Baby sick, mummy tummy & motherhood

Carefree, relaxed with a pretty pop of lipstick...A picture might say a thousand words but let me tell you what this picture doesn't tell you: I was precariously trying to balance on a wooden gate (why, oh why did I think that would work!??), whilst my left hand was only raised because I thought I was about to fall off at any given moment!

Also, you should have seen me trying to apply that lipstick before these photos were taken...I mean, does the name Picasso ring a bell? For the record, I also have baby sick down the back of my jumper and on my jeans too. (Thank goodness you can't see them in this shot!) And even though the wind has whipped up my hair into a 'Loreal, she's worth it' kinda pose- it was actually looking like a haystack anyway and in need of a good wash- I mean the shampoo kind of wash considering it had already endured a good rinse of baby sick earlier in the day too! Mmm, it just brings a whole new meaning to the term 'yummy mummy' as I'm pretty sure I only smelt 'yummy' to my 3 month old.

As you can imagine, I wasn't feeling particularly glamorous when my kind hubby took these photos. I had already had a 'mommy moment' of "why can't I just be skinny already!?" earlier in the day and, quite frankly, the last thing on my mind was going outside to have a photoshoot. Even that word itself is so laden with connotations of beautiful models, six foot high and gracefully walking in heels I can't even look at now without squinting at the thought of wearing them.

Yet, here I am. Covered in every sign of mummy hood- except for my babies who were napping at the time! In trying to embrace where I am at with myself emotionally, I figured i'm definitely not the only mama out there who shares my predicament. 
Let's be honest, no amount of Chanel perfume can cover up the lingering fragrance of stale milk on my shoulder and, whilst we are in the middle of planning summer holidays, it looks like an uninvited guest is still insisting on joining us...'oh hi tummy...I see you're still hanging around then?!'

Make no mistake ladies, I am a mummy, not a model!

But sometimes even us mummies need to be reminded of who we once were. To be able to glimpse our identities as they were before the demands of important responsibilities of raising our families took our attention in other directions. 

I'm Bunty, I love wearing navy stripes and I've always had a bit of a thing for makeup! Even though so much has changed in my life, in many ways I am still the same person with similar dreams and ambitions as before my husband and children came along. The only difference now is I get to enjoy the privilege of having a family to share those dreams with.

I'm definitely a real 'girly girl' who LOVES the countryside but HATES spiders. A classic paradox for one born and raised in the Devonshire country- but that's me all over!

I have always taken an interest in fashion but, I must admit, I don't have the time I use to devote to chasing current trends. My outfit here is one I have fallen back on countless times of late. My stripey jumper from Tesco with bead detailing and some ripped skinny jeans which are from Matalan. I love it because it's practical- 'easy access' for breastfeeding and I feel more like my old self wearing it.

Whilst ripped jeans aren't my absolute favourite style, I like these because they remind me of my teenaged self and I like to think I'm still young enough to pull them off (I hope!)

Wearing practical outfits has all of a sudden taken prime of position when I am considering which clothing choices to opt for and, even though it's not always easy to bridge practicality with what is fashionable, it's a challenge I am willing to accept! 

My slip on shoes are also from Tesco recently. I really liked the black lace effect detailing and they are right up my street for comfort, style and being toddler friendly too. 

I'm definitely not the only woman to be hit with a million different feelings and emotions regarding the way I feel about myself after child-bearing but I can't tell you how reassuring it is to have a husband who is so able to understand me and want to encourage me away from thinking negatively.
 It's easy for us mummies to stand in front of a mirror and judge ourselves, quite forgetting that most of the time when we look in a mirror we aren't holding our babies and, therefore, our mirror reflection isn't truly complete and doesn't fully make sense.

I'm trying to take each day as it comes and just be grateful for all the blessings we have been given as a family and as individuals. Having this time with Eddy yesterday to take a few snaps and have a bit of fun with the camera reminded me that we are still young and that was exactly what I needed to hear yesterday. 

Mummies, beneath the baby sick, nappies, meals to prepare and endless 'to do' lists circling your vision, there is a beautiful lady who was a child once, who grew into a beautiful young woman and is now a mother to her own children. By the very identity you have of being a mother, you are beautiful. Your sacrificial love for your children makes you beautiful and encourages your little ones to want to be like you; their wonderful mother who loves them unconditionally.

As a Catholic, I feel God is slowly changing my heart and changing my perception of beauty. It's a gentle calling to be selfless, to be patient, to be kind and to model myself on Jesus' example of love.  For me, true beauty is becoming less about the clothes and makeup I wear and more about the person beneath. It seems so obvious writing it but it's definitely something I have struggled with over the years. I am learning to trust that my value is not based on my waist measurement or whether my shirt is clean or not.
For me, this is a daily battle and recognising my weaknesses is always a case of 'easier said than done', but I also know that I am one of millions of mums out there who struggle with these issues too. 

There are days when I find it hard to recognise myself and my identity as 'Bunty' when I am knee deep in laundry, nappies and screaming babies. Not to mention the fact I look a state because it's noon and I haven't so much as glimpsed in the mirror yet!
 But there are also days when I feel more alive than ever as I look at my beautiful husband and children. How fortunate am I to have been given them!? 
The truth, mummies, is that feelings come and go like the wind. We have to trust what we know to be true to keep our hearts anchored through the high tides of confusing emotions and worries that parenthood brings. 

For us, our absolute trust in God and in His plan for our family is the anchor that keeps our household afloat.

Mummies, do something for yourself today. Take a moment to just be you and allow yourself to reconnect with your identity as a woman. Call that friend you've been meaning to all week, have the extra glass of wine you fancied at dinner, take a hot bubble bath when you get the chance. You deserve it!

Love Bunty

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