I spend most of my spare time asking myself what would Beyonce do in any given situation.
I have a work deadline coming up but I’m sleepy and I want to go to bed.
What would Beyonce do?
She’d fly through her work maintaining unmatchable professionalism and then head out for the evening looking fabulous to celebrate. Beyonce wouldn’t worry about sleep.
10 Reasons I Didn’t Look Like Beyonce A Month After Birth
That man just pushed in front of me in the post office queue. What would Beyonce do? She’d walk right to the front of the line and cut in whilst looking breathtakingly fabulous.
I’ve just given birth to two babies and my body hurts and I am an emotional wreck. What would Beyonce do? She’d wrap her slender body in a floral drape, hoist up her two sleeping babies and pose for the Instagram photo to end all Instagram photos.
But, erm, I didn’t do that.
And, if I had, it probably wouldn’t have racked up close to a million likes on the social network. Not least because I don’t have that many followers, but because I looked like crap.
Here’s 10 reasons why I didn’t look like Beyonce a month after giving birth:
#1: I Didn’t Look Like Beyonce Before The Birth
Ok, fine, I thought we should get this one out of the way before loads of evangelical Beyonce super fans unleash their wit in the comment box to highlight that I am nothing compared to Beyonce. I know that. And it’s not that I want to drag Beyonce down to my level.
I love that she is pretty much the most amazing woman in the world, but, I just wanted to know that she felt exhausted as a new mama. I wanted her to be just like the rest of us and, well, the Instagram photo proves that isn’t the case. She’s superhuman.
#2: I Still Look Six Months Pregnant
When I first saw the photo of Queen Bey parading her newborn twins on the interweb, I assumed the ruffled floral number was there to hide her postpartum body. I imagined a deflated tummy protruding over the top of her hefty period pants, angry red stretch marks etched into her skin and hairy legs she simply hadn’t had time to shave.
Then I looked more closely at the photo and realised Beyonce’s tummy was actually right there in front of me. Her stomach isn’t stretched or saggy or covered in purple lines, it’s flat and perfect. Her stomach one month after giving birth to twins is officially better than the stomach I had as an 18 year old.
#3: I Didn’t Have A Clean Floral Sheet To Wrap Around My Body
Maybe I would have gotten around to taking a garden photo of myself looking glamourous in the garden with my new baby if only I had had a clean floral sheet to wrap around myself.
I didn’t though, they were all covered in baby sick and blood that had leaked out from the superking mattress sized sanitary towel wedged between my thighs in the night.
#4: I Wore Only Loungewear
I am a great believer in the idea women should rest after birth, for ages. That fourth trimester is your time to bond with your baby, to let your body heal and to adjustment to your new role as a mama.
During this time, you should limit guests so that you only have to see the people you really want to see, and you should try to do as little as possible.
And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear pyjamas or loungewear for the first few months after the birth. I wore pyjamas almost exclusively and, on the rare occasions I had to dress, I opted for comfort over style.
#5: My Hair Looked Rubbish
Finding the time to shower, never mind straighten my hair proved to be a challenge in the early days. If I snuck off for a bath, my daughter would wake up hungry. If I showered, I would spend the entire shower running to and from the bedroom in a state of panic (why do showers sound so much like baby cries?).
If I did manage to wash my hair, I wouldn’t have time to dry or straighten it before my baby was ready for her next feed. By the time I was free to style my hair, it would have dried into a frizzy, untamable mess and I’d be forced to just stick it up in a scruffy mum bun. Again.
#6: My Eyebrows Had Created A Canopy On My Face
Personal grooming is a time-consuming hobby and while it was something I took for granted pre-baby, it fell off my radar (and smashed into a thousand pieces on the floor) when I was busy looking after a baby.
The good thing is, I so rarely had time to admire myself in the mirror that I had no idea how terrible I looked.
On the odd occasion that I did glance at my own reflection, I didn’t recognise myself thanks to the unruly eyebrows, the huge eyebags and the overwhelmingly docile expression of exhaustion on my washed-out face. I wasn’t photo-ready, like, at all.
#7: I Had No Sky High Tower Of Flowers To Pose In Front Of
Ignoring all of the issues highlighted above, even if I had been up for a photography session, I’d have struggled to find a backdrop to match B’s.
I had a little bunch of flowers my mum brought me when she came to visit me after the birth, a bunch of flowers my husband had given me and a little bunch from a friend.
Even if I’d had the energy (I didn’t) to fix these all together to create a floral archway to pose in front of, they would have come up short.
I’d have had to crouch down in front of them, throwing my deflated belly into a hunched position and making it look like the world’s weirdest pregnancy announcement photo.
#8: I Hadn’t Slept In Months
You know who I wanted to punch when I was pregnant? Every single person who told me to ‘sleep while you still can’. So, basically, All The People. That is a rude thing to say to pregnant women.
Firstly, it’s impossible to sleep when there’s a 9lb baby punching you in the bladder. It’s impossible to sleep when your hips ache. It’s impossible to sleep when you have heartburn. And secondly, it’s not nice to remind pregnant women that life will be harder when the baby arrives.
I just wanted to believe I would get some sleep soon, ok? I didn’t need every person I encountered to remind me that would never happen. By the time my baby was one month old, I had a sleep debt of 87 years.
#9: I Couldn’t Be Bothered To Get Off The Sofa
Even if I was an international superstar, I wouldn’t have been interested in posing for photos one month after giving birth.
They could send an army of beauticians and stylists to make me look beautiful, a floral engineer to create a wondrous backdrop and the world’s most amazing photographer to capture it all, and they would have left with nothing more than a few snaps of me breastfeeding my baby on the sofa.
I walked like John Wayne, I was exhausted and my baby was always hungry. I couldn’t be bothered to get up and make a cup of tea, never mind have a photographer direct me around my own garden in a floaty floral number.
#10: I’m Not Super Loaded
I don’t want to make out that Beyonce is only beautiful because she’s rich. Obviously she’s a very talented business savvy woman who simply happens to be beautiful.
But, it can’t help to be able to afford a team of professionals to come and style your hair, apply your makeup, set up a gorgeous backdrop and take a stunning photo for your Instagram page.
Most women don’t have such amazing photos of themselves taken a month after birth because, quite frankly, they’re too busy wiping butts, breastfeeding and napping to go to the hassle of getting dressed up and taking photos.
On a scale of one to Beyonce, I was about a minus eight both in terms of beauty and feeling human a month after the birth.