It’s true, after having children, things are never the same. Your days are turned upside down, your sense of time goes out of the window, you think differently, your sense of identity is challenged your relationships alter, a good night’s sleep becomes a dim and distant memory, you’re lucky if you get a hot drink in the first three months and that’s before you think about physical changes!
Having a baby is a hugely significant event in any woman’s life. It’s an integral part of our life story. And like any other chapter how we ‘write’ it is up to us. The problem that we come up against is that society and the media have some weirdly unrealistic ideas and ideals about how women should look and once you add post baby body into that mix the majority of us will fall short (I did long before giving birth!) and all too often an exhausted new mum will succumb to these pressures and may begin to feel lacking, unattractive and despondent.
When you’re reading messages about getting back to pre ‘babyness’, ask yourself - who’s sending these messages and why? Do they really have your (and I mean your) best interest at heart? Are they really interested in helping you experience your best story? The same goes for social media. So much pressure to appear the right way, doing the right things and so on. So much pretence and artifice. Is that the story you want to make yourself miserable for?
I talk about life as a story because, essentially that’s all anything is. The thoughts we have are based on how we interpret the experiences we encounter and while it’s human nature to form judgements, being aware that we do it can be really helpful. We tell ourselves all kinds of stories: that the woman in the supermarket Is an idiot. How do we know she hasn’t been up all night with a sick child? That we’re bad parents if our kids don’t have what ‘everyone else’ has. Who says? That we have to get back to an unrealistic ideal body that many of us didn’t have in the first place. Really?! Remember, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.
Pregnancy and birth are traumatic events for your body and nurturing it back to health is a process. How would you react to an amazing, trusted friend who had been with you all your life and always been there for you, if they experienced a major trauma? Would you tell them after a few weeks that they needed to get over it? Would you tell them about people who had recovered and compare their pain to other’s success? Would you fill their world with unrealistic expectations and ignore their needs for recovery?
You’d ask them what they needed. You’d be there practically and emotionally. You’d find little ways to show them how great they are and that you care about them. You’d encourage them, give them space and time when they needed it and remind them that you’re there for them no matter what or how long it takes for them to find themselves again.
That’s the story you’d have for a trusted friend. You can have it for yourself and your amazing body.
Your own story is the one thing you can absolutely choose. There may be external factors that make things tricky at times but you are always in total control in terms of how you respond. So, I invite all you amazing women out there to begin to think about the stories you tell yourselves. Catch yourself doing it and ask “Is this helpful?” if the answer is ‘no’, jot down your thoughts and come back to your notes when you feel different. Have a look at what you’ve written as if a friend had told you this about themselves. What would you tell them? Would you be kinder? More understanding? Put a positive spin on it? I’m guessing you would.
You are also someone’s friend, someone’s daughter, someone’s special person. You are someone who people love. They want you to be happy and to be the best ‘you’ you can be. There is no such thing as perfect, it’s just another story.
I came across the word ‘flawsome’ recently. Definition- to know your imperfections and realise you are awesome anyway!
You know best what’s right for you, and where you are right now is exactly where you’re meant to be. Embrace and enjoy. Change brings differences, not necessarily bad or good, just different. What you focus on and what you tell yourself will determine your experience. There are plenty of things in the world that can make you feel small. Don’t be one of them.
Be the star of your own show!
Keep that light shining inside so you can see your way to enjoying your best story ever.
Written by Rachael Walker
Learn more about Rachael below and how she could help you;
I am a qualified Personal Development Coach, holding a level 5 diploma and accredited with
distinction by The Coaching Academy. I have a background of over 16 years working in the education
sector, am a certified NLP practitioner and hold an honours degree in Psychology.
I have two children, two grandchildren and two cats! I have a passion for connecting with the great
outdoors, empowering others and finding inner calm.
I know that when you build stronger, more positive relationships (including with yourself) you will
increase your sense of well-being, happiness and success - thus, allowing you to make confident
decisions and choose the actions you’ll take to achieve what you focus on.
Working 1-1, in groups and through programmes and workshops, I help you make real changes that
enable you to make positive choices and maximise your potential
I offer online consultations and coaching calls (Skype or Zoom), either 1-1 or for groups. I do deliver
face to face sessions (though at present I am only offering outdoor coaching which is determined by
location, weather and current COVID guidelines).