I got my husband to take these photos of me, like actually had to force him as he was running out the door. I knew that if I caught him at the right moment he would stand obediently and take 30 seconds of snaps before jumping into the car. He is NOT an Instagram husband. He pretty much refuses to take/appear in/tolerate photos in general… but I want to see me. I want my children to be able to look back and see what I looked like when I was young, when I was their ‘Mummy’ and not their ‘Mum’. An image of me remembered at the back of their minds from their childhood.
I think that since I was pregnant with Jonah in 2013 I have been reluctant to appear in photos. I don’t think it was an issue for me before that but I suddenly became aware of my changing body, never having appreciated its youth! I’m definitely in the ‘blooming’ camp during pregnancy. I was nauseous so I ate what I wanted which, unfortunately for me was crisps and Pot Noodles. I put on weight and indulged in a lack of exercise which had some serious consequences when I got my body back to myself. I never really appreciated just HOW MUCH my body would change… how weak I felt in my stomach and legs and also suffering with pelvis problems which didn’t go away post pregnancy. Those things can get a Mama down, you know? I know there are some amazing, inspirational Mums out there who get back on it as soon their bundle of joy is in their arms… Some are even hitting the gym during pregnancy (like Pregnant Warrior RunJumpScrap) …I’m not one of them. I lost my self-confidence. I wasn’t a moping ball of insecurities or anything like that… I just didn’t think of myself as beautiful, or try to make myself beautiful. I didn’t think of my image at all come to think of it. I had a baby attached to one boob or another 24/7 and didn’t know if it was night or day during that first born, new baby phase… and he stayed attached to the boob until he was 18 months! Oh, and then I got pregnant with Winter.
As I am writing this, it has occurred to me that even after Jonah was born, I didn’t actually get my body back. He breastfeed ferociously and then gave up just like that, which, without going into too much detail, Chris and I jumped on (no pun intended) and BOOM baby number 2 in the making. One of the big differences between Jonah and Winter in those first few months is that Winter did not breastfeed solely. He was a whopping 10lb 10oz when he was born and was topped up with formula from day 1 which meant that my milk never really got going the second time around (which is a story for another day). I had my body ‘back’ sooner and it has slowly but surely become that of a non-pregnant person again. There is still a long, long way to go, and I don’t want to get pregnant again until I’m back to looking and feeling like the strong and healthy being I once was… but I’m getting there.
That’s what taking these pictures was about. I want to be seen. I fill my Instagram account with my beautiful boys and although I’m not NEARLY as beautiful as they are, I want to appear in their catalog of photos, their childhood. I saw a great post on Facebook the other evening, which I’m sure you have seen too, urging partners to take more photos of the mother of their children whether it be snoozing with them, feeding and caring for them, having fun with them. We need to be in the picture too. I take so many of the boys with their Dad but do you know that there is not a single photo of me, Jonah and Winter. There is only ONE photo of us as a family. Incredible, right? Considering the amount of photos I take!
So although these photos are just of me, from the waist up, it is the start of something. I’m getting in the picture, so get ready to see a whole lot more of me!