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As a stay-at-home mom, I'm usually with my baby, but
occasionally I'll leave her with Daddy or a sitter and step out alone. That's when things get weird.
Recently, a stranger offered me her place in the ladies room
line. A supermarket checker insisted on
helping me out to my car and loading the bags. A waitress beamed at me broadly and asked how I was feeling. At first, I thought people were just really
friendly, or maybe there was Prozac in the reservoir.
But then it hit me: these assholes think I'm pregnant.
At four months postpartum, I have lost about two thirds of
the 45 pounds I gained while pregnant. Most of my body looks okay, albeit curvy, and my nursing boobs are
really something to write home about. But my midsection is a disaster. My abdomen is so round that I truly look like I'm 20
weeks and there's a growing baby kicking away inside. So if I do venture out without my
newborn, it's pretty likely that someone is going to ask me, "When are you due?"
And I hate it.
What am I supposed to reply? How about, "I'm due four months ago." More like, I'm due for a good cry right now.
Everyone has their body issues. I'm lucky that I've always had smooth skin,
very little cellulite, and legs that can still rock a mini skirt. But to quote Sir Mix-A-Lot, I've never been "little
in the middle." Even as a skinny young
person, I was more straight up and down than hourglass, with no natural waistline
to speak of. Now add a few decades, two
pregnancies, lingering diastasis and baby weight, and you get a new mom who still
looks like a mom-to-be. For God knows
So I will never openly gripe about how long it's taking for my body to snap back. It's only when someone asks me that evil question that I die a little inside.
I'm not depressed about my bod on a daily basis. I know how incredibly lucky I am to have a
healthy, yummy baby in my arms. And I acknoweldge that part of motherhood is sacrifice—the temporary loss of my figure is the least of it. Hell, I'd rather have a good night's sleep once in
the next decade than get back into my old jeans.
Also, I'm conscious of how important it is to model a
healthy body image for my older daughter who's four, very impressionable and able to hear a whisper from two rooms away. So I will never
openly gripe about how long it's taking for my body to snap back. It's only when someone asks me that evil
question that I die a little inside.
Here's what else I do to cope with my in-betweener body:
- Avoid empire waist dresses, because
they throw more fuel on the "is she or isn't she" fire.
So if you see me out and about with my bundle of joy, and
you think "Oh, what a nice mom, bonding with her baby," know that in fact she
is my most important fashion accessory, until such time that I go on a juice
fast/hire a trainer/get surgery/stop giving a fuck.
"When are you due?"
Hmmm….I'd say I'm due for a cocktail. Any time now.
Tell me I'm not alone, has anyone ever confused your postpartum bod with a pregnant one?