Thursday, 10 May 2018

So, you haven’t lost the baby weight...

Well, who ****ing cares?!

(I don't know how to get through this without cursing so bear with me)
so you haven't lost the baby weight

Oh, I will tell you who cares...

Denise from across the street who has birthed 12 kids and "Bounced right back every time! All it took was breastfeeding."

Mike from your work who is single and childless but feels knowledgeable in commenting "You've still got a while to go before you get that pre-baby body eh?"

Your Aunt Beatrix who knew you when "you were always such a thin child/teen, I guess those days are behind you!"

Some John Smith on the internet who literally lives half a world away, knows NOTHING about your life, pregnancy, birth experience, health issues, work, kids, etc. but knows "bouncing back is not that hard, stop being a lazy cow, put down the burger and hit up a gym every once and a while!"

so you haven't lost the baby weight

Then there's the subtle shame and expectations we as a culture put on moms even before they've given birth, experienced parenting or in some cases even been pregnant.

Like this Pregnancy journal that I got for my Pregnancy with Noelle...

so you haven't lost the baby weight

There are a few Pregnancy journal options out there, I had one with Elliott and it was awesome. I remember every little kick and doctors appointment because I kept it in the journal.

With Noelle, I wasn't as organized, second child, sorry Noelle.
So, I went back to fill in the blanks last week and this was the BS I came face to face with.

Honestly, what the actual F?!

This ain't my first rodeo so I knew all the ways my body was about to change and I'm not saying its something you should be ignorant to because trust me, your body WILL change.

But am I going to get fat?
Things I miss about my old body?

This is the loaded bullshit that gets women all messed up in the head.
Instead of embracing this time in their lives where they have a beautiful round bouncing belly full of kicks and flips, a nursery to decorate, a lot of sleep to squish in before baby arrives.

Women are already watching the scale, counting every pound that jumps up and stressing about how hard that's going to be to lose once the baby is here.

Then they're running out of the house at 6 weeks postpartum hitting the elliptical like a workhorse, avoiding bathing suits at every cost and trolling TMZ for before and afters of celeb mothers who were back down to their pre-pregnancy weight within 4.2 hours of birth.


The fact that anyone dares to look at a new mom probably not knowing anything about them, their medical history, their pregnancy history, their birth history, their home life, their work life, their hobbies, interests, hopes, fears, dreams, babies sleeping patterns...

And makes a snap judgement based on appearance and assumptions.

I'm sorry Denise, but breastfeeding only lasted 4 months for me and can actually cause the opposite effect in some women, where you gain weight because of the hormones/food intake etc.

OK Mike, well I am a little busy right now but believe it or not I do get to the gym as much as possible. In fact, why don't you volunteer you've got some free time, right? How about you babysit and I'll hit a Zumba class or 2.

Yeah Aunt B, seems I am not the same shape and size I was at 7 or 15... probably because that was 16+ years ago. When I was a CHILD, carefree and didn't have 2 mini versions of myself hanging on either arm asking for shiz, needing food, water, playtime and poop wipes every 30 seconds.
According to my high school reunion group, I am on par with the ageing though, thanks.

John Smith, you're not worth my time.

So, I haven't lost the baby weight but you know what I do have?

A brain, that tells me the media has been pushing this "bouncing back" term on the world to create sales, drama, stress, interest, pressure, comments, shares, etc. etc.

A term that puts the birth mom in yet another position of trying to be a great mother, balancing the hormone changes, perfect body, hair, makeup, President and CEO, hobbyist, a classical pianist, volunteer on every committee.

And then feeling like a failure when they can't do all those things perfectly concurrently, feeling like you have to choose between being a great mother or being pretty or smart.

News flash!
I am a great mother, I am gorgeous, I am wicked smart and sometimes I do get all those titles on the same day, some days I don't, but I am no less of any of them. 

My brain makes me hilarious, intelligent and beautiful beyond the measure of what you see on my outer shell.

I have a strong heartbeat, that allows me to hit the gym, dance at Zumba and run (walk ;)) my first marathon 10 days from now.

I have a sense of peace, I know I am so lucky to have had 2 wonderful birthing experiences where everyone came out healthy and happy, my pregnancies leave something to be desired (I had HG!) but still I made it through (counting down literally every. single day.) and my kids were perfect.


That's right!
My 190-pound body is strong and sexy, like really sexy.
Not just "sexy for a mom" or "sexy for her weight"

I guess the point of this is that there will always be people who comment on your body.
Big, small, short, tall, wavy, curly (wait now I am describing hair types... lol)

Every person has a 'type', every person has an opinion on what the 'perfect' body is but to me its such a moot point, why bother making those types of comments and don't let people who comment like that get you down.

And this extends beyond 'baby weight', I have dealt with weight comments my whole life.
Shamed for being 'too skinny' and too big and it doesn't stop at women, I feel for the men too.

It's a major problem, it's bigger than I can/would know how to fix but I am hoping we can start a ripple effect by doing the smallest thing: love yourself.

Stop comparing, look in the mirror and pick out good things, talk about them out loud, let your kids/friends/family hear you say it, carry it with confidence.

Love your body, show off your body, show off as many different bodies as we possibly can!

*I am not immune to the comments, I have bad days where I get down, hell, I have whole years where I get down on myself! I have blog posts talking about weight, I go to the gym (mind you, I really go to get energy and it helps with mental health). I just want to change the discussion to normalizing and loving all figures!

ex: there is nothing wrong with bouncing back from a baby in 4.2 hours, there is a problem when that's all we see and when it becomes a competition to pit women against each other: 2 hours, 1 hour, 15 minutes, 25 seconds and she was pre baby weight!

I want to see different stories, different examples from all across the board.