As I stood on my stand up paddle board in swimmers I smiled outwardly to my three children who were looking on, but inside I was cringing.
You see every day I fake body love and confidence for my kids, especially in public.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my body, it’s a tough nut that’s carried and birthed 3 children in 3.5 years.
But I certainly don’t feel proud of it right now. To be honest I’m not sure I ever did.
Sadly, not even when I looked like a Bond girl in my bikini during my honeymoon was I confessing love to my toned and fit body. It’s just not how I roll. Rightly or wrongly.
However, it’s my mission to never let my children know that it makes me cringe when they grab my thighs and stomach and affectionately call me their ‘chubby mummy’.
When we go swimming and I get out of the pool I don’t quickly rush to get a towel to cover myself up. Sure I might suck in my gut a bit as I see my reflection in the glass pool fence, but I let them see all of me.
Same goes for when I have to do a nude run through the house to get some item of clothing out of the washing basket.
On these occasions I waddle past them in my knickers, sometimes bra on, sometimes not. I don’t make fun of myself or hide anything.
Just recently, despite feeling very conscious during our beach camping trip, I waddled to and from the beach without a towel to hide my bumps and lumps.
As svelte women in thong bikinis walked alongside me into the ocean I didn’t cringe, I smiled at my children beckoning me into the water.
I never say horrible things about my body in front of my children.
Don’t get me wrong, I do tell them I need to get fitter and eat healthier food but I never talk about dieting.
I will not utter the world ‘fat’ except in regards to cooking and I won’t discuss putting on or losing weight in front of my kids.
I’m getting better in regards to body love and I do feel that as I age I’m starting to accept my body a little bit.
Or maybe I just don’t worry about the small stuff as much as I used to. That’s one of the best things about getting older. Less shits to give about a whole lot of things!
And maybe by faking it with my kids one day I’ll actually wholly embrace my body as it is.
It’s my aim to show my children that all bodies are beautiful no matter what.
For the last thing I want for them is to place any weight on the importance of someone’s body shape or size.
Sure it’s not easy with all the headlines about weight and highly stylised images we are bombarded with in trashy magazines and television.
But if I can teach them to have body confidence no matter what, then I will be a happy mumma.
Do you fake it in front of your kids?
Do you don swimmers and own it even though you know you’re not in the best shape?