I don’t know about you, but I’m getting sorta tired of all the fluffy “I love my stretch marks” blogs. All of the “It’s okay, you don’t have any time” mom-affirmation stuff online is starting to get old and tiresome. You know what I’m talking about. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you have also read one of those blogs.
Yes, we are stretched very thin as parents. Yes, it is hard to make time for yourself. Yes, it’s hard to focus on yourself because, yes, you do have parenting guilt. We all feel this as parents. We all struggle with this. But, I’m still tired of these blogs. The attitude is getting old.
I’m tired of the attitude found in these blogs for two reasons.
First, they all forget about the fact that we, as mothers, are women and we want to feel sexy. It’s innate, I think. It’s part of our evolution to want to attract a mate. It’s survival of the fittest. We don’t lose that instinct just because we have babies. But, the “I’m just too tired” attitude basically gives us all a free pass in our minds and we slowly lose our drive to be the best version of ourselves. But, what is so bad about striving to be the best version of ourselves? Why do people say that is vain? It’s not. I think the naysayers are simply in denial. The naysayers say “Welp, I’m a mom now, so I’m destined to be tired, stressed, a little pudgier than I really want to be and lacking a sex drive.” This doesn’t have to be.
Secondly, these blogs don’t actually help us. Sure, we find humor in them and camaraderie in our motherhood and mom bod, right? And, maybe that helps a little. Knowing we aren’t the only ones feeling this way. I mean, I know I have felt this way when I first started reading them. But, that fades. They don’t really help us. They don’t give us any tips on how to unwind from the stress, or how to lose the baby weight or how to find some “me” time. They simply just say “Welp, this is it.” This doesn’t have to be, either.
So, yes, I’m tired of the pervasive “this is it” attitude traipsing around all of the mom blogs these days. Because, no, this doesn’t have to be it.
If it’s really something bothering you, if you want to feel like your old self again, here’s the thing: You don’t have to take mom bod lying down.
I don’t love my stretch marks. In fact, I sort of hate them. They are ugly. They make me cry sometimes. Don’t you ever cry over yours? Here’s the thing: It is alright to feel that way. I don’t have to live in denial as if my stretch marks are beautiful because they are a sign of my pregnancy and the miracle of life. They are a symptom of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and it doesn’t mean that just because it happened during pregnancy that you have to be happy about it. Disregard for my pregnancy stretch marks doesn’t make me a horrible and unloving mother. The disdain I have for my saggy boobs or my stretched-out lady parts in need of a few more stitches doesn’t mean I can’t find joy.
I don’t have to look at these post-pregnancy elements of my body to know that I love my children. I don’t need them as reminders. I’m reminded of how I love my children when I look at my children. I’m reminded of how I love my children when we laugh together and when they say funny things that only kids say. My waistline full of potholes has nothing to do with reminding myself that I love my kids. Nope, that stuff just looks like the surface of some far off, desolate planet which I don’t want to inhabit or visit.
So, instead of veiling ourselves in denial and succumbing to “this is it”, let’s be honest with ourselves. I think if we start to do that, we can still feel camaraderie and enjoy some laughs about the hand pregnancy has dealt for us. But, in addition to that, I think we can also move forward. I think by being honest with ourselves and what we still really want as women, we can move forward and no longer feel like our pre-child bearing self is some ghost of the past which can never appear again.
Here’s my admission:
- I liked my pre-pregnancy body more than my post-pregnancy body
- I’m a mom but I still want to feel and look sexy for my significant other
- I love my kids. Having them jacked up my body and it’s not their fault; it’s part of the process but it doesn’t mean I have to succumb to the “this is it” mentality
- I don’t have to eat goldfish and chicken nuggets just because it’s in the house and my kids are eating it and it’s “too tempting”.
- I can have control and I CAN make time for the gym. I just sometimes choose to be lazy instead.
- Maybe I have in the past, but I no longer want to take mom bod lying down
Over the past couple of years, after the birth of my second baby, I have focused on making changes in my diet and also changes in my method at the gym. I chose to focus on this for me. I wanted to feel better about myself. I wanted to feel healthier. I wanted it. I didn’t really do this after the birth of my first. In a way, I think I felt like it would all be for naught if I wanted to have more kids. So, it just wasn’t a focus for me. But, the past two years have been a journey. I’ve certainly lost a lot of weight already, gained more strength and also figured out how to put a little more focus on myself. But, my journey continues. I’m evolving as a mother and as a woman. We always evolve and I think sometimes we need friends to evolve with along the way.
So, first, I invite you to make your admission. If you are with me on this and interested in just saying no more to your mom bod, then follow along, and post your admission here. Write a note and stick it on your mirror or your fridge. Set up a daily reminder on your phone. Use the #nomoremombod hashtag when you post inspirational, individual success images on your social sites.
I’ll be writing about my journey with food and fitness as part of a series, which I hope serves to inspire and offer a space to share. I’ll share pictures (like the progress photo on of myself below) and my food diary. If you are looking for some light at the end of the tunnel in the journey of motherhood and everything that comes along with it, then please join in on the conversation on lifewithmother.com, Facebook and Instagram by following lifewithmother.
Let’s build a community around each other to inspire striving to be better and not succumbing to the “Welp, this is it” attitude.