My Perfect Instagram Post (partum body)

 

It Doesn’t Just Ping Back!

One early morning (as a working parent, getting my social media fix in the cold light of 4am has become the norm) I was flicking through Instagram, when I stopped scrolling. I went back to a post that had caught my tired eyes: a picture of a celebrity (the gorgeous Georgia Jones, to be exact) two weeks postpartum. Yet, this image hadn’t fallen victim to any of Instagram’s delightful filters – only my own quiet disbelief: here, in Georgia’s Instagram post, was a true reflection of a postpartum tummy. It was not an impossibly flat stomach with ZERO stretch marks that I had become accustomed to seeing, but one that could have been easily mistaken for a pregnant stomach. I was so relieved to see it. I saw Georgia later in an interview with Lorraine Kelly defending her Instagram postpartum post: “It doesn’t just ping back!”, Georgia admitted. “You’re not kidding…” I thought. (See Georgia’s interview on Lorainne here.)

Shock Horror! The Reality of the ‘Mummy Tummy’

When I was pregnant, I was practically sedentary because of my size. Swamped with the feeling of carrying a tiny human inside me, I was also swamped with pictures of celebrities who had recently had children. I’d read their experiences: a seemingly straight-forward birth, a remarkably unmarked body post-birth, and each of them blessed with an astonishing freedom to spend ‘quality time’ on themselves. The postpartum stomach I was used to seeing was a tummy that no longer looked like it was about to burst at any second. Clearly, I thought, banishing the ‘mummy tummy’ was achievable straight away – this must be exactly how it happens.

But here was Georgia Jones, proud of her stomach as it still bulged, sharing it with the whole world. I recalled the birth of my child, and remember how I looked down at my own body postpartum.  I was in shock; this was not how it was meant to be!  My body was a train wreck, a horror to behold. After nine months, how could I still look pregnant?  This was not the ideal I had been fed by the media. Yet, looking at my own swollen stomach, I had a reality check: I did not have childcare, I did not go to the gym every morning, I had not been eating healthy salads or drinking nutritious smoothies ‘on-the-go’. I did not have the time; I did not have the energy.

Too Much Information? Sharing the Perfectly Normal Postpartum Experience

My postpartum body was a product of a difficult labour and constant adjustments to caring for a newborn baby.  My body received no love and attention from me: my child did.  My body had been a home for my baby, and was now a source of their nourishment (even if it was a product of very little sleep!)  Of course, I had not just ‘pinged’ back to normal; this was now my normal, and  I was proud that I was still adjusting. I realised that my ‘new’ body should be celebrated: it was the vehicle for the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I accepted that I could make changes when I felt okay to do so, changes that were not determined by any magazine or my preconceived expectations. So, here’s to my perfect Instagram post (partum body) – and yours too!

Do you see Georgia’s post? Or do you have a similar experience? We’d love to hear from you! Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to get sharing!

The post-baby body continues to go viral! To hear more from women celebrating their postpartum bodies, why not check out Emily Marson’s Story and this fantastic blog!

 

Written by Jill, Nemo Swimming

Five reasons why you’re an amazing mum

Being a mum can be hard work, and sometimes you just need somebody to tell you that you’re doing a good job. So, this is me telling you that not only are you doing a good job, you are doing an amazing job! Here’s why…

Nothing stays the same

Becoming a parent changes you; you aren’t the same as you used to be. Your body isn’t the same, relationships with friends and family have changed, priorities start to alter. I struggled with all these changes when I became a mum back in 2016. I suddenly felt like I had lost my identity, and these things that I once had a good handle on were starting to fall by the wayside. But then I looked at my little girl. She gave me that look that only babies can give – the one that says: “you’re my everything, mummy”. It might sometimes feel that you have given up so much to be a mum – your sleep, your social life, your abs… but what you have gained is so incredible. Embrace the changes, and enjoy the new challenges that parenting throws your way.

They’re doing it differently, not better

It’s easy to look at other mums and feel that they are doing a better job at this parenting gig than you. They’re not; they’re just doing it differently. Each child is different, as is each mum. We all have our own approach to parenting – our own unique way of ‘winging it’. All that really matters is that our children are loved, happy, and healthy. Take a minute and watch them as they smile, grab your finger, blow you a kiss, or learn a new skill. Our children are living proof that we are doing something that is unquestionably amazing.

Messy hair, don’t care!

In years to come, your children won’t remember how clean your house was, whether you managed to style your hair, or even if you managed to get dressed before midday. What they will remember is the time you spent with them, the hugs you gave, the times you laughed together, and the memories you made. They don’t focus on the small things, and neither should you. When they look at you with eyes full of love and admiration, that’s them telling you that you are their world.

