Babies and Bikini Bods

Congratulations mama!

You’ve gone through the toils and turmoil of getting bigger, growing a human larva within you, and a delivery of some sort; time to get that pre-baby bikini body back, right? Well, only if you want to. And if you don’t, that’s cool too.

You see, like you, I too am going through the motions of getting a schedule with baby set (you know- sleeping, eating, diapers and what not) and the other day I found myself hopping on the scale to see how much weight I’d lost since delivering my son a little over a month ago. What did my wondrous eyes see? I ONLY LOST 6 F^*$ING POUNDS!!! WTF??? Despite delivering an almost 9lb baby plus after-birth I had managed to put on some weight from delivery to now. My ego took a shameful hit.

That’s it! I need to get back into shape. I need to exercise, eat better, make better choices otherwise this will be harder and harder to lose these pounds.” I scolded myself that  day, and for the days to come. <- a very “hot blooded mama” moment indeed.

Fast forward a couple of days when the hot- blooded-yet-still-logical-mama took over this cycle: you see I stepped on the scale again and saw I lost a whopping quarter of a pound since the previous weigh-in and realized that prior to delivering my son my doctor expected me to gain weight. Not a ton of weight, but 30-40 pounds. And that’s exactly what  I gained.

Now before we proceed much further let me be clear this isn’t a post about how I intend to get my pre-baby-body back, how I’m eating better (no more midnight, 2am and 4 am cookies for me though. Womp, womp.) or have finally gotten the OK from my doctor to start to exercise (gently) again. Nope- there’s already plenty of articles out there about how YOU CAN get that bikini bod you’ve always wanted after having baby. I should know; I googled the sh*t of of that topic, desperately ready to get rid of this sweet saggy pouch-tummy and flabby thighs. I spent a good part of an afternoon in bed after feeding baby, reading how I could get back into shape without ruining my milk supply when that “logical-mama” brain kicked in again and said to me:

Hold the phone- only weeks ago you were expected to gain weight. You were told you should gain and you did. Then after you gained the weight you went through a physically traumatic event called birth. A person came out of you. And now you feed this little person around the clock, barely getting any sleep yourself and here you are worried about how you look? Worried about when you’ll fit into a certain wardrobe again? FORGET THAT NOISE! Think about what you need to be healthy physically and mentally. If some desired weight-loss is a bi-product that’s great but it shouldn’t be the focus.”

Apparently “logical-mama” is also known as “fairly-frank-mama” because I sat in bed and cried a little bit about that. (oh the joys of hormones and what not, right?)

Isn’t it a funny thing that while we are pregnant people are always encouraging you to eat more because it’s for two, that milk shakes will cure heart burn, and then after the baby is out there’s this immense societal pressure to undo all of that and get back into shape so you can hide the fact that you grew a person? Now no one I know was saying out loud that I needed to get back into shape except me. But I saw it in magazines, in articles, in the mommy Facebook groups encouraging each for trying to get that pre-baby body back and it’s ridiculous that I was giving that sh*t a moment of my precious thought-time.

No matter if you are a 1st-time mom, or adding a new sibling to your bunch, whatever every mom is going through is different than what she was doing before. Think about what a huge adjustment that is- a new mouth to feed, sleep lost, schedules thrown out the window, diapers, wipes and visits, oh my! Then on top of all of this, somehow the next thing on a mom’s mind is getting back in shape? What the hell was wrong with my thought-process that I was worried about losing weight for the sake of looking good. Not feeling good, not as a break from mom-things, but for the sake of vanity and my ego. Ouch.

Pre-baby I worked so hard to let that sh*t go, took up running and yoga as a cheap and effective method of decompressing mentally at the end of the day while doing some good for my body and here I was thinking about looking good. Admittedly I do have a pre-baby wardrobe set aside that I’m itching to get into again because there are some really choice pieces waiting to be worn and I don’t want to spend more money on new clothes when I have a perfectly good wardrobe waiting for me.

(As I sit here re-reading what’s written I must admit that I can’t believe how ridiculous I was for fussing over wanting to get back to the good ole days of my former body.)

Now so far I’m dong a decent job of talking myself out of these damaging thoughts of wanting to lose weight for the sake of looking good but what about all those moms who are facing even more pressure than I am? Those moms who have people telling them, out loud, to their faces, that they need to get back into shape, to lose that tummy/those saddlebags/whatever? Who was on their side to say “Girl- you only got to do something if you want to! If you love how you look now then celebrate the f*ck out of that! You don’t have to do a freaking thing about how you look if you’re happy and healthy right now!”

I don’t proclaim to be the gold standard for anything so ladies, let me be your silver medal! You don’t have to do a damn thing about getting your body the way it was. If you’re happy and healthy now then don’t let anyone tell you to do something about how you look. You are fierce as f%ck and the way your body looks does not determine your worth. Wear 2-piece bathing suits, let your stretch-mark be seen (if you have them and are cool with people seeing them). If you want to get into an exercise routine and your health care provider says you’re in the clear to partake, then go for it! If you just want to focus on being a mama then you be the best mama you can be!

The idea that women need to go through the immense changes of being pregnant then go through the traumatic event that is birth (regardless of how that baby comes out) and then after that we are supposed to adjust, lose sleep and yet function like a normal human, take care of the baby and then get back into shape like we have a swim-suit competition to prep for is bullsh!t.

Mama you are beautiful the way you are and any changes you make that result in muscle being built and/or weight loss is just gravy because what matters is you taking care of you! And as you read this, remind yourself to say this to a mama you know if she seems like she needs t be reminded about how awesome she is.

Ladies our worth is not measured in dress sizes. Please remember that!

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