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For the NOT so skinny mom.

Here I am, sitting with a cup of coffee at 4am (because that’s what moms do, right?). Not because of kids, this time. Just silly old insomnia. So, to keep my mind off the fact that my lack of sleep will come back to bite me in the ass at some point during a rather hectic day that lies ahead, I begin browsing blog posts from around the globe… Then I come across a post by Jade from The Parenting Jungle that pushes all sorts of buttons and compels me to write what I’ve been putting off for so long (she’s great, give her a read!).

I’ve been deliberating for weeks whether or not to write this post. Wrestling with the uncomfortable honesty it would require (on the one hand), and the promise of what might come from such brutal self-confrontation (on the other hand.) We all have, what I like to call “vulnerability zones”, areas of our lives that we are hesitant to talk about – or write about, as the case is. Well, this post walks straight into the middle of one such “vulnerability zone” for me!

Perhaps I’m projecting (though I suspect I’m not), but we moms tend to feel the pressure of getting back into shape after giving birth to our beautiful babies rather acutely.In fact, it’s probably the same pressure that any woman feels about their body-image… We certainly don’t need to be moms in order to know and experience the judgement of not being that perfect size!

People assume that if you are a little “heavier” than what is deemed appropriate, you are unhealthy, “un-sexy”, and that you don’t put any effort into “LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF“, or even that you obviously don’t take pride in your appearance.


I never had “weight” issues (as people like to call it) as a kid/teenager/young adult.  For me it all started in my late 20’s, when my husband and I wanted to start a family and soon realized that it was a little more difficult than what we had anticipated. Roll on 6 years of fertility treatment and hormones being pumped into my body, and on rolled the 25 kg’s I gained. Yup… 25 kg’s! That didn’t mean I was unhealthy, or lazy. I played Touch Rugby, I ran every morning, we also lived in a flat 3 flights up and I ran those stairs before and after each run. Did I lose the weight? Hell no! Why? I’m sure there are many that would offer their opinion.

Flash forward 6 years and I miraculously find myself pregnant (seriously, even my OBGYN was baffled). I was so ecstatic about finally being pregnant that my weight was not on the forefront of my mind. I gained a whopping 28 kg’s during the pregnancy (over and above the previous 25 kg’s), which – thankfully! – I managed to lose afterwards. But then regained with my last pregnancy!

I wish I were able to jump right back into my skinny jeans after birth, like so many moms out there do. Kudo’s to them. Seriously, I am very proud of the many moms who re-claim their fitness and shape from before childbirth. But should that make it the norm!?! Should it be expected?!?! I am truly envious pleased for those moms, good on ya! You are obviously able to succeed where I haven’t been able to.  Does it play on my mind that I’m heavier than some? Obviously. A little jealousy, sure… I’m human after all.  It just isn’t as easy for some as it is for others. As Jade (The Parenting Jungle) puts it – “When you are an emotional wreck from a thousand hormones singing through your veins you do not need that extra pressure“.

But I truly don’t believe that as a mom, or woman, if I don’t fit into that mold, that I have somehow “lost myself”. I carried and gave birth to babies for crying out loud! My stretch marks are nature’s reminder of the gifts I have been given.  My flabby stomach housed a human. My breasts fed and nourished these miracles!  So why then are we so insecure about how we look? Why should we be judged for whether or not we carry a few extra love handles?

My youngest is 21 months old. My weight has continued to be a roller-coaster ride since she was born. Do I exercise? I try, when I get a chance, or when I’m not too tired from being up all night – and the thought of going for a morning run screams through your head like nails slowly being traced down a blackboard. Right now I’m just trying to raise 4 little demanding humans, surviving on coffee, left over chicken nuggets, and cheese.

Do we want our kids to have a positive self-image? Of course we do. Does that mean that we moms should continue to allow society to dictate what our bodies should look like: a 6 pack, perky breasts, round bottom (mines round alright 🙂 )? Of course not! In my opinion, as long as our children can see that we love ourselves for who we are, they will learn how to love themselves, no matter their size, hair colour or body shape.

However, the challenge lies in confronting ourselves with this truth often enough, and really accepting that it is the truth – that’s the hard part.

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to lose those stubborn kg’s. Let’s not get petty. I’m just saying, for some it might take longer. But if I still don’t look like a Victoria Secret model. That’s OK!

I have a wedding coming up that I’m travelling all the way back to South Africa for… Am I going to look like a slinky model? Nope… Maybe a little insecure, I would be lying if I said no. Am I detesting having to look for a dress that would fit and flatter? Kind of?… But! I’m going to be me, and that’s more than OK. I have  a great personality! 🙂

Now to go for that run, after I make breakfast for the family, do the laundry, get the kids dressed, unpack the dishwasher, etc, etc… Oh get on with it  🙂


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  • Breggie

    I agree 100%. Personality is way more important! I am sure the people that means a lot to you love you just the way you are?

  • Katy

    I like it when I see old movies or video clips. Women were not expected to be super skinny in the 1960s and earlier. Those women look normal to me, and were considered super sexy.

    BTW, since I know you IRL I think you look great!

  • Agent Spitback

    I can relate to what you have written. Love it, you. We do have to accept and love ourselves and our bodies for who we are. It has never been easy for me but I had to learn to let go of the image of how I thought I would be. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  • Kirsty - Motherhoodery

    Totally agree with this! I think the pressure from other mums can be stronger than that from friends and family. There is definitely a feeling of ‘Well I lost my weight, so why didn’t you lose yours?’. It’s just another thing that sancti-mummys can judge everyone about. You’re absolutely right – we created life, we nourished life. Who gives a flip if our tummies are rounder and marked. We all rock! x #BloggerClubUK

  • Sarah-Jane

    I’m in the exact same position as you and it took a lot of nerve for me to blog about it too.

