It’s been a minute! I haven’t posted or shared anything for a couple of weeks. My mental health hasn’t been the greatest and I was feeling like this whole thing was a bit stupid and there was no point; despite hearing some really lovely things from my friends and even people I didn’t know with how some of the content has resonated with them so far. I feel like I have been trapped IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION and I am ready to just put that behind me and keep going. I started this blog because I want to normalise mental health and normalise people NOT feeling the need to bounce back after having a baby despite their body changing. So I am going to just jump right in.
At the end of my pregnancy I went to Kmart for a last minute comfort shop before the baby arrived. I intended to buy some large cheap loungewear but I stumbled upon a 5 pack of big granny knickers in a size larger than I was. I thought I had better buy them just in case I had an emergency caesarian. Kmart is actually the best and I got the loungewear and the knickers for under $30. Once I washed them all, I was very sneaky about hiding the knickers in my birth bag in case anyone saw them and judged me for having huge high waisted knickers. I DIGRESS, it was a few days into me being in hospital and the last thing on my mind was laundry and getting my husband to do trips home to sort out my situation, so I was left with these big granny knickers. I reluctantly put them on and they fit perfectly around my still puffy and very squishy post partum belly and they were so comfortable and just loose enough to hold my super jumbo maternity pads. I went through the 5 pack very quickly and then suddenly, laundry was at the top of my list of “things for my husband to sort when he got home”. I needed that underwear because no other underwear came close to making my birth region feel like it was being coddled. These knickers made my nether regions feel like they finally had a voice and were seen for the first time, like when you first see a therapist or when you meet a person that just gets you. Why hadn’t I ever thought of getting these sweet delights before? To top it all off, my ass looked great in them and I proceeded to wear only the knickers around the house when I finally got home, because they were super comfy and with a breast-feeding baby, my breasts were hot, saggy commotitties. As all the fluid in my body started escaping through all of my pores, my once short and fluid filled legs disappeared and my real legs were showing again and with the granny knickers in full swing, it made me feel like my legs went on forever! The knickers were my staple and I frequently entered the lounge room to show my husband how good my butt looked and made sure I pointed my toes when showing off my legs!
Once I had settled into motherhood and started wearing clothing, I would pair my granny knickers with my maternity workout leggings from active truth, which are the greatest workout tights known to man. I absolutely do not use these for any form of exercise, but I can only assume they are good to exercise in too. When the taxman gave me some pennies end of financial year last year, I thought I would treat myself to a new wardrobe for my new body. I thought I would just get a few things because this new body was only temporary and breast feeding was going to make me slim at any moment. I went to the shops and faced the change rooms; along with trying to avoid looking at myself for too long, I found myself shocked that I had gone up 2 sizes. I made an agreement with myself that I would not buy anything more than 2 sizes up, so with stores not being consistent with their sizing, I got a pair of mum jeans a size too small because there was no way in hell I was accepting my ass had grown 3 sizes. So I now had a brand new outfit for my new temporary mum body and it absolutely did not fit me. I felt really low. I had just given birth and my concern was my weight and trying to look put together as a new mum. Truth be told, I don’t have it together most days, I am last in line for being put together in the mornings in my home and my hair hasn’t left a bun since they started my induction. I went to my parents house in my really tight jeans and complained to my mum about how stupid I felt about caring about my weight, but at the same time not wanting to go shopping again because I wasn’t ready to face the change rooms again. She went inside and when she came back, she had a bag full of t-shirts for me that she had grabbed from her wardrobe. She told me I could keep these shirts and she would go and buy me more so that I wouldn’t have to face the change rooms again. I am forever grateful for my mother. The t-shirts fit perfectly too by the way and are actually made for people with boobs!
A few years ago I saw one of my family members mention that they needed to lose the baby weight on social media and I was shocked! How could anyone’s focus after a baby be on their weight? How is that even something that comes to your head after building a human? Once I fell pregnant myself, I started to realise how prevalent it actually is.
I remember being pregnant and worrying about how rapidly my weight was going up, but I was frequently told that breast-feeding would make me lose weight. There was such an emphasis on the fact that breast-feeding made you lose weight and it really clouded my judgment. I haven’t shifted weight since breastfeeding and it has taken me a while to come to terms with and that is okay.
I recently went to a first birthday party and saw mums with newborns walking in and I couldn’t help but compare the fact that I did not look as small as them and I had a much older baby. Some days I feel like I need to keep a pram close by so anyone that judged me, would notice I had recently had a baby and therefore not judge me as hard. I did not want to share that, because I want it to seem like I have beaten the system and no longer care, but this whole process is not linear and no two days are the same. I also have days where I don’t care because my priorities have shifted focus and I only care about my daughter and I have days where I think I look better in a bigger body. Each day is different and I have found that noticing when you feel good about yourself helps, but also to not be so hard on yourself when you do feel like you need to surround yourself with baby paraphernalia just so people correlate your weight or disheveled exterior to a baby.
I have learned that you absolutely do not need to LOVE your body, but accepting it, although challenging, is just so much bloody easier. I no longer look at my bigger body as being temporary. Even before pregnancy, I was in a temporary body. I was always going to do some health kick to drop kilos and aimed for a specific weight, but even if I got to my goal weight, that then became my temporary body as I strived to lower myself even further. It has taken time and work to finally get into this headspace and I have found the best thing I ever did was unfollow accounts on social media that encourage weight loss or perfection. For some really good insights into the diet industry and just how bloody cooked it all is, I have a “follow” highlight on my instagram if you would like to have a gander; and in the meantime, go get yourself a pair of giant underwear!
You can also read this post on the mamamia! website via the link below.