If there's one thing we know about kids, it's this: they're not shy about telling the truth. And, as one mum discovered, sometimes the truth hurts.
Mum-of-three Katie Reed, who blogs at A Mother Thing, knows she has a "mom bod."
Even though her husband "never complains" and tells her she's beautiful no matter what, Reed admits that her confidence – much like the rest of us – occasionally takes a hit.
When insecurity strikes, Reed noted, "I have to remind myself my size is not my worth. My body does not define what I can do or who I am."
And that's why a passing comment, made by her five-year-old son, left her "reeling."
Dressed in her pyjamas, Reed was tucking her sons, Dexter, 5, and Daniel, 3, into bed. Leaning over to kiss her eldest on the forehead, Reed says that he started to laugh.
When she asked her little boy what was so funny Dexter said, "Mommy you look like you're having a BABY! Don't worry. It's just 'cause your belly is so FAT!"
The comment caused Reed's mind to race. Reflecting on the moment, she writes, "Yes, I'm overweight. I am even what you call fat. Three kids in four years took its toll on my body, and a whole host of health issues in the last year meant I put on a ton of weight."
Admitting that she hadn't paid the weight gain much attention, Reed adds. "But just because I don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there."
As a mum of three boys, Reed came to the powerful realisation that "it is up to me what kind of men they [her sons] turn out to be. Will they be the kind of guys who call an impressionable classmate fat because she still has some of her baby weight?"
Not if I can help it, she decided.
Reed devised a plan and drove her boys to Target. Her mission? Find a bikini.
Back at home, Reed handed the kids her camera and asked them to take a photo of her in the rainbow bikini Dexter chose.
And the results took her completely by surprise.
In a powerful demonstration of perception versus reality, Reed posted two pictures to her blog. The first is how Reed thought she looked in her bikini and the second – the reality.
Of the first picture she writes," I look good, right? This is how I thought I looked. I had curves and a banging body. But alas, the reality was actually this."
And the reality hit hard. Reed describes that she wanted to cry and to delete the photos. And most of all, she wanted not to care.
"But I was at war with myself. I saw only my cellulite, my lumps and bumps, my body that was so far removed from what I thought it was."
Overcome with negative words about herself, Reed said that she also knew the moment was an opportunity to teach her boys about "what is normal."
Admitting that she isn't happy with her size and would like to be healthier for the sake of her kids, Reed says that in the meantime she wants to celebrate her body for what it is "NOW."
"It has done more than I ever thought it could," she writes proudly.
"Ladies, I GREW HUMANS! From SCRATCH!"
Reed then extended the invitation to other mums to help set the example "that we are ALL beautiful," asking them to share their own pictures to her Facebook page.
Her honesty and candid photos have been applauded, the mum-of-three receiving an outpouring of support.
"You look amazing, let your confidence shine through because that is more important," wrote one mum on Reed's post "We need to show our kids we are confident in our skin, even if it is saggy, wobbly and larger than we want it to be."