I’ll set the scene, our family of four have just touched down on our first package holiday. The bags have been discarded, the swimming gear is on and our pasty Irish skin is about to see sunshine for the first time since… Well you know yourself, there might have been a day or two in 2017. Body confident I was not. On top of my swimming suit, I’d layered a baggy t-shirt and shorts that weren’t far off being described as trousers.
I’d known about this holiday for five months. It didn’t sneak up on me. I know all too well, this Mum body didn’t become this wobbly through no fault of my own. It’s there because of a few too many biscuits at nap time, the glass of wine at bedtime, the Friday night takeaway and too few spin classes.
As we arrive by the pool my eyes search for a lounger tucked away. Where no one will see the psoriasis on my knees or my c-section shelf. But the boys are oblivious to my worries. All they want is to get in the pool. This holiday is meant to be for them. A chance to make memories they will never forget. I need them to remember the crows feet around my eyes, as the smile lines that shone from within, not lack of sleep or scowls at being woken before the sun.
It’s not long before I am summoned to the pool. I’d have to shed my layers. I’ll lose the shorts but keep the t-shirt.
The pool and loungers are busy and as I dip my foot in the pool for the first time I see what is in front of me. Mothers, Fathers, Families all having fun! There are screams of laughter and cackles of joy from lots of Little’s all revelling in the holiday spirit.
There are mothers of all shapes and sizes. I can see cellulite and stretch marks mapping each ladies journey to Motherhood. But what is way more apparent is the look of sheer content. If these mothers are feeling self-conscious or lacking body confidence, I can’t see it! Maybe they can’t see my inner turmoil either.
As days by the pool passed and my skin bronzed, my confidence grew. The jiggly bits didn’t get any less jiggly. I never said no to the champagne and pastry breakfasts but I was always ready to throw off my baggy t-shirt and jump in the pool with the boys.
I realised something, I was just like every other Mum by that pool, with one goal… Making memories with her brood. See they don’t see the wrinkles or tiger stripes at the tops of her legs, they see a Mummy. The one who picks them up when they fall. The one who kisses their grazed knee and shares her ice-cream. They don’t care how you look, once you’re always there when they need you.
Body Confidence means nothing when you are three. And when you’re thirty-three… Ooze it! You, Mummy, are beautiful to someone!