Updated: Dec 15, 2020
As I made my way to support group earlier, I was filled with a weird kind of sadness and fear. Today marked the last session in our 12-week course and, knowing I no longer have that support booked in every week feels a bit like I’ve had a rug pulled from under my feet, if I’m honest. Something that I absolutely dreaded going to at the beginning has turned into 90 minutes I genuinely look forward to each week. I think some of the other mums felt the same and so we decided to keep meeting on a Tuesday morning to carry on supporting each other, which is just lovely.
In the last two sessions, we spent time discussing our bodies and how they’ve changed since having a baby, which is a fucking minefield of a subject and one I reckon we could all have talked about for quite some time. But we then moved on to looking at how our babies see our bodies – something I’ve honestly never thought about before. We had a life-size lady to draw all over for both and the difference between the two really was amazing. Pretty much everything we feel about ourselves was negative; cellulite, jelly belly, bags, hair that breaks and falls out as soon as you touch it, droopy boobs, veins everywhere, no bladder control, c-section scars that haunt and still hurt some, the list goes on.
However, when we turned to think about how our baby sees our bodies, it was the complete opposite – all positive. They don’t see any of the physical things, they see comfort in our arms and shoulders, they see love in our eyes, entertainment in our faces and mouth, safety in our cuddle, a seat in our hips, and again, the list went on. And, in that moment, it really made me appreciate my body and feel a little in awe of how it has both grown and delivered the gorgeous, smiley little boy who is currently asleep upstairs.
It’s things like this, the helping me to see the good and positive in things, that will really make me miss this group. But I’d like to think I’ve already started to take this with me. Rex has been poorly recently and there have been days where he’s just been inconsolable. And it has upset me so much to see him poorly and not be able to make him better. But I sat down yesterday and took stock and realised that while he’s ill and I can’t fix that, I have been here, and maybe that’s enough?
I walked what felt like the length of Bath with him in the pram to help him sleep and feel better, I cuddled him for hours, I played with him, read him stories, sang him songs, made his bottles, kept him warm, and while all of that didn’t always work, I didn’t leave him, I didn’t stop trying to make him feel better and that was all I could do. As a mum, I am always very quick to focus on what I can’t do, or what I’m not doing right and at the same time completely overlook the billions of things I am doing or trying to do to make sure Rex is the happiest he can be. So trying to focus on what I am doing to be the best mum I can is what I am going to work on from now on.
“Mum, why are you boobs like feet?”
Another reason I’m going to miss my group is for the laughs. Yes there are a lot of tears flying around most of the time, but there is also a lot of love, compassion, empathy and laughter too. Like today, as we discussed how babies see our bodies, one of the mums made me cry with laughter as she said her little boy wandered into the bathroom recently and told her that her boobs look like feet because they were ‘sooooooo long’. That’s got to be the first time I cried happy tears in that room. You’ve got to love the honesty of kids, right?
I also remember a while back another mum telling me that when her little boy saw her pubic hair, he pointed and shouted ‘Ergh Mummy, POO!’. Thankfully my pelvic floor was in tact then, otherwise there most definitely would’ve been a puddle on the floor. God help me when Rex can talk and starts ‘noticing’ things. If he’s anything like his Dad, he won’t be shy about sharing and will have the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Can’t wait 😉
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