Mother’s Day was on the 14 of March. This is a day with a long and wonderful history that spans centuries. In the United Kingdom and Ireland it has been a religious festival celebrating motherhood since the Neolithic era, although now we can expect delightful crafty cards as opposed to hunks of stone with attractive bits hacked into them for decoration...
Being a mother is something that no woman can truly understand until they’ve been through the experience. The way it changes our perceptions, our lives and, most of all, our bodies.
Suddenly the lithe shapes of our pre-pregnancy days seem little more than a distant memory as new scars and war wounds appear.
It’s very easy to become ashamed of how you look after a baby. To feel as if the lumps and bumps, the gravity-bound breasts and scars have made you less attractive. This is hardly surprising considering what your body has been through and the changes that have been wrought. However, you are wrong about how attractive you appear to your partners.
“My wife has never been as beautiful as she is now,” said Mike, father of two bouncy boys and husband to Jane, “Every time I see her stretch marks I feel an immense surge of pride at what she’s done. She made life.”
Jane, on the other hand, thinks differently, “I honestly don’t believe him when he tells me this,” she said, “I think he’s just being nice.”
Well Jane, you and most other women are completely and utterly wrong. Sure, there are men (and women) out there that can’t see past the physical and demand body perfect partners, but most men still see a beautiful and sexy woman, the same woman they fell in love with, in spite of (and sometimes because of) the scars.
In fact, most men don’t even see the problem in the first place. Where you think there is a flashing light and a sign screaming, “Fatty!”, he sees only a yummy bit of you to enjoy of an evening. However, no matter how many times someone tells you this, it is almost impossible to believe it is true unless you can let go. And letting go is not that easy.
Most of us mums don’t have the luxury of money and time for things like personal trainers, plastic surgery and other such methods of torture or weight loss. We see these yummy mummy’s swanning down the streets and look down at our tummies (or thighs/scars/wrinkles) in despair. Personally I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve sucked my stomach in before walking into a restaurant, positive everyone is thinking I should “put that cookie down.”
So, here are some ideas on how you can change the way you see your body and, literally, change your life. There is nothing sexier than a woman who feels comfortable in her own skin, no matter how she’s built.
“It’s true,” says Neil, “I’d always thought I preferred thinner women until I met my wife. She walked into the room, all size 14 of her, with such grace and confidence that I was smitten. She looked so happy and relaxed I had to get to know her.”
Interestingly, it is this self-same woman to whom I turned when researching this article. Annabelle is so wonderfully happy with herself, even with the extra baby weight and the stretch mark scars on her stomach, that almost every man I know fancies her.
“I don’t care about that stuff anymore,” she said, “One day I realised that I had a choice. I could either carry on hating myself and watching every last calorie, or I could just enjoy my life.”
This is your first step. Accept yourself and prepare to change the things you won’t accept. If you hate your stomach then nab some free exercises off the internet and throw those into your morning routine. This is doable, even with kids, I promise. Lie down in front of the TV and throw a few down before making breakfast or starting the day.
If you hate your thighs then add in some extra walking as often as you can. Do leg exercises while waiting for the kettle to boil. Dance to your favourite song. Shake your bootie while brushing your teeth. You don’t need two hours of yoga a day or an insane gym routine (unless that’s your thing, of course), you don’t even need to spend a single cent.
By doing a little bit extra every day you are burning calories, speeding up your metabolism and improving your health.
And as you do this you will start to feel more confident. You are working on your problem areas, you are doing what you can in an insane schedule and you are not (I mean it!) putting pressure on yourself. You are doing it for you. Stop trying to emulate some stick insect on TV, an unrealistic goal without her funding and gruelling routines, and love you for yourself.
The more you do these little exercises, the more you’ll start to look forward to them and, as your body responds to the increased endorphins, you’ll feel so much sexier.
Stop worrying about whether or not you’ll ever look as good as Jordan in a bikini and just bask in the knowledge that the fantastic father of your children thinks you are just gorgeous. Then step out of that bathrobe and walk out of your bedroom door completely naked. Do it. You will feel utterly brilliant and the expression on his face will be worth it.
P.S. Only to be done after the kids have gone to bed/school/sleep.