Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Will you swim, Mum?

So I took the kids swimming today.  Big deal?  It shouldn't be, should it?  I mean, I can swim, and I own a swimming costume. So what's all the fuss?

Well, for me, it was a big deal. Because usually, Joe takes the girls swimming while I do something else; like work, or rest!!  Of course, the real reason I don't go, is that I don't want to be seen in my swimming costume.  But, after yesterday's 'light bulb' moment and blog post, and all the lovely responses, today, I thought 'sod it'.

I thought about how much the girls wanted me to go swimming with them, and how they couldn't care less what I look like.  They tell me all the time that they think I am beautiful and pretty. Evie doesn't like me to wear makeup because she says I look better  without it. And then I thought, who in that pool today do I actually care about?  Answer: my girls. Nobody else.

If Joe were with us, I'd care about what he thought too, but he knows what I look like naked. He's seen me at my absolute worst. Giving birth (that can't be pretty, or flattering!!) being sick, drunk, hung over, bigger than I am now (I was massive when I was pregnant!) and thinner than I am now. He's loved me the whole time. Is the sight of me in my swimming costume going to change that now?

As for the kids ... well, I thought back to when I was a kid, and how much I thought about what my mum looked like.  Um, not at all. In fact, in the last almost-40 years, have I ever cared what my mum looked like?  I mean, she used to have a dodgy jumper with a cat on it that I'd rather she'd not worn (sorry Mum) but other than that, she's my mum, and whether she'd gained or lost a few stone, did it make a difference to how I felt about her? Whether I wanted to be in her company? Whether I was proud she was my mum?  Of course not!!

What my girls want, and what any kids want, is a mum that will have fun with them, without worrying what they look like.  It's what my husband wants too (in a wife, not a mum, obviously). Talking of my husband, one of the things I love the most about him is that he really doesn't care what other people think of him. Or, on the occasion he does, he doesn't let it affect what he's doing.

I have photos of Joe carrying and/or wearing any number of girly accessories that either one of the girls or I got fed up of carrying. He is never afraid to look silly, if it makes me, or the kids, or anyone else for that matter, laugh.    When I turn around and see him standing on his own, carrying my handbag and wearing one of the girls' hats, looking a right wally, is when I love him the most.   Sure, my husband looks better when he's a couple of stone lighter than he is right now. So do I. But do I love him any less because of a bit of extra weight?  Of course not!  It shows we've had a few too many cream teas, fish and chips by the sea, or glasses of wine in front of the telly, and that he'd rather be putting the girls to bed every night, than going to the gym.

So, if I've established that the people I care most about are Joe and the girls, and I've established that they don't care what I look like, and love me as I am, why should I be so bothered??

So when Lola asked me if we could swim, instead of sit in the coffee shop while Evie had her swimming lesson today, I said yes. Even though I hadn't shaved, waxed, fake tanned, tried on numerous swimming costumes to find the least-worst, or done any of the other things that usually  induce major panic and cause me to make up some last-minute excuse for not swimming.

As I said yesterday, I started this year wanting to loose weight and get fit, so that I could turn 40 being happy with who I am.  But now, with 2 weeks to go, I am changing my mind. (Convenient eh? If I'd lost weight, I'd probably be sticking to that first plan, wouldn't I? :-)

I'm going to try my very hardest to turn 40 liking who I am, and how I look. Or at least not hating it.  My failing auto-immune body prevents me from doing lots of things.  That's bad enough. But why stop myself from doing even more things, because of something as silly as worrying about how I look?

This summer, I am going to do the things I want to do - fitness and illness allowing - not worrying what I look like.  If the sight of my overweight, pasty, possibly hairy, body doing that bothers you?  Well, that's your problem. Not mine.