An Australian mother has posted an image on social media that shows her tummy two years after having her fourth baby to challenge people's misguided and unrealistic attitudes about "bouncing back" after having a baby.
Mel Watts' wrote on Instagram:
"BRB just waiting for my pre baby body to bounce back - two years later (well actually 12 years)
"Oh and I'll also love my old set of jugs to return to say 16 year old ones if that's okay.
"And whilst we're at it I'd love my teenage mental health to flick itself right in there too, the IDGAF mind would be absolutely trick right now.
"ITS NOT COMING BACK, NONE OF IT."
She continues, "I get so angry and fired up when I see people writing about bouncing back post baby. You'll never ever ever be the same body or mind after you've had a baby.
"It's gone. Just like your ability to stay up all night and feel fresh the next day.
"We set so many up for failure because they feel like they need to bounce back, they need to get back to their pre baby selves. Sheesh I'd love my husband to bounce back post birth too, but he ain't and no one is telling him he should. The reality is that'll he'll never be the same either. We either bare the scars on the outside or feel the changes on the inside. Not one person has walked out or been wheeled out of birth the same as they went in."
She says we expect to "just go back to our past selves". Instead she encourages women to "love the person you are right now".
"And if someone's telling you differently - do you really need that?" she asks.
"It takes time to like you, but once you do you'll see that you aren't actually that bad. And in my case you'll realise your sense of humour and stunning set of abs will get you the tribe of friends you deserve - including being my own friend!"
Her post has gone viral, striking a chord with many. Some of the comments show her message has been received loud and clear, and appreciated:
"Making so many people feel ok right now, including me ❤️," said one.
Another commented, "I can't relate to this because i'm only 15 but i see your page and i aspire to be like you when i have kids and the confidence that you are putting out into the universe when posting this really does make a difference for multiple people's self esteem and it is helping normalise what is NORMAL."
However other comments only reinforce why Mel Watts felt the need to speak out:
"Don't look at it. Lol. Just pretend it's not there. Oh hun I feel you. My husband met me after three kids and he sometimes says he wishes he'd seen me prior to having kids just to have known what a banging body I had before," said one.
What kind of husband makes his wife feel like her post-baby body isn't good enough for him?
This comment only makes you feel sad: "I wish I could love myself like this. I can't even look at myself naked in a mirror after 5 kids, I damn sure couldn't take a pic. You're who I want to be when I grow up ( I will be 40 in October 😂) keep it up, lady! You're doing life right! ❤️"
Mel Watts, we salute you. We need more people like you in the world who are prepared to set the record straight and smash misguided expectations.
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