Everyone knows that once you become a mum online shopping is infinitely easier. No attempting to navigate the ridiculously narrow aisles in clothes shops run by beautifully dressed women. No rushing out of a shop red-faced as your child screams blue murder. No trying to squeeze into a changing room cubicle. No awkward explanations as to why you left the shop when your child was holding a pair of socks you hadn’t paid for. You get the gist: ordering online is the way forward.
However, there are pitfalls to this method. You can’t see the style or fit and you can’t work out whether the sizes look like they come up big or small. It was these shortcomings that led me to a sad situation. I had ordered 7 pairs of trousers, a few in an optimistic size and the rest in a realistic (but larger than I would like) size. Not a single pair fit. Even (I can’t believe I am admitting this) the maternity trousers I had ordered just to make sure I wasn’t in this situation. Yep, trousers made for pregnant women don’t fit me.
I am ashamed to admit I cried. I shed a few tears because suddenly my body was considerably bigger than I wanted it to be and the reality of my wobbly tummy was dawning on me. I have never been a dieter, I’ve not worried too much about my weight or size but suddenly I am reduced to tears because my belly is too big to do some trousers up? How ridiculous!
As a woman and a mother you are continually bombarded with diet and weight loss tips. ‘Lose the mum tum!’ the adverts cry. Magazines run features on ‘How to get your pre-pregnancy body back’. It starts in pregnancy when you are told the importance of moisturising and given free samples of stretchmark cream. Post birth in hospital they give you a booklet with exercises to do, as if that’s on your mind in those hazy hours post-labour. The media is full of stories about celebrities who lose the baby weight within a few short months. Why are we so horrified at showing any signs of the changes our body has gone through? Are stretch marks where we made room for these babies to grow really that offensive? Is having a wobbly tummy the worst thing when it means a healthy baby?
I was crying over a few pairs of trousers. I needed to have a word with myself. This body has grown and birthed a beautiful baby boy. It now feeds that boy, keeps him growing and healthy and strong. This body allows me to lift, cuddle and rock my son to sleep. It allows me to walk around the park pushing a buggy, lets me stroll on the beach with him in a sling and it is this body that I dance ridiculously with when I am having a bad day and want to make my baby laugh. I need to LOVE this body. I need to sing it’s praises and rejoice in it.
The trousers don’t fit. So what? I am going to put my comfy leggings back on, pick up my son, throw him into the air and smile. My body is wonderful and impressive and strong. I am lucky and grateful and proud.
I’m very pleased to say this post originally appeared on Huffington Post.