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Keeping it real yo’

The other day, I was indulging in my Instagram addiction, snapping various selfies and shots of William, when someone remarked how I don’t share much of myself, apart from my face. And it’s true.

I don’t like my figure. I never really have done. Especially not now. I sometimes look at my reflection and feel a hot wash of shame flow over me and it’s a horrible sensation. Admittedly, I do resort to making my mum tum talk for a little light relief, but even then it’s false bravado. And for who? Just myself.

The stretchmarks. The lumps. The sag. The boobs that are often scratched and bruised after been manhandled by a baby for over eleven months now. My skin feels dull. My razor can be neglected for a fortnight before I realise that my legs are looking a little too much like Chewbacca’s. I have a huge bottom, noticeably so. My thighs are wobbly at best. My arms are beefy. My waist is small, sure, but it’s emphasised by the big hanging mass that is my mum tum.

So I don’t show it often. People don’t need to see that. But then I sort of felt I should that evening – so I did. There’s nothing I’m hiding per se, more just, concealing from view because it makes me feel better.

Excuse the awful Instagram shot. And the size of my arse. And the state of my carpets.

Instead I rely on my face. Because I a) have one and b) own a lot of makeup with which to improve it. I’d be a hermit if not for concealer.

I like to paint a certain picture, craft a certain representation of myself, because the reality isn’t always that pretty. It’s not even to do with blogging – it’s life. I don’t meet strangers and go: “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Charlotte, hates fish but strangely enjoys the smell of my dog’s feet.” I’m an over-sharer and even for me that’s too much.

So here are a few things that I don’t really shout about that often, but are so very true:

  • My big toes are so big they look like a grown man’s thumbs.
  • Me and Stephen don’t have a perfect relationship, but we do have a lot of love. Between the moments of stony silence and bickering that is. Welcome to parenthood kids.
  • Despite being known as a good cook, sometimes I do enjoy a good, old kiddy meal consisting of chicken nuggets, chips and beans.
  • I’d benefit from a hearing aid, but I don’t want one.
  • How much I love my son scares me.
  • Yet, when William is screaming, head-butting the floor or pulling my hair, I just want to hand him to the nearest available adult – dog will do – and go to bed. For a week.
  • Yes, I do find my dog’s pongy feet oddly comforting.
  • I’m jealous of my mum for getting to spend her days with William.
  • I get angry when I hear other mums whinge about their children when, mostly, I just miss mine.
  • I miss having lots of friends – because motherhood at 24 and an accidental case of ‘growing up too quickly’ can leave your friendship barrel a little empty.
  • Sometimes, I’ll just look at the state of my house, sigh, and turn the light off and go to bed. It can wait.
  • I had a baby out of wedlock! Shock horror. But really, I feel sad that my boys, dog included, have the same surname and I’m the odd one out.
  • I spend a lot of time wondering what it feels like to be thin.
  • I spend a lot of time wondering: “what if?”
  • I have learnt the perfect angle at which to take a selfie and any photos that highlight my double chin, or similar, end up getting deleted. 
  • The carpets in my house mainly look like this (not by choice might I add):
Do you appreciate how nice and big I made this?

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Hannah Ruth
    17th May 2013 at 9:06 am

    I LOVE IT! The honesty is fantastic, well done as it takes a lot of bravery to admit there are ways in which our lives aren't perfect – really well done x

  • Reply
    Harriet Jones
    17th May 2013 at 9:08 am

    Love this Charl. So refreshing!! I do love the odd meal of smiley faces, beans and nuggets myself!
    It's tough being a mum sometimes, none of my friends have kiddies and it does get a little lonesome.

    Ps- You are beautiful lady! Inside and out!!

    Big loves xxx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:45 pm

      I love a kiddy meal! Must be done. And it is hard, but having pals like you makes it all worthwhile. πŸ™‚ xx

  • Reply
    Soph.
    17th May 2013 at 9:11 am

    You really do not need to worry about your weight at all. You are flippin' gorgeous girl and you have AMAZING calves! xx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you Soph! No one has ever complimented my calves before – they aren't small after all – but this has made me more inclined to shave them! πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Reply
    Emma McCartney
    17th May 2013 at 9:20 am

    You know, I was thinking this exact same thing the other day, I don't actually appear on my blog/ instagram enough. So yesterday I made loads of posts with me in them and ended up deleting them all because I hated the way I looked. I think I try to paint a different picture of myself on my blog when in fact, I feel most of the same insecurities about my life as you do!

