Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

A body shaming babygro…ENOUGH!

Last night, when scrolling through Facebook pre bed (as you do) I saw something so screwed up and grotesque that I did a double take.

You might have seen it yourself by now, if not, check out the picture below.

FB_IMG_1459979926803

What the actual Fuck?! I am sorry to swear but seriously, Seriously, WTAF.

What has happened within society to make putting this on a babygro even remotely acceptable? I DON’T GET IT.

As I said on my Facebook page, the worst thing is the number of people that that got past to physically be stocked in a shop.

1) The sad mind that has clearly heard or felt this way so many times they thought it was the norm

2) Their boss or whoever okay’s designs before they’re made up into a sample

3) A buyer for at least one store (I’m saying store because it was in America)

Did anyone stop and question what they were making? What message this would send out? Just to clarify quickly here, I’m talking about the thigh one…The one pretty clearly aimed at the female side of the market.

The owner of the Wry Baby brand that created the babygro in question has been quoted as saying that “they want to make the whole parenting journey as fun as is humanly possible”.

Well slap my thigh and call me Jessy, haven’t you just brightened my whole trek through motherhood by selling this absolute piece of crap.

Just for the record, that isn’t what I think of as fun. I like a giggle- I can even retell my whole hideous birth story for comedic effect now. I regularly make light of my non exisistant bladder contol, the fact that the bulk of my wardrobe is now from Tu at Sainsbury and all manner of crazy shit the kids get up to but (and call me crazy here) body shaming and being so blatantly gender stereotyping is sad, not funny.

 

It is sad because other kids will see that, they’ll ask what it says and then they’ll wonder what it means and who knows how deep that seed will be planted. I don’t want my gorgeous, sensitive, growing girls pondering who hates their thighs and whether they should too. It is hard enough to keep that rubbish out of my own head let alone theirs.

Being a girl, being a woman today is hard. It’s a damn sight easier than it was by all accounts but it’s still no walk in the park. So much gravitas is still placed on how you look as oposed to who you are, what you enjoy, what you’re interests are and what you stand for.

 

As I walked to the doctors the other day I absentmindedly looked down and thought woah, those legs could do with trimming down a bit- a thigh wobble ain’t a great look in a threadbare legging but actually, those very same legs ran a half marathon a few weeks back and they reguarly walk my girls to pre school as well as strutting their stuff down a catwalk last month if you please. And, they can still, on a good day and after a couple of shandys, get behind my head…Lucky old Mr L hey… (this is starting to sound a little weird- almost as if the legs do these little jobs independent of me- which they don’t!)

What I am saying is I am more than the sum of my parts. I am more than my thigh wobble. I am more than a pair of droopy boobs, described by our youngest recently as “very sad and empty” I am way, way more than an out of control pelvic floor.

I am an intelligent, loving, grafting mother who is raising her daughters to be all that and more and the mums that I know are doing the same with their girls AND BOYS. So I will carry on with my running and exercising- to keep my body and mind happy and healthy not narrow and thin which seems to be the way Wry Baby rolls.

Happily, through the day the number of people that have commented on this image makes me think that the pendulum might just be starting to swing the other way again with women appreciating their bodies for their strengths and treating themselves with more love and kindness. If we treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same compassion that we do to our children that can only be a good thing- for them and for us.

Night night all.

Sweet Dreams.

 

XxxX

 

2 Comments »

How I got #ProudinmyBikini

Since I posted my #proudinmybikini post earlier this week I have had so many nice comments on Facebook and Twitter and on the post itself. It has been really touching to read friends and strangers saying that kind things and they are sticking.

Looking at the pictures which incidentally, were taken after a long day at work whilst the girls jumped on my sisters sofa shouting ‘why are you nudey rudey Muma?!’ I genuinely don’t mind them.

MY FAVE!! Maryan Mehlhorn Nautical Bikini

MY FAVE!!
Maryan Mehlhorn Nautical Bikini

Obviously my sister isn’t challenging David Bailey for a job (sorry sis!) but I am no longer upset by what I see before me- WOO HOO!! Progress.

