It’s hard, in today’s society, to possess absolute confidence in yourself as a woman. The expectations from the media demonstrate a poor example of what it is to be a woman. No one person is perfect – what is perfection anyway, isn’t that in the eye of the beholder? – I’ve yet to meet a woman that says ‘I am 100% happy with my body’ and I find that deeply saddening.
Why do we find it so hard to accept who and what we are? That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? Again, I harp back to the media. Open any glossy, woman’s magazine and you see beautiful women with flawless, porcelain skin, not a blemish in sight. Stick thin, young models thrust their youthful skinniness into our faces, daring us to deny that, actually, yes, we would like to be skinny too. But we know it just isn’t going to happen, because we have been trying for years and whatever we do doesn’t work, does it?
Then, as you sit watching TV in the evening, you see the commercials flash onto the screen for the anti-wrinkle, elixir of youth moisturizer, foundation etc. and the narrator tells us that if you use THIS product, you too will look like a young babe again because it will diminish fine lines and create youthful, healthy skin. The overlay being, that your life will improve if you use this amazing product, because nothing like it has ever been created before – by anyone EVER. Of course, it contains essences of a mysterious, tropical plant – unheard of so no one can prove it! But they may just add the words ‘scientifically approved’ in the marketing, so you won’t question the ethnicity because scientists are extra clever aren’t they and know far more than we ‘normal’ people ever could.
So, this awesome essence was discovered on a tiny, magical island far, far away that no one has ever heard of (hmm sensing a theme here) but where the local tribal women hand pick and lovingly extract the essence that will make you young again. This then – this uniqueness – renders an extra digit or two onto the retail price of the product and, because it is expensive, our minds make the assumption that it MUST be good.
Let me ask you this, have you ever actually noticed that the women portrayed in these commercials are aged in their early twenties to mid-thirties? Do these clever, over-paid, advertising gurus truly believe that we aren’t aware of the irony of their message? Who has wrinkles and unhealthy looking skin at that age? Did you ever worry about wrinkles when you were that age? Are you that age now and are you fretting about wrinkles already? Well, it’s a waste of energy because, over time, the wrinkles will come and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you commit to the plastic surgery route.
Anyway, I digressed a little. I’m a woman, I don’t have a bad body, I would be described as mature, and I’m getting closer to an age I never imagined getting to! There are a few wrinkles and I can confidently say that I often have bad skin days, usually where my face has got mushed into my pillow overnight and left kind of steam roller marks, where a spot then seems to happily pop up, usually the morning of a special event, you know, when, for once, you DO actually want to look your very best. I look in the mirror and I hate my tummy, it is like a little pouch for a kangaroo joey and it bloody won’t go, no matter how much exercise I take, how many sit ups I do. My waist has spread a little over the years and my skin isn’t as supple as it used to be. Can I change that? Sadly, no…
When you have a baby, your body turns to poop for a while.
You have entered the stage as a young, sexy filly and, just like that, you exit as a mummy figure. You discover that your pelvic floor is not your friend and you dread sneezing out in public. Suddenly, big comfortable pants seem more attractive than a thong. You feel emotional and drained, not to mention the exhaustion. You feel as sexy as a bag of spanners and you can’t see a way to get that va va voom back into your life. This is where your confidence and self-esteem might just walk off and leave you, and, quite frankly, who would blame it?
Where does our self-expectation come from, why do we put ourselves under so much pressure to be something that we currently are not? Well, it is different for everyone but, if you stand back and watch, you will see some interesting angles.
Let’s take a look at a few:-
- Your husband says ‘When are you going to start running again/go to the gym? (add whatever exercise you did pre-baby) You hear ‘you are looking pretty fat and I don’t like it’
- Mum says ‘Absorbency Pads are on offer at Walmart’s this week’ You hear ‘It is normal to pee yourself after having a baby, your body has let you down, this is what it is going to be like from now on. I got used to it, so maybe you should too’
- Your friend says, ‘You are not the same anymore’ you hear ‘I don’t like you so much, you have become a boring mummy person’
- Store assistants call you Ma’am – you hear ‘You are no longer a sexy young woman’
This list could go on and on and………………………..
But, let’s look at the bright side (There is a bright side??) Yes, you HAVE changed; you cannot bring a new life into the world and be surprised that nothing is the same. Life is going to be different now, that’s a given. But, wow, you have bought a new life into your world, your baby! You ARE a mum, but you are still YOU. Yes, agreed, it may be a slightly altered version of you, but your personality, what makes you tick, what makes people like and love you, is going to be the same. No one is seriously going to stop loving you because you’re a little bit less than perfect!
Take your time and don’t be in a rush to get back to what and where you WERE. Allow yourself time to adapt, be flexible, remain open to the changes and learn to accept what is, right now. It is absolutely true that confidence is highly attractive – it has been proven by those scientist people you know. Your body may never be the same, your emotions may have altered permanently because you love and care for a little person now. How can you be the same person that you were, without that love? Your baby will change you but, if you let that be okay, it will change you for the better.
Love who and what you are, and I guarantee that those around you will love who and what you are too!