Back to {me}

A friend shared this post on Facebook today which really hit home:

Parenting is a selfless act.  The act of putting those you care about most before yourself.  You spend so much time tending to their needs that it’s easy to forget your own.  And it’s also easy to feel like you’ve forgotten part of yourself. You wouldn’t change being a parent for the world but you can also feel like you’ve lost who you were before you were mummy.  Before your day revolved solely around the needs of others. Before you could put yourself first guilt free.

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve lost my sparkle.  I’ve produced three beautiful children who bring me more happiness than I could ever imagine but somewhere along the way I’ve lost sight of myself.  

With P now 7 months old, the boys more settled and me starting to plan my return to work, now seems like a good time to start putting in some much needed me time and self-reflection.

Standing in front of the mirror it’s hard to recognise the reflection staring back at me.  Grey hairs, sore skin, milk filled breasts, mum tum. No definition. Too much excess. The crashing waves of defeat and self loathing come strong.  The urge to change. To do better. Look better. Feel better.

But then my perception changes.

I remember to be kind to myself.

I look again and change my terminology to soft, curvy, womanly, voluptuous.  My children would see the the person who makes them feel safe and loved. The person who gives the best cuddles and tells stories in silly voices. I asked them what they liked about mummy and they replied “you”.

This is the body that created and nurtured three children.  The body those children cuddle up to and seek comfort and strength from.  The body my husband fell in love with, The body my friends and family accept.  My body. This is me.

I thought becoming a mother had made me lose my sparkle but what is my perception of “sparkle”?  I’m not actually sure this “sparkle” actually ever existed.  A figment of my imagination of what I “should” look like. How I should feel and act. This perfect image of life.

I’ve probably spent the best part of 30 years thinking {worrying} about body image.  Trying to change or will myself to change how I look. Never quite comfortable with how I am or accepting myself.  And to be honest I really don’t want to spend another minute {let alone another 30 years} feeling like I need to change myself, feeling guilty for not giving up chocolate or deprived from living my best life.

What I do want is to be healthy and happy and respect my body.  I want to work on my mental health and have a healthy relationship with myself.  I want my children to grow up with a positive body image and see me comfortable in my own skin so that hopefully they will be comfortable in theirs.  I want my sons to love and respect women of all shapes and sizes and my daughter to feel confident and secure. I don’t want them to feel shame or to shame others.

I want to enjoy life and know I’ve not only given them the best start but also that I’m going to do my very best to be around for a long time to see them grow and flourish.  

To know that I can sparkle at any time.  That this is who I am and I should embrace it rather than shy away.  

Time to sparkle 🙂  

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