Clearly I am no longer my 17 year old self with a pair of boobs to die for and a pretty cute little figure if I do say so myself (hindsight is 20/20 hey!!! Youth is absolutely wasted on the young!)

I’m not even my 27 year old, stretch mark free self.

Nope, I am a 34 year old mum of 2 toddlers that is frequently shattered and struggling to work a 3 day week, plan an incredible Christmas event, remember the shopping and the washing and the cleaning and so on and so on.
Obviously in the main I don’t manage, my to do list never ends, I am constantly apologising for the state of the house and I have no clue how we would manage without my mum doing our ironing (amazing!) and having the girls from time to time.

But everything is a choice and a trade off- I have yet to meet the woman that has it all. The things that I am choosing to spend my time and energy on are the things that I know make a difference to my mind and body so, here’s what helped me reclaim my Mojo…

1) Diet
Not dieting- In January I started a 12 week Fit ‘n’ Slim programme with Melissa from Fresh Start Health and Jonathan from JGF Fitness.
It was a brilliant programme that helped me to become more mindful about what I eat and why and 3 months after finishing I am still having lemon and ginger and against all the odds my juicer is still getting used daily for my super green smoothie.
1/2 Cucumber
2 sticks celery
2 handfuls spinach
juice of one lime
1/2 an avocado

Juice the cucumber, celery and spinach, add in the juice of the lime and then chop up the avocado and blend together (over ice if you’re posh!)

Genuinely delicious

Genuinely delicious

2) Exercise
My brilliant and very clever friend Jo invited me to try some crazy outdoor circuits class. OUTSIDE. IN FEBRUARY…First class was free plus it was a week after I’d asked her to come running with me so I couldn’t say no!
I LOVE IT. Best fitness class ever! It is hard, it is sometimes wet and cold and it is 100% guaranteed to get me out of any mood I am in.
I feel healthier, I am definitely fitter and it is certainly good for the serotonin levels.

One day I'll get to the top of the bar!!

One day I’ll get to the top of the bar!!

3) Me Time
Me time means different things to different people but for me it usually involves a seriously deep bath, a stretch mark smoothing wrap and a copy of RED Magazine or Good Housekeeping (which is ironic to say the least!)
I know that some people are going to think that using the wraps is not in keeping with the #proudinmybikini idea but that’s ok because it’s my body and my choice. I’m not using these #crazywraps because anyone else has made me feel bad about the way I look, I am using them because they compliment what I am doing already and have seriously helped me feel happier with the skin look and tone of my ‘mum tum’.
wrap right image

4) Mindset
I have written so many times before that I am an all or nothing character. I tend to really go for something, fall by the way side, thing I’m a failure and knock it on the head but I decided this year (and last) that I was going to try to be kinder to myself, to do what I could ad not beat myself up about the rest. Seven months in and I think that I can, more often than not, tick that box. I am caring less about what others, aside from those that really matter, think and am just trying to be OK.
choose happiness

5) Support
The #proudinmybikini campaign started by Honest Mum, the support of Tommy Tight Pants (yep, that’s what he calls himself!!) of Melissa and Jon and of my friends and family and the lovely Wrap Right Girls has kept me on the straight and narrow.
I am doing this for me and for my girls and, in the words of the song…It’s feeling Good!

Have a Seriously Souper Douper Weekend!

Loads of Love,

Muma.

XxxX

6 Comments »

This Summer I will mainly be #ProudinmyBikini

Last month a hashtag was doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter set up by the blogging beauty that is Vicki from Honest Mum.

Now, I had always considered her type of honest and mine to be poles apart, her children are immaculate, her hair is frankly immense  (in the best possible way) and her writing, blogging and film making experience are the stuff my dreams are made of.
In short, if this were school she would definitely have rolled with the cool kids. I felt- through absolutely no fault of hers, that she was out of my league- a genuine successful grown up whilst I, approaching 35, am still struggling to figure most of this stuff out.

