Our eighth Love Mum Body guest post comes from Ericka Waller - speaking out for those mums struggling to come to terms with a mum-body changed beyond recognition.
We hope this post and the others listed below reassure you that you are not alone. We hope to inspire you to move one step closer to loving the miraculous mum-body that has given you your children.
I am a mum of three. Three big babies, born within three and a half years of one another.
Some may say I deserved what I got.
This is what I got...
This is me. This is who I am. This is the mummy secret I carry round, hidden in big pants and long vests and baggy jumpers, even in sunny weather. Especially in sunny weather.
I'd love to tell you I am proud of my body for producing my healthy babies, that my scars remind me what a good house my tummy made.
I wish I could say I am far too busy enjoying being a mum to care about trivial things, such as my appearance.
But it would not be true.
I hate my tummy. I hide it from people at the gym when I get changed. I hide it from my husband by sleeping in his baggy t-shirts. I hide it from my children in over-bubbly baths.
But I can't hide it from me.
The only thing I hate more than my tummy is myself, for hating my tummy. I wish I were a bigger person. I wish I were a less vain person. I wish I were a better role model to my children.
How is my loathing of my appearance affecting them? I try to hide it, but my tummy is the wrinkly grey elephant in the room (literally).
I want my daughters to love themselves. But I can't lead by example.
The doctor has assured me I did nothing wrong. Genetics and hormones are to blame. My husband says he does not care. More of me to love.
But I don't love me, and as long as my tummy looks like it does in the above picture. I don't think I ever will.
About Love Mum-Body
This month on story of mum, we’re sharing photos of how our bodies have changed since we became mums and grandmums. You can photograph your actual body, or you can shape your body in plasticine. We don’t mind how you share it, as long as you do your very best to love it.
Read some more of our Love Mum Body blog posts about our wonderful mum bodies: