I am Stop Body Shaming the Bumps Mum

It’s Memory Monday…

Body Shaming happens to all women, of all ages, of all shapes and sizes, all the time…EVEN, believe it or not, during Pregnancy. 😲
Yes, Pregnancy…
You know that time when you are eating for two and are supposed to GLOW like a fricken Christmas Tree and your body is a temple of growth and nurture, for all to admire and be in awe of?

When you’re also a hormonal wreck, paranoid, vulnerable and particularly susceptible to tears? 😢😢

When you’re growing a PERSON inside of you; sometimes more than one, 😥and you are supposed to be officially exempt from giving a continental crap about your shape for the next year and more?
Yes. Even then.

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Body shaming the Bump DOES happen.

It’s not usually intentional, but it happens.
I have a confession to make.
During my last pregnancy… (and I mean last in both senses of that word!)…I did something mean. 😈
I got so fecking SICK of people freaking out when they saw the size of my bump, that one day I decided to have a little fun with it.
I was HUMONGOUS. (And no, I am NOT exaggerating. Ask ANY of my family or friends and they will smile a dim smile and nod in agreement.) And just to prove how big my perfect bump was, the photograph below was taken when I was 36 weeks. And I wasn’t quite as big as I would be at 39! 😂👇👇👇👇👇👇

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And she wasn’t cooked yet!

With Mini-Me, I showed at 10 weeks.

With Princess, I got to 7 weeks before I got fed up trying to hide my bump.

I have always been quite slim so in fairness, trying to hide a bump was never going to be easy, but even loose tops didn’t cover my little (or not so little) secret.

We never really got the chance to keep it to ourselves until after the 12 week scan, but hey!
So you can imagine how big I was by 30 weeks. I looked bigger than most expectant Mammas look at full term. I remember walking into a shop one day at 31 weeks and the look of panic on the shop assistant’s face when she clocked the BUMP was hilarious. She approached me and flew through the usual chitchat to get straight to her point.
“When are you due love?”

I couldn’t help myself my Pretties. It was out before I even thought about it.
“Ten days ago”, I answered, shaking my head and rubbing my big belly, “I’m hoping a walk around the shops will help get me started.” (added puffs for effect…pause as if wincing in pain…)

“Here let me help you!” I swear to God, she ran around that shop filling my wee basket so quickly, I really couldn’t keep up with her.

“All the best now Lovey, I hope all goes well!” she cooed after me as I left. I’m pretty sure she needed a strong drink after that. and yes, I shouldn’t have lied, but I was fed up.

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For almost 10 months, you become the property of the world. (and yes, it is 10 months…9 my arse.)
EVERYONE has an opinion.

You’re so HUGE!” (Really? I hadn’t noticed. Is that why my pelvis is dragging on the ground when I walk?)😐
“I was never as big as you!” (Piss off.) 😐
“Aw poor Maria. You must be scundered…” (No Deary. I’m just pregnant.)😐
“Well Tracy SAID you were huge but I didn’t think you were THIS HUGE!” (Yup. For this one, I had to kick my sister under the table to stop her from DESTROYING the unintentionally offensive woman.)😅
“Is it heavy?” (In fairness, this question was from a lovely friend who has bever been pregnant so it was a genuine question and I gave her a genuine answer…”Yes. I feel like I’m carrying an articulated fecking LORRY on my ladybits.”)
“I suppose you can barely move with that bump?” (No. I’m just back from Irish Dancing. I’m high kicking Higher than ever before!)😂
“Aaaaaaah you’re not THAT big!” OK, OK. Who am I kidding? I NEVER heard this one! 😅😂
“You must be nearly due?” (No I’m only 28/30/32/34 weeks…cue shock/horror/sympathy/panic on their face.)
And these are only the few I remember.And so maybe now, you understand why I played the trick.

Do I feel guilty? No, but I felt really fricken frustrated a few weeks later when I didn’t have the balls to go in with my even BIGGER Bump and I really wanted a certain cheese the lady stocked. 😆😆
But seriously, Stop it. We all need to stop it. (And of course I include myself in this. We ALL do it don’t we?)

In fairness, we don’t even realise we’re doing it.

The things we say to a pregnant lady are usually not intending ANY offence AT ALL. Of course not.
But if you’re going to say anything, try not to comment on the bump.
Tell her she looks glowing, even if you think she looks knackered.

Tell her she’s gorgeous, even if she looks like the articulated lorry she feels like she’s carrying.

Tell her it suits her. She might just need to hear that, but don’t comment on the size of the bump, regardless whether it’s big or small.
The Mammy who hears “You’re so neat”, might have spent the whole night up counting baby’s kicks, or panicking that her bump is too small compared to others. 😣

The Mammy who hears “You’re huge!” doesn’t need to be reminded. Trust me, she already knows. She remembered once she opened her eyes this morning and tried, like an upturned turtle, to get out of the bed to pee. 😅
So keep it positive and keep it off the bump.

And yes I know that many people don’t mind and maybe even enjoy the attention the bump brings, but unless you’re telling them their bump is gorgeous, just Ssssssh!
And then…THEN comes the Post Baby body Shaming but that’s another post altogether.
You’re beautiful and your bump is perfect. That is all you need to hear.

The S-Mum xxx

Supermum?

To be someone’s Mum is a gift.  From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.

Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing!  No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart.  I don’t have a degree in parenting.  I don’t have a bloody clue really!

I make it up every day.  I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe.  I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.

In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.

The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice ready and poised to hit those terrifying high notes…while I chuckle like a crazy lady as I watch myself try to remain in control;  Deep breaths, calm expression, remind myself that I am the adult here.

“Listen Darling.  We need to leave the toy back on the shelf for another wee child. “

I’m winning.

“Good girl.  Now, come on and we’ll go get a Babychino and then we’ll go home and watch Minions…”  (Yes, blackmail.  Get over it.  It works…sometimes.)

I have her… I just need to get her to take my hand and then we’ll skip happily out of the shop, leaving behind the assembled audience in a cloud of applause, appreciation and awe at how well that mammy handled that…

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  I NEEEEEEEEEEEED TEDDY!!!!” Cue autotap tears and stratospheric screaming… Oh! and don’t forget the kicks and snake-like movements as I try to lift her gracefully into my arms.

I manage to wrench her under one arm, pick up the bags and move out of the shop.  The audience shake heads and probably judge.  At this moment in time, I want my Mammy!

We reach the bench outside.  I put screaming child down and hunker down to have a positive parenting style talk with her. Her beautiful blue eyes are glistening with tears and her cheeks give the word “Rosy” a new level of meaning.

“Now Madam, listen to me.  Don’t EVER…”

Her attention has been distracted by the huge cluster of helium balloons behind me.

“PEPPAAAAAAA PIG!!!  Mammy wuk!  It’s Peppa Pig bawoooooon!  I NEEEEEEEEED IT”

Tears gone.  Smile on. Adorable wee face up close into mine.  “Pweeeeease Mammy. I wub it!”

“Next day we’re out, I’ll buy you a balloon okay?”

“Okay Mammy!”

And as we skip off towards the car, I look at the messy little head on her, and I know that for all my “playing”, I’m not doing a bad job really.

I am blessed.  I am exhausted.  I am happy.  I would kill for a glass of Merlot.  I am 100% in love with Mini-me. I’m trying my best.

I am Super Mum. 🙂

 

Three years later and I’m still thinking about Merlot, but I have 2 little ladies and a whole lot less shits to give!

M