One evening, home alone, I was scanning my twitter feed and came across Vicki’s original #proudinmybikini post.
She was literally laying herself bare (short of a gorgeous red bikini) and saying this is me, I’m a mum of 2 and I’m proud to be me in my bikini.

#proudinmybikini

Look at that hair!!!
Gorgeous.

In the post (which as now been seen by over 70,000) Vicki was asking for other mums to share their bikini pics.

Wow- didn’t that redress the balance.

Isn’t it ridiculous that it should even be a big deal…but it was and it is because it seems that we women are always so keen to imagine that other people are doing so much better than we are…

Better mums- because they’re working or not working or combining the two.
Better wives- because they don’t burn water or whatever
Better species because…We imagine…that beneath their jeans they don’t have the bit of belly that gets tucked into their knickers (which no doubt match with their bra- which they no doubt peel off each night before a mammoth session with the husband!)

It is a fantasy fed by stupid magazines and also by social media.

Women are too fat or too thin, too vain or too unkempt.

We’ve lost our sense of perspective and also of giving ourselves and others a break.

This week The Sun posted what I’ll loosely refer to as ‘an article’ on their social media entitled “17 people that look worse in a bikini than you do.”
How cruel- who made them or indeed any of us judge and jury?

I love #proudinmybikini. It is an amazing look behind the curtain into the fact that we are all normal people.
No one is perfect and no one is without their own hang ups and flaws and, by sharing them we become a little bit more real and help everyone else breathe a little easier.

Prior to this campaign the last time I’d properly worn a bikini was over  years ago on our fabulous baby moon in Marrakesh. Pregnant bikini
I absolutely love the picture- check out how happy I am- over the moon to be carrying our precious daughter (didn’t know that she was a she at the time) and loving the relaxing sunny break with my husband.

Since then I’ve had 2 beautiful baby girls and the boobs and bump have headed somewhat south.
I’d like to say that the change in my body didn’t affect me but, in the spirit of being honest I’ve got to say that after a particularly nasty labour and a tricky recovery my confidence was well knocked, the stomach stretched and sagged and my fitness and body confidence plummeted. It has  taken quite a lot for me not to well up when I saw myself undressed. Incredibly self indulgent I know- but there it is.
Lots of little things have helped me get my mojo back but one of the most significant has definitely been this campaign.
Following on from the tweets UKSwimwear sent me a couple of the mums who took part in the campaign some bikinis to review and I was lucky enough to be one of them. They are absolutely gorgeous- I LOVE THEM.
I can not wait to wear them in the paddling pool, at the swimming pool and finally, on our holiday in Tuscany.
They are my way of sending a messsage to my girls that say:

We are more than the way we look
Be kind to your body- it is the only place you have to live.
Your spirit and kindness are visible whatever you are wearing and whatever your size
Don’t judge other people (at least not on appearances)
Don’t waste your energy on people that are judging you and…importantly
Nautical is always, always on trend!

I’ve written plenty of times about promoting a positive body image for my daughters but actions speak louder than words so here goes…

Channelling the 1950's vibe.

Channelling the 1950’s vibe.

MY FAVE!! Maryan Mehlhorn Nautical Bikini

MY FAVE!!
Maryan Mehlhorn Nautical Bikini

To me, bring Proud in your Bikini this summer is more than the act of wearing a bikini it is the decision to like yourself a bit more whatever you are wearing and to embrace the idea of kindness and support for yourself and others.

I hope that this post makes you breath a little easier.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Loads of love,

Muma.

