Real friendships.

Absolutely!

For the past 6 or so months, I’d been beating myself up about some friendships that I thought meant a lot to me.

I feel like I had been a good, honest, reliable and trustworthy friend to these people. Turns out the friendship hasn’t been reciprocated.

As a friend I go above and beyond to make the effort to see my ‘friends’. I drive over and hour sometimes to see them and have time with them. Over the past few months no matter how much I try to organise a catch up, I’m being either ignored or pushed aside. Deliberately or not, it has hurt my feelings and made me question if these people are actually true friends?

My husband tells me to ‘let it go’ that they clearly don’t ‘respect my friendship’ but it’s hurt me. True friends make an effort and time for those who are important in their lives, or who they value in their lives.

Why can’t people just be honest?

If our friendship has found it’s ‘use by date’ please be honest. Dont let me feel like a fool when I extend an invitation to see you. You say a ‘yes’ but it never comes into fruition. Please, tell me that you would rather not. Don’t ignore me or cancel last minute or ‘forget’ to respond for months on end. That’s shitty behaviour and not fair.

I was taught to treat others the way that you wish to be treated.

It may take me an hour or perhaps a day to respond to communications. BUT I always will. I dont make excuses. If I don’t want to see you or spend time with you. You will know in the most polite way that I can deliver the answer. I won’t ‘fake’ the friendship.

I don’t have time or the energy to be hurt or hurt others.

The Kind Of Friends Moms Need

Embrace.

Embrace

I just wanted arched the most amazing, informing and touching documentary called Embrace.

It’s so interesting to me what other people, women especially think about their bodies. I have in the past been on a journey of self hate. I thought I needed bigger breasts, smaller thoughts, smaller nose, needed to be taller, needed a perlite bottom, you name it, I possibly wanted it.

Over the years I’ve learned to embrace and love my body. It has served me well. I’m a 37 year old mother of 2 beautiful children. A 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl. My body housed and fed these little people inside me whilst they grew and were nourished by me until they were ready and able to enter this world.

I’m blessed that I am healthy, sure I get the occasional ache and pain, possibly self caused? But I’m healthy.

I understand the mind set with body dismorphia. I am a qualified personal trainer (not practicing) I’m also a qualified counsellor, so I get it. I also have many friends and family who have some sort of unloving relationship with their bodies.

When I was in my teens I had an eating disorder. I was scared of being ‘fat’. I remember really clearly when I was 15 years old shopping with my mother and older sister for shorts for myself. We were in a shop and I was trying some on, I remember distinctly I tried on a size 8 and my mum suggested I get a size 10 as she thought they needed to be bigger. I remember having a ‘melt down’ crying and being really upset because in my mind, a size 10 was ‘fat’ and I never wanted to be ‘double digits’. I refused to buy them and remember being so set on ‘loosing weight’ and being ‘skinny’. My mum has dieted all of her life and she struggled with her weight most of her adult life and I remember her doing many different ‘diets’ whilst I was young. Some worked and some didn’t, this stuck with me and instead of having a healthy loving relationship with food, I began monitoring everything that I ate. I got so bad that if I was served a steak or sausage I would get paper towel and basically get all the ‘moisture’ which I thought was getting the ‘fat’ out of it. I never ate fried food and banned butter or margarine from my menu and cut out most carbs. If I are a carb it would be ‘brown’ because in my head, white was the evil. I was really miserable because I would ‘starve’ myself of a cookie or an icecream because I thought it would make me ‘fat’.

I’m my older teenage years I was a personal trainer. I was a PT for about 4 years and my mindset went from the need to be ‘super skinny’ to the need to be ‘strong’ and muscular. Which possibly wasn’t a bad mindset, but with most things that I did as a teenager, I did full throttle. I became really quite muscular and lost my breasts, (or what there was of them) and from behind I was often mistaken for a male. This was pretty tough on my self esteem so from that I would be extremely strict on my diet, and yes you guessed it, I became super skinny again weighing about 40kg. I’m 162cm tall and quite a petite build, but with protruding hips and collar bones, it was not a healthy look.

