Today as I write this marks three weeks exactly since my second pregnancy C-Section and the arrival of our second son. The time has flown past yet again, with our four piece family getting back into full swing of normal life with Daddy back at work, and Mummy now being “Captain of the Ship” and making sure all mouths, bums and brains are looked after generally.
Don’t get me wrong – I am very lucky indeed to have the opportunity to hopefully be off on my maternity leave this time around for potentially 9 months to 1 year (thank you employer! You are far better than most companies I know), and secretly I have really enjoyed my second go at being solely a Care-giver full time. First time around, I struggled a little to know exactly what you were meant to do with this new baby and how to find a routine. This second time around it has felt completely normal, and like everything seemed to slot into place very quickly. This ultimately has meant that I’m more content and happy during my role of looking after the little and big ones in my world. And I’m completely good with taking on that role to its fullest. It is making me happy right now and long may it continue to feel this way.
As a Mummy Blogger & Vlogger on YouTube, I enjoy daily seeing what other “Online Mamas” are up to, with their blog and Vlog posts. It can feel like a secret source of information when you feel like the only one who is going through tough times, or give you a moment to feel like things are completely normal actually reading about some one else’s experiences of Parenthood. It can be wonderful indeed. Most of the time I love a good Vlog shopping haul or Mummy sharing what they have been up to that month in general, and makes you feel like you have another Mummy friend along on the journey.
However, there is one area that recently I have noticed seems to be coming more and more popular to share about – and to be honest it down right worries me slightly! It is that there seems to be a trend now for either pregnant or post-pregnancy Mothers to show pictures of their body (namely belly) at every stage of pregnancy, photo shoots even, and then sometimes weekly updates on what their post-pregnancy body looks like.
I don’t have any body issues personally, as I am looking forward to getting back to my active lifestyle once my body has recovered from this major surgery – whenever the time feels right for me full stop. However, you can look at this sharing of body image in very different ways.
Absolutely – in the same way that we love to read someone’s blog and watch a Vlog to see that we are just like someone else , warts and all if you like, and that can be comforting. But this over share does feel slightly like a competition – and my worry is that it is only adding to the already present pressure of Mothers in all stages of pregnancy/post-pregnancy to be as “tiny as possible as quickly as possible”. It rings of tones of if you don’t measure up, then you are the ugly ones and have really let yourself go when other women can have an attractive tiny body and you aren’t like that.
Very often it will feel like in pregancy you want to have that badge of honour to have the “smallest bump” rather than focus on growing the human and enjoying the right foods to make that happen. Then if you don’t want to have a photo shoot of your pregnancy, you must not love your bump!
I am under no illusion that my body isn’t what it started off as some 9 months ago – but it has carried a child and then had a major operation to get that child out safely. Also it had completely that process once before that as well! But I really don’t want to hang a photo or publish to the world what it looks like now, that is for me to see the small changes each day and do my best to get physically and mentally stronger to be full health again. That takes time, pure and simple. And that very healing process will without doubt vary per person.
There is no way that giving birth one day and three weeks later having washboard stomach is right for everyone – maybe possible for some, but very unlikely for the rest of us who can’t afford a nanny to watch our child whilst we hit the gym each day or a personal chef to make sure we eat correctly fro the word go.
Please, as with anything in life, be proud of your body in whatever form it takes as it is normal for you. All aspects of pregnancy – before, during and after – are such a small amount of time dedicated to a cause in our lifetime. Enjoy it, and don’t worry – you are completely normal and OK to be in whatever form that takes and then work on being your best self when you are ready.
I’m cool with not showing my post-pregnancy body. But watch out world – because this Mama will be bouncing back as strong as ever when she is ready.
Be kind to yourself always, and don’t believe all you see or read. It is usually only what people want to tell the world.
Love MFF xx