You don’t look like a mum?
‘You don’t look like a mum’ is a comment I hear way too much. It’s just a standard ‘is she yours’ . I reply with a yes and I am hit with ‘you don’t look like a Mum.’ The other day I even had a women tell me I looked too skinny to have had a child, now I am no Candice Swanepoel and I am definitely not ‘too skinny’ and I can’t say I wasn’t majorly offended. It was most likely meant as a compliment and I am probably being overly sensitive, but sometimes you can’t help how you feel. What annoys me more when they say things like this in front of Nancy as I don’t want her growing up thinking I don’t look like a mum, because I am obviously her mum.
I don’t know what defines ‘a mum?’ Is it the stretch marks, the tired eyes and the frantic running around? Because I have all those! Or do you have to conform to a certain style the moment you pop a baby out of you? I try not to get offended by the ‘you look too young to be a mum’ because the post man still asks me to get my mum when I answer the door I think maybe some people just think I look 15, which I can’t really complain about when I am just shy of 30.
So why do people think I don’t look like a Mum? I admit, I do like to rock red lippy to soft play, maybe this means I don’t look like a Mum? However, I am still on my hands and knees running around and playing with my daughter, is that not enough? Perhaps I shouldn’t wear urban outfitters and dr martens because a mother doesn’t shop there surely? Or do they? I think the perception of Mum dress code is changing. Mums want to feel nice, they want to hold their mum bun up high and feel good about themselves. This can only be a good thing.
People say, how do you have time to do your makeup and hair? I say – 20 minutes that’s all. People ask how I have time to the hit gym 3 times a week, I say because I need it, it’s my therapy. Plus with a history of arthritis in my family I am doing everything I can to stay fit and healthy for my daughter. People ask why I care what I look like, I say because I want to still feel like me, I want to be healthy and happy. I am insecure about my post baby body so I am doing something about it. I don’t want Nancy to become aware of my insecurity, I want to make sure she is body positive growing up. So I found a love of yoga and I think if you find an exercise you love and you can pass this onto your child then that’s only a good thing (nursery inform me she is the best at balancing in yoga so it’s already working).
I also think it’s about being true to yourself and I think the pressure goes both ways. I love makeup but I don’t think all women should be made to feel like they have to slap on the slap and have a fresh blow dry to go the playgroup, or fit back in their skinny jeans 6 weeks after a baby. I still hope to one day get back into my topshop skinny jeans – come on baby! I say this as I munch on a chocolate protein bar! But really no women should have to feel a pressure of any kind just because they have pushed a baby … or just because they are a women.
* I also note that men should all not feel the pressure to look like Channing Tatum and the dad bod is totally ok *
I don’t think women should be expected to conform to any form of ‘Mum ideal’. They shouldn’t have to dress ‘mumsy’ or dress like Victoria Beckham to go the school playgroup. They just have to be true to themselves.
I went through a period of not being true to myself and having a meltdown at the prospect of attending child birthday parties because I felt like I didn’t fit in. I even purposely wore less makeup, and bought a new outfit just so I felt like I fitted in. I felt so bad about myself, I just wanted to fit in with other mums.
* insert please like me gif*
In regards to weight and the post baby body there is so much pressure when celebs bounce back and rock the glamour – but come on they have their chefs, their personal trainers. I did loose my baby weight but it took me two years and I had to hit the gym and eat well to do it. I didn’t do it for my husband, or society I did it for me. I will never get rid of my stretch marks and although I hate them would I trade my pre Nancy abs for my little girl – hell no!
My best piece of advice is to do be whatever Mum you want to be. Be true to you, whatever that may be. We don’t have to conform to any form of stereotypes. We don’t need to be a soccer mum, a sporty Mum, a milf. We just need to be a Mum. Our children love us whatever we look like, whether that’s on our pjs and a Mum bun that hasn’t been brushed in four days or when we are all glammed up for an evening out.
Thanks for reading xxx