Louise Pentland is Motheer&Baby's columnist and each month talks about her parenting journey. This month she's talking body confidence and we cannot agree more...
Do you ever look back at pictures your pre-baby body and think, ‘Wow! I looked amazing! I wish I still had flat bits/pert bits’? My eldest is 8 and my youngest is 1 and I have spent years looking back at those pre-pregnancy photos thinking how amazing I looked then and subsequently, how un-amazing I look now.
Thanks to that, I’ve held myself back in a myriad of ways. I’ve avoided family swims to hide my jelly belly, not worn strappy dresses because my boobs are lower now, worn leggings with smocks because I have varicose veins behind my knee and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn a cardigan just to cover the top of my arms.
I think we’ve all been there. Whether just for a short period or as a daily niggle, a lot of us mums have seen the changes in our bodies and felt down about them.
Well, I’m just going to throw something out there. Your body has just done something absolutely jaw-droppingly incredible - it has created new life! Not only that but it has then nurtured it too! Whether that’s been through sleepless nights with breast or bottle, crawling round soft play through the ball pit, kissing grazed knees or watching the 18th episode of Peppa Pig, your body has served you really well.
The more I started to think about that, the better I felt. I stopped holding myself back and allowed myself just to do the things I wanted. This summer I splashed in the sea and last month I walked a red carpet in a sleeveless gown! Once I started really enjoying my body again, I started sharing the outfits I’d put together, posing away (sometimes rather awkwardly in public) thinking how fabulous my body is after all!
I’ve now begun following people on social media who look like me (plus size) and rather than comparing myself to catwalk models and the 21-year-old me, I’m feeling inspired by other women spreading a message of body confidence and feeling positive about myself too.
My children don’t look at me and think, ‘oh wow, Mum’s a mess’ (even if I might feel it), they look at me and feel comfort, safety and love (and they know I’m the keeper of snacks!).
The next time you look at yourself and feel a bit low, think of how your baby looks at you, think of the life you have given them and congratulate yourself for the rather amazing body you’ve got going on there – you’re smashing it Mama!
If you’d like to see any of my plus size fashion posts or more chats about body confidence, head on over to my Instagram, @LouisePentland.
See you next month!
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