The Sisterhood of Sucking It In…


The working week dawns and all around the British Isles mothers prepare for battle.

Whether it be a pre-breakfast high intensity cardio workout or the undignified wrestle with your Spanx, I’m talking about the everyday struggle against the infamous ‘mummy tummy’.

Obviously this is a bit of a 60/40 split situation..for anybody who has gone the route of ‘in for a penny in for a pound’ and accepted graciously whatever the act of carrying a baby has done to them, I applaud you. Please, enjoy your inevitable Sainthood and have another glass of awesome on me.

However, let it be hollered from the rooftops, I am decidedly not one of those people.

I’ve fought kicking and screaming, since I emerged from the rose tinted baby haze, against everything from water weight to striae with varying levels of success. Yet my self-esteem kryptonite – especially as a recently diagnosed coeliac, long term IBS sufferer (oh, the glamour of my intestines) and suitably stretched out gremlin recepticle – remains my stomach.

In profile.

It never fails to make me grimace when I look back to my early pregnancy. I must have spent the best part of four months pushing out that tiny little baby pooch in a desperate attempt to have people notice I was with child (as opposed to ‘with takeaway’).

I prayed for a bump that just begged to be petted and cooed at. One that would have commuters flinging themselves willy nilly from their hard-won train seats to offer me a place. At no point did I think I was simultaniously making a commitment for life to the Sisterhood of Sucking It In.

Today, as Sweatpants Sunday rolled over into Monday, I’ve been very much lamenting my lot.

Luickily I’ve found the overwhelming desire for my post-baby belly to just to fuck off already peaks after a weekend that most likely included some one-on-one cake time, wanes towards Wednesday and returns for a final hurrah on ‘how the hell am I going to fit into that dress’ Friday so I’ll see you all mid-week when I’ve regained my senses.

Saying that…it’s an art form, you know. Sucking it in.

It takes practice, concentration and more than a little physical exertion to successfully pass off your newfound posture as 100% effortless.

The real pro’s can do it minus all the faffing about associated with shapewear – though I wouldn’t be too sure there’s not some kind of virgin sacrificing, black magic involved there.

Even now amidst my irritated jabbing and pinching I can’t help but think perhaps we’re all being a little hard on ourselves in not recognising that even this urge, entirely spurred on by vanity, has actually taught us a really cool skill.

Are we missing an opportunity for some universal motherly bonding? A little knowing smile to the other toddler toting ladies on our street, a fleeting high five for having the dexterity to tense your entire middle region, sprog juggle and hold a conversation all at once?


So for everyone sat at their computer right now, sitting up straight and putting that muffin top into reverse. Job well done.

Once more unto the control breeches, dear friends, once more…




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