Parenting

Would you post a picture of your Mummy Tummy on the Internet?

Urgh. Am I the only one who hates the “Mummy” tag? Slummymummy, Yummymummy, Mummyblogger and now Mummytummy.

The Mummytummy discussion is hot at the moment, due to the magic cream that supposedly gets rid of the post-natal bulge. There are websites that encourage their users to post photos of their midriffs to show that they are proud of their Mummytummy as it shows that they have given birth to their children.

While I agree that the media obsession with the latest sleb to slim down to pre-baby weight just after the birth is horrible, I am not going to be posting a pic of my tummy anytime soon.

It is surely not a secret that the recovery after the birth is not due to any miracle sleb juice or creams, but to hard work and determination. For women like Heidi Klum and Denise Van Outen, this is eased by the fact that they likely have access to childcare and personal trainers. For normal women it is much more difficult to juggle having a new baby, perhaps going back to work or the school run for older children, with a diet and fitness regime. Not to mention the fact that for those of us not reliant on the shape of our body to get work, like models and actresses, it is not really a priority in those first hazy days and sleepless nights.

A flat tummy is down no genes and determination, not gloop out of a tube.

I also have a problem with the whole Mummytummy thing in that it gives the impression that there is nothing to be done, that it is all part and parcel of motherhood.

After the birth of my second child in 2004 I put on a fair bit of weight. In 2005 I lost it, and with regular visits to the gym had as close to a flat tummy as I have had for years. Over the past few years I have put on weight again. I would like to lose that weight as I know I would feel better about myself but it is not the hook that I hang my self-esteem on. At the moment I am pretty damn content with my life.

If and when I lose the weight, I may still have a small tummy. I can live with that but I won’t blame it on the fact that I gave birth. As if being a mother gives me absolution.

The final point I have to make about the whole Mummytummy debate is that I hate the fact that women are again being reduced to their status as a mother. My tummy belongs to me. I may have carried a couple of babies in there, but it is mine and not theirs.

I am a mother but it does not define my whole being. 

I am me.

5 Comments

  • Vache Calvadosienne

    Couldn't agree more about the 'Mummy…' tag. My least favourite item of my daughter's clothing is a T-shirt, that *my* mother gave her, that has, emblazoned accross its front 'Don't you think I've got a Yummy Mummy?'. I HATE this & my mother knew I would hate it. Whilst I am very happy to be my daughter's Mummy, as you so rightly say, that is not all there is to me.

  • Home Office Mum

    Good to get your point of view. But I should say that nowhere does the MamaBabyBliss Love Your Mummy Tummy campaign say that you should just accept your body and not bother with healthy eating or exercise. Most of the women on there have obviously done that looking at the size of them.

    The point of it is to simply show that real women come in all shapes and sizes and if your tummy doesn't go entirely flat after having a baby, it's nothing to have anxiety about – which is what the media are suggesting. It is natural.

    And while I also don't love the 'Mummy' phrase, we adopted it from the media to link it to the stories that were running.

    Thanks for keeping the debate going.

  • MmeLindt

    Thanks for your comments.

    HomeOfficeMum
    I do see the point of the campaign, the media portrayal of life as a young mum is either "look at xy sleb, she is looking fab just xx weeks after giving birth", or "the sleepless nights are obviously taking their toll – xy sleb out without make up and with babydrool on tshirt", neither are helpful. Or the ones suggesting that the sleb is doing something wrong, as with Jamie Oliver not holding his baby's head correctly a while back.

    I still feel that we should challenge the media, and the world to see us as women first, not mothers first, last and always.

  • christina

    Good heavens no, my tummy will certainly not be appearing on the internet. And I agree that there's no cream or potion that's going to help with reducing it or repairing the damage.

    I'd question the notion that Heidi Klum and her fellow models/actresses get their figures back purely through diet and exercise. It's pretty common for these 'stars' to have a caeserian combined with an abdominoplasty to remove the excess skin right after delivery. Instant flat stomach!

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