I look in the mirror and I don't like what I see. Every single day. Like there is not a day that I don't see something in myself that I don't like. Have I always been like this? Yep. Has it gotten worse since I become a mum? No. Surprisingly no.
Through my teens I was an awkward and skinny being. I had no hips, no boobs (I'm talking none), I had ears that stuck out and freckles that I'd try and hide with foundation 3 shades darker than my actual skin colour. I stuffed my bra. Yep. Kleenex could have hired me and I would have made them millions! Never went swimming cause the tissues would not have fared well. Wow, what a time to be alive... stuffing bras and wearing dark foundation.
I got to my mid 20's and I still wanted to improve my look. I was still skinny (a little too skinny), I coloured my hair, I fake tanned (dorito colour was the norm ok guys!), I wore way too much mascara and padded bras were soooo in. They even bought out the 'Water Bra' in hopes people wouldn't notice everyone had no boobs. The fashion was horrific but we made it work, sequin belts and flared tencel jeans (if you don't know what they are, google it... you're welcome). Surprisingly I was not happy with who I would see in the mirror (or photos), I was nothing like my friends and it sucked.
I made it all the way to my early 30's before I finally decided to fix one thing I hated about myself and that was get a boob job. I strutted around in no bra, I wore low cut tops and felt ok. Just ok. Yeah, I had improved one thing that I (only me) disliked about myself but that was just one thing. I still had some stretch marks that had formed on my hips overtime, I still had a bump that I hated on my nose, my skin was starting to look weathered and I had plucked my eyebrows to a non existent state. Why could I not be happy with who I was?? WHY??? FFS why?
I fell pregnant with Willow and I was suppose to feel like a magical unicorn that could shit rainbows and sing like Adele. Nup. The stretch marks deepened and new ones appeared, my boobs got massive (like the size of beach balls), my nose got bigger (fatter bigger??), my thighs rubbed together and I'm pretty sure that contributed to the chaffing, actually that is DEFINITELY what caused it. I did not glow, I did not have that 'magical pregnancy look' I felt like shit and didn't fit into ANYTHING! I saw these beautiful women looking gorgeous and here was me, a giant lard human that had to use Vaseline to stop her thighs from fighting each other and conflicting pain. Mmmm sexayyyyy!
Now let's fast forward to this present day. Willow is 18 months old. She is a full of life, crazy kid and is always dancing around the house, shopping centre, car, anywhere music is playing. You know what the best thing is, she has such a carefree attitude and doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. Now why can't we be like kids? But also, when did we start caring about what people thought of us and how we looked? At what age did we start disliking certain aspects of ourselves?
I am 35 and look at myself in a different light. Having a child made me appreciate what I am. Yes, I have purple stretch marks on my thighs, I have boobs that no longer sit up high and perky, my hands look like that of an old lady, my tummy is no longer flat and toned, my legs have cellulite, my nose is bumpy, my eyes have lines on the sides and I have a huge scar above my pubic bone. All these things I hate when I look in the mirror.
This is what I see. But do you know what Willow sees?
Thighs where she can sit while I read her a book or watch a movie. Boobs where she can lay her head when she is sick and can hear my heartbeat. Hands that hold hers while she crosses the street or falls asleep. A tummy where she can blow raspberries that make her laugh. Legs that she can hide behind when she is playing peek a boo with her dad. A nose that gives eskimo kisses before bed. Eyes that look at her with so much love, expression and proudness when she does something new. A scar that means absolutely nothing to her but little does she know that it is the reason she is here and healthy.
Why can't I see what she sees everyday? No judgement. Obviously I acknowledge that she doesn't see what I see, so why can't I see it? We are so bloody hard on ourselves. As women, as mothers. Imagine if we had a child's outlook on life. Imagine if we could see what our child sees in us.
The next time you look in the mirror, do this. See what your child sees. Don't look so hard.
You are the most amazing person in your babes life. They think you really are a magical unicorn that shits rainbows and sings like Adele. You are their happy place and they love every single bit of you, stretch marks and all.