIGHT now??), Instead, often I take that time to make myself feel pretty, for me (try relaxing in the bath, reading a book, while waiting for your nails to dry). Often I have walked out the door feeling unhappy with the way I have neglected myself and exposed it for everyone to see. Irrespective of the fact that I generally couldn’t care less what people think, I know for sure that if I am unhappy with my self-image, it will show and I will put my emotions in a vulnerable state, and I will be left feeling insecure about myself and taking people’s judgement of me, to heart.
So, Moms… it’s never too late. GET UP! DRESS UP! SHOW UP! Because you are Good Enough.
Buy the dress. That lipstick DOES look good on you, and your bum looks great in those jeans!
Have confidence, and treat yourself and your body better. Find comfort in accepting yourself.
You are beautiful inside and out. Let your light shine.