The other morning an app so kindly reminded me that I was 4 weeks into life as a new mum.
And before you think ‘okay, where are you going with this Erena’, you’ll be pleased to know that I not-so-kindly told the app to disappear and pressed delete.
While I don’t need an app to remind me of what I’ve lost, I also don’t need to be reminded of what I am yet to (or may never) lose either.
Yes, all you new mums out there while I can only sympathise with how little you’ve slept or when you last drank a cup of coffee that wasn’t cold, we are united on one thing …
Body confidence, or in my case body un-confidence.
Actress and new mum Olivia Wilde likened her post-baby body to that of a deflated pool toy and I had to laugh because as I look down at the pooch that now ‘hangs out’ over the place where my waistband used to be I think ‘girrl you are not wrong’.
I could also laugh and cry about the fact that while most of my pants don’t yet fit, my gigantic bra’s still sadly do or that while my stomach was growing, my feet took that as a cue to outgrow my shoes
I’m guessing that while having an excuse to shop is never a bad thing all you really want to know is how to jumpstart that self-love machine first.
So here’s to taking back your body-confidence after baby:
1. It’s a cinch!
What is it with magazine’s that use the phrase ‘snap back into shape’ with new mums because to me that just sounds downright painful and damn near impossible. It also reminds me of a toy I used to own called a snap-wrap but I bet most post-baby bodies can’t spring into and out of shape as fast as a retractable bracelet from the 80′ s can.
Na-ah, good things take time, love and if you’re up for it, a belly bandit
While this won’t ‘snap’ that body into shape overnight it will gradually train your waist to remember it’s former self, yippee!
2. Your own personal cheerleader
Who is the one person that knows you well enough to gently motivate you, cherish you and be your live-in personal trainer at the same time (at least until those lucky lotto numbers come in)?
In my case, it’s my husband, he knows what I’ve been through and what I’d like to achieve and can navigate my mood swings when I’m ‘hangry’ (hungry + angry) and still stick with me through all the ups and downs.
Your personal cheerleader could be your mum, best friend, work colleague or even your children. If this person understands you enough to know what you need and is someone you respect and will listen to then you’ve found your own personal cheerleader.
3. The ‘eye’s up approach’
This is a fun term I like to use for dressing in a way that draws attention upwards and away from the parts that you’re not so confident about yet…
ahem like the tummy, thighs and bum area.
The following tactics work rather well for the ‘eye’s up approach’ way of dressing
Choosing dark colours for your foundation pieces i.e. pants/tops
Wearing a pop of colour or print closest to your face, like a statement jacket in a contrasting colour or an eye-catching necklace
Try a high cut top with a beautiful or interesting neckline or sleeve detail
Wear a bright lippy or lip gloss in a colour you’re comfortable with
Treat yourself to a new low-maintenance haircut or just a fresh colour
When I adopt two or three of these tactics I feel a lot more confident within myself and am less inclined to worry about what I think everyone else is thinking about me!
4. The finishing touches
A high-heel (only as high as you can comfortably manage) – you’ll stand tall and as a result you will feel elevated both physically and mentally
A spritz of your favourite perfume. I used to save my best perfume for a night out but frankly those are in short supply! Instead I wear mine every other day because it drifts throughout the house and makes me feel a bit spesh
Body oils, spray tans, bronzers and skin illuminators. Or as I like to call them beautiful skin in a bottle, need I say more.
I won’t lie, the road back to body confidence after baby has been and will likely be a labour of love and a journey of self-acceptance.
Physically some things will never return to the way they were before baby came along and that’s more than okay. Why?
Because that’s life, that’s the small sacrifice we make as mums for our babies and I can’t think of any reason more worthy.