It’s Saturday evening and I sit, legs akimbo on the bathroom floor. Small plastic spatula in one hand, tube of smelly hair removal cream in the other.
It’s been a while and I’m wondering if the 500ml tube is going to be sufficient. The razor is also at the ready to deal with my armpits, which are long and flowing. Think Kate Middleton’s impressive locks, but thinner.
My leg hairs are now so wild they’ve been acting like an extra layer to shield me from this cold we’ve been having (*note to self, will need tights for work after tonight*)
The reason for this long overdue preening is a visit to the swimming pool tomorrow with my 1 year old. Up until now my hubby has always taken her and I’ve sat on the side feeling awkward.
After applying cream I log on to The Motherload® page to see what’s going on in the world of my fellow Molos and have a few sips from my over-sized glass of Merlot. I decide that only the maximum ‘leave time’ for my cream will do, so ten minutes later I’m scraping away enough hair to make several merkins.
Legs done and armpits tackled I feel like a smooth goddess. Except as I pull on my PJs I notice I’ve missed my knees. Why does that always happen?
The next day, my one year old is bursting with excitement as we arrive at the pool. I try to make sure that I am outwardly enthusiastic too; I wouldn’t want my negativity to rub off on her.
I slip off my clothes and quickly wrap a huge towel around me, skulking to the pool-side cuddling my pickle. I look down and realise my toenails have seen better days. They haven’t been painted since I was 6 months pregnant which was the last time I could see them! When am I supposed to have time?
It’s the moment that I’ve been dreading since the night before: the unveiling…
The moment when you have to drop the security blanket of your warm fluffy towel and then wonder if you have any lady bits on show. I awkwardly tug at my bikini bottoms only to reveal a little too much to the 30-something (fairly hot) man sitting with his toddler on the first step in.
What happened to the body-confident person who would proudly throw off her towel at the pool? I slip in quickly and relief flows over me (as well as a bit of skanky hairball).
Less than a minute later and in ‘she’ saunters. She’s about 25, toned and taut, wearing the smallest bikini that just about covers her pubic bone. Her little boy must be no more than a year. HOW??? How has she done it?
When does she find the bloody time or the energy to exercise? I can muster just about enough enthusiasm to get to the fridge for more wine after looking after my daughter and working.
Every man glances but then quickly averts their eyes before their wife or partner catches them. Every woman looks on with a mixture of jealousy/admiration/venom. And oh look, she’s got a hand towel because she only has a teensy tiny body to dry so doesn’t feel the need for the double sized beach sheet that I have with me.
Half an hour of fun has passed and my little one is shattered (it was a long night!) Me and my girl head to the changing room. I can’t work out why I don’t feel comfortable enough to just whip off my cozzie as everyone else around me seems to be doing.
We are packed in like sardines and I get a boob in my left eye from the over-zealous woman next to me, and an arse cheek in my right and I sit there with a towel wrapped around me like an 11 year old still embarrassed about her body. The truth of the matter is, I am embarrassed. But why?
This body birthed the beautiful child that I’m blessed with today. I should be swinging it around with pride, however I don’t. Why do some mothers feel like this after childbirth and yet others don’t?
I’ve always been a confident person and I still am in every other area of my life. As a size 14 (on the bottom) and 12 on top (a rather pale-looking pear) I’m the ‘UK average’. So why do I hide in shame?
I scurry into the only free changing booth instead and then feel embarrassed about doing that too! I have boobs and a (insert word you use for vagina) like every single woman in there.
My boobs are small and ’empty’ but so are lots of women’s after breastfeeding and as for my ‘lady bits’ well that’s just the same as everyone else’s. I think. (I’ve asked my husband on several occasions if mine looks exactly like other women’s to which he jovially replies….’I was a virgin before I met you darling?!’)
I retreat from the changing room and head to the car where I sigh with relief.
Of course my little girl is a water baby and can’t get enough of it, so for now I shall carry on with the weekly ritual of preening, plucking and then feeling like shit at the pool.
I know that I can’t pass these insecurities on to my beautiful daughter. One day I may find the courage to whip off my towel and confidently stride from the changing room to the pool side. One day I may even wear a teeny tiny bikini or if I ever don’t give a shit I may go all Amazonian and not bother tending to the bush or armpits and just let it all hang out!
Until that day though, I shall be the awkward mummy who tries her best to slip in to the pool, unnoticed.
Love from the ‘Merlot Mummy’ x
About Merlot Mummy
Knackered Mummy working in the not-so-glamorous world of radio. Can usually be found elbow-deep in poo or snot from my bonkers little girl. Drinks far too much Merlot, uses far too many swear words and am still clinging on to my baby weight. Living by the mantra ‘Everything’s FINE with WINE!’
Photo: Swimming Pool Six – by theskinnyallurophile (cc) flikr