XxxX

love-your-body-and-be-healthy

I am linking up with Honest Mums #BrilliantBlogPosts you can click the link to see what other bloggers have been up to this week!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

24 Comments »

Mindfulness

Tonight, possibly as you are reading this, I’m going to session 6 of the fit and trim programme I’ve been taking part in since mid January.
It’s a fantastic idea from Melissa at Fresh Start Health and Jonathan her brother who is a fab personal trainer .
Basically, it is all about mindfulness and re-educating yourself about what you eat, why you eat, how you choose to exercise and look after yourself from the inside out.
We have had menu plans, a week of juicing and 2 weekly group sessions where we run, chat and the following day do circuits. It is a holistic approach which I think is really important.
Blue Sky wallpaper
It isn’t about being perfect or never having a biscuit again, it is just about trying to be a little bit more mindful.
Last night I skipped Commando X fit which is an amazing class I’ve been doing along side the fit and trim sessions, check out what we get up to on the video!!
I love it.
It’s outside, it’s hard, it’s usually cold but it is always different and it gives me a real buzz.
I didn’t skip it because I couldn’t be bothered, I made a choice to spend the evening with my babies and my husband.
I had the time to bathe them (Not Mr L-that would be weird!)
We cuddled on the sofa in front of Abney and Teal, I read them 2 books and tucked them in to their beds.
Check out the daddy's girl!  What a look of love.

Check out the daddy’s girl!
What a look of love.

Then, after that, I had dinner and chilled with him in doors and I enjoyed it all because it was a choice, not a cop out.
I felt family time took precedence last night; usually I have to race out of the door when Mr L gets home to get to the class in time and leave the girls lips quivering as I don the trainers and make a mad dash .
Mindfulness in practise people; I think this fit and trim is really making a difference.
Bring on the second half. I am feeling motivated!
Happy Chinese New Year!
If you’re having a takeaway; ENJOY!
Muma.
XxxX
PS- Here are the links to the classes in case you want to know more:
Fit and Trim: http://fresh-start-health.co.uk/fit-n-slim-challenge

JGF Fitness:  http://www.jgffitness.co.uk

Commando X Fit: http://www.commandoxfitengland.co.uk/

1 Comment »

Still on the band wagon??

Evening All.

Happy January! How are you getting on with your New Years Resolutions?!
Still on the wagon?
Well done if you are by the way- by this time next week over 80% of us will have gibbed off our good intentions and come New Years Eve 2015 only 8% of us will have any rights to wear the (hopefully slightly loser) smug pants.
That’s a pretty high failure rate!!

So far I’ve been feeling pretty motivated, few bumps and bruises from falling off the wagon and filling my face with cake at the little littles birthday party- yep, totally made my own cake (just call me supermom!) but I am trying.

Before you ask, no, I am not morbidly obese. I am usually able to get an outfit that looks alright (with the support of some spanx) for a special occasion but for me it’s more about the inside story if you know what I mean. I’m want to give myself the best chance of living a long and healthy life.

This year I am turning 35- biblically speaking that is middle age dudes and, since my daddy passed away totally unexpectedly from a heart attack aged 37 I don’t think that there’s a better time for me to get my health and wellbeing in check. I don’t want to leave my babies with the same emotional weirdness that I have; I’d far rather stick around for the ‘Goooooood Mum, You are sooooooo embarrassing’ statements.
Someone remind me of this when I’m lamenting the teenage phase! It’s no more than I deserve- I was a hideous teen.

So, as of yesterday I am all about the Fresh Start Health 12 week programme; Fit n Slim.
It is early days- yesterday was the initial weigh in but, I am feeling positive so far.
There’s 8 of us in the group all taking part with our own motivations and goals so I am hoping that we’ll be able to support each other when times get tough.

The programme is totally holistic. There is a fitness programme (a running session and a circuit class each week) as well as an hour each week discussing all of the other stuff that goes with the way we feel about our bodies.
I have never heard of a class that deals with the whole person and I like it. At £195 for the 12 weeks you’re going to want to see some results but I think that if we all follow the advise and suggested meal plans we should do…

So far the message is rather than denying yourself the things you like try to add in more things that you know to be good for you so, this week I have been adding in loads of water and veg. I am usually dreadful at veg…brilliant at chocolate, dreadful at veg!

