Does my butt look big in this?

We all have our own insecurities, and our inner drama queens make them 938 times worse than they really are. Interestingly, I’ve found men can be just as bad if not worse than women at setting themselves impossible standards to live up to when it comes to body image. Im sure I’m not the first to discover this, but its often your supermodel friend, or that ripped guy pumping 100kg weights at the gym with his pinkie finger that have the lowest self esteem. And seriously, why is that?

When I was pregnant, I thought the world was going crazy. “You look AMAZING” people would say to me. And “Oh my god, have you like bolted on that belly?”. Guys, I was 20kg heavier than I was before I started, and I’m pretty sure 87% of that was in my ass. As hard as I tried, I was never one of those women who just loved being pregnant and couldn’t wait to do it again. You know the kind that study ‘calm birth’ and just BREATHE through labour pain as if it doesn’t feel like being decapitated with a blunt knife and simultaneously kicked in the vag with a stiletto heel. Ya. Not me. Hated it. The swollen feet, sore boobs and sweaty back, but more than anything else I was done looking like Alan out of ‘The Hangover’ movie (yep the beard too) and I wanted my body back.

So you can imagine my horror when the day after I had Henry I looked down at myself and not only did I still look pregnant, but now the hospital was claiming that there was no longer a baby in there causing it. Great. And now, I’ve got a tiny human relying on me to keep it alive – which as all you mums will know, doesnt exactly leave much time for Zumba Mondays. I have to admit, before I had Henry, I had never struggled with weight before. I would hit the gym every now and then for fun, and although I didn’t live on donuts or anything I could smash a few and still do up my pants. Then all of a sudden I popped out a kid and now I walk past an ice cream shop and put on 800 grams.

For the first year of Henry’s life I worked bloody hard. I went off sugar, exercised almost every day even if it meant squatting the baby, and I started eating green stuff. But even at my best, I realised that I was never going to look the way I did before and that’s something I had to work through in my own head. I mean, I’m not going to be back up on a podium in a mini skirt any time soon – but it would still be nice to wear my jeans and breathe at the same time.

Ok so after all that, here is my point – and what inspired me to write this whole thing. Not long ago I was in the kitchen at work preparing my cardboard and air salad for lunch, and a lovely colleague walked in and said to me “why are you always eating like that Laura, you’re so skinny”. And automatically, for the rest of the day I walked around like I was Adriana Lima. Even my pyjamas looked flattering that night – and I got thinking when I was home strutting up my hallway wearing angel wings later on; how much people’s words genuinely affect the way we feel about ourselves. And any girl who has cried themselves to sleep after a negative comment will tell you the same in reverse.

So girls and guys. Build each other up. Be careful with your words. And most importantly don’t let what you think of yourself be shaped by what other people think of you. Because that’s just exhausting.

No Advice Column

Since I started my blog I’ve had so much amazing feed back from both girls and guys out there, and more recently in particular single mums. I’ve said before that the reason I started posting what is essentially my diary online was to remind people that although the struggle is real it’s also perfectly normal. It was to say I know what it’s like to rock in the corner in the foetal position wondering what the jail term would be for throwing my own baby against a wall, and more recently I’ve wanted to tell people that dating as a single mum (or even dating in general) can sometimes be compared to poking yourself in the eye with a cactus. Of late I’ve received some lovely messages, some of which asking me for advice – and as flattering as it is, it concerns me that perhaps I haven’t properly communicated my main message. So this blog is to confirm that I am in fact a hot mess, and you would be better off asking for life advice from my two year old than you would be from me.

Please find below a list of topics I have absolutely no authority on whatsoever and why;

Pregnancy:

I spent almost my entire pregnancy spread eagled on my neighbours lounge in front of an industrial fan eating blueberry and lemon glazed scones from Bakers Delight. I developed severe hypertension and a thyroid disorder, which meant I couldn’t go to the gym (shame, I know) and it was such an effort to get myself up that one day I made an extension cord into a lasso to pull the TV remote toward me.

Child Birth:

I was so determined to be good at this. I spent $300 on a calm birth class, and watched every episode of One Born Every Minute available on youtube. I read an article on water births and decided it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I just had to have one until my Obstetrician looked me dead in the face and said “Laura, those baths are only as clean as the Nurse who cleans it”. Gross. Not that it mattered anyway because my calm, drug free birth turned into an epidural followed by an emergency caesarean and I may or may not have assaulted a nurse.

Mum life:

Henry has almost choked to death on a rock, rolled down an entire flight of stairs, fallen off a marina into the bay and half drowned, and just last week he licked fly spray off the floor. He has slept through the night maybe 6.5 times in two years, once he ate chocolate for breakfast because I couldn’t be bothered to explain the benefits of weet-bix or deal with his whinging, and please refer to my previous blog about the time he brushed his teeth with toilet cleaner.

Dating:

Guys, dating and successfully dating are two very different things. I’m living in a studio apartment that was built in 2000BC and the only bedroom is just big enough for Henry’s cot. Not exactly a bachelorette pad. Between full time work and full time keeping Henry alive, I barely have time to shave my legs let alone sit around and swipe on Tinder. Admittedly, I’ve been consistently flirting with an oiled up fireman and his washboard abs but ladies and gentleman I will dead set solve the Da Vinci Code before I can give anyone insight into the inner workings of the male brain.

 

Now I want to be clear –  I’ve got no complaints. I have amazing family and friends, a fabulous son (albeit, bald), and a fling with a fireman who makes me laugh. But please don’t look at my Social Media and make the mistake of thinking I have it together, because while you’re doing that I’m probably lying on the mattress in my lounge room with a toddler foot in my mouth googling “How to tell if a guy likes you”.