This week's #somum Make Date was both an inspiring celebration of our mum-bodies and honest sharing of how hard it can be to love them. You can follow the whole chat in the storify below, and read some of the wonderful poems shared by mums as we went along.
We were also treated to an impromptu pop up art show from the amazing ShutterBetty, and we're sharing some of her work created in response to her changing mum-body below. Be warned - the photographs are powerful and you may feel that the final and most impactful is not appropriate for children to view.
We shared our belly-flaps, spider veins and Hobbit-toes. We learnt that different sized twins can leave a lopsided mum-belly. We heard how one mums' cerebral palsy scars helped her daughter to face her own surgery. We heard from mums who had come to terms with their new body, and mums who just couldn't.
We got sad and angry at how the media portrays mum-bodies and bodies in general, and admitted that mostly we saw other mothers' bodies in a more generous light than our own. We shared the projects that had inspired us recently - like Jade Beall's A Beautiful Body Project and Katy Hill's campaign against OK Magazine's rush to slim Princess Kate 24 hours after birth.
We talked about how we wanted our children to feel about their bodies - I loved how Adele at Circus Queen phrased it: "I want my children to feel the full, creative potential of their bodies - to look in the mirror and feel limitless."
We talked about modelling body love so that our children could love their own.
Our three word descriptions of our bodies were little poems in their own right.
As well as adding to the fabulous Ode to Mum-Bodies, here are some of the brilliant poems mums shared during the Make Date:
"Baby delivered but body grows on.
Softer & cuddlier without a doubt
but I'm still searching for the zip
so I can climb out"
"Who knew a heart could stretch so wide,
until I had a child inside"
Who cares if it's rounder or lower or looser
My body made life & from it flows love.
Love yourself mummy
"My boobs, legs and bum,
grew as big as my tum,
then out popped a baby,
but that didn't save me
from the sagginess already done "
"Feeling baby kick
Stretching beyond its limits
incubating life." (haiku)
"There's a pair of testicles,
where my tummy used to be
And when I'm on my own
I let my windsock breasts dangle free"
(originally written for the Museum of Motherhood)
"Stretching tummies, toiling limbs.
Never the same - how wonderful to change.
My baby, my body, entwined."
"Bleary-eyed, Tangled hair,
My miraculous me"
"My belly is quite flabby
my ankles are so fat
my boobs are oh so saggy,
I can tuck them in my hat."
"My baby is a peach
Like my bottom used to be
Now it's like a sack of badgers
Fighting to be free"
"Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the lumpiest of them all?
"I am" I quickly shout back "
I said it first, so mirror take that!"
"Oh saggy bum heading south
with a fierce determination I admire,
Your travelling adventures expire,
As I hoist you home"
Island of Wonder
Some have scaled me
But I discovered me
My oceans and plains ravaged by those who lived off me
But tended and cared for
My lands recovered
My rivers and seas full once more
My island thriving, lush, abundant
Giver of life
"I may have a big bum
I may even have a big tum
Not appealing 2 some
But 4 those who call me mum
Their opinion is minimum"
"The boobs could do with a lift,
The tummy could do with a tuck,
But if I'm totally honest,
I couldn't give a ......"
"Pregnancy stretched my tum with twins
But 13 years on the stress really begins
Now chocolate is stretching my bum, boobs and thighs
I've a balloon for a face and don't exercise
But that chocolate is Cadburys so it's not all bad you see
Cos their chocolate is British so I enhance the GDP"
"My body wobbles,
It wobbles a lot,
But I've got to love it,
as it's the only one I've got "
We would love you to add your own line to our stretching Ode to Mum-Bodies. You can also read lovely things that mums wrote about their bodies for our Snuglo competition here, and come to our next #somum Make Date - we'd love to see you there (it will be a different theme...)
For more Love Mum Body inspiration, check out this amazing gallery of images and posts.