It's Sunday and after a weekend of indulgence I'm not excatly to quote Beyonce "Feeling Myself" - it's normal but how much of it is down to our own ingrained views of self apperance, rather than the reality that no-one else sees our minor flaws quite the way we do? Kicking off a two part series of self acceptance and realism is Kim from "If The Baby Allows"...
"Stood in front of the mirror, semi-nude (because I can’t quite stomach the full shebang this morning) I look exhausted, and to put it kindly, I’m not exactly wowed by what I see. Nauseated seems fitting.
I run through my mental checklist, Southbound appendages - check, body hair representing Chewbacca - check, skin type: grand canyon/de-hydrated/Sahara/moon crater hybrid - check, citrus fruit inspired derriere - check.
Coincidentally Mel C’s song started playing on the radio “things will never be the same again.” Its moments like this that makes me realise there is indeed no such thing as coincidence and that the universe is gently trying to nudge me towards a realistic state of awareness.
Throughout life there are events that change us, shake us to the core and we come out the other side different. Illness, lifestyle & circumstance changes etc; for me it was IVF, pregnancy, and early motherhood. I came out the other side a dishevelled, tired, bloated and saggy (how?) version of myself. Either that or I had an awesome night out...no it was definitely all of the above, I have the screaming baby in the background to prove it, plus I can clearly remember it ALL!
After my stark realisation, I quickly got dressed to hide the evidence. On went my pregnancy leggings (the ones I swore I would burn the moment after birth) brushed all three remaining post natal hairs on my head and applied a thick layer of concealer under my eyes. I was then ready for coffee guzzling, “I’m fine, I don’t know what you’re talking about” Supermum action.
My Mum often likes to smugly recite “mirror, mirror on the wall, you are your Mother after all” never Mother, never. However, we all know the truth, that we do in some way turn into our mother, but for now I am going to be part of the “not on my nelly, I’m different club” until I eventually give in and let the Mum symptoms implode on me. But up to that point, I will do my best to refrain from the Mum-sy and attempt to be a “yummy mummy” cringey I know.
This doesn’t come without its challenges: time restraints being a big factor, just try a full manicure routine with a snot filled, colic suffering, insomniac kid in your presence - go on I dare you. In case you are not feeling brave, I will summarise what happens with two words: tears and smears.
The other big challenge is comparison.
Fast forward a few years and I should be well on my way to yummy flat tummys-ville right? In fact I should’ve signed up for the Victoria’s Secret show by now. Just look at Heidi Klum, five weeks after giving birth she was back on the catwalk in a bikini, flat tummy, glowing locks, no stretchmarks perfect skin - that is exactly the standard I should be aiming for. That is what everyone is expecting of me: my children, husband, family, society, my sisters friend that I said hi to once, the woman who has twins and is coping way better than I am, the postman, the next door neighbour - everyone. Even the dog gives me a disappointed look If I attempt to head out the door with a greasy haired mop, poor effort Kim. If Heidi can do it, so can I?
NEWS FLASH - it doesn't quite work like that. In fact it sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it? Yet most of us lay on the pressure and compare ourselves to others in some way or another, don't we? My answer to this? Get a grip love. Okay slightly harsh but on some level I mean it. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? Sure it’s great to make an effort but why give yourself a hard time about it? It’s all about perspective. Change your perspective and be the best person that you are now. Not what you were, or what you think you should be, but who you are now. Whoa I just came over all dizzy with that sudden rush of guru, and it has hit me that being the best you really is all you can be.
So that is exactly what I am doing, changing my perspective, and I’ve realised that as nice as it is to look good, feeling good works so much better. If painting my nails, wearing red lipstick and having pamper rituals makes me feel good then so be it. I am what I am, I will do my best (Brownies honour) and that’s it - this "radical theory" applies to everyone whatever your story.
Not comfortable with your figure? Wear what makes you feel good. Going through a bad skin phase? Decorate those beautiful eyes. Having a bad hair week day? Spend time on those talons that everyone admires. What I am trying to say is we all have areas that we don’t like, and we all have areas that we do like - and as for those "not so good" areas, well we can work on them can’t we? No harm in trying now is there.
I’m not quite in the realms of “I’m proud of my tiger stripes” I am however okay with them, they are there for good, so no point in stressing about it. The best I can do is treat them, maybe even exercise (chortle) for tightening and then get over it. Sorry not so guru there – but to some degree we do have to let it go, embrace the good and move on. "
Kim - www.ifthebabyallows.blogspot.co.uk