"I won't let my husband see me naked."
That's the candid confession Melbourne mum Jessica Hood shared on Instagram on Thursday in a raw post about identity, motherhood and body-image. Her words have prompted an outpouring of support and lead to many other women voicing their own experiences and words of advice.
"It's been six years," Ms Hood writes, alongside a photo of herself and her husband. "From the moment my firstborn arrived my body has been covered in front of my husband." The mother-of-four added that while she's a confident person generally, she's not confident in front of her partner.
And it's all down to fear.
"It creates this awkwardness between us but I'm afraid," Ms Hood continues. "I'm afraid he will see me and run away. I'm afraid he will be disgusted and be turned off. I'm afraid everything he thought I was would disappear."
Ms Hood explained that she knows her behaviour hurts her husband. "I feel like I'm accepting my body more and more everyday," she notes. But it's not enough.
"I'm afraid he won't accept it."
Ms Hood, who blogs at House of Hoods, is adamant, however, that it's not him "its me".
"He tells me all the time he doesn't care, but what if it's different when he actually sees me?" she says. " All of me? My saggy tummy, my stretch marks, my cellulite, my rolls. I'm not the girl I was when we first met."
Ms Hood continues that she's not a girl at all, but a woman - and one who lost herself when she became a mother.
"A woman who lost her identity," she writes. "Her sparkle. Her once toned physique."
The mum added that she is afraid of letting her guard down and of feeling vulnerable.
"We only have sex in the dark," she writes. "If it's during the day my clothes are on. We never shower together. I never get dressed in front of him. I won't even swim in front of him. I even won't let him see the images of me on Instagram."
Ms Hood continues that it's more than "just sexual". "It's everyday life," she says. "It hurts me I that I feel this way."
And she know she's not alone.
"I know this feeling is too common," Ms Hood says. "As a woman. As a mother. As we age. As gravity takes over . As the wrinklea begin to cover our skin. As the relationship settles in and the honeymoon fades."
Adding that our bodies go through so much, particularly after having children, she says: "I never thought I would be 25kgs heavier after children."
For the mum the fear is real and scary. "But I don't wanna feel this way forever," she continues.
"He deserves me. All of me. Just give me time. One day you will get all of me.
Ms Hood's post has resonated with other women who praised the blogger for her honesty.
"Thanks for sharing. I understand these words perfectly. It's hard to break through those barriers but we can do it," one commenter wrote.
"I'm sorry you fee this way," said another. "He loves you and I know that he loves every inch of you, all the inches that you don't think he ever will. You have a good man there. I hope one day you feel differently.
"One day you will get the courage and you will be surprised with the reaction you get," said another. "Hang in there and keep loving what you see and you will eventually peel away the layers and will realise how much time you have worried over nothing."
"Oh how I feel this deep in my soul," one mum wrote.
Last year, the mum shared a raw, unfiltered photo of herself and her "mummy tummy".
"Most days I wake up and scroll Instagram and it's filled with over airbrushed Images of women in activewear promoting another cleansing juice diet or a magical solution to having a tight booty," she wrote.
"So mummas or any women/men not feeling themselves today. This is how I woke up this morning.My eyes are sticky, my hair is messy, my breath smells like death , I feel like I've only slept 10 mins and my stomach isn't flatter in fact in looks the same as before I went to bed ... I got pregnant four times and birthed four incredible humans that stretched the shit out of my body and made me crave quarter pounders and chocolate cake."