Love your (new) self!

Hey guys,

I decided to write this blog post because I myself have been struggling with loving my new body and self-confidence in general. I’ve never been ‘skinny,’ always been chubby, and I definitely went through a fat period when I was younger lol but even then I had so much confidence! You think I cared about what people thought of me? Nope. Growing up, I’ve gotten a lot more self-conscious, and I can honestly say it’s probably because of the huge role social media plays in my life these days.

Before I got pregnant, I didn’t mind my body, I was doing all the right things, trying to eat healthy, exercising and all that good stuff, when I got pregnant I loved my body! I carried quite small and it took ages before I actually started showing and even when I did, I loved my bump and I loved how the rest of my body was just ‘together’ everything looked good.

Now?! Gosh, now I’m really struggling, I went through a period where after I gave birth, I was pleased with myself, the weight shifted pretty quickly, but now I feel stuck. Not because I want to look how I did before, but because I just want to get to a place where I’m content, and just happy with myself. I’m usually one for self-love and self-appreciation but recently I haven’t been feeling myself, and I recently posted a picture on Instagram saying I’m learning to love my flaws and all, because life is too short, but it. is. hard.

Harder more so because I’ve actually birthed another human and I’m allowed to look like this but I just can’t seem to accept that LOL. Like now, I have ‘problem areas’ that I worry about all the time, when I look in the mirror or at pictures and I’m so picky with what I wear because I don’t want my belly to show or I don’t want my arms to show, or my back rolls, or my double chin, the list goes on… LOL *sigh* Then my cousin said something to me one time that really just made me think, ‘yeah you need to get a grip mate’ she said, “NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM AREAS BUT YOU.” And you know what? It’s true, so why do we find it so hard to be confident in our own bodies? Why are we always comparing ourselves to other people? We are our own enemies you know.

Body confidence is so important especially in this day and age where all we see are ‘perfect’ women and men all over our screens, but what is the definition of perfect?

It depends on how YOU define perfect, we live in a world where we are so hell bent on living for everyone else, but the most important person to be confident for is yourself, so if your ‘perfect’ is number one by all means go for it, if it’s number two, then focus on making yourself happy, be complete, be real to yourself, don’t worry about anyone else, stop comparing!

‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt

This is the realest saying in all reality because it is so true! Comparison is a horrible, horrible thing, if we keep doing it we’ll never be complete, and that is my definition of perfect, to be complete, to feel whole, to love one’s self. And honestly this is what I strive for, this is what I want my ‘perfect’ to be, I just want to be happy in my skin, this person I am now. This body I have now, just be happy at wherever I’m at, at whatever point I’m at in my life and not worry about what the next mum who got ‘snatched’ a week after giving birth looks like. It’s a journey I think most women (even men!) are on and I do love how I’m seeing more and more people bang on about self-love because it is so important.

So guys, love yourself, love the new you, as I strive to.

All my love,

Hannah x

A prayer for my One-year-old

I’ve been racking my brain for a while now, trying to figure out what to do for Israel’s one year update. He turned one a while ago and I still hadn’t blogged about it lol. It was between the regular update, on how he’s developing or I was going to write a letter, as I’ve seen a couple other blogger mums do. But each time I sat down to write something, nothing would come. It’s funny because, there’s so much I could put in a letter and even more I could write about his development but literally every time I went to write, I just couldn’t put my words down. Until today where I’ve just gotten this idea to just write a prayer for him, I pray for Israel all the time, I’ve done it since before he was even born. It’s something that’s very important to me. Obviously I’m not perfect and I do forget to pray sometimes which is exactly why when I do remember it’s so important to me.

As a Christian, I’ve grown up with a very prayerful family, and my Mum’s always prayed for me growing up and she still does till this day, and I believe a lot of the time when I forget to pray for myself it’s her prayers that keep the blessings and protection of God coming. God hears our prayers, he really, really hears a Mother’s prayers for her child, but not only that, a prayer is like a positive affirmation to your child, it reminds them how special they are and tells them all the hopes and dreams you have for them.

A prayer for my one-year-old…

Israel you are one year old now. A year that has been a blessing beyond doubt. I prayed for you before you were born and I continue to pray for you because that is the only way I know that God who has watched over me all my life will also watch over you for all the years to come. He has kept me and guided me and I pray He does the same for you.

You are truly a blessing, and I pray that you always remember that.

You are a born leader, and I pray that you’ll always be just that.

You are loved, and I pray that love radiates from you.

