My journey is not only about doing the things that I love and making things around me "pretty" but I am trying to embark on a personal journey to appreciate myself.
I'm not sure about you but I am my own worst enemy. I look in the mirror and I judge and criticise myself. I take every moment that my daughters decides to test me as a personal failure. I am overly sensitive to the way that I behave around others and "monitor" my behaviour so that they don't find me unappealing. I worry when I don't hear from people that I have done something wrong. I can hear a voice in my head saying "you have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion". I feel cross when others try and force their opinions on others, trying to be the loudest.
Then it happened... I was scrolling through Facebook (yes- I didn't last very long off it) and there was an article about some photographs that had been banned from Facebook for being inappropriate. They were of mothers in underwear with their babies. Real and beautiful women. It got me thinking.
Why is it ok for there to be girls (and yes I am going to call them girls) posting provocative pictures of themselves (some naked) yet photos of mothers, whose bodies might not be Hollywood perfect are banned?
What hope do real women, with stretch marks, with sagging skin, with cellulite, with uneven tans, with thighs that meet and a little extra weight have? Then I realised that society has become so critical and judgemental that nothing we do escapes someone's critical eye.
If my girls have a tantrum and I don't yell I don't discipline my child
If I smack my children I am abusive.
If I am skinny, I must be a b***h who doesn't eat.
If I am not size 8, I am fat and lazy.
If I give them a strawberry milk at the supermarket I am neglecting my children's health.
If there is nothing but fruit in the shopping trolley, I don't allow them to have any fun.
If I call back my children when they run off at the shops, I am common.
If I just let them go, I am neglectful.
If I have three under three, I am a bogun tart.
If I have a child at 40 I am too old.
If I have one child, I am selfish and the child will be a spoilt brat.
If I have five children, I have no self control and they will be neglected and out of control.
If my house is messy, I am lazy.
If my house if spotless, I am obsessive and neglect the children.
If I wear clothes that cover me up, I am a prude.
If I wear short skirts and low slung tops, I have no self respect.
In all seriousness my list could go on forever.
However, it is the ability to rise above others and make the decision that NOONE has the right to invalidate you. Don't get me wrong, I have a LOOOONG way to go before I am where I want to be as a person and in life. I DO however want to be a good role model for my children and that involves making change.
I want to bring to your attention a woman called Taryn. She is the founder of Body Image Movement. She is an amazing and motivational woman and is doing some serious good for women in society. She is also on FB so please like her page. For those men (family of mine or not) before you scoff I want you to think about this... If your girlfriend or wife genuinely loved who she was, flaws and all and was genuinely happy with her body, with who she was. She loved life. She was positive. She didn't let others get to her. Wouldn't THAT woman make you happy? I am taking the steps (although slowly) to be that happy woman. For myself, but also for my husband and children. I want my husband to look forward to coming home everyday. I want to be a positive role model for my kids. I want a home filled with true happiness and love and laughter.
I am taking the steps forward, to be a happier me. Who is with me to break society's angry cycle?
I even didn't care that people could see my pregnant (flawed) body in a bikini on the weekend... Giant leap of faith...
Remember no matter what people, you are all amazing. You are all beautiful or handsome. You are all loved by people around you (even if you don't realise it). Most of all you are so incredibly important to someone.