    You're not alone!
    xx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Emma – I think that you are beautiful inside and out. But I know exactly what you mean. I see photos of William, looking gorgeous and cute, and I just look so drab in comparison. But I'm trying to prove my worth to myself – it's hard sometimes when I feel like I do though! xx

  • Reply
    Lucy at Dear Beautiful Boy
    17th May 2013 at 10:14 am

    So true. Blogs often get a bad rap for only showing one side of the story (be it the good or the bad) but aren't we all just as guilty of it in real life?
    So I tidy up before I take photos of the kids in the house, I would also tidy up if I was expecting visitors. In fact more so… when I take photos only the bit my camera sees needs to be tidy, unfortunately when people come round I have to tidy everywhere!!!!
    But at the same time I do think our blogs are just an extension of us in real life. And I think you can often read just as much into what people don't share as what they do (be that on instagram, twitter, Facebook or a blog).
    xx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:48 pm

      We are all guilty of it Lucy. I'm terrible. I get so worked up if my home isn't spotless and if people come round and it's a mess, I'm so self-depreciating! I should just go: "I have a baby – deal with it." And you are right – it was just strange to think that it was that obvious that I hid myself from view. It made me feel sad to realise how much I put myself down. xx

  • Reply
    Adele
    17th May 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I honestly believe that no one is 100% happy with their body – no matter what it looks like. I have lost loads of weight but still look in the mirror sometimes and can't see the 2 and 1/2 stone that the scales tell me I have lost. I still have the worst fat days and loathe my body 95% of the time. The thing that differentiates me from you though is that you have created a human being. I know at low points you will only see the negative things about yourself but you made a beautiful little boy and I think that is pretty damn amazing.

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Adele – huge congrats on the two and a half stone weight loss. That's amazing! Well done. I think it just shows that, no matter how we look, we will always wish we looked different. Downside to being a girl I think! xx

  • Reply
    themummyscripts.com
    17th May 2013 at 1:47 pm

    What n honest, up-front post, so many of those points must resonate with everyone reading it, trust me. You really shouldn't be too hard on yourself though, I think we are all too hard on ourselves, especially after child birth. Things just don't really go back it being the same, sadly. The more I stare at 'problem' areas in the mirror, the bigger more unattractive they get and I just end up feeling rubbish. Stick to what you're happy and comfortable with, if you'd rather not put pics of yourself up then that's your choice (although you have nothing to be worried about!). It might sound selfish, but sometimes you just have to do what's good for you xx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you lovely. That was such a thoughtful comment and you are right. I think we all just need to remember that whatever we look like, whatever state our house is in, and whatever we do for a day job, we're all pretty brilliant as we are. xx

  • Reply
    Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three
    17th May 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I love this post Charlotte. I also enjoy a kiddie meal every now and again. And seriously your carpets? πŸ˜‰ hehe only joking.

    I also feel so unhappy with my body at the moment as well. My boobs, well my boobs are just yuck and my tummy is bad. I have skinny arms and legs so can hide it quite well, but when I take my clothes off it is there in it's full glory. And the circles under my eyes just won't go, and my skin feels dull. It sometimes gets me down. x

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Katie – don't even try and pretend that my carpets are okay! They are hideous! We are having them done soon, once our new windows are in and we've replastered and decorated…so not soon at all! πŸ˜‰

      For what it's worth – I think you are beautiful. And it's funny to think you feel like I do, when I see this gorgeous mum of two! But it's our brains and our reflections – we're women, we'll never be happy! xx

  • Reply
    Clairejustine oxox
    17th May 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Love your post , it takes a lot to write things down, it would take me ages to write thing I wish I could change πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing with us at welcome to the weekend blog hop, new follower πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Claire! And thank you for following and commenting – I love your blog, so that's so nice of you! xx

  • Reply
    Sara Murray
    17th May 2013 at 3:42 pm

    What a wonderfully honest post. Believe me, you are not alone. At (nearly) 40, with three kids, I know I'm never going to quite look the same again – and if the shadows below my eyes get any darker I'll look like a clown πŸ™‚ My blog also has very few pictures of me! Great post xx #PoCoLo

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Sara. I'm really glad that I'm not alone – is that awful of me to admit? For what it's worth – I think you look beautiful in your photograph! xx

  • Reply
    Bean W
    17th May 2013 at 7:15 pm

    A refreshingly honest post. I think we all have body issues and worries and I can definitely relate to your list! However, your body has done an amazing thing, and created a lovely little boy πŸ™‚ xxx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you pickle. I think I need to give this old body of mine a pat on the back! xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte Walker
    17th May 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love it. You could have taken that straight out of my head. Apart from the dogs feet thing. I don't have a dog. I do have a cat, but I don't think I've ever smelt his feet πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Emma Clement
    18th May 2013 at 7:12 am

    My parents have awful carpets – much worse than yours! It was only when I was in a position to buy my own carpets that I realised how expensive they are and now I appreciate why my dad bought the special offer durable hideous carpet!
    As for body – it's the norm to show your trademark evidence of being a mum! Pregnancy does things nobody warns you about such as permanently expanding your rib cage so your old bras will never fit again – it even messes with your feet!
    I can't pin point what the friends deal is – maybe it's just prt of becoming a mum or maybe it's a London thing (are you London too?). I've got a photo of me from my wedding with about 20 girls – all my greatest and oldest friends. Only 1 of them came to meet my first baby and none for my second baby and its years since I last heard from any of them – bar one who now lives in oz.
    Parenting and getting used to the changes in your life, mind and body is the same for all mums regardless of age when having your first (I was 29)
    Brave post thanks for sharing. I might even get the courage to press publish on a particularly personal draft post I have!
    Emma x (@beachpebble)

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Oh bless your Dad. I have to agree – these things are durable considering I think they are about 20 years-old!

      The body – well, unless I become Miranda Kerr or Beyonce, I'll never be happy, so I think I'll just have another glass of wine!

      And friends – I'm a northern lass myself, but I think it's true for anyone. Some are lucky – but I just wasn't. My mum friends are all over and we met online – just like you!

      Emma, post that post and tell me when you do! xx

  • Reply
    Coombe Mill
    18th May 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Those are the same carpets my Mum has! Built to last and last they do! Popping over from PoCoLo

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 1:57 pm

      I have to give them credit for durability – and the fact that you can spill anything on them and not notice! πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Reply
    kristine
    19th May 2013 at 6:04 am

    I too have body issues but believe me when I say you look good.
    It seems like we worry about the same things.
    πŸ™‚
    Great blog! followed you. Follow back?

  • Reply
    kristine
    19th May 2013 at 7:22 am

    I got inspired by this post that I wrote my own version. πŸ™‚

    http://mommykristineskorner.blogspot.com/2013/05/i-wish-i-dont-care.html

    Hope you could visit!

  • Reply
    Tori Wel
    19th May 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I absolutely love your honesty here. One of the things that really touched a nerve with me is not having the same surname as my daughter – I hate that I never will unless she changes it by deed poll or by marriage. Thank you for linking this great post to PoCoLo xx

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you Tori. I hope that, one day, I'll get married to Stephen, it does mean a lot and I can't really explain why. Not that I need to – as you understand! xx

  • Reply
    secretsofthesandpit
    19th May 2013 at 8:21 pm

    It was lovely reading all these snippets about you! Sad about the friends thing – have you found any new Mummy friends since having your baby or not so much? Also, as you were wondering, being thin is not the be all and end all. Often it means no boobs. That makes me sad sometimes. I guess really we all just want to be Jessica Rabbit.
    x Judith

    • Reply
      Charlotte Louise Taylor
      24th May 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment Judith. I think the friends thing is mainly down to going back to work when William was nine weeks old. I've never been to a mummy and baby group and I just don't know anyone. It's hard for me sometimes, but I have such lovely online friends that I can't wait to meet at BritMums Live. Are you going? And gosh – I would LOVE to be Jessica Rabbit! xx

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