Motherhood nowadays feels pretty damn intimidating. You have all these #instamoms who seem to miraculously sprout abs just a few weeks after they’ve delivered their little miracles into the world. Not to forget the mum of multiples who looks like she’s barely out of her teens – not someone who’s had three of them. It feels like there’s pressure for us mums to catch up and literally suck it up and in so that we too, can look picture perfect while pushing our Bugaboos.
It’s OK to feel like you don’t look OK
In all honesty, the need to look like I’ve bounced back to my pre-baby body is something that I constantly think about. While working on fixing my diastasis recti, a very real medical condition that happens to women when the rectus abdominis muscles in the abdomen separate during pregnancy, my trainer points out that the diastasis recti problem I have is purely aesthetic. Because of my ab separation, I now have a little “pooch” that I can pinch generously. I’ve gone up two clothing sizes since giving birth for the first time three years ago and I can’t even come close to being my pre-baby weight.
“Your lower core muscles just need a little bit more work, but it’s minor.” she explained. “But I know you want to look great in a bikini, so let’s do this.” Now that I think about it, I’ve shelled out the same amount I would have spent on a designer bag on fixing the appearance of my abdominal muscles. Do I feel bad about it? Not at all. I think for once, I’m gonna do me. I know I’m probably not going to ever weigh 100 pounds again but I’d like to get back in shape, get stronger and healthier.
Is this is my new normal?
My sons, born less than two years apart, happen to love the softness of my belly. They love blowing raspberries into it and wrapping their arms around my torso, giving me vice-like hugs. They think it’s funny when I pinch my excess skin and make blubbering noises. My husband doesn’t mind my new curves. He claims to love them and shows it by constantly showering me with kisses. He also keeps on telling me I look great (as all awesome husbands do), so why do I still have this nagging feeling that I’ll never look the way I did before?
I’m slowly starting to be OK with that. I’m beginning to realise that this is probably my new normal, and there are other more important things to worry about, like – what the heck am I going to cook for dinner? I keep on trying to be this super mum who’s a hands-on mum, a mum with a rockin’ bod and a mum with a great career. But that super mum doesn’t exist and will never exist beyond social media. Those Insta super mums probably have legions of stylists, dieticians, nannies and personal trainers at their beck and call, not to mention awesome photo-editing apps for their selfies.
In a world of instamums, super mums and their sparkle-filtered, picture-perfect version of motherhood, it’s time we got real. Let’s say goodbye to the illusion of postpartum six-pack perfection and focus on what really matters: the babies. So what if I never wear a size 2 or have to think twice about putting a bikini on? I’m working on becoming the best, healthiest and strongest version of myself that I can be for my family. And if that means I need to work out more and eat better – so be it. Everyone – regardless of whether they are mums or not – is just trying to be comfortable in and proud of our bodies. And that’s the truth.
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