Throughout my years I’ve learned to love my body no matter what shape or size it is. Our bodies are basically our motors. They keep us ‘running’ and keep us alive.

It took me a good 10-15 years to love and appreciate what I have and how I treat my body, but I can finally say I’m in a ‘good mindset’ with my body. Sure I have cellulite and stretch marks. I have 2 beautiful and healthy children and I have my health. I still go through phases where I do want to change things about my appearance, but all in all I’m pretty happy.

This documentary, really resonated with me. Being comfortable in your own body and loving it for what it is and can do for you is the most important thing I think we should remember.

Please do yourself a favour, watch it.

Being a ‘walking skeleton’ is not admirable by most. This documentary speaks with many women from all walks of life. Inspiring and brave. Speaking about their body love and how they have had challenges yet overcome and now value and appreciate their bodies.

Love your body for what it can do for you. Not for what shape it is. Different shapes make us unique. We are all individuals.

Body shakers should be exactly that, ashamed that they feel they can belittle someone because of their appearance.

Thank you Renee Airya and Jade Beall for making this film.

Embrace the Documentary

These dark circles and wrinkles? Yep—that’s my motherhood showing.

I love this.

Such an honest, relatable, open and beautiful read. 💕

These dark circles and wrinkles? Yep—that’s my motherhood showing.

by Beth Clark

Jumping into my car the other day, I caught sight of myself in the rear view mirror. Both kids were buckled into their overpriced car seats and we were heading somewhere distracting during a cold Canadian day.

I stopped a few seconds longer to study the woman I had become.

Familiar blue eyes still looked back, but they were cuddled by dark shadows and tickled with both heavy and delicate lines extending from every angle. I realized I truly looked as tired as I felt that morning and sunk deeply into my seat with a sigh that mourned the shadow-less face I once knew.

These thoughts of exhaustion shining through kept nudging my mind that day, and I caught myself intentionally trying to look in windows and mirrors to see if my appearance magically transformed to one of refreshment and not one that proved I hadn’t slept through the night in over four years.

No such luck…I looked like someone working hard. I looked like a mother.

That evening, I closed my eyes while sipping my wine and reflected on the daily actions that deepen these lines for parents everywhere.

Getting up every night to the calls of “Mama” or “Dada” to feed, cuddle, comfort and soothe our children back to sleep. It’s really a precious treasure to be the one who meets our little ones’ needs in the darkest hours.

Frowning as we watch our children practice a skill that could easily be expedited with our help, but understanding their need for independence and autonomy to become their own person…especially a stubborn 2-year-old!

Laying in bed, unable to doze off, thinking about our children’s current challenges. Trying to think of ways we can change as we are often the ones with a problem that they have sadly started to model.
Smiling at our kiddos, or smiling when thinking about them…because man! We do this a lot, don’t we?

Laughing along with our little one’s nonsensical jokes and their sweet sayings.

As the list grew, my mind reached a verdict.
I am a mother.

I sacrifice. I love. I laugh. I cry…sometimes a lot. I think. I hardly sleep. I worry. And I smile…once again, a lot.

Motherhood influences me from the inside out. My heart is showing on my face and my heart looks worn, it looks tired, it looks weathered and like it puts in a mega-load of hours…because it does. Hours of care, hours of concern and hours of cuddles.

I am OK with my heart being visible. I am OK with fine lines showing my love. And I am OK with shadows declaring that my nights are spent nursing and nurturing. I may try to drink more water and use a better moisturizer, but next time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I want to remember my motherhood first and foremost. I want to appreciate the proof of my full heart displayed around my eyes.

So Moms—be encouraged! Your motherhood is showing…and it is beautiful!

Love in wrinkles and in lines,
This Mum
*Hashtag no filter*