Our mum-bodies need a bit of loving, a bit of romancing. Mostly, we neglect them, criticise them, and break them into 'problem areas' that can never match up to unrealistic media ideals.
So instead, let's light a candle, grab the massage oil (and/or the chocolates...), and write a communal ode to what it is we truly love about them. When you're done, read your body the poem. It deserves some kinder words. Get out your Shakespeare quill and start with... "Oh (tragically unloved body-part) how I love your..."
And if you'd like to love your mum body more, take a look at Love Mum Body - you can share a photo with us or make your body out of plasticine. You can also read some inspiring heart-felt words from other mums trying to love our miraculous mum-bodies more.
To add a line, click on the 'join in' button above (if it still says 'join us' you need to register first).
Ode to Mum-Bodies
Just click on 'join in' above and add your line to the poem. Come over all Shakespeare and be as ridiculously soppy and romantic as you like.
Tell us in one sentence what you love about your mum-body and why.
Oh faint, silvery lines, a glistening reminder of how we grew together; forever tattooed, on my thigh and in my soul - I wear you with untold pride.
When pregnant my tummy was massive
On a frame of just 5 foot 3,
It never looked sleek and tidy
Like on those mums that are tall, willowy
Even now at 15 months post partum
My tummy is wobbly and round,
And my knees, boobs and my bottom
Are in a race to be first to the ground
But my body will tell you a story
If you listen gently with care,
Of life, nurture and glory
At the wonder of 3 babes grown there
Oh poor stretched stomach, how I love your scars that are your story, your deep strength and your outward softness that is a place where my babies can snuggle tight.
Oh saggy bum heading south with a fierce determination I admire
Your travelling adventures expire
As I hoist you home
Oh wonky boobs, how I love your beautiful mismatched droop from feeding my miracles even when they bit back
I love my shoulders. They make me feel strong and confident. After having a baby many things can change. Your jeans might not fit like they use too or they fit but you realise your bum is a bit bigger than it use to be or your hips are wider. But my shoulders stayed the same and they remind me of who I was before my little one came along but also remind of who I am now as a mother.
A body no longer my own, but yours.
A climbing frame,
with plenty of places for elbows and knees
To dig in and cling on;
Arms to be swung from and legs to be slid.
Hands hold on as we spin and we spin,
And then -
Everyone needs a bosom for a pillow
And a soft belly beneath,
Where you lay your head,
and find peace.
Oh little scar so small and dark etched on my stomach a permanent mark. So poignant a reminder of what wasn't to be, you're a daily reminder of that loss and sadness to me. Oh little scar so dark and unkind, I'm learning to love you and understand that you're mine, a daily reminder of how lucky I am, I have two have two gorgeous sons and an amazing man. Oh little scar, you're just a single chapter in my story, perhaps one day you'll lead me to glory.
Oh dark circles how I love how you hang under my eyes showing how I feed my daughter through the night and run round after my son during the day in a chaotic whirlwind of everything, marking my love of my babies in away no amount of Touche Eclat can cover up
Where once it was firm, now a little bit flabby
Where once i was groomed, now a little bit shabby
This body has travelled lots of mothering miles
The Glamour replaced by cute baby smiles
Sure, it's all changed but I know what for
My 3 little cuties.....I could not ask for more!
My poor, gnarly, dessicated kneecaps
I knelt and stood and stood and knelt so many times changing nappies
It was like a workout every single day
Thank goodness for loofahs & moisturiser
Thank goodness for potty training....
Oh grey hairs, how I love each and every white reminder of each wise thing my kids have taught me, including how to see the beauty in my reflection as they see theirs
I thought housemaid's knee was a myth; reminds me not of cleaning but of happy times with tea parties, building and little people.
There was once a lady called Mum
Who had a bit of a wobbly tum.
It jiggled and it jangled
And sometimes looked mangled.
But she wouldn't change her belly
No matter how much it wobbled like jelly.
At first you were hated - the purple cracks fading to silver, the velvet putty you had become. But with time I looked at you, and then at you, the little creator of this belly and with awe and wonder placed hands upon you both and took my first real breath in a loved new world.
My veiny-legged, big thighed, wobbly armed body may be imperfect and I may never be happy showing anybody my naked form ever again, but it carried my babies, it made them from scratch. It nurtured them, protected them and nourished them. I'm proud that it's mine.
I was asked last night if I had had a name for each of my boobs. I replied 'yes' , 'this one's crave and that one's dale'
These wretched arms that once struggled to carry bags now heft you weightlessly and hold you close with a storm-proof strength.
Does anyone see
How my boobs have sagged?
My face has wrinkled?
My bum now drags?
I guess no-one does,
As it's not THAT bad
But everyone knows my brain is all mush
With car keys in the fridge
And my phone in the washer...
Wobbles, battle scars and feels like clouds
But it carried my babies so how can I be anything but proud?
Oh belly how I love your soft strength, your bold warm stretching to make and nurture two perfect people.
Oh stretch-stretch-stretchy marks, you’ve certainly mapped your way around my belly and thighs, I look at you now not with shame but with pride
and know that I am now a proud member of a tribe … that of mothers…