To be really upset by DD's comments this morning?(115 Posts)
DD1 is 5 and I love her to bits. She's, like most children, very honest and has a bit of a habit for saying things she thinks which would possibly hurt someone else's feelings. I've had chats with her about different things she's said and explain why that might not be a nice thing to say to someone or a nice question to ask them. Anyway. This morning she asked me "Mummy when are you going to get fit?" I asked her what she meant by that and she answered "When are you going to be like a fit girl with a fit girl tummy and that?" I asked her then if she didn't think I was fit already to which she replied "No because of your big wobbly tummy and that. Fit girls don't have wobbly tummies." Now I'm petite at 5ft2" but I'm only a size 8 and I do 4 spin classes a week, at least 1 weight session for an hour a week and a 4 mile buggy walk at least every other week with a local mum group. I do have a wobbly tummy. I have loose skin from carrying 2, for me, decent sized babies and a c-section that kept DD1 alive! I have explained bits to DD1 before about my tummy but she brings it up now and then anyway. Thing is it's a huge thing to me and I've been trying my hardest for 5 years to come to terms with that's how it'll always look and I can't change things now. I've suffered various forms of disordered eating my whole life and was borderline anorexic for a long time after DD1 was born because of my tummy. I've done a good job of sorting it all in my head the past few years and I really feel like today has taken me back to square 1 with it all. I absolutely hate myself. Children don't lie. It's not something she'd ever hear me talk about either as I swore my girls would never suffer with their bodies the way I have most of my life. We have a very healthy attitude towards weight and eating in my house and it's something that never gets mentioned. So it's all off her own back. I spoke to DH who made it sound like I was being silly and shouldn't listen to her, she's only 5 after all, and was making a big deal out of nothing. Am I? Sorry for the long post just don't want to drip feed and not include important facts.
Ah love honesty sure your dd didn't say this to hurt you or really gave it much thought anyway.
No one I know with kids has a six pack and who wants one anyway.
Not that it matters but your size and weight sounds perfectly normal but quite see how this has set you back a bit.
Do you access any support for your previous food issues?
I understand why you are sensitive but she doesn't mean it. I am overweight and when my DD was your DDS age I helped out in her class. One day I walked into the class and she said to the boy next to her "see I told you my mum was fat". I was absolutely mortified and wanted the ground to swallow me up. Luckily now my DD is nearly 7 she (mostly) keeps her thoughts in her head. None of us are perfect. I was slim before my babies, now I'm struggling to get anywhere near there now. Try and not take it to heart.
My daughter often does similar to me, tells me I have a big tummy etc...which I do. It doesn't bother me as such, as I am not all that worried about my appearance.
What I do say to her is that everyone is different and has different bodies. That my tummy has produced 2 beautiful babies and that I'm very proud of it. That fitness, like bodies comes in all sorts, and that whilst I don't mind chatting to get about it it isn't polite to make.comments about people's bodies or appearance as it may make them sad.
I try really hard not to.place any negative value on what she says, or be sad or whatever because I want her (and my son) to value bodies for what they can do not what they look like.
You're not being at all unreasonable, it is such a fine line between our needs and their understanding. I wish I had some useful advice, but I don't. Just be reassured that you sound fit, healthy and lovely.
I would explain that you are fit, that's what some mummy's look like and that it's rude to comment on anybody's appearance.
I'm sorry I can imagine that would feel very hurtful given how you already feel about your body. Children can say some really cutting things but I can imagine with all the exercise you describe that the way she has described your tummy is not what it actually looks like.
Has she overheard you talking about the way you look or want to look or what you don't like about yourself, and picked up some comments that way perhaps?
I can see why you are upset by that, especially if it's an area that you have worked to come to terms with. It's not nice to hear it said so bluntly, either!
If it helps, my 5 year old DD said that she got her own mat to sit on at a group at the weekend as "mummy's bottom is too big to share a mat with" so that obviously made me feel fantastic
You say your DD has history for saying things she knows will upset, do you think this is just a case of her trying to get a reaction?
I will gentry suggest that if you feel that a comment like that from your 5 year old has affected you as much as you appear to then perhaps you're not over it mentally as much as you think you are. Could she perhaps have picked up on this more then you think to have said those things?
Perhaps some more explanation is needed to her about what 'fit' means but also the Photoshopping that goes on in the media. She's well old enough to understand that, it sounds like you are extremely fit. Could you show her some pictures or videos on the internet showing how Photoshopping is done on model pictures with before and afters.
Be aware that she could have been trying to get a reaction and your attention too. Children have a funny knack of pushing our buttons, often for no apparent reason. Be kind to yourself.
Sorry, mis-read part of your OP, ignore the last paragraph of my post.
I think you have to remember that little girls are rarely exposed to bare tummies of real women - they'll see bikini-wearing girls in the media and their own tiny tummies 😂
She will not have meant to be cruel. Perhaps just explain that we don't make comments about bodies because people can be sensitive about that.
I'm shortly going to have a little girl and am fully expecting to be called fat!
I can understand why you'd be upset. But I think you need to turn it into anger. She's 5 and she's thinking about flat tummies! And of course she is, every bloody image she sees is manipulated and photoshopped. It's awful.
I'd sit down with her and start talking about how the pictures she sees aren't always real, and how it's normal to have bodies of all shapes and sizes. And that being fit doesn't equate to having a flat tummy but means being able to run and jump and things. I think all children but especially little girls need to be taught this stuff so they can grow up media savvy enough not to take everything they see at face value.
