Yesterday I was asked how my blog is going, and I finally admitted it. I admitted that I’ve had a panic. I’ve had a few weeks of wondering what I’m doing. Of worrying about what other people think. And letting their thoughts shape my actions, or in this case, inaction.
I’ve realised that since having Ev and Harmie my confidence is quite possibly at an all time low. It may not be noticeable, because as a Mum I do what we probably all do; I just get on with it. I do the things that put me out of my comfort zone. I do them with a smile. Because I want Ev and Harmie to feel safe and secure. I want them to feel confident. I want them to see me as their support, their strength and their shield. But that’s not how I always feel inside.
Having children has irrevocably changed my body. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder what has happened. I wonder if I will ever be the same again. I dread situations where I’ll be meeting up with people that I haven’t seen in a long time. I worry that they’ll look at me and think “flipping heck, she’s put on weight!” Or, “look at the state of her!” The rational part of me is absolutely sure that people have much more important things to think about. But I worry all the same.
Social media encourages us to aspire to look a certain way. It’s difficult not to compare oneself to the picture perfect families that grace our screens. I’ll look at photos of myself and criticise my nose, my teeth, my double chin. I’ll panic before pressing the ‘share’ button. I KNOW that what will help other people, other Mums, are the imperfect photos. But I panic that I’m not brave enough for the imperfect person putting themself out there to be me.
Because each time I press ‘publish’ on a blog post I’m doing just that. I’m sharing my life, my thoughts, my fears. I’m opening myself up to the people who want to criticise. To the people who want to judge. And I’ve come to the conclusion, once again, that this is something that I am absolutely prepared to do.
Not for the ladies who lurk in the shadows and nitpick on forums. Not for the ones who gossip over their cuppa and poke fun. Not for the people who think I’m silly for thinking of activities and playing with my children. This isn’t for you. And if you don’t like it, I’d suggest that the best thing to do is to not read it at all.
This is for the New Mums feeling exhausted and a little lost. For the not so new Mums feeling lonely. For the Dads feeling outnumbered. For those of you wanting play ideas for some quality time. For those of you looking for someone who’s utterly normal that you can relate to. For you to have someone who is utterly imperfect saying “me too”. For you, I will continue. For you, I’ll bare my slightly wonky teeth in a dreadfully double chinned smile. Because this is my motherhood. And it’s made me the happiest I’ve ever been, despite how utterly messy and imperfect it is.