Today something happened to me that really got me thinking, something that made me truly think about and appreciate my body and all it has done for me.
It started with my three year old lifting up my shirt and attempting to 'play' with my belly. Naturally, my immediate reaction was to try to try pull my shirt back down and ask her not to do that. When she then exclaimed, "but Mumma, your belly feels like Play-Doh, can I please play with your Play-Doh?", I had a little chuckle to myself because 'out of the mouths of babes' and all that. I let go of all inhibition and embraced my body, my child and all her innocence.
This was a thought provoking moment for me and a gentle reminder of all those fleeting feelings I have, negative and positive, which come and go as a woman learning to love and accept her body after having a baby. My body may not be perfect, society may not deem it sexy and my three year old may liken it to Play-Doh but that's fine with me, and I will tell you why.
My tummy may be loose and flabby but that's not what my children see; they see the home that housed them all for 160 weeks. My body may be covered in stretch marks but the kids beam with pride as they point and exclaim, "that one right there, I made it when I was in your tummy.. didn't I Mum?" My boobs may be flabby skin with nipples attached but they fed and nourished all of my babies.
If my body can do all that and then provide some Play-Doh for my three year old then it's pretty f#cking fabulous, wouldn't you agree?
So, should I be ashamed of my body, my loose skin, my saggy boobs, the extra cushion and the stretch marks that cover it? NO, they make me proud. Proud that I was lucky enough to conceive my children, that I carried four of them in my tummy. This body created, grew, birthed and nourished four amazing kids. So why are we defining our bodies by what society says is acceptable and not by what they have achieved?
Does being a certain size or having a particular body shape define a person? NO. What should define a person is simply WHO that person is.
Would weight loss make my loose skin and stretch marks disappear? Nope, they're there for life now. So I embrace it and how I got them.
Should I stress and feel guilty about food and exercise? NO. That's not a healthy mind set... no one should.
For me, some days I eat clean healthy meals and some days I eat Nutella sandwiched between a melting moment (life changing, try it) followed by pizza for dinner.
Some days I exercise, run around with the kids, spend hours cleaning and other days I watch movies with the kids, and spend hours cuddling, reading a book and just chilling.
It's called balance.
Just enjoy life, we only get one. We shouldn't waste it worrying if we think we look too fat, if our boobs are saggy, if there is too many calories in that meal. No regrets, run around with your kids, buy that dress you're worried your bum will look big in, flaunt it and eat that donut you have been eyeing up.
Mammas be kind to your bodies, after all, they have achieved greatness in the form of tiny humans!! If that isn't mind blowing, I don't know what is?
It is important to be healthy, don't get me wrong, but what is even more important is to be happy.
Let's focus on being healthy; - MIND, body and SOUL.
Here's to our bodies, may we truly appreciate and love them in all their forms.
This blog originally appeared here, on Stevie's Instagram.
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Her website can be found here.
HuffPost UK Parents has launched 'Mumbod', a new section to empower mums and mums-to-be to feel confident about their bodies pre- and post-baby. We'd also love to hear your stories. To blog for Mumbod, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date with features, blogs and videos on the topic, follow the hashtag #MyMumbod.