YOUNG MOTHERHOOD

Are you an ageist mama? Have you ever found yourself sitting there, pondering that, ‘that girl is far too young to have a baby’? Or, on the other hand, are you a victim of an ageist mum or person? Have you ever been sitting in a café while your child screams and refuses to eat making you already feel like a failure to realise there is already a mum 5 years older sitting in the corner judging you as her child the same age sits nicely?

Now, do not sit there and act all perfect as you read this because we know we have all silently judged another mum at least once in our heads. However, most of us are quickly brought back to reality when our child reminds us how they can go from cute to feral real quick, then we get some guilt’s for putting our judgey pants on – well this is the normal scenario for most of us. It has been made aware to me that not all mothers function this way though.

Being a young mama of two has been an eye opener. I have been told a few things by various different people and it always seems to come back to my age. Why is it that some (to be clear there are plenty of older mums/people who aren’t judgey but there are plenty who are) older mothers think they are better than a women who became a mum at 21 because they became a mother at 29?

I sit in the ‘young mum category’ and I am proud to say I am a young mum and a dam good one at that. I do feel as though I have to constantly prove to those older, that I do know what I am doing, regardless of age. There is such a preconception on young mothers, by everyone – not just older mums. Example of this being that when Harlee-Jae was only 2 weeks old and she ended up in hospital, we were asked some pretty interesting questions from the doctor-

  • Do you have a cellphone?
  • Does your cellphone have credit?
  • Will you ring an ambulance if something is wrong?
  • Do you have a car to drive to the hospital in an emergency?
  • What sort of housing situation are you in?
  • Do you have heating in your house?

Well slap me sideways and call me sally. I knew I looked like crap because I had a newborn who was sick and bugger all sleep but never did I think I looked homeless, haha! Now sure this might be some sort of protocol but really. Did I really look like someone who would not ring an ambulance if I needed one? I still think I got asked these questions purely because of my age, I bet they didn’t ask the 35 year old mum down the corridor the same questions!

This is what I really felt like saying to the doctor but I was far too tired to care at that point. ”I do own a cellphone which always has credit, shock horror huh. Another crazy fact, we own a bloody car! It even has petrol in it and I even have a full license to drive safely to the hospital, if need be. And I know, you’re probably thinking ‘bet they live at home with their parents or in a run down crappy flat.’ We actually own our own home! All by ourselves! It even has a fireplace to keep us warm just too really throw you off.” Could you have imagined the look on his face if that is what I really did say, ha!

The most common phrases people love to throw at you when they find out you are pregnant usually include-

  • Oh you are so young, why have children now when you have your whole life ahead of you? Yes, I am young but having children young only means I get to enjoy my whole life with my children in it. When you are 35 with a new born, changing nappies and still having sleepless nights, I will be sleeping peacefully in my own bed while my grown ass children make their own food and wipe their own asses, ha!
  • You are just a child yourself! Thanks, for the input but 21 is not a child, I am a grown, independent woman who can look after herself and children.
  • Shouldn’t you wait until your friends are having kids? I have never been one to do something because someone else is; everyone leads their own journey and will do things when they are ready!
  • You should have travelled the world first! Has it ever occurred to people that travelling the world is not everyone’s cup of tea or that maybe I would prefer to travel when I am older?
  • You have not had time to enjoy your twenties! Oh sorry nancy drew, I wasn’t aware you were so invested in my life to know what I have and haven’t enjoyed! I have had my fair share of drunken weekends and concerts now I plan to invest my youth into my children.
  • Your parents are far too young to be grandparents! Gosh, I never knew there was an age restriction on when you can and cannot become a grandparent! These people would be shocked to know my youthful parents in there 40’s love having grandchildren and have the energy to enjoy them.
  • Having a baby is really expensive, can you afford that at your age? Babies are always going to be expensive. No matter what age you are, you will make it work and give your baby what is best in your ability.

Then there are just the downright offensive comments-

  • Was it an accident? Really, why is this such a big deal and why cannot we use the term surprised? Like yeah I was not planning on this right now but I would not call any of my children accidents. They were a surprise and I would not have it any other way!
  • It is just not right. You are far too young! Well regardless of my age, am I doing a good job? Yes, you say. So why not back off about the age side of things!
  • At least you got it out of the way early… Yeah really out of the way. The kid is our kid, and will be our kid forever so I am not quite sure how it’s ‘out of the way’, Ha!
  • Did you consider abortion? Do I really need to explain why this question is not okay? RESPECT people. It really is not hard!
  • Wedding must be happening before the baby is born then. Why does a ring determine if we will be good parents? To be honest, a child is a lot more testing and way more of a life commitment than a wedding soooo short answer, no.
  • You might regret having kids so young. The. Heck. What sort of assumption is this? I am pretty confident when I say that every mother who has had a child young would never regret them. But hey, what do I know? Because I am just a ‘young’ mum right. 😛

Why is it okay for people to be so offensive to mothers regarding age? Tell us how we are doing but do not regard it to our age. We do not need to be reminded every single day that we are young. We know our age and if a child is being brought up in a safe, happy and healthy way then who is anyone to judge?

So next time, you want to judge a mum purely because of her age, stop and think is it really worth it? Because in all honesty, I am as much like you as you are like me. We all have bad mum days and we all have amazing mum days. We all feel mum guilts. We all feel like we could be doing a better job and we all feel some crazy love for our little humans but it is time for mum’s to stand together and have each other’s back regardless of age, race, working mum, stay at home, mum of one or mum of ten. We are all doing what’s best for our families and busting our butts to make the best of this crazy adventure we call life.

So, in case no one has told you today. YOU are a good mum, YOU are doing an amazing job and YOUR little humans are so lucky to have you! ❤

Lace xxx

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.

34 weeks and 3 days - 14th August 2017 (3)

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.

23583916_10211856155192729_1055406000_o

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.

7e4cc17e1ed735a0102414c85439cbe3--awesome-things-nice-things

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