There are hundreds of photos of my kids that I have taken over the years but not so many of me.
During the pregnancy of my first child, I gained a whopping four stone. It was entirely my own fault, I thought ‘hey I’m going to get fat anyway, may as well enjoy it’ and I did… I enjoyed eating for two a little too much.
Looking at my body after pregnancy was painful and even though I attempted diets, I didn’t stick to them. My darling new-born daughter screamed all night and to comfort myself I ate a lot of chocolate. She screamed every night until she was 16 months old and by that time, I was pregnant again. You guessed it, I continued to eat.
I couldn’t bear to see myself in photos and I made sure that I avoided the camera at any cost. There are moments where I lost a bit of weight and felt confident for a photograph but then I would pile on the weight especially when the kids screamed at me and I would avoid the camera again.
I have memories of eating chocolate bars with my head still in the kitchen cupboard after having a hard time getting the kids to bed just because it seemed to be the only thing I could do after a hard day of being a single mum.
Before I had kids, I would have happily have drunk myself into oblivion and danced the alcohol off on the dancefloor believing that I am absolutely the best dancer on the planet and not having a care in the world except for ensuring I can still operate my front door key and collapse comatose on my bed. With kids, I’m not allowed to do that anymore and that makes me stampy footed so I eat instead...
It has taken me nearly eight years of being a parent for me to wake up and think why am I avoiding photos? My kids don’t care what I look like. In fact, my five-year-old tells me she loves my big belly as she wiggles it up and down like a bowl of jelly.
It wasn’t the kids that made me snap out of my funk though, it was more than that. I know it sounds cliché but it is a process of learning to love myself just the way I am.
You lose so much of what makes you, you when you try to raise these tiny little brats you have created. It is so easy to forget who you are and how shit hot awesome you are.
With the support of amazing friends who encourage the unleashing of my unique brand of crazy on the world, I’ve realised I will never be anyone else but me!
And, I shouldn’t be hiding because of my insecurities or being ashamed of who I am.
So, future photo books will be filled with pictures of the kids and me.
Written by Lucy Wood