There have been one or two awkward points so far; namely being waved at and called by name when I parked up outside the chippy; ‘Usual Tanya?’ To be fair, it was the only free space and the gym is on the same road.
The second is obviously tena lady and botty burp related! Week two will be all about the pelvic floor I hope! 😉

Watch this space for my progress dudes.

Have you made any New Years Resolutions? My news feed is rammed with health and fitness so I’m guessing I’m not the only one- how are you doing so far?

Happy Weekend Lovelies.

Muma.

XxxxX

1 Comment »

#Likeagirl ? Damn Right I am.

This brilliant video is currently doing the rounds on YouTube, Facebook, twitter, popular Muma blogs (!) and everywhere else at the moment. Check it out if you haven’t already. I love it.

Obviously, the aim is to address the phrase “like a girl”, we’ve all heard it; you know,
You throw like a girl
You hit like a girl
You run like a girl.

It’s in the same vein as
“you’re so gay” or
“you’re such a spaz”.

Basically, they’re not shorthand for “you’re awesome!”
It’s shorthand for you’re a little bit rubbish.
You’re substandard, you are nowhere near as good as a boy.

Oh shut up.

I am so so, so so bored of this.
I have written about this very subject previously on this very blog. Here infact.

I don’t want to be a cheerleader for women. I don’t want to feel the need.

I simply want everyone to be considered on the same level.

But to do this I do worry that we going to need to have job interviews in a sort of weird Blind Date kind of way, with Stephen Hawking type voice synthesisers and those blow up sumo suits so that everyone has the same chance of getting the job they want, going to the uni they want, being selected for the teams they want?!
I’d rather just get a nice two piece, go in there, be the best candidate and get the job on my merits thanks.

The phrase “like a girl” suggests that blokes do everything better.

RUBBISH!!
Absolute, Really Annoying, Rubbish
.

Are we suggesting that all blokes are better than all women at all things?!

I really hope not because I have plenty of examples of blokes doing things really badly, or doing really stupid things or just being slightly less good at something than a girl.

Remember this for example?!

Remember this for example?!

But that’s not even the thing.

I don’t want it to be about which sex is better at what.
I want people, I want my children, to be able be who they are, do what they fancy and not feel like they need to fit into a box.

So, for my babies especially, here’s my guidance for life and, guess what- if you were called Josh or Jack or Henry or Michael; the advice would be exactly the same (except for the last part!)

Give it a go- what’s the worst that could happen.

Don’t be afraid to fail- it’s just finding a way that didn’t work before you find a way that does.

Be kind- you have no idea what others have been through.

Be honest- it’ll help you sleep at night.

Be friendly- because; why wouldn’t you?!

Do something that makes you happy- life’s too short not to.

Oh, and if you ever hear someone say that you do something like a girl: be proud.

To me, being a girl means being pretty flipping marvellous, Look…

Run like a girl:

I'll give it a try.

I’ll give it a try.

Face bullies like a girl:

I hope I'd have the strength of character

I hope I’d have the strength of character

Hit like a girl:

Nichola Adams, GB boxer

I wish I could!

Care like a girl:

Mother Teresa

An absolute inspiration.

Kick like a girl:

Arsenal ladies team

I don’t have the coordination.

Make money like a girl:

JK Rowling

One day…one day…

Swim like a girl:

Rebecca Addlington

Your Auntie is nearly as good!

Forgive like a girl:

Totally humbled by this amazing lady.

Totally humbled by this amazing lady.

Not too shabby for the fairer sex hey?!

Muma.

XxxX

5 Comments »

Trying to make your children less weird…a follow on

Good Morning All and a very Happy Friday to you!!

I don’t know what I’m so chirpy about, I’ve been up since 3am- couldn’t sleep and now there is no point in going back to bed because in a couple of hours I will be skipping off to the Amazing (I hear…) Britmums Live, once the bins are emptied and the kids are dressed and the nursery run’s done and all that stuff!

