Lucy Brice, 34, mother to 5-year-old Rufus and 4-year-old Hudson
I gave birth to my youngest four years ago so I’ve come to terms with the changes my body has gone through. I’m happier with my body now than I ever have been. As a natural byproduct of all the carrying and running around that comes with motherhood, I’m stronger and fitter…

I’ve found I’m also more accepting of my imperfections and amazed by how my body has bounced back after giving itself up for 18 months over two pregnancies. I think that should be celebrated – sure my boobs will never be as pert but I can live with that.

Before becoming a mum, I remember admiring mothers who looked stylish and fit and would aspire to that – but I think in retrospect I think I admired their confidence and self-assurance. I had the fear that life stopped after giving birth and you became a frumpy mess stuck in pyjamas, so feeling so empowered and strong was a totally unexpected positive.

My uniform during pregnancy was an adaptation of what I would usually wear, but with maternity jeans (Zara’s maternity range was my staple) and big T-shirts to cover a round tummy. I went crazy and spent a lot of money on gorgeous underwear, which hasn’t found its way out of my drawer since.

I look tired, older, my skin isn’t so peachy, I’m less taut – but I’m happy and less self-absorbed so care less if I’m not perfect

To get through the early days, I walked miles with the buggy then started running again after the 8-week check – I needed to bounce back. I think the pressure is to look like you’re coping, even if you aren’t.

I’ve been to hundreds of baby classes, mum events, meetings where I’ve masked the extent of exhaustion – I’m not sure how successfully – with war paint. But everyone is in the same boat; I think we need to give ourselves an easier time.

I’m quite a physical person – I rode my bike six miles a day to work when pregnant with Rufus – perhaps a little silly in hindsight; as my bump grew my balance wasn’t so great – and ran during the sleep-deprived stage with Hudson just to get through.

I look tired, older, my hair is going grey, my skin isn’t so peachy, I’m less taut – but I’m happy and less self absorbed so care less if I’m not 100 per cent perfect, as I feel like I owe my body for the two littlest loves of my life.

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