I’m tired of hearing “you don’t look like a mum”.

When I think of the word ‘mum’ I imagine a woman with a ‘mum-tum’, stretch marks and joking with her other mummy friends about how her size 10 jeans no longer fit. A stereotype of what we’re made to think, forgive me. To most women, all of those things after you have a baby does usually knock your confidence and you’re found being envious towards other mothers who lost all of their baby weight within 2 weeks, don’t have a single stretch mark and was able to fit back into their jeans within the same month of giving birth.

Body confidence is something I think to be pretty important in a woman’s life and without it, you become self-conscious and judgmental towards your own body which carried and grew a baby for a whole 9 months. Of course, our bodies aren’t going to be perfect. But with the society we live in, magazines full of perfectly toned celebrities a week after giving birth, their bodies completely airbrushed and not a stretch mark in sight – we’re bound to be a little self-conscious.

If you don’t already know, I gave birth to Alfie when I was just 17 years old. I was judged by family, friends and even strangers for bearing a child at such a young age. Little did I know the judgement would continue even after I gave birth to him. Of course, I had the ‘HOW OLD IS SHE!?’ remarks, and a few stares from different people. I did look young, I was young, but it’s the judgement from that which made me think… Do I even look like a mum? 

With both of my children, I didn’t get many stretch marks (bar a few on my rear end!), I lost all of my baby weight within the first two weeks and during the first week, if I wasn’t lounging in my pyjamas, I was wearing my size 8 jeans. After Holly, so many people would try and give me compliments by saying ” wow, you look so good! ” .. ” where’s all the weight gone?! ” and the one which has stuck with me the most… ” you don’t even look like you’ve had a baby! “.

To most, that comment would’ve been such a compliment – you’ve slipped back into your pre-pregnancy jeans and not looking as if you’d had a baby just two weeks prior. But to me, it did kind of upset me thinking that despite my sleep deprivation, my dark under-eye circles, my scruffy mum bun and leaking boobs, I didn’t even look like I’d had a baby. I didn’t look like a mum. 

When I’d be in mid conversation with a stranger in a supermarket, I’d mention Holly and Alfie and the shock on their faces was surprising. “Sorry, how old are you? you don’t even look like a mum!” I felt as though the title of ‘mother’ had been ripped away – if I don’t look like a mum, it doesn’t count. If I don’t have stretch marks, it doesn’t count. If I don’t rock a badass mum-tum, it doesn’t count.

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While some people only wish they could have a physique like mine, my only wish after having Holly was to try and keep the weight on. ” I wish I looked as though I’d never had a baby! “, I could never comprehend how that was even in the slightest a good thing. Over the years, I have become jealous towards other women who carry a little weight, who are able to moan about the diet they’re finding hard or needing to find a new body cream to help fade their stretch marks.

As if the comments I received during pregnancy weren’t enough ” You’re so tiny, are you sure you’re even pregnant?! ” which quite honestly made me feel like crap, I was then made to (unintentionally I’m sure) feel less of a mother just because I didn’t ‘look’ like one.

The next time you make a comment to another mother regarding her weight, face, or the fact she doesn’t look your stereotypical mum. Please consider that whilst you may think the comments you make are compliments, they may not be seen like that.

To the mothers, who look less ‘motherly’ than some, at least we’ll still be confused for our children’s older sister by the time we hit our 40’s.

 

Laura x

Mummy Times Two
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21 Comments

  1. April 8, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I’m with you on this one. I had my first daughter at 18 and she will be 16 in a matter of weeks. I’ve been mistaken for her sister and her friend over the years and still get comments of are you sure she’s yours?!
    I bounced back into my jeans too but the dreaded mum tum arrived when I hit 30 lol x

    • April 8, 2017 / 11:05 am

      Hey Tammy! I’m so glad you can relate to this too. I have been mistaken for my eldest’s big sister for many years, although it should be a compliment – I never saw it that way unfortunately! (Perhaps I will when I do eventually hit my 30’s!). Hahaha I’m sure the same will happen to me by that point, I’m hoping so anyway! Bring on the mum-tum!!! x

  2. April 8, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Although I was 24 when I had my eldest, so not technically a “young mum”, I wore my size 8 jeans til the day I gave birth and didn’t even have a bump. I wasn’t constantly told that I didn’t look pregnant, that I was too thin, that I needed a few pies to fatten me up and maybe then I’d get a bump, and the implication that I wasn’t eating enough or was exercising like crazy (I’ve never stepped foot in a gym for the record!) was so hurtful. Now after five children, and still no bump with any of them, I’m still the same size I was ten years ago, and without a single stretch mark or a spare ounce of flesh, I hear the same time and time again. People are so judgemental, and also so thoughtless. I lost 15 babies to miscarriage, and my second son was stillborn at full term, so to tell me I look like I’ve never had children is so upsetting for so many reasons. Great post, thank you for sharing.

