you’re massive!

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(and other things best avoided in dialogue directed at a pregnant woman.)

You’re pregnant. You’ve spent the better part of the morning going through your wardrobe trying to find something to wear, hurling pants and tops over your shoulder and onto the floor. You then spend ten minutes trying to reach the floor to pick up said items thrown in fit of rage. You examine your backside and wonder momentarily whether the baby is in fact in front of you, or behind you…

You finally find something acceptable – by acceptable I mean the skin of your stomach isn’t showing (much) and your bottom isn’t flaunting the love heart pattern of your knickers through the fabric of your pants which are stretched too tight (much). You carefully select a pair of shoes and ever so delicately balance yourself on one foot, bending the other leg up behind you and attempt to flick the shoe over your toes. Your other children drag on your leg in an attempt to “help”. You finally get your shoes on. You bribe your kids into picking up what is left of the debris on the floor. You brush your hair and straighten yourself out. Yes, you think, I’m ok, I may not be able to see or reach my feet, but I’m clothed and shoed and brushed: today is a good day! You smile at your glowing self in the mirror and run a hand over your blossoming stomach.

Throughout the course of your day you pop into the shops. The lady at the cash register gives you a pitying smile, “Much longer to go darl?” she asks. “Oh, about three months,” you reply. Her jaw drops, “Three months?! Geez…” Her raised eyebrows say it all.

You pull yourself together and bump into a friend of a friend in the street. “Wow, you’re massive!” They say as a greeting, laughing.

A little further along you decide to grab some fruit and veg quickly before heading home. “How many weeks now?” the grocer asks. “About 28…” you say hesitantly (rounding up). “Gosh…” (awkward glance at your stomach) “You’ve got a way to go then…”

You start to wonder about your outfit choice that day and try to suck your stomach in as you walk to your car (to no avail). You catch sight of yourself in a shop window and get a bit of a fright.

You’re nearing your car when a fellow kinder mum bounces past in her gym gear. She looks at your tummy. Please don’t, you think, please, please! “Oh look at you!” she smiles, “Imagine how big you’re going to be by the end of all this!” (Laughs heartily). “Yeah, imagine that…” you reply with a pasted on smile.

You get home and kick off your shoes. Your father in law knocks on the door. “Hi Fatty!” he says with affection. You glare at him: “Hi.” “Bad day? You look like shit.”

Moral of the story: We’re pregnant, we know we are growing: our clothes don’t fit us anymore and we can’t reach our feet, also – there is another human inside of us which we are quite aware of. Please, next time you see a pregnant woman, no matter how huge or massive or gigantic they might appear, a simple “You look great!” could go a long way in drowning out the many other (albeit well-meaning) comments on her physical appearance she has no doubt already received that day.

Rant over 😉 xxx

P.S. Oh, almost forgot my favourite: “Are you sure there aren’t two in there?!” Laughs, laughs! Oh, the hilarity…

mothering daughters: it begins

I was brushing Birdie’s hair this morning. She stood in between my legs while I sat on the couch. I could see her poking her thigh with her finger while I brushed.

“Am I skinny?” She asked.

“You’re perfect.” I replied.

“But I can see some fat here,” she said, poking her upper thigh.

“That is not fat, it’s just part of your body. Your body is perfect and has everything it needs. If you didn’t have that bit of body, you’d only have a bone and when you tried to walk with only a bone you’d fall over, ” I replied: stupidly, awkwardly, long-windedly. She seemed to accept this answer and think it was quite the joke. She went on laughing about walking around with only a bone for a leg and falling over.

I remembered someone telling me that their daughter started worrying about her weight when she started kinder. I was gobsmacked. Kinder? Are you kidding me? I don’t remember noticing anything in particular about my body until high school.

I am probably reading a lot more into Birdie’s comment than I should. Perhaps it was just a flippant comment that meant nothing to her, yet to me held a tsunami of undercurrents about our culture and society, materialism, body image, questions about whether or not I’ve been making comments while getting myself dressed that she has picked up on, ra ra la la ha bla.

It has reminded me that I am a role model – the main womanly role model they have. They see how I look at myself in the mirror, they hear the things I might say about my body, or about how a piece of clothing looks.

It’s been a good opportunity to think about what I do and don’t want to pass on to my daughters when it comes to body image. A lot of food for thought…

my body

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My yoga practice has been very sporadic over the last four weeks due to various illnesses working its way through our family. I finally made it to a class last night.

As we slowly bent forwards into uttanasana and our yoga teacher said stay here for a moment if it suits you, I felt my body contort in discomfort. I quickly decided it didn’t suit me at all to stay there. I was shocked that I was so out of practice after just a couple of weeks.

For the first time I am truly beginning to understand how important it is to look after my body. The one and only body I will ever be given in this life.

I am struggling to remember whether it was my girlfriend or my sister who said this to me (my mind is going as well as my body?), but a couple of weeks ago one of them said they often think about what someone really fit, cool and healthy would do if they had their body. What would they dress it in, what food would they put into it, how much would they exercise and so on, and as a result, how different would they look and feel?

In amongst all my crazy thoughts (and I have a lot) I had NEVER thought anything like this. Now I can’t stop thinking about it. Being “cool” does not come naturally to me, and as a result I am often left looking like a bit of a dork. Admittedly I’m a tad on the lazy side too and often need a herd of people around me to motivate me to go to the gym or get out for a walk, or dare I say… jog… But what would someone super cool or super fit or super motivated do with my body? Would they treat it better than me and feed it more green foods (or less naughty treats) and get it out and about more? Would they flip down into uttanasana and stay for many moments without hesitation?

I got home from yoga and said to Prince Charming with a surly lip – “I’m in my thirties. I can feel it in my bones.”

He sympathised, and quickly reverted into personal trainer mode and encouraged me to enrol in the two-times-a-week ashtanga yoga class I have been drooling over for the past few months since trialling a class. How did I ever manage to be married to someone so motivated and fit and gym-bunny-ish?

So do you know what? Thinking like a super cool and super fit and super motivated person would… I think I just might enrol in that class. It’s only an 11 week term…