    Being a curvy mama i get judged sometimes but the worst judgement comes from myself. I need to learn to love my body as it is cause it made my gorgeous boy

    • jaxbest4

      We are definitely our own worst critics. Sadly so! And you are right, our bodies gave us beautiful children! That alone is awesome! Thanks for reading Sarah-Jane… xx

  • Single Mum Speaks

    This is something I’ve written about recently as well. I have always been very petite, but for the first time in my life, despite not being anywhere near overweight, I find I am not happy with my little pot belly. It is a result of pregnancy, childbirth and eating too much whilst breastfeeding, and I could probably shift it, but it’s not going to be easy, and that is a bit depressing. I think I need to find some self acceptance! #BloggerClubUK

  • Sarah - Mud Cakes and Wine

    Must have been such a hard post to write and I find it very hard to accept my self post babies. What I did start doing and I can not believe how well its worked was looked at the number of calories I was taking in. Just changed a few meal options and the snacks wow they are hard to cut out. But its worked, nothing massive but its making me feel much better #stayclassymama

  • Fern Bushnall

    I completely agree with you here. I felt so much pressure, and sadly, it was mainly from my family. I had gained 5 stone (not really sure how many kg that is, but 70lbs) in the past 2 years, mainly from being comfortable, not walking to work as I suddenly got an office job, and never having time to do anything other than sleep before I went back to work the next day.

    By the time I fell pregnant I didn’t give my weight a second thought, until a horrible midwife I seen as a one-off told me I was obese and I should plan on losing weight. I know she had my babies health in her best interests, but I was obese by 2lbs (on the bmi scale thing). It made me so anxious and paranoid throughout my whole pregnancy, and I ended up only gaining 7lbs throughout the whole thing because I didn’t overindulge despite my cravings telling me I should.

    But now I have lost my baby weight, all 7lbs of it, and I plan on losing a bit more in the future but for now I am just happy enjoying my baby and going for walks with him. I can’t be arsed honestly to stress myself out with it all!

    I loved your post, you have gained a new follower. I apologise for the rambly comment.

  • Ellen

    Thank you for sharing this, I completely understand everything you say! I also feel immensely proud of my body but then I see a picture of myself and see how much bigger I am and it’s not so easy to be positive. I actually think my biggest problem may be that the clothes I’ve bought in bigger sizes are all practical and boring – I don’t feel very nice in them. When I wore a new, nice dress for a wedding recently, despite being bigger than I used to be I felt great. If only I had the money to burn on lots of beautiful clothes I’d feel wonderful ? Seriously though it isn’t easy to accept the changes our body goes through but these bodies have done so much we should cut ourselves some slack. You should listen to Hollie McNish’s poems – Megatron (Transformers) & Wow! – they always boost my body confidence. #StayClassyMama

  • Coral

    This is so so so accurate!! Well said you!! I too am definitely heavier than I’d like, but I just don’t seem to have the time or inclination to do anything about it yet. Archie is getting older now so am hoping soon I’ll be able to start running again. Until then, I’ll keep on with the Spanx! #stayclassymama

  • Jessica Foley

    I love this post! I gained a bunch of weight after my hubby and I got together (no kids to blame yet!) and didn’t manage to lose any of it until my second pregnancy. (Yes, I know pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, but it happened!) Now I’m at an ok weight but I’d love to be a smidge smaller – but I want it for me and for my daughters. So I can be healthy, and have energy to play with them. Dress size is just a bonus!
    Great post. 🙂

  • The Unsung Mum

    Love love this!! I’ve always suffered with weight “issues”. I think society as a whole put way too much pressure on us mums to fit into one box. But we don’t. Why do we loose our identity just because we have kids?! Great post! #KCACOLS

  • The Speed Bump

    I love this post! I hate the pressure on mums to lose the baby weight as quickly after birth as possible, like it’s taboo for there to be any indicator that we’ve just brought new life into the world! #KCACOLS

  • Mackenzie Glanville

    To be honest I never worried about loosing any weight fast. I think my babies were such exhausting little people that I was just trying to stay sane at the time (OK still trying). I am not happy about my weight right now, but I am happy with who I am so I will focus on that for now #eatsleepblogRT

  • Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu)

    Post baby I am bigger now than I have ever been due to an illness caused by pregnancy – however I just think my daughter wont remember me being big she will remember not doing stuff with mummy so I just have to get overmyself – ill get there ventually!

    Great post
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  • Kerry

    So true, but being healthy is more important than being skinny. I struggle to fit exercise into my day, juggling kids, work, the house takes up most of my time! And if I do get a spare 5 mins I’d rather work on my blog than exercise #KCACOLS

  • Petite Pudding

    So pleased you wrote this post – my don’t we all get obsessed about our weight! I wish there was a way to change the general view point away from stick thin models to healthy people, who are happy with their body’s. Thanks for linking up with #EatSleepBlogRT

  • Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme)

    This is a post that so many mums think about all the time! I have ‘jelly belly’ stretch marks and lumps where i don;t want them but hey i housed two babies are two different times and for that i love my body. I have learned to dress differently now my body shape has shaped. I have never had the perfect body so why would i want one now? A great read 🙂 #EatSleepBlogRt

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