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Yes, I was always told the same too! I know some people thought it was a compliment to be told I didn’t look pregnant, but it’s all I wanted to look like for those 9 months! Some people really don’t think before they speak. I can completely understand why it’s upsetting for you too. Thank you so much for commenting xx

  3. April 9, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    I’m 32 and had m daghter just before I turned 30 and people think im either the nanny or her aunt lol! But that it ok, I did loose my baby weight quickly too, but everyones body is different. But it true I thnk people, should think before they speak really, because sometimes their comments do hurt.

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Hahaha oh no! I had never thought of that too, being mistaken for an elder family member, how awful for you! Yeah you’re so right. x

  4. Jasmin N
    April 9, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    I’ve had these same comments! I haven’t been sure how to feel about them, but for me the most important thing is that I know that I’m a mum. I’m a mum to a most gorgeous little boy.

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Yes, that’s a good way of thinking about it. I think I’m a little sensitive! x

  5. April 9, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    That’s crappy you were made to feel like that, I gave birth to my eldest when I was 20 and was the first in my family to give birth to 3 children. (my sisters quickly followed though)
    I had always been envious of those who were really slim but I soon realised that deep down I didn’t. I was happy and that was all that mattered.

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      I’m sure it’s OK to feel envious to some extent, but sometimes bigger women don’t realise that a lot of other women who have a smaller physique are envious of their bodies too! I’d love to have some killer curves. xx

  6. April 9, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I’ll admit to being one of those women who would probably say the line about not even looking like you’ve had a baby. I’d never EVER intend it as anything other than a compliment, in all honesty I’m bloody jealous of anyone who can achieve that as for me I looked like I’d been hit by a truck (and engulfed another person in doing so!!). So I think a lot of those comments are, like you say, well intentioned and I believe stem from that green-eyed monster bit as well! I’ve never thought of it as being an insult though, I’ll definitely be more careful as to what I say in future, great post! x

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      Haha no worries, I have a friend who is the same, absolute heart of gold and just speaks her mind! That’s OK. It’s not your fault, sometimes us women can be a little sensitive and sometimes there can be reasons behind why we are. Thank you x

  7. April 9, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    It’s awful how other people have made you feel, I still get judgey looks now at 24 with two children. I think people assume 101 negative connotations with having a baby young, it’s ridiculously unfair.

    • April 10, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      Yeah me too, 24 with two children! I know someone who planned to have a baby at the age of 19! Age is just a number. x

  8. April 10, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    Such an interesting perspective to share. I am sure some of Women who’ve had babies far later in life experience a similar struggle with being mistaken for granny . People probably mean it as a compliment, but I can completely see why it wouldn’t do. I know I hated being told i looked small whilst pregnant, I felt it implied i wasn’t looking after my baby properly. Comments on peoples appearances are never a good idea-especially from strangers.
    My feeling is that there no such thing as what a mum “looks like” mum is a feeling and a role, and there are a billion different ways to look like a mum. #postsfromtheheart
    Jo recently posted…Dear Premmie Mum; it’s Okay to not be OkayMy Profile

  9. April 10, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Now that I dont get the “no way you have four little kids!” I kind of miss the ego boost!

    #postsfromtheheart

  10. April 14, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    I can empathise with this. I was back in my size 6 jeans within a couple of weeks of giving birth. 3 days after delivery I weighed only 2lbs more than when I fell pregnant. Although I understand that a lot of women struggle with their weight after birth, I would have liked to hold onto something just a little longer. I missed my bump as soon as it had gone. “You look good!” people said, looking from my daughter to me, in surprise. I didn’t like that comment and I got it a lot. Yeah…I completely get where you’re coming from. #PostsFromTheHeart

  11. April 16, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Such a beautifully written post. And one that certainly needs to be shared. You are a mum. A real mum. Young or old, fat or thin, you are the best mum your children could have simply because you are you. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with us here at #PostsFromTheHeart

  12. April 17, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    What does a mum look like? Such an interesting question! It’s so funny the things some people say! #postsfromtheheart
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…10 reasons I hate craftingMy Profile

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