I am sure we all have that ‘perfect’ Mum voice of guilt in our heads. I want to ask you though, what does ‘perfect’ Mum look like? In my mind, perfect Mum used to look like this:
She was slim with pert boobs and a tight ass. He hair was long and golden, her skin like silk and her makeup flawless. She would wear white and it would stay white all day. That’s the media I allowed to fill my head with this image. One of the first images that comes up under the search term ‘perfect Mum’ is the one above.
Guess who else comes up? Little old me.
I am curvy. My body will never be a size 8 because I am not made that way and I’ve had the body scan with my personal trainer to prove it. I have a higher muscle composition than average and will always be curvy. My nickname before I hit puberty was ‘pancake girl’. I was so skinny with no chest. It never bothered me that much. Then I turned 13 and got a serious set of jugs and a pair of hips. I then put my middle finger up to the guys who used to tease me for being a ‘flat pancake’. One of them asked me on a date but I gave him a ‘KB’ (#knockedback).
I was lucky to have very little body confidence issues as I grew up. I danced like nobody was watching. I tried not to compare myself to others. Then slowly but surely some people I met along the way tried to change me. People told me I should lose a bit weight but I was happy the way I was. I liked being a curvy size 10 to 12. I felt sexy. As I got into the big wide world I had people tell me to hit the gym, to watch what I eat. It made me mad. How dare they. Get out of my face. If I am happy with my body then leave me alone. The gym wasn’t a priority then because I was young, free and single. My exercise was dancing and walking around the clubs looking for hot men.
I was young and naive though and part of me didn’t understand that when it came to my critics, it was their issues and nothing to do with me. A good friend wrote a song for me which I remember reading on my 24th birthday whilst I was living in New Zealand. It went:
“Jojo, I love the way you roll. You’re down for whatever, not trying to be clever, you couldn’t care at all”.
Those words are so beautiful. Imagine living a life not being phased by the critics. A life just being caught up in moments. That is a huge part of who I am. We all have it in us. But looking back there were so many times I let the haters win. I doubted myself. I listened to them instead of the people who adored me.
Those voices sadly became part of me. I heard them in the shop changing rooms. After a few drinks on a night out though I got back to ‘confident, happy me’ who dances like nobody is watching. I drowned them out.
When I fell pregnant it hit me. There is so much more to life. I never want my kids to hear me shaming my body. No matter what. It’s time for a bit of body positivity in my life.
Hello stretch marks. My once pert boobs took a trip South from those little latching mouths. I am a perfectly imperfect Mum but you know what? I am good with that. I could write a long list of what makes me ‘imperfect’. To my kids, in their pure, wonderful minds: I am perfect. I am beautiful. I am flawless. I am their world and my body created them. Wow. Take a minute to let that sink in.
My little girl calls my stretch marks “magic marks” because they are the tattoos my body left me with after she left my body. They are free, natural miracle marks.
I want to thank Karolina at Anilorak Photography for capturing those marks perfectly.
Do you see yourself through your child’s eyes? Or perhaps you are caught up in the glossy, air brushed magazines full of ‘perfect’ Mum’s who don’t exist.
When I get ready and my kids say “you look pretty Mummy” I say thanks and I smile. I am a perfectly imperfect Mum and I am so lucky. I can scrub up pretty well but there is so much more to us than the shell of a body we have. We have a character, a personality, a soul. We have habits that make us who we are. Habits that makes us beautiful.
I’m not going to tell you that I haven’t lost baby weight since these pictures were taken. This happened naturally, not through depriving myself but through something that I love and do for me – exercise. I exercise because it makes my body feel amazing, it gives me energy, it helps me sleep better, it lifts my mood with a boost of the all natural happy hormone. It increases my sex drive. It gives me head space and a bit of peace and quiet. Exercise allows me to train for amazing events.
There is nothing wrong with setting new body goals. I love feeling stronger. I also REALLY wanted to get into a pair of denim shorts that I love. The difference is now I do it all for me and nobody else. Because feeling fit makes me happy so I prioritise it over other things.
At the same time, there is nothing wrong with other things being way higher on your priority list. Do what YOU want to do. Not what others want you to do. Do what makes your stomach flip and your eyes light up – whatever that may be. Do it as often as you can. Stay true to your passions and don’t let anyone hold you back.
Take time to relax and enjoy treats. I always make time for the spa, good food, cake and champagne in my life. We all need treats. My kids love to eat, they get the biggest smile on their face when I make them their favourite meal. I never want that to change.
Last month Bonnie told me that she wanted to get me the most magical cake for Mothers day because I am her ‘perfect’ Mummy.
It was not only the most delicious cake I have ever tasted, it took my breath away and brought a tear to my eye. Bonnie’s new friend, Jessie founder of Jessie’s Magic Oven had recreated our ‘magic marks’ photo shoot.
She even included my red nails and made me a beautiful flower. I often buy Bonnie and Charlie flowers so it was perfect.
I was speechless. I thought the flower was real, she had made it from sugar! Luckily for me, her fine craft can be kept for years as an ornament.
Let’s just say that 2017 was a magical Mothers Day.
It was magical, memorable and thought provoking. Call the letter below ‘a message in a bottle’ for my kids when they are teenagers. Because by then their innocent and pure minds will sadly be a perfect target for the media. People will try and change them because that is life. I have been there. This message is from their ‘perfectly imperfect’ Mum who to them right now is perfect.
Always BE YOU
Do you remember that time you had the most magical cake made for me? I will never forget it. Food is something we always enjoy together. It makes us happy. It puts huge smiles on our faces. If you live life enjoying good food it will be a much happier place.
Never deprive yourself just to look a certain way. You will just feel rubbish, tired and grumpy. Your body and mind need fuel to allow you to do amazing things.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good when you get dressed up. Remember though – we are all incredibly different. Some people like curves, some are happy with extra body fat, some like very little fat and some like lots of muscles. Some don’t really care so much about physical appearance. Be you. Don’t try and change for anyone. Do what makes you happy. There is no point looking your best with a huge frown on your face. Happiness is so sexy.
There is so much more to you than the outside shell. Sometimes people in life focus way too much on this. Sometimes people miss out on amazing relationships because they judge too easily. I am telling you this right now – above anything the most important thing you can be is kind. Confidence goes a long way too. It can be hard to feel it though because this world is sadly full of so many pressures. I wish I could protect you from them but the world isn’t easy that way.
Love and respect yourself, be proud of who you are. Never let anyone drag you down. People that try to are fighting their own battles. Be kind to them, it’s their issue and nothing to do with you.
Fuel your body and move it. Find a form of exercise you can enjoy. Just get off that sofa every now and again. The hardest part of any exercise is getting out the door. You will never regret it though.
You don’t always have to be the best, it’s more important to have fun and feel good. Don’t be intimidated by people that look fitter. I ran a marathon when I was what the scales said overweight. Forget the scales. Never become a slave to them.
I ran past people with less body fat and people with more ran past me. I was healthy, it didn’t matter. My body did it. Our bodies are incredible and they allow us to do incredible things. My body created you both. For that, I will always be so thankful.
My body is a map of my life. I have marks on my tummy and legs and laughter lines on my face. These marks tell my stories. I wear them with pride.
To me, you will always be perfect. Hang out with people that get you, that love you and respect you. Ignore the ones who don’t. I wish I had. They didn’t deserve me.
This life is so very precious and it should be spent with those who appreciate you for who you are. People that adore you the way I do. Your body can do anything you like if you work hard enough. But eat….and always make time for cake in your life.
Mummy Jojo x
If you missed the ‘perfectly imperfect Mum’ video across social media then please check it out below.