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I'm So Sick of Looking Pregnant When