Sunday, January 5, 2014

postpartum obsession

I feel like there's been a ton of public focus recently on the topic of "body after baby."  And since I'm currently living in one of those, I feel the need to weigh in (pun totally intended). First, a word on my body after baby:

You know when you offer to help someone carry a really big box or something, but they say it's not heavy, it's just awkward?  That's totally my body right now. I'm not heavy, I'm just... awkward. A little squishier in the middle than before. A nibble or two more meat on the thighs. Face a bit moonier. And super busty. But not like sexy busty. More like my jackets won't close, and if I wear a scarf it sticks out two feet in front of me. My breasts do not say, "Touch us, we're sensual."  They say, "Don't even look at us, we are angry and we will spit at you." And they mean it. The hubs is quite scared of them.

But so what. I had a baby. Several of them, actually. And I always go back to normal afterward, eventually. There's just an awkward phase there in the middle, between "with child" and "super poised and glamorous mom on the go," where things are just kind of... different. And that's okay. Thankfully, the only person judging my hip circumference is me, and who cares what I think.   

That's what I'm getting at here: nobody should care. It's none of anyone else's business. Why are we even talking about it?

I throw up in my mouth a little when I see celebrities' post-baby bodies publicly scrutinized. Because either they look absolutely perfect three weeks after giving birth, and everyone applauds them but also secretly hates them (and all I can think about is what they must have done to get their stomach back like that, and so I just feel bad for them), OR they still look like an Orca six months later, and the whole world is just disgusted, and people even fatter than them are all like, Ermahgerd, did you see so-and-so's big old ass on the cover of Star magazine? She's obviously lost all control of her life and is headed straight for rehab. They should take that baby from her. Can you pass me the Pringles?
The thing is, whether a woman looks like a million bucks or more like a packet of food stamps after giving birth, it's not really something she can control.  You get huge, then you get instantly ten to fifteen pounds smaller (cause that's not gonna do anything weird to your body), and then you get super fucking tired/ hormonal/ hungry/ stuck sitting on your couch all day breastfeeding. And either you're the kind of chick who can't wait to get back to the gym, and does as soon as possible, or you're the kind who secretly enjoys doing absolutely nothing but snuggling with your newborn 24/7 for three months. Both are fine. Your body will eventually go back to relative normality -- whether it takes one month or 27 -- and in the meantime, the only person who has to see you naked is your partner, who, believe me, is so hard up by the time you're able to have sex again that he does not give a flying arm flap what your body looks like. TRUST ME. I've been told this fact A LOT. By my husband. While I'm crying over my stretch marks. 

For that matter, a really awesome partner will tell you he finds your new body even more attractive than before, because it gave him his precious baby. Whether you choose to believe this load of crap is up to you, but I can tell you from experience: just go ahead and take the compliment. He means well, he's gentleman enough to lie to you, and he really, really wants to see you naked. Just do it. You're beautiful. And awkward and jiggly and probably hairy. WHO CARES.

1 comment:

  1. Another good one little sister. When you write your first book would you please give me a copy. Love you, Mo.