I’m a mum, a wife, a sister, blah blah… I am woman “roar”, you know the rest.
Actually you probably don’t know the rest, because I may be none of those things to you. But this is me looking wacky at bathtime with my two little darling girls, who I’m optimistic will grow into happy, confident and kind women.
This aforementioned selfie, hopefully hasn’t made you feel insecure or uncomfortable; even if you haven’t slept for months because you birthed a teething demon, and you’re still cleaning up last night’s spaghetti whilst being suffocated by the Everest equivalent of laundry. I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t even feel tempted to “unlike” it, if it were an option. But I certainly didn’t choose to post this captured moment with you in mind, to rub my happy novelty bath towel life in your face!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, (not about my novelty towels), but how we present and conduct ourselves online. And I feel really sad about how we have taken other women, other mothers, to task about how they have conducted and presented themselves online…..namely Silvana Lovin (Model, Mark the Poo Philippoussis’ wife, NEW MOTHER & cast member of the upcoming muppets movie) & Bec Judd (TV host, MOTHER & brand ambassador)
These women have been recently criticized for being socially irresponsible for posting their svelte post partum tums online, and I cannot say either way if their intention was to rub their post baby bumps in our collective faces, but I highly doubt that anyone with a two week old baby is remembering what day bin night falls on, let alone how their selfie could possibly send another mum into a spiral of self doubting despair.
PLEASE now don’t get me wrong, I’m not jumping to the defense of genetically blessed women, who look stunning for a living, just for the sake of making any shiny new friends….But I sincerely think motherhood has given me some crazy sense of sensitivity, that probably will dissipate along with my boobs when their milking duties subside, and I’m sure you’re about to call me naïve and shout “THIS IS THE NORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA KATIE, GET OVER IT! “
“Why is their such an emphasis on seeing REAL post baby bodies, and why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to other women after child birth?”
ESPECIALLY women who before they had children were employed by their faces, bodies & titles (namely; models, actresses, tv personalites & actual princesses).
Women who probably have chefs, night nannies, cleaners, dieticians, in house gyms…..who also quite possibly have suffered bouts of mastitis, the dreaded baby blues, and are sporting the latest eu de toilette fragrance from baby vomit.
Being a mother is terrifying & wonderful all at the same time, and I think regardless of your levels of luxuriously bonus support, being a new mum is never a walk in a leafy green park 100% of the time.
There seems to be so much focus on seeing REAL post baby bodies online, that we seem to have lost perspective on what made, or broke our physiques in the first place, it’s the same all over the world, no matter who or what you were before … beautiful helpless tiny people are now exhausting and riddling you with guilt.
So if we all, (as in Mothers) are bringing these same challenging sleep & brain sucking “blessings” into the world, then where has our mothering solidarity disappeared to?
I actually feel like I’m a bit of an expert at this, because as I was leaving hospital with my second child, so was Princess Kate with little Georgie boy.
I literally watched her walk out, as a walked out…..Oh and did I secretly relish in the fact that my tummy looked flatter than hers? (Well done me and my SRC recovery shorts) …maybe just a little bit…. but mostly I cried, so excited for the joy she had in store, and sad that she had to share every moment of it all, with the world.
What a wonderful thing Kate did, presenting exactly how SHE was straight after birth, live to billions of people, but how quickly this motherhood “solidarity” was forgotten, replaced in mere weeks with stories and pictures of her dramatic weight loss, & assumed obvious child neglect.
Silvana Lovin and Bec Judd did something similar, only they posted pics of themselves sporting their post baby silhouettes without their babes in arms, on their social media accounts.
In their reality that IS REALLY how they were after they gave birth, and good on them, some of us bounce back and some of us don’t, and they shared their images with their dedicated followers and friends –it’s not like they bought out the front page of a newspaper to ram it in the faces of the non-connected masses?
(NB. Their pictures were both coupled with supportive and relevant text regarding abdominal separation & core strength – huge issues for women immediately post partum)
I actually don’t really know why this subject bothers me so much; it might be because my mum wasn’t faced with this constant and distracting visual comparison on telly, in mags and online when she had me. She just left hospital with dad, chucked me in the back seat in an unsecured basket, and got on with trying not to kill me;
But mostly though I think it bothers me because, I’m raising two mini ladies who will possibly be mothers one day too, and I don’t want them to waste their precious “mum time” worrying about what other women look like after birth.
There’s so much more that matters, like getting a great deal on bulk home delivered nappies.
So regardless of whether you had an international modeling contract, a custom built Landrover, or even a royal tiara before your children arrived, and hurtled you headlong into poo colour charts, we all share the same title….
And it’s important we remember to support each other, in however we choose to muddle our way through the beautiful consuming fog of motherhood.
Katie Dower is a Radio Producer & Owner of somewares handmade homewares (https://www.facebook.com/somewares).
She refers to herself as, “a mother of 2 kids under 2”, because it sounds more hectic and impressive than saying an 8 month old, and a nearly 3 year old