You are a special gift from God and I pray that you remember that too.

Israel, I pray you will be just as powerful as your name but remain humble, peaceful and joyful, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I pray that you remain protected under the shield of the almighty, that society doesn’t reject, use or neglect you.

Although storms will come your way (and I tell ya, they will!) you will overcome them because you are strong, you are brave and there’s nothing too hard for the Lord I pray you one day will serve.

I just pray that you will always be happy.

Israel you are one! And I pray you live to see and celebrate many, many, MANY more years!

Even though he may not be able to read this right now, he’ll always be able to hear my prayers and understand them more as he gets older, and one day he will be able to read this, understand it and pray it for himself!

My prayer to my one-year-old.

OddMumOut is six months!

As the year comes to an end, I’ve been doing some reflecting (as you do) and I realised, oh my gosh! I’ve been blogging for six months now! This definitely has to be celebrated, no? And what better way to celebrate than to write about it.

These past 6 months spent starting up a blog have been pretty eye opening and I’m very proud of myself for sticking to it although not as consistent as I’ve wanted to be with posting. Along the way I’ve actually helped new mums, mums that have been for a while and future mums, women in general and it honestly makes me so, so happy. I don’t have loads of followers but to know that people are reading my stuff means so much more to me.

When I first started my blog, I was beyond nervous, so anxious, I kept on thinking, ‘will people like the stuff I post?’ ‘Will people even read them in the first place?’ ‘What if my blog posts aren’t interesting enough?’ ‘BUT WHAT IF I GET WRITERS BLOCK?! ARGHH!’

But I prayed, and you know, just asked God to guide me and we’ll see where this goes (if you believe in God, one thing I’ve learnt this year is that it’s really important to pray about EVERYTHING you’re putting your hands into) and 6 months later here I am, still going. There are times where I’m stuck on what to write about and other times where I’m just so busy, I don’t have time to sit down and write, but that’s okay. That’s something I’ve had to tell myself, it’s okay to not have time, but it doesn’t mean you should quit. The time will come if you can’t make it right now, and don’t let the issue of time stop you if you’re thinking of starting up a blog in 2018. I always thought I would never have time especially with a baby, but honestly if it’s something you love doing, you will find time.

What I’ve learnt & experienced through motherhood & lifestyle blogging:

1. It’s okay to be open and honest about personal experiences, in fact, readers can relate more to those kinds of posts so will find them more helpful

2. Welcoming people to talk about their own experiences, also helps me deal with some stuff I’m going through

3. I’ve met so many mums through this blogging experience, such amazing strong women

4. You will make time for the things you love

5. Negativity will always be a part of being in the public eye, take it with a pinch of salt and choose your arguments wisely

I didn’t start this year with the goal of starting a blog and seeing it through, it wasn’t in my plans at all. I was too busy worrying about how I was going to handle being a single mum! And as I reflect on my blogging experience, I also want to take this time to just reflect on how proud I am of myself for doing such a great job raising Israel, like, it’s okay to celebrate yourselves! I feel like mums don’t give themselves enough credit for the great jobs they’re doing, forget about all the stress for a minute and forget about all the help you might have needed or asked for. Essentially, we are still here, raising these wonderful little bundles of joy and doing so many other things on the side and I believe we should celebrate ourselves. I’ve loved every minute of being a mum, and without him I wouldn’t be blogging right now. I’ve always wanted to start a blog ever since finishing my journalism degree but I never had anything that I really enjoyed or had enough interest in, to sit and write about. Motherhood literally gave me new life, I found passion, I found someone that I love so much, I could write about everyday of my life and not get bored (I always say this but babies are honestly the most fascinating beings, just watching their growth process is amazing) and me as a mum, as a woman, I’m growing alongside this little being and I’m just so grateful and proud of my growth.

I hope to continue blogging next year, to inspire mothers everywhere, dads too, new bloggers and bloggers who want to blog but aren’t sure. My advice to anyone who wants to start blogging or already is, is don’t put pressure on yourself, let your ideas flow, don’t write for the sake of writing. At the end of the day, blogging is about what you’re passionate about so don’t lose that passion just for the sake of followers or satisfying people’s needs. If you really want to boost your followers, you definitely need a social media presence but honestly, if you write about what you’re passionate about, it will reach someone somewhere. Oh, and it’s okay to take a break!

Hope you’re enjoying this festive period, and I’m wishing you a wonderful new year! See you in 2018 my loves x

Hannah xo