Our post-partum bodies, like all the new things that come with motherhood, would be so much easier to cope with, if nobody came at us sideways, and everyone just let us get on with things. But no… Our bodies, like our parenting choices, become just another site for judgement, comparison, scrutiny and discussion. Like, my internal organs and skeletal system made way for a human to grow inside me. A whole human, who is now in my life forever, and they’re my responsibility. Can. I. Live?! Fuck!!
I gained about 22kg with my first born, and about 16kg with my second. I used to watch rugby with my husband and think “damn, I weigh as much as these men!” Stress. After my 1st, I wore maternity clothes for about 6 months. I couldn’t bring myself to get back into my regular clothes, even though I’d lost the weight I gained. I struggled to recognise and accept my new belly, stretch marks and thighs. I had a catalogue of clap-backs for anyone who made a comment, and boy, do people comment…! Ugh.
I told myself that after my second pregnancy, I’d get fit and lose weight in record time. Guess what?! My daughter will be 6 weeks old on Tuesday, and I look nothing like Heidi Klum. Right now, healthy eating to me, means eating with both hands, at a leisurely pace, while sitting down, with no baby on my lap. I’ve let the yummy mummy train pass me by.
Of course I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with womyn who prioritise weight-loss after pregnancy. I think mums and all womyn should aspire towards, and have the kind of body they want. What I resent is this idea that the best mum body is the one that looks like it’s never housed a human. That comes with way too much pressure, and I don’t deserve to worry about being yummy by any standards, other than my own.
I didn’t deserve the nervousness of seeing myself naked after pregnancy and wondering if I will ever get my body back, if my partner will still find me attractive etc… Truth is, that body will never come back, my body has changed forever. It was home to 2 humans and their potential. My body will never be the same because of that. I will never be the same because of that.
Yes, I want to lose some weight and tone up. But my body is currently in recalibration so it’s still early days. I’ll get around to all of that, and I will do it at a pace that is affirming to me and my life as it is right now.
Right now, I’m working with what I’ve got, and being honest with myself about where I’m at. If I need a treat, I have a treat, without feeling guilty. I stay hydrated. I nap when possible. If I want a flat tummy and smooth thighs, for an outfit, there’s shapewear.