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Ladies, we need to stop the b*tching!

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Whatever happened to solidarity and sisterhood?

I recently found myself being, I suppose you could say ‘body shamed’ and I must confess, it’s really got to me. Like most mums, my post-baby figure has been a thorn in my side for months as I’ve really struggled to get my pre-Isla figure back. I’ve hated my wobbly bits and have been wearing lots of loose-fitting clothes and pairs of Spanx to conceal my ‘mummy tummy’ and for a long time, actually felt very shitty about myself.

In a bid to give myself a kick up the backside, I bought a gorgeous size 8 dress back in March for my step-brother’s wedding, which was this weekend, with the view to shedding a few extra pounds to fit into it comfortably. After much hard work, it fit and for the first time in years, I actually felt like my old self again. I’m a member of a Facebook group of mummy bloggers and I posted the above photo into the group to celebrate my achievement with a group of like-minded ladies, feeling pretty damn good about myself for once.

Yet less than 24 hours after the wedding, I was bought crashing back down to earth by one snide comment, which simply said: “Not an 8 though is it”.

I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it has. Was this person implying that I was lying about being a size 8? Was she implying I was delusional? I have no idea, but it really upset me that a complete stranger felt it necessary to say something like that to me. The responses from other members of the group were lovely and they called this woman out big time, and she’s since been removed and blocked from the group by the admin team. My post, at the time of writing this, has had 457 ‘likes’ or ‘loves’ reactions and 28 lovely, supportive comments from fellow group members, yet that one bitchy comment is the one that’s stuck. I even felt the need to prove to this cow that the dress was in fact an 8 by posting a photo of the label.

Ladies, enough! Life is hard enough without tearing each other down, especially complete strangers. Even if I had been lying/delusional and my dress wasn’t an 8, the fact that I felt confident enough to wear it, and was happy with my body for the first time in years, was surely the important thing here? Why did this person feel the need to knock me down? What had I done to deserve it?

Being cat-called by a group of lads in a souped-up Peugot while I was out running (“hey fatty bum bum!” how original…) is one thing, but this from a fellow mummy? Not cool. We need to support each other, not kick each other, especially when we’re down. I heard a great expression recently: “Just be kind. You don’t know everyone’s story, be kind to them, you don’t know what they’re going through” and it’s exactly right. This woman had no idea what I may have been through in my life, so she had no right to comment.

So come on ladies, let’s play nice!

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On a serious note

Taking a diversion from my mummy blogging, I want to share something that happened to us last weekend.
Hubs, Isla and I were shopping in Lincoln and just as we were heading out of the multi-storey car park to get started, the parking warden and a police officer came running past us as a passerby pointed to a spot at the other end of the car park, saying “she’s over there”, and we saw a young woman sitting on the edge of the barrier wall. We were three storeys up, so it was pretty obvious what she wanted to do.
As we left and went shopping, keen not to be rubberneckers to what was happening, the poor woman’s plight stayed with me as we walked around. Whatever had happened to her had clearly pushed her too far for her to take and my heart broke for her.
When we returned to the car park to go home, some two hours later, it was still closed as the officers were still talking to her, so we hung around Lincoln for a while longer as the paramedics gathered on the ground below. But thankfully half an hour later the car park was reopened and the parking warden told us that she was rescued safely. I hope the poor girl has been given the help she clearly needed.
What annoyed me more than anything was the attitudes of those on the ground watching. Some people had actually positioned themselves so they could watch. When we were leaving one shop, the sales assistant asked what was going on and when we told her, she scurried over to the window to take a look. I overheard one ignorant man say “she’s probably on a [drug] trip. A bad trip.” Then when another man asked us what was going on, he said “well she’s chosen a lovely day to do it, it’s nice and sunny!”
It’s little wonder that mental health is still a taboo in this country with such lassier-faire and callous attitudes towards someone at the end of their rope. In a society where we can discuss sex or politics so readily, why can’t we talk about our mental health in the same way without people getting uncomfortable and making stupid jokes?