Why can’t we have our “I just had a baby” excuse?

Why can’t we have our “I just had a baby” excuse?

So, this REALLY happened…One day when my son was about 6 weeks old, we ran low on diapers and supplies and my husband and I decided to take a trip to the store. While checking out the cashier decided to make small talk by asking me, if I was pregnant again. I mean, I was rendered utterly speechless because while I DID still have a sizable tummy pouch, it was clear had there was a newborn in a stroller right beside me. When she realized that she might have offended me, she laughed and told me, that I should strap my tummy down, to get rid of the ‘fat’. Now, with the lack of sleep and her insensitivity I just wanted to reach across the cash register and perhaps…straighten her out, you know? I fumed all the way home, of course, cursing my self for ever leaving the house in the first place. I mean I hadn’t been outside in a really long time and craved some fresh air and this is what I get?

Almost a year later I’m still struggling with the snares and comments from everyone around me, including friends, who gently remind me that ‘I just had a baby’ is no longer a viable excuse; or the in laws who ask if my family is big boned. Lets not forget the skinny models who post pictures on instagram four days after giving birth, looking like they just got off the runaway. Oh the struggle is real…

So, why is there so much pressure for mommies to loose that baby weight? What’s the big hurry? I guess its societal standards that are being forced upon us by Hollywood. We see starlets have babies and six months later they look like they were never pregnant to begin with. We normal folks feed into this pressure to look perfect not realizing that these people have personal trainers, camping out in their guest bedroom and private chefs making them egg whites and smoothies as their feet land off the bed in the mornings. Lets not forget the nannies, whom tend to their children while they get all this tucking and toning done. We normal folks are lucky if we can put a piece of toast in the toaster before the baby wakes up and the chaos begins.

What baffles me though is that these famous people in interviews proclaim, when asked how they lost the baby weight, that “oh, just by chasing after the kids, its really a great workout”. Oh, how I wish this were true, I’ve spent so much time chasing my kids that I would be as fit as Jamaican sprint queen Veronica Campbell-Brown, if that were true. Instead, I steal 25 minutes each day to heave heavily though my Focus T25 workout while praying that my infant doesn’t wake up before I get it done. As a matter of fact I was only more determined to loose the weight when I realized that I could either wear maternity clothes six months after I gave birth or endeavour to fit into ‘some’ of my clothes. I chose the latter, but with much stress and fanfare. Have you ever tried to work out on four hours sleep, it is not cute.

Also, after I lost a little bit of weight, about 15lbs, I had to deal with the added pressure to take it all the way, from those naysayers who kept hinting that I may or may not have another bun in the oven. Atlas, after loosing and gaining a little back and after almost a year I am down to my last 10lbs. The dreaded last 10lbs is clinging to my body for dear life; It refuses to leave, or maybe I refuse to put away the chocolate covered almonds, who knows? But i digress.. These days i’m lucky to get a work out in, because once you have two kids afoot, all hell breaks loose. Mostly my three year old insists that she needs to stretch too, and my son, he’s crawling all around my leg wanting to join the fun. Its a mess.

I guess what i’m rambling on about, is just how difficult it is for any mom, whether a stay at home mom or a working mom to get an exercise regiment going, let alone execute it effectively. We are definitely not starlets or supermodels, and we certainly almost never loose any weight by chasing kids around. We may loose our sanity, but never any weight. I  just think having said all that, we should be allowed to use the ‘i just had a baby’ excuse for as long as our hearts and hips and thighs desire. Its really hard to just bounce back, and people should understand and not give us any flack for it.

*Photo credit: http://www.essence.com (Getty Images)

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50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

The British National Trust released a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. Their aim is to get children outdoors exploring. What a great idea! How many children will collect all 50 experiences before they turn 12? They will certainly have fun trying!

How many did you do as a kid, and how many will your kids do before the summer is out?

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Climb a tree
1. Climb a tree

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Roll down a really big hill
2. Roll down a really big hill

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Camp out in the wild
3. Camp out in the wild

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Build a den
4. Build a den

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Skim stones
5. Skim a stone (or skipping stones, as we say in the States)

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Run around in the rain
6. Run around in the rain

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Fly a kite
7. Fly a kite

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Catch a fish with a net
8. Catch a fish with a net

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Eat an apple straight from a tree
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

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Play conkers
10. Play conkers – Do people do this in the States? I teach kids in the UK, so I know what a conker is, but I always thought playing conkers meant gathering up a massive pile and then slugging them at a friend during recess. Turns out I was wrong. See the web link below.

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5. Skim a stone (or skipping stones, as we say in the States)

10. Play conkers: the how-to guide!

And the rest…

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging

16. Bury someone in the sand

17. Set up a snail race

18. Balance on a fallen tree

19. Swing on a rope swing

20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

27. Watch the sun wake up

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net

34. Track wild animals

35. Discover what’s in a pond

36. Call an owl

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab

40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and compass

46. Try bouldering

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache

50. Canoe down a river

You can read more from Stacie at Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby.

Photo credits: (from Flickr, in order of appearance) tamckile, woodleywonderworks, jonny2love, OakleyOriginals, Thomas Guest, Scooter the Photographer, tom@hk | 湯米tomhk, eyeliam, slynndesign, seelensturm