SELF LOVE

Self love after babies – sounds easy right? Who would have thought this would be a struggle for most of us. As women, there is a lot of pressure on our body image before babies and I feel like it only gets worse after babies. It may sound like something so minor to some but for me it has been a struggle learning to love my new body.

I never even had any thoughts about this while I was pregnant. You sort of live in this predicament where you expect everything to be the same as before babies. Everywhere we look online seems to be gorgeous girls who manage to bounce straight back after babies with no effort what so ever and I think maybe I was slightly ignorant and thought I would be the same too.

Your newly acquired mum bod is not something people warn you about like they do with everything relating pregnancy, labour and parenting. No one told me that I would get stretch marks in more places than my tummy. The shock I got when I found stretch marks on the backs of my legs behind my knees was scary – how could this be? I thought I had barely put weight on in my legs. No one tells you that its not just your tummy that gets bigger – your whole body can put on weight too.

So like most, I thought I was fat before babies, truth is I was not and I would do anything to have that body again! Then I remember that body had not made two gorgeous babies in under two years! Here is a couple of photos of then –

Even looking at those photo’s as I am writing this makes me really wish I could just bounce back to that. The next photo is a photo of me around 34 weeks pregnant with Kellan, my second pregnancy in under two years. Not only is it hard for my body to do that, my body never got a chance to get back to my ‘normal’ size after Harlee-Jae because I was pregnant again when she wasn’t even 3 months old.

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I felt massive and ugly in these photos, I couldn’t look past my big thighs, my flabby arms and my double/triple/quadruple (haha) chins. It really took a lot for me to look past all my flaws and realise the real beauty lays within the fact that my body was doing something amazing for the second time and that is pure beauty in its self.

The next photo is my body now. I took this photo around six after my second child and I will be honest, its not the easiest photo for me to post. It is no where near perfect. I have stretch marks on my tummy, on my hips, on my bum, on my boobs and even on my legs. I have cellulite everywhere your body can have cellulite. My hips are huge in my eyes. My arms are double the size they used to be and I have a little mum pouch that I will probably never lose. However, I have decided it is important for me to have some self-love. I do not want to feel sad anymore about my body imagine. I do not want to feel pressure that I should bounce back ASAP! However, how do you love yourself when it is not classed as the norm to love your post baby, mum bod? We all support each other as mums, that is how.

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You see that mum on your Instagram feed or Facebook posting about how she is working so hard to lose the post baby weight – let her know she’s doing good! Lift each other up because the truth is, most of us are all in the same boat wishing we had that old body we never appreciated.

Have realistic body goals. It took you a long nine months to put the weight on. It is only fair you give yourself nine months to lose it! It is not realistic at all to bounce back two months after baby! It is bloody great if you do, I am totally jealous if that is you but remember this isn’t the case for most of us!

My weight and size has always been something that I focus on probably too much. However, I am in no way #fitspo and I feel like I have to have some sort of fitspiration to make some positive changes on my new mum bod!

If there are two things I hate it is – Exercise and diets. Exercise, well maybe I can have a bit of love for it but only to a certain extent, hah! Diets on the other hand are not for me at all! If you do not know me, you will not know that I am one of the fussiest people you will ever meet hence why I hate diets – I am just too fussy, haha! Despite all this I am making some small lifestyle changes just to try help me get to a me I can love and be happy with.

For me, I know I will never stick to a strict fitness regime and diet forever, so I feel as though if I do it and put the hard yards in, it will all be a waste of time because I will just end up back where I started. Little changes that make a big impact are more of my goal!

My weakness is sugar! I love it, I crave it and I could eat it nonstop but I know this is not good for me so I have cut all types of drinks out of my diet bar water! I have also decided to make chocolate and sweet treats exactly that – a treat. I’m such a ‘Yo Lace, you only live once, go buy yo-self that chocolate and Lewis road creamery chocolate milk and demolish it! You deserve it, treat yo-self!’ buuuuuuuuut this had to change. I am also being more weary of my portion sizes. I am so bad at not eating all day then dinner comes and I eat enough for an army because I am starving! Again bad habit so back to regularly eating smaller sizes for me! Other than that, that is all I am changing in my diet.

Exercise – I do not exercise. I am in no way one of those hot gym girls that look good after an hour of exercise. I do zero exercise and I knew I needed to do something. I have started going for a 4km walk daily. It is still hard and I look like a beetroot, a very sweaty beetroot afterwards but at least I am doing it. We have also started doing little workouts at night, which will grow longer and more intense in time. And I am sure all you mama’s will agree with me that mum life in itself is exercise too! Most days I clock over 14,000 steps a day because I have a new born and one year old to run around after haha.

To all the #fitspo people out there, that probably sounds like nothing but for me it’s a lifestyle change. I am not doing this to become ripped, I am doing this to become a better, healthier version of myself. I do not have any expectations to lose a ton of weight quickly but I believe over time I will slowly lose enough to a point where I am happy again. I do not want abs and muscles, I just want to look in the mirror and feel happy again, I want to fit my clothes like I used too and I just want to feel healthier – which I already do!

It’s time for a change. It’s time for society to be more accepting of girls that don’t bounce back, of girls with stretch marks, of girls with a few lumps and bumps on their body. I do not want my daughter growing up in a world feeling like she has to ‘be’ a certain size, look a certain way or be a certain type of person. I want her to be confident in her own skin and be the person she really is.

The best way for this to happen is for me to be happy in my own skin and the person I am today. Sure I’m not the same size as I was 2 years ago, but that doesn’t mean I never will be again. Wise words from my midwife were – ‘It has taken you 9months to grow a baby and take these body changes so it’s going to take 9months for you to be back where you were before’. This is something I really need to remember, to remember that there is no quick fix and in the meantime I am going to love myself just the way I am. I am going to make some lifestyle changes to help the process but only because I want to better myself and be a healthy, happy me.

