Family : Curse Of The Yummy Mummy?
I’m not the biggest fan of the term ‘Yummy Mummy’. I’ve got mixed feelings. It’s like Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, I want to like that song, I do (for when I throw myself a pity party.) But it’s Celine Dion, and she once wore a back-to-front tuxedo. You know?!
Yummy Mummy, for me, belies that notion that once women have a baby they are tainted. They are out-of-favour. That mums are no longer expected to be presentable, fine upstanding members of society. Almost like mums become B-grade.
‘Yummy Mummy’ is like a surprise award. Surprise! You’re a Yummy Mummy! You made it through the ranks of all the less yummy, less desirable mums, and here, here’s your badge to stick on your still-perky chest. And PS – we’re surprised you still have perky breasts because, well, you’re a mum! The term breeds the totally unfeasible notion that mums are meant to be Betty Draper perfect at the drop of a hat.
I know that Yummy Mummy is meant as a compliment, but I can’t help but feel it adds yet another layer of pressure on women to bounce right back after childbirth. To be glowing, wonderful, slim and just downright yummy. That’s not how it happens. Not for me anyway. I gained 20kgs over the course of my pregnancies and thankfully my (very smart) midwife told me: ‘It took 10 months to put that weight on, it will take 10 months to come back off’.
In the first six weeks postpartum I rarely got out of my pyjamas. I never applied make-up. I was lucky to drag a brush through my hair. Newborn number one just slayed me. What a rude awakening that was! I remember ringing my mum and asking why she didn’t tell me it was so doggone hard. Her response? ‘You would never have had a baby if I did’. Ain’t that the truth. (And we didn’t even talk about the cellulite side of things.)
In those early days I remember changing my outfit seven times before it was even lunch time, working my way through my wardrobe, until I resorted to my husband’s clothes, because our son kept vomiting on me. Stay classy, Lexi. I was not a Yummy Mummy. I had no aspirations to be one either. I was at home, doing the best I could, learning as much as I could about my baby, struggling to breastfeed, adjusting to life with a wee newborn, and the torture of night waking through the thick of Winter. That pressure to bounce back and be a ‘yummy mummy’ was just another thing to add to my list. I vividly remember the shame of catching up with some of my single friends and feeling embarrassed by myself. On the flipside, a comment my husband made back in those early days has always stuck with me. He candidly said that seeing a tired mum was a beautiful thing because she’s so besotted, and full of love, and so blissfully exhausted (well it doesn’t feel blissful, but it’s romantic, no?)
He’s a keeper.
With hindsight close by my side, I look at those new celebrity mums in the spotlight and I feel for them. Yes they might have a charmed life with help on call, but it’s not easy being under the watchful gaze of the media, being compared to others who shake off their baby weight as soon as they start breastfeeding (I didn’t, and I don’t perpetuate that thought either, it doesn’t work for everyone). Who’d want to be straight back into the gym the minute you put baby down? Not me. Not for quids.
If you’re a mummy, no matter what your little person thinks you’re positively yummy. And that’s what matters. (Even if you have those days when you’re covered in vomit, snot or domestic detritus.) And don’t get me started on the MILFs.
How is it (was it) for you? Was having a baby a rude awakening for you? Or perhaps you took it all in your stride, like a duck to water? Do you feel pressure to be a yummy mummy?
Pottymouthmama’s Lexi is the Sydney based mother of two rad kidlets. She works, tweets, blogs, pins and is advocate of the robot dance.