I am hoping to come back with a head full of ideas and a little black book full of contacts. I will post my Saturday book review after I have written  on the train… this week has been manic BUT- happily, I have two amazing #WinningWednesdays coming up for you as a result.

Think beautiful bags and Fun Family Festivals. Exciting times hey!!

Anyway, following my ranty, sweary, hopefully thought provoking, blog of Wednesday evening, I have had loads of lovely comments and feedback so thank you. (If you’ve not read it yet, it’s here).

So, to follow up from that I thought I’d repost an old post about how I’d like my girls to see themselves. Check it out and, as ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

If you are off to Britmums, I’ll see you there. I know No one. NO ONE. Please be nice to me. I’m nervous!

If you are not off to Britmums, have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you Sunday.

Loads of Love!

XxxX

 ——————————

This week I have read two incredibly thought provoking blogs this week which have really stayed with me so I thought I’d share them with you and would try my hand at a bit of a deep and meaningful myself, don’t let that put you off though ;-).

The first was a blog about the impact your own self-image and self-worth has on your children and the second one is written by a lady living with cancer. Seriously, this isn’t all doom and gloom- read on!

I can not comprehend what having cancer must be like, even though it has touched several members of my immediate family (and continues to blight their every single day) I imagine that you reevaluate what (and who) is genuinely important to you.

I can’t imagine that, if I had been told that I had only months to live I would be looking at my body and criticising it.
I like to think that I would have the fight and the drive of Helen who is working her way through her ‘List for living’. I am totally into numbers 6, 11, 13, 19….in fact, damn it Helen, your list is too good, I am thinking of taking it as my own).

I doubt I would wake up each day thinking;

Ergh, look at those stretch marks, look at the crows feet, you are a literal body stocking of porridge. Cover it up immediately, you are gross.

I am pretty sure I would be waking up and thanking God for another day on the planet to spend with my babies and those I love.
I hope I would be loving and lunching and laughing and LIVING.
I might give a nod of recognition to the fact this body of mine has seen me through 2 pregnancies, 3 marathons and 32 years (now 33!) and has done so, in the main, without giving me too much grief.

Not too shabby.

I would be horrified and broken hearted if my children felt that their worth was wholly related to the way they look and not to their glorious spirits and beautiful, imaginative, inquisitive and I hope, open minds.
Now, let me be perfectly honest; I am as happy as Larry if someone beeps my in the street, it is a boost! I have no issue if someone wants to comment (positively) on the way I look- seriously, do this more everyone- it makes people’s day!

I also like it if people say that I am kind, funny, friendly or intelligent. Basically, I like it when people are genuine and kind.

What I want for my children is for them to value themselves and have the confidence to say; yep, that’s right Bruce, I am off to my quilling lesson now and I am going to be wearing an outfit that I have fashioned from a shower curtain and a beret. I am sorry if you now feel I am not cool enough to be seen with. Good day to you.
I want them to be comfortable in their own skins and, since they are learning so much about life from me (as testified by this picture of Baba A with my eye liner on- we are approximately equally skilled in this area)

20130630-193520.jpg

I want to make sure it is good stuff.
To this end I have bought myself some Wonder Woman knickers.

20130630-193830.jpg

According to Wikipedia, she stands for justice, peace, love and sexual equality and I am all for that. Initially I will be wearing these underneath my jeans but as my confidence grows, who knows- I may have some sewing lessons to make a cape and some head gear. Incidentally, if you also wish to learn how to sew a cape, I know just the woman!

I heard a good piece of advice the other day which was- when you want to give someone a piece of your mind, why not start with a piece of your heart. I am going to give it a go. I am going to try to give people, including myself a break. I expect this may be tough as some people seem to insist on behaving like utter tits. I mean you cast of TOWIE.

Have a good week all.

Lots of love.

XxxxX

 

positive body image quote

found on theberry.com

postive body image quotes, kate winslet

Good Advice Kate.
Smart and Beautiful!

1 Comment »

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