Having a baby is a life-changing event. Of course this statement isn’t exactly a ground-breaking revelation. It’s obvious and surely goes without saying – yet it’s well-meaning advice that’s passed on from parent to child and bandied about between friends; barely acknowledged and perfunctorily dismissed by every recipient.
It would seem that many of us think we’re somehow immune to the reality of having children. Perhaps it’s rather a case of not wanting to think too deeply about the implications of procreating for fear of bottling out altogether. Yet for many the compulsion to create life is almost an unquestionable certainty. Ignorance is certainly bliss though. How many of us, resplendent and rotund, have felt safe and smug in the assumption that when our bundle of joy does arrive we won’t have the torment of tantrums or tricky toddler behaviour to battle? Our children will be different. Life with the little ones will be as beatific as the brochures suggest.
Yet it isn’t all button noses and baby bubble bath. It’s not so much the sleepless nights, stinky nappies and sick that come as a shock. After all, no-one is that naive as to assume the fundamentals won’t affect them. It’s more the aftermath that’s arduous to cope with.For women particularly, the sense of loss of one’s own self can be difficult to deal with. Apparently it can take 409 days for an average woman to regain her pre-natal body. That’s if it ever happens at all. The thought of only fitting into mens jeans*** for the foreseeable future is fairly soul-destroying. Many women fear that they’ll never regain their former figure and for some, this may be the case.
When appearance is often pivotal to our sense of attractiveness, motherhood can often engender a sense of dissatisfaction. This can be further compounded by guilt, as you’re fully aware of the gift you’ve been given and feel a pang that you’re not taking pleasure in every single moment of parenthood. Of course, superficiality aside, many of the issues women experience are more than skin deep. What it is that determines a sense of self and normality for mothers is down to personal preference. For some it may be returning to work, regaining a social life or simply feeling fulfilled as an individual rather than merely being a mum. For others, it may rely on physical appearances and regaining the body shape they had previously.
*This is a sponsored post.