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)