What I see in the changing room reflection

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  • In our BISS Post-Baby Body series we’re exploring how real mums feel about their bodies since having children. Emma Burbidge, blogger at #BadParent

    , reveals what she sees when she looks in that mirror…

    The most unexpected thing motherhood has taught me is that whilst my body isn’t perfect, it’s still pretty awesome. That’s not to say that I’m all: ‘Ooh my, look at these lovely lady lumps, I’m smokin’. I would describe that changing room mirror moment as more: ‘Wow, you made human beings, that’s bloody amazing’.

    OK, yes, I can see a saggy pair of large but deflated boobs (mildly drooping is an understatement, forget a pencil, I can hold a pencil case under mine). There’s also a tummy with gouged-out silvery lines running across it. It has a little pouch, sometimes cruelly called a ‘gunt’ (I’ll leave you to work that one out), which does need to be tucked in to my pants.

    Overall, my reflection shows a bedraggled woman whose make-up is settling into the creases that somehow arrived when my back was turned; and does nothing to cover the bags underneath my eyes.

    But as I look in that changing room reflection, I also see a threenager trying to open the curtain and a toddler grabbing my feet and demanding to be picked up (yes, I naively thought I could take my children clothes shopping if I was quick!) – its then I see past the self-delusion of my youth and know reality is very different.

    When I look photos of myself ten years ago, I can see that I was slammin’ then and I wonder why I didn’t appreciate more what I had. But the irony is that in ten years’ time, I know I’ll be thinking the same about this ‘Mum-bod’ I’m currently rocking. This body has achieved so much more than that 23-year-old body ever did.

    I certainly wasn’t expecting this new type of body confidence with the arrival of the aforementioned ‘Mum-bod’. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to be able to click my fingers and have a body like a Victoria’s Secret Model. These days, though, there are more important things in life than being skinny.

    Let’s face it, I wasn’t skinny pre-babies: so with sleep deprivation, the lack of motivation to exercise and a habit of excessive-biscuit-dunking in cold cups of tea – what chance now?

    I lose my confidence at times and feel deflated when the garment I’m trying on doesn’t look as I’d imagined. Then I remember it’s not all about me anymore. This saggy body has grown and kept two tiny humans alive; so what are a few war wounds between pals?

    These days I’m confident I work well with what I’ve got; and above all else, I want to instil a body confidence in my daughter that transcends what the media tells her is ‘beautiful’. What you look like is only a small part of the picture.

    After all self-confidence is the most beautiful thing a woman can possess.

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