I don’t like my body.
I’m not sure if I have ever walked past a mirror and not cringed at a bulge there or the wobble there, or how weirdly my butt sometimes fits into my jeans.
Letting these facts ever leave my mouth in front of my girls is something that I constantly check myself on.
The reality is that I know that I err on the “thin” side of the spectrum and to even mention my need to improve this, would lead them to believe the same way that I seem to, that being normal is not good enough.
Their perception of what is healthy is not so much understood as it is mirrored. They watch me, they listen to me (except when I want them to) and they learn from the things that I don’t say.
So maybe I do step on the scale every second or third morning, but I don’t let the groan escape my lips if they’re in the room with me – instead we talk about how important it is to keep your body strong and healthy. I may change my outfit 5 times before I leave because I thought I looked fat in those pants, but they will never know – instead we talk about the weather and how affects what we wear when we go outside. When they are poking my belly and laughing at it wobble, I don’t tell them how I wish that I could rub off the disturbing amount of stretch marks or iron out the wobbly tummy that will never see the sunny side of a bikini ever again – instead we talk about how amazingly our bodies were created, how three little babies grew in my tummy and how they could never fit in there now if they tried.
We don’t use the word “fat” in our house.
(Side bar – despite the fact that we NEVER use the fat word, it still made it’s appearance in our house.
I was getting ready for the #HGhightea (Hey Gorgeous High Tea) at the One and Only. I was rather nervous, as getting dressed up and going out alone is still very much something that is highly out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, I stood preening myself when Riya poked my belly and said jokingly, “big fat tummy!”. I resisted the urge to cry and replied with a, “That’s not nice, you should never say that to someone!”. She responded with, “OK, small fat tummy!”.
Kids. Don’t have them – they have no filter.)
Being fat/thin is not something that I want to make them aware of and I don’t want them to think that it’s ever OK to label themselves or someone else as fat. It’s just not nice.
What’s more important is to make sure that we look after our bodies – make sure we feed them well and keep them active, keeping them healthy. That we are not ashamed of them. Still working on this one myself, but thankfully this is not really what this post is supposed to be about, I can’t help but digress on this issue.
What I have never considered, is how my body image affects my boy. That was until I read this post by a fellow Mommy Blogger and it seriously got me thinking.
While I am not nearly ready to consider Knox even being aware of women that degrade themselves in the pages of dodgy magazines (or even the air brushed ridiculousness that we find hiding in our “normal” magazines), I have seriously considered how much of an influence I have in what he considers normal.
We are also a fairly open household and while I don’t have a cup of tea on couch in the buff, I leave the doors open when I shower and never worried about getting dressed in front of any my kids. I guess that’s because Knox isn’t even two yet, but still.
Being bombarded with things that you should do as a parent is often overwhelming, but I think that I am going to add this one to somewhere in the top 10 things to get right.
For my own sake of becoming OK with my body, for my girls sake to be confident and content with their strong and healthy bodies and for my future daughter in law, because I want my son to love her for who she is in spite of (or because of) our perfect imperfections.