Sometimes it’s all about survival

We all have days where we want to hide, or times where everything seems to get on top of us. All of us lose our cool sometimes, but we really shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. We are human, after all (even if we don’t feel it after a broken night of sleep). It’s important that we allow ourselves to have ‘one of those days’, and that we give ourselves the opportunity to pick ourselves up again. This is what makes us stronger! As parents, we need to know that it’s OK not to be OK sometimes. Take five minutes for yourself, phone a friend and get things off your chest, have a good cry. Your little one needs you to be OK, and sometimes we need to fall apart so that we can come back stronger.

I’ll catch you if you catch me

In my early days of parenting, the relationships that I formed with other parents were, without doubt, the key to my survival. They still are! Having a support network of other mums – and dads – gives me the opportunity to ask the ‘silly questions’, and to seek reassurance that I am parenting correctly. Much as these friends have become my safety net, I have become an important part of their support network too. We are all somebody else’s safety net, so we must be doing something right!

Happy Mother’s Day from the team at Nemo Swimming. If you’ve loved reading our ‘five reasons why you’re an amazing mum’, then why not check out these five mummy blogs that we love – all created by amazing mums, just like you!

A Sprinkle of Glitter
Missy Lanning, I am a Mother Mother’s day special
Just a Normal Mummy
The Unmumsy Mum
Oh So Mummy

This blog post has been written by Emma at Nemo Swimming

Business Models, Business Mums: How to get the best of both worlds.

Nemo Swimming Director, Theresa and her son

It’s International Women’s Day 2019! As #IWD trends each year, the waves of women who want to ‘be their own boss’ continue to rise.

Taking the plunge

In this blog, Theresa Nicholson, director of Nemo Swimming, chats candidly about her experiences of building a business model and being a model business mum. Sitting down with Theresa, I decided to dive in at the deep end (pun very much intended) and ask her THE question: why did you decide to start Nemo Swimming?

“My son was the inspiration behind my business model”, Theresa begins. “When he was a baby, I worked as a baby-swimming teacher. As a working mum, I wanted something that most mums are trying to find: a flexible ‘work-life’ balance. However, it wasn’t just my own needs that drove me. My son had been learning to swim since he was a baby, but when he was three, I noticed that there was nothing out there in terms of swimming lessons that met the requirements of that age group. Since I was already in the swimming industry, it was from here that I was able to find gap in the market and  began Nemo Swimming.”

“Baby swimming is such a rewarding industry, and part of my job as director of Nemo Swimming is to help develop that crucial bond between baby and parent in the early stages. What I’m particularly fascinated by is nurturing a child’s independence, as when they get to three years old, their caregiver stops coming into the water with them (a big step for both child and parent.) This is when my creativity can really come into play! Most people are quite tentative about teaching this age group – which is part of what drove me to pursue my business model further. I’m a firm believer that if you trust in your own knowledge, the child with trust in you too.”

Let’s talk about role reversal: when mum becomes the ‘breadwinner’

Of course, International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the social, economic and political achievements of women – from a business perspective, this is about promoting equality and breaking down old-fashioned ‘roles’ of men going out to work and women staying at home. But what are the real-life effects of this role reversal on your family life?

“I’m originally from London, so when I was starting out, I didn’t have my family around me. My husband made the decision to drop some hours at work and dedicate that time to the household instead – which I’ve been fortunate to have. However, while I celebrate my freedom of being able to focus on my business, there’s one feeling that has always been hard to overcome, and not a lot of people openly talk about: guilt. You feel guilty at this role reversal: that suddenly, you’ve become the breadwinner; you feel guilty that you’re not spending enough time at home and when you do, you feel guilty you’re not investing enough in your business! It’s so important to commit to a regime and make an investment in yourself to overcome these ‘guilty’ feelings.”

From running a tight ship to plain sailing: tips for business mums

In a brilliant article on entrepreneur.com, Lisa Druxman writes “My family flourishes most when I run it like my business”. I asked Theresa if she identified with this statement: “It sounds a bit authoritarian!”, she laughs, “but I do agree. For me, this means allocating specific ‘family time’: phones off, feet up, and absolutely no talking business! It’s not all plain sailing though, and often, the flexibility of your work sometimes isn’t as flexible as you’d like, so you’ve got to be strict. Running a business and being a mum is a tough job – and I’m still learning how to run myself like a business: I’ve got a really strong work ethic, and I’m definitely guilty of not carving out any ‘me’ time.”

For any woman thinking of starting their own business, Theresa suggests these three tips:

  1. Be in business for yourself, not by yourself – but always look after yourself! Listen to your own needs. Don’t short change yourself by never giving yourself that essential ‘me’ time that you need.

 

  1. Base your business on your passions: this way, you will be able to better listen to what your business needs, allowing it to grow organically.

 

  1. Finally, I asked Theresa to share an inspirational quote to celebrate International Women’s Day:

 

“Behind every great business woman… is a really great team! I couldn’t do anything without my team behind me. Always remember how important it is to reward, praise and thank them.”

 

Happy International Women’s Day from the Nemo swimming team!

Are you reeled in by the idea of starting your own business? Find our Nemo swimming franchise opportunity at https://nemoswimming.co.uk/nemo-swimming-franchise/