When I found I was pregnant at the age of 24, he was not planned nor was it something that I would ever wanted to happen. Being pregnant of course has been the best thing that's ever happened to me. However like many women, I started this journey with rose tinted Elton John glasses.
While pregnant, my goals for my post body were the norm (well so I thought). I planned that I would give birth and then the diet would begin. I would buy a waist trainer to help build back up muscle memory. I would be breastfeeding so I'd be losing pounds while I pumped and by the time my son was 3months then POW! I'd be back to my post baby glory days.
Oh how unrealistic and unfortunately so far from what actually happened. By the time I gave birth (I had a natural birth with no drugs) my body was in shock, incredibly sore and totally unrecognisable.
The weeks that followed were filled with sleepless nights, eating whatever and whenever I found the time, worrying about why my son wasn't taking to breastfeeding and why my boobs were so sore, instead of if I had lost some pounds or not.
This was the bare faced, unfiltered truth about motherhood. Five months on, my weeks haven't changed much from the first few. I sleep when I can, try to minimise the amount of times my son hits his head on the floor and what he puts in his mouth, as well as sorting out the washing and bottles.
And this is not to say that I've stopped caring about how I look- far from the truth.
I often find myself staring at myself in the mirror manhandling the saggy and stretch mark ridden skin that was my flat stomach. Trying to analyse if I need a boob lift or not, how effective laser treating
I've done and lived through it all but what bothers me and what I want to ask myself is why do I feel like this? Why do I feel an utter failure that by having not regained my post baby figure in 5 months, I feel like I've utterly failed as a woman, a girlfriend and as a representation of young mothers? Could I be suffering from post-baby body dysmorphia (this isn't a real term, or a word in a medical dictionary) but it is a word that explains exactly how I feel and something I've come to realise I struggle with.
What caused my perception? My two main suspects in helping me create these self-hating feelings is celebrity culture and social media, while I was pregnant I researched various Instagram pages and celebrity websites. Why? Well I wanted to know how easy/ hard it was to get my body back to bikini ready shape after the baby was born. Of course the endless lists and photo's of celebrity mums and celebrity post-baby diets flooded my timeline.
Before I had my son I was adamant that these women were no different from me. I'm in fact younger than Beyoncé and Kim. I'm pretty active, eat pretty healthy and never had a problem with my body weight or shape in my life. Now post-baby, I realise we can't compare ourselves to these women because we are not meant to. Doing so is mental suicide and it will result in self-hate over something that is perfectly normal. Every body is different, every body copes with pregnancy differently and every body carries a baby differently.
Besides, if we all had a full team of nannies, dieticians, hair and makeup, personal trainers and chefs, I too would be twerking in a string bikini before I could say "stretch marks". I wouldn't be half as tired as I am and I would probably be able to stick to a strict diet and regime without me having to cook the nearest thing possible before my son wakes up from his nap. I admire women who work out everyday for hours, but I honestly am too tired and already feel that carrying a 5month old up and down two flights of stairs daily is a good enough work out for me.
Cheers to us!