You Don’t Look Like You’ve Had Children!

A lady said this too me the other day whilst I was serving her.

I’m not really sure why it is considered a compliment.
No one really says it to Dads.
I understand the intention behind it – Your body bounced back well after pregnancy, you must be relieved.

But it just doesn’t make sense to me.
What does someone who looks like they’ve had children look like then?

This beautiful woman I was talking to had a precious 14 week jellybean in her belly – one that had been desired and tried for – for 15 years.
I wonder would it be bittersweet if someone said to her once it was all said and done “Well you don’t look like you’ve had children!”
Would it hurt her heart as all the aching moments when she had so badly wanted to feel the swell of belly and breast never eventuated into anything had? And now it has, there is nothing that leaves her physically distinguishable from all the other women in the world, though she feels so different now?

Is it something you would ever say to a Mother who has lost her only child, be they stillborn or SIDS. “Well you don’t look like you’ve had children!”
I imagine it would hurt all the more. You have no baby in your arms and no body to prove it ever nourished and grew a beautiful babe.

I know she meant that I am still thin, my stomach doesn’t seem to have any extra skin, my body no new bumps (at least to the eye of someone who does not know me).
Maybe it’s because the marks that make me look like I’ve had children are hidden, mostly just for me and mine to see – although as I get older and prouder of my body and it’s strengths, I am starting to share them with the world.
I am no longer ashamed by my stretch marks and I wear a bikini with no bother.
My breasts are not as perky (or big) as they once were but they have so far nourished two children and I do not feel the need to wear uncomfortable bras that add volume where there is none.

I feel like I do look like I’ve had children – not just the slight bags under my eyes and the start of wrinkles on my forehead from raising my eyebrows too much – but by the way I confidently walk through a crowd, the way I can cook an entire meal with one hand, be evidently tired but still get on with a job.

That said, I can take a compliment when one was intended.

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Look Like You’ve Had Children!

  1. I wouldn’t mind having your body after children and I think it would have come from a place of jealousy since not many women have the ability to have a lovely flat belly (even with hard work) after two children.

    • She hadn’t had her baby yet – she was only 14 weeks pregnant and asking me about breastfeeding and if that helped me lose weight etc.
      I felt sad. She should be enjoying her pregnancy, not worrying about how quickly she can get skinny again :(

      • But that’s the society we live in. We’re not given the freedom or encouragement to just love or enjoy our bodies as they are.

        We have women posing naked in the name of seld empowerment when they have been photoshopped to within an inch of reality. We have magazine headlines calling women killer whales when they’re heavily pregnant (anyone else remember Kim Kardashian’s black and white dress?). Tyere is no acceptance of people just being people because if you’re larger than someone else you’re called fat, even if you’re healthy or if you’re naturally thin you’re told to eat more.

        Somewhere along the way people forgot to be comfortable in their own skins so we’re looking at others thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.

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