My Body Confidence Journey | Pledge to be Real

One thing that quite frankly gets on my tits, as in, makes me growl at my phone is…. “This is what REAL women look like…” followed by a picture of a wonderfully curvy woman, with fab norks and a booty that inspired Beyonce’s first solo album. The assumption by many being that if you’re under-weight, slim, athletic, skinny, toned or under a size 10 – you’re for some obscure reason branded unreal, or even fake! I grew up with my mum (see below) who, at 5ft4″, blonde, blue eyed and feckin’ fabulous, was somewhat physically different to me – but, as far as I was concerned, she was just as real as me. No?! So when the fab folks over at Dove asked me to tell my story about body confidence and image, in support of the Pledge to Be Real Campaign, I nearly chewed their beautifully smelling, wonderfully moisturised arms off!

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No Bull Motherhood

These days in the great world of the internet, I’d like to think we’re a lot more open about the struggles motherhood brings – the lack of sleep, the sibling fights, the mess, the fact we haven’t had time to shave for over a month and our sex lives – what sex lives?! I’ve found myself firmly nestled in an instagram community where declaring you need a large G&T by 11am (drink responsibly folks) or sharing a picture of your hell-risen lounge after it’s gone ten rounds with a toddler clutching a strawberry, receives high-fives and comments of humourous empathy. This is the era of no bull motherhood.

It’s not about wanting praise for looking like a zombie, needing to caffeinate your way through to lunch time or being up at 3am with a teething toodler. It’s all about finding those parents going through the same things, saying “I feel your pain” and normalizing the low points, the crap days and the struggles parents face everyday. Even the slickest school run mum with her pristine sprogs, matching shoes and Cherrio free hair (life goals!) – has rubbish days.

So why then are there some peddling the early 2000’s mantra that motherhood is a blissful stroll down Oblivious Lane?

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Pre-Baby Friends Need to Know…

I’m going to run the risk of upsetting a few of my pre-kid friends with this, but hey, they have an abundance of kid-free time to get over it and being my friends, they hopefully know it’s sentiment is well meant. Well, kinda! I became a mum at 21, relatively young in this whole mum game – certainly as most of my friends were still globe-trotting or interning at various media hotbeds at the time. But no, not me – I was married, mortgaged and up-the-duff before 22 hit. I think because of this I had relatively little time to contemplate motherhood , what it would be like, what my child might look like, my birth et al. Fast forward 10 years, and my well-travelled friends have nabbed themselves their “keepers” and are now planning their brood – the difference being, they’ve had plenty of time to consider their dream life once they’ve done the deed. But as a well-worn, old cynic in this motherhood thang, I’m here to shatter a few illusions and have a little whinge – sorry, not sorry!

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Fanny Bone Ache aka Pregnancy Pelvic Girdle Pain

It started about 20 weeks into my third pregnancy – a searing pain, shooting through the middle of me, stopping me from moving like a normal human being, let alone walking without wincing. It commonly became known in my house as “Fanny-Bone Ache”; there was no other way of describing it – it was a severe ache of the bones around my nether regions. I’d pleasantly bumbled along through pregnancy 1 and 2, none the wiser that this thing actually existed – no one had mentioned it, it wasn’t covered in the myriad of baby books I poured over as a first-time mum and 2006-2007 (first pregnancy years) weren’t big for internet in terms of mums chatting to one another. So, when at 20 weeks I found myself waddling and limping like a Christmas-ripe goose with a twisted ankle (do poultry have ankles?) and, suffering quite badly with a pain similar to that time I underestimated the height of the metal bollard whilst leap frogging, I felt as though my little pregnancy bubble had somewhat deflated.

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Blogging to Jogging- FAIL!

I’ve never been a lover of exercise, in fact, I think it’s fair to say: I hate it! But combo of turning 30 last Dec and that during my pregnancy I was unable to move a lot due to agony caused by pelvic girdle pain (commonly known in our house as “fanny bone ache”), I vowed once I’d birthed my little bundle of joy I’d make the most of my regained mobility and go for a run!! Yes, a run!!

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