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Don’t let these insecurities rule your life mama’s. Your body has done great things. Don’t be so hard on yourself, learn to embrace your new body and instead of aiming to be your old body size, find a new body goal that fits with your post baby body! If I can learn to love myself, even with a bit of a way to go – you can too! Catch you next time mates or catch up with us on snapchat (lace1313) to see what we do on the daily!

Lace xxx

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EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

YAY! We are now classed as mums – who would have known this comes with a whole lot of unrealistic standards. Not only from friends, family and other mums but also from our biggest critics, ourselves. It is amazing being a mum, I know all my fellow mama’s will agree but man, it has its challenges.

I did not realise how much of a controversial topic motherhood is until I became a mother. Many things come into this when you become a mum, even more so when you are a new mum. Some of them being-

  • Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (Read my breastfeeding journey here.)
  • Co-sleeping or not co-sleeping
  • Cry it out method or cuddling method
  • Routines or no routines (Read about routines here.)
  • Solids early or solids at recommended age
  • Swaddle or not to swaddle

That is just a list of a few things, we all know there is plenty more though! The main thing to remember is – it is your baby, you know best. Don’t let people come in and give their 10 cents of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Yes, its okay to give advice but no it is not okay to make someone feel like they should be mothering there baby a certain way! Society is a bitch, don’t fall for the tricks. You just do you.

So your biggest critic – yourself, will often have you questioning yourself. I think that a lot of this comes with the hormones and lack of sleep when you first become a mother but man, the things I would question if I was doing right when I first became a mum was unreal. Especially as a first time mum, because of the pressure from society, friends, family and social media. Do not beat yourself up, just take every day as it comes and live in the moment. Enjoy it all and take it all in while you can because before you know it, your newborn baby will be a toddler and you will enter a whole new ball game – one I am only just about to enter and learn about!

A big difference to parenting now to parenting 10 years ago is social media. We all love to keep up to date with our fav mum bloggers through snapchat and Instagram. While we also love joining all the helpful mum groups on facebook to ask all the questions we have. All of these definitely have some awesome benefits, being-

  • Support

The amount of support I see given on mum pages on Facebook is awesome! It is nice to know there is a place to go and ask your questions and get some advice for what you are going through.

  • Internet friends

I don’t know about you guys but, for me, I almost feel like mum bloggers allow us into their daily lives enough to feel as though we get to know them well enough to call them our ‘friends’. I know it is not a normal type of friendship but when you are busy with #mumlife, it may be your only escape. A day with just babies and no adult conversation can drive you a bit crazy until you find yourself on snapchat or Instagram, feeling like you are in a conversation with your fav mum bloggers!

  • Relatable

Some days you just need to feel like you can relate to someone and you find that in your Instagram followers from a post they have shared!

Now there is the ups but there is also the downs. Yes, like I said above it can be so relatable sometimes but at the same time, it can be very non-relatable. Some days, you will find yourself scrolling through your feed looking at everyone’s, what seem to be perfect lives in little squares. It can really get you down feeling so far away of what you have built in your head as the ‘perfect’ life.

I know if you are a fellow Instagram mama, you will be sitting saying to yourself ‘OMG I have definitely felt this feeling’. It may have only been once but we have all been there. It is hard to remember that everyone has bad days and not all of us chose to share our bad days. So, what we may think is such a perfect life, it may most definitely not be. However, I know that is easier said than done.

You can sit there scrolling and looking at all these perfect pictures of smiling happy babies when your truth is only that your baby has screamed all day long. You may see mums looking fabulous only a short few weeks after birth in amazing clothes while you haven’t managed to get out of trackies and hoodies for the last week. You may watch snapchats and Instagram stories of fortunate mums whose baby is sleeping 12 hour nights while your nearly one year old is still waking 5 times. You may watch as they prepare amazing dinners after spring cleaning their house while you can barely find the energy to whip something half decent up in your messy house.

It is super easy to fall into this trap of feeling not good enough, but please do not! I know that is easy enough said because the truth is, I find myself in this trap more than often! I am forever comparing myself to these awesome mama’s and forgetting about my own life. How do we try to stop this I hear you ask? We need to remember that what they are sharing is what they are choosing to share. They have bad days too; things are not always perfect, as it may seem in the little perfect Instagram squares. There is probably someone out there looking at your profile and feeling bad too – your life is likely to be better than someone is out there, we just do not realise it. Most of all though, take a step back and remember you are doing great! This mum gig is bloody hard but it is bloody rewarding too – It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, some days I find myself questioning my sanity. But, then that little girl with her big brown eyes looks up at me and gives me a massive smile and I remember why it is all worth it.

Try let social media be a benefit in your life. Don’t let it be a negative. Don’t let it give yourself unrealistic expectations of yourself. Just keep doing you and remember that it all comes down to perception! If your baby is dressed, fed, healthy and loved – you are doing something right and giving your child all they could possibly need!

Basically, what this blog post is about is learning the magic of not giving a fu*k! Do not fall into the dark traps of self-doubt and comparison with others. Everyone does this mum gig differently – you just have to find what the best is for you! Focus on the positives in life and what you are doing right! Block out the unwanted advice from friends and family. Give yourself a break and believe in yourself. Find yourself some real and raw mum bloggers to follow on social media and I guarantee they will help you remember that life is not all daisy’s and rainbows on those crappy days. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel mates! I hope this has given you all a little bit of perspective on all things unrealistic about motherhood. Come over and follow us on Instagram stories to see what we get up too during the week! Hope you are all back for next Sunday’s post!

Lace xxx