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Body image and parenting

I've made a huge mistake.

While sorting through some of my photos and adding them into albums, I've realised that i have ruined my first 5 or so years of motherhood and I'm never going to get that back ... All because i felt i was too fat.

While looking through the images of Agent M's early years i noticed something that was really upsetting. 

I'm not visually there. 

Yes i remember his first Christmas and i can replay in my head his first birthday almost a decade later but when i look at these photographs ... I'm absent from every one of them. 

I have 6 physical photographs of my baby and I ... And its all my fault.

If someone would point a camera at me i would lose my ever loving mind. I didn't want my photo taken ... purely because i detested how i looked. I let my lack of self confidence destroy my self worth and as a result, I'm not able to look back at special memories.

I remember taking pictures of my bump when M was just this magical foot or hand protruding from my belly and i remember deleting them straight away cause i was repulsed by how i looked. The stretchmarks had the appearance that i was mauled by a bear and my stomach was too fat - Seriously! ... I had a whole new human life growing inside me, if that isn't a reason to have a big tummy then nothing is. 

After having him there are only a few images of us together, as the idea of capturing my huge boobs and massive swollen body made me feel physically sick. I was repulsed by how i looked and there was no way in hell i wanted to be reminded of it.

Such a huge mistake!

I've been struggling with my self esteem for most of my life. I was bullied throughout primary school and for my first year in secondary school because of how i looked. I hit puberty like a brick wall and being one of the first in my class to get hips and boobs made me stand out like a sore thumb. I have heard friends and family make nasty comments about my weight and over the years it has really destroyed my opinion of myself.

Not only that, I'm terrified that its rubbing off on Agent M but in a reverse way. Recently he has been saying things to me and doing things that have set off alarm bells in my head. 

He's a slim built wee boy. Don't get me wrong, there are nights where he has 2 servings of dinner followed by fruit and then snacks an hour later ... Its hard to fill him sometimes (which after the fussy phase is a huge relief) but he never puts on weight. I think this is cause he's always on the go. Be it cycling, running around with friends or doing laps in the pool, he rarely sits still and therefor burns off everything he eats ... However he's been looking at himself more in the mirror and comparing himself to the kids in his class or his swimming lessons and thinks hes "too skinny". 

He's starting to dissect how he looks and as a mummy I'm devastating cause i think its my fault. He has said to me that he's embarrassed by how he looks and its horrible to think that someone so young and so perfect could begin to hate himself because of his appearance.

Although i have always tried to protect him from my insane thoughts ... I don't talk about my trying to lose weight as a quest to get skinny, He knows i want to get healthy. I don't compare myself to others out loud and i try not to use the word 'fat' in front of him, but i cant help but feel like my body image issues have rubbed off a little on him.

For too long i have worried about how i looked and i let that cloud how i felt. I should have been enjoying one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can go though, yet i let the spotty skin and swollen feet spoil my memories. Rather than embracing my big bump for the life it held, i hid it away like a dirty little secret. 

I've ruined things for myself because i gave a shit what others thought about me. 

One day i wont be here, and Agent M wont be able to look back at us on his first day at nursery as although i was there physically, there is not visual representation for him to see. He wont ever be able to see my face at his first birthday party and he wont know about the days out we took as i was too embarrassed to be in any shots and that breaks my heart.

I'll never get that opportunity back.

Its hard not to hate yourself these days when the media portrays the "ideal" as being something very few of us can attain and yes i know that i didn't help myself with the comfort eating but I'm starting to force change. 

I have to ... For my Son!

I'm not going to let my own body issues control my life anymore. I'm not going to look at a celebrity and think "i wish i looked like that" cause i cant ever look like that. She is her and i am me. Hating my body has robbed me of memories with my son and I'm determined not to let it happen again.

I wont get moments like that back and i will regret that till the day i die.

But from now on I'm going to embrace myself more, Love myself a little more and show my boy that we are all beautiful and capture happy memories together.

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