My almost 4 yr old dd said pretty much the exact thing to me yesterday (whilst in a busy public toilet, I could hear the muffled laughing! ) I too am your height & dress size but after 3 babies and c-sections my tummy is definitely not what it used to be. I have no useful advice I'm afraid but you sound very fit and healthy and your body has produced 2 lovely babies so be proud!
I think at 5 she isn't deliberately seeking to hurt you?
Ah, you need to get used to it. If you have a good relationship with your daughter as she grows up, she will always be honest with you. Personally I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm assuming uou will want to be honest with her too.
My daughter will be honest if I say have I put on weight, but she won't proactively tell me, or she will comment if she thinks I look a bit thin, but she's more up front if an outfit doesn't work. I'll ask her before I ask my husband, as he just says yes that's lovely. She on the other hand will be more honest in terms of which one works and i value her opinion.
Although, I'm currently on a diet and exercising and she told me when she was home a couple of weeks ago to get a grip as I was getting obsessed.😂
She's 19 now, so maybe a little more sensitive, but growing up, I've had everything from " you look really skinny" to " you've got a really big bum" depending on where my weight was.
She's five, there is no maliciousness there. Welcome the honesty and encourage it, and don't make weight a taboo subject between you as your reaction alone tells her she said something wrong.
Your body sounds fine to me, so try to deal with uour own struggles with body image seperately.
Op my son cuddled me around the same age and said "it doesn't matter what size you are" out of nowhere. And believe me he wasn't saying I was too thin. She won't have meant to hurt you but if she says similar again I would talk to her about being kind to people and how sometimes what you say can make people sad.
Children don't lie. It's not something she'd ever hear me talk about either as I swore my girls would never suffer with their bodies the way I have most of my life. We have a very healthy attitude towards weight and eating in my house and it's something that never gets mentioned. So it's all off her own back.
The trouble is, she's getting more and more of her socialisation away from the family - whether through TV, or nursery, or school. And culture socialises to think of a certain 'look' as being right/fit/healthy despite it not necessarily being the truth. The messages around being fit/healthy at school in particular can get very tied up in this I think.
I'd take the opportunity this gives you to do some more education of your daughter on healthy body image etc, eg 'yes, it's silly isn't it, that some people think you're only fit and healthy if you have a very flat tummy? It's often true when women are young, before they have babies, but not always because bodies aren't all the same. And after babies bodies get soooo stretched by growing a whole person they are a different shape afterwards, and that doesn't mean mummy isn't fit and healthy, it just means I had two babies who jumped and kicked and grew and grew and my tummy had to grow as well!'
My attempts at getting fit are decried by my sons who like my tummy "big and fat and round". They also see putting on weight as a good thing - it means that they are getting bigger and stronger (which it does, as they are lean and fit).
It is really, really sad that weight has such negative connotations for women and especially little girls. I do understand why you are upset, but really the poster above who said we should get angry rather than upset is right.
I highly doubt that she meant to hurt you, but she still probably doesn't yet have a full understanding of how what we say can hurt other people. At 5 years old learning this sort of empathy is very often still a work in progress.
You sound as though you are in pretty good shape to me (I am not), so I would do as others have suggested. Explain that people come in all shapes and sizes, and it isn't a measure of fitness. Explain too that it is rude to comment on other people's appearance because they may already be upset about it themselves and can be very hurt if someone else, even a young child, points it out.
OP's DD associated a flat tummy with being fit not thin or desirable so I don't think there's a need for 'getting angry about female socialisation'. It's more likely they've had a healthy eating week in school with cartoons of people doing exercises and she's noticing the differences. I know that was the first time DS came home concerned about food and body shape.
It's not UR to be upset OP but it's important to remember she didn't mean to upset you or be unkind. Perhaps if she mentions it again, you can chat about how different body shapes can still be fit and how our bodies change at different stages in our lives.
She will just be repeating back what she hears others say- school children, relatives etc (any chance she may have heard you assessing or criticising your own body?) I'd take it as a great opportunity to be really body confident in front of her, start explaining how you love your tummy and why it is more wobbly than hers. I'd talk about the reason i do exercise is to stay healthy and because I enjoy it NOT to make me thinner. She is about to be inundated with body images and talk now she's 5 and you are the best chance she has to be confident in who she is (I too have a 5 year old dd who comments on my tummy being so big still after having my second child 9 months ago despite being back to a size 10 now-they're so observant aren't they!- I tell her it's full of love )
I would have a chat with her about body image and fakery. If she believes a size 8 woman is fat there's potential for great unhappiness for her in later life. Keep it simple at this age, but keep on talking about it. Normal bodies, normal lives, and how your tummy is your proud battle scar from having children - your body tells the story of your life. Or whatever words will work with her.
How times have changed. When I was five I barely knew what 'fat' or 'fit' was .
Dd2 often tells me I'm fat (I am!), but in her wee head it's a compliment. She loves my cuddly tummy, and says it gives much better cuddles than thin daddy.
Try not to let it upset you, with your dress size you aren't overweight. I am overweight and my kids have said things when they were smaller, they don't understand that they are upsetting you, just explain that it isn't nice to comment on people's appearance like that. I also told mine that a lot of ladies have funny tummies when they've had babies as their skin gets stretched. My son comments on mine every day at the moment but I'll let him off as i'm 31 weeks pregnant lol x
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