Why I won’t use the word fat around my children

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  • In our BISS Post-Baby Body series

     we’re exploring how real mums feel about their bodies since having children. Stephanie Siviter, blogger at Mummy’s Writing Darling, reveals which word is banned in her house…

    There is someone in my house who calls me fat every single day. Perhaps several times a day. They shout it at me, the ultimate F word; ‘Fat! You’re Fat. Fat. Fatty Fat Fat.’

    Thankfully it’s not my one year old, as he doesn’t talk yet, though between you and me – he’s pretty portly himself. However, he’s at that age where fat is considered incredibly cute. It’s also not my three year old as he doesn’t know what that word means yet. The only time he uses it is when he talks about the ‘Fat Controller’ but he thinks that’s just his name – it has no context to him. Of course it’s not my husband because he wants to live a long and happy life. So that just leaves me.

    No one has ever called me ‘fat’, well, not to my face. I was once called ‘chubby’, after the birth of my first son, by a lady trying to sell me a diet program where you can only drink sachets of protein powder. Her exact words were ‘Do you really want to be the chubby mummy in the park?’ I cried. I cried a lot. Then I was angry. Is that all I am? A chubby mummy? Is that my label? Is that how I am viewed when I venture into the park? Is that all we are – mums? On some sliding scale to be judged ranging from skinny to fat? Really?

    I won’t use the word fat around my children because I feel there are probably better adjectives to describe people, to describe their mummy in fact. For example Mummy is strong, active, energetic (most days), healthy, fun, happy, present. Your baby brother is healthy, stocky, strong, gorgeous and well fed.

    I have made a concerted effort to squash down that inner voice and be in the moment with my children, be in every photograph, be positive, be happy, show them the best mummy I can be. And one thing is for sure – they won’t hear the word ‘fat’ from me.

    There are better adjectives we could all use. There are more important things to focus on. There are better labels. And slowly but surely I’m going to remove that word from my internal dialogue and give it less power. I don’t have time – I’m busy enjoying my time with my beautiful children.

    If that diet lady is reading this I would like to say that I might be the chubby mummy in the park. But I am in that park. I am on that beach. I am at soft play. I am in the paddling pool – I am out there, with my children making the most of our time together despite any label you want to put on me. I carry on regardless, and you know, I’m so busy – I think I might have even lost a little bit of weight.

    I might be the chubby mummy. But I’m one hell of a mummy.

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