My daughter recently turn’t 7!
She’s changed a lot over the last year, as a baby/toddler she’s always been very easy-going, people always said to me arent girls the hardest? I’ve never really got it, my daughters been pretty easy and to a degree still is, it probably helps she’s surrounded by boys! She’s no delicate princess that’s for sure!
Lately we’ve started experiencing a few minor meltdowns I can’t even remember why because the reasons were so minor. She has definitely stamped her feet and told us NO a few times but that seems to have passed pretty quickly. It’s nothing major if anything it’s all just highly irritating and to be honest it’s all quite laughable! She had a full on meltdown when we went away for the weekend because she couldn’t have 3 pillows!
I can literally remember myself doing the same things at her age so my mum tells me I was pretty horrific I mean I wasn’t called the phantom booer for nothing I cried a lot! Would Lye on shop floors, flooded bathrooms, I mean you’ve not got a patch on me kid!
Is this just an age thing? Hormones? Bloody hormones have a lot to answer for I’m not keen on them pesky things!
What I wasn’t prepared for happened on a Thursday morning whilst getting ready for school…. I said to B she didn’t need to wear tights as it was going to be a hot day. “Can I wear leggings?” No darling if your worried about people seeing your knickers whilst cartwheeling just wear some pe shorts like you did last summer? “No because people will see my fat legs, look at them they move (stamps foot)” and burst into tears, hysterical! “Look mum you don’t understand, people will laugh”
My baby 7 years old crying about her beautiful body.
To say I was shocked is an understatement I literally couldn’t believe these words were coming out of her mouth and my heart broke a little bit in fact I felt gutted!
“When I have my tights on my legs look straight mum”
I explained to her how her legs weren’t supposed to look straight! We’re supposed to have some fat on our bodies how shape was beautiful and how her body was beautiful!
She ended up going to school in shorts and socks pulled up over her knees so she basically had no flesh on show, when we got to school she burst into tears again and I thought maybe she was coming down with something and decided to take her home and give her some mummy time.
Later that day I asked her if anyone had said anything to her or had she seen anything that made her feel like this about herself and her reply was not what I was expecting…..
“Yes mum when you was in your bedroom the other day with no clothes on I looked at you and thought I don’t want my legs to be like yours because yours are really big!”
Yes there it is… I felt like I took a bullet!! Literally a bullet in my heart! My daughter looks at me and thinks that! Gobsmacked!
One I felt sad that she looks at me and doesn’t see a princess if I’m totally honest I thought I was up there as a cool mum! Little did I know!
Secondly I’m so disappointed that my daughter is already so focused on body image and what people look like! I’ve always told my children how we are all equal how we can be who we want to be, people can be who they want, dress how they want, love who they want and how we should all accept each other.
Don’t get me wrong I do see the funny side of her saying this to me I mean so far on my motherhood journey I’ve had
“mum you look like a princess…. princess fiona”
“Wow mum look at your bum your like Big mumma”
Add it to the list…
You gotta love them right?
It was a huge eye opener to what’s possibly going to come in her teenage years! It’s such a big responsibility having a child, keeping them safe and well and guiding them in the right path in life and I wasn’t prepared for that! I think whilst their little we live in a naive bubble of cuteness and rainbows and all we see is innocence but they grow and we need to mould them into people we want them to become, strong women in her case and not what society pushes upon them and what the latest image of perfection is that week. I need to be her support, her lifeline! My kids need to feel they can come to me with anything. But how, how do we do that? If I’m honest I don’t know but I’m open with them, we talk about our feelings and I ask them if they are worried about anything and I guess that’s a good base to work from.
Part of me thought I was to blame, I used to be really insecure about my body it’s took 30 years for me to actually feel comfortable in my own skin. Children are not stupid they are always listening, Bella would have heard me talk about being on a diet or asking if my legs look ok? I have been mindful of what I say but some things would have definitely slipped through the net. I also can help but think that this is quite normal, I guess a parent going to the gym all the time is because they want to keep fit and healthy? We watch what we eat so we don’t gain weight I mean our kids even get weighed at blimen school so the government can tell us if they are over weight or not! How careful do we need to be around our children? It’s so hard I love clothes and I love make up and that’s me I can’t change that and I don’t want to but I do tell Bella she has beautiful skin and how she doesn’t need make up to look beautiful, she wears what she wants and i have no input.
Where do we go from here? I don’t know but I will say that I started writing this blog about 3 weeks ago and she HAS been baring her legs and hasn’t mentioned it since. I also received a heartfelt apology after we had a chat about what she had said. I told her that we shouldn’t look at people and judge them by how they look we should look at people for who they are inside and how everyone has some kind of beauty, I explained to her how I had carried 4 babies and how incredible that made my body and I am proud of it!
I think it was a momentary thing and whilst I was extremely worried that day I’m not now but for what the future holds I guess it will be full of surprises, i won’t always get it right but I will try and we will get through whatever it has to throw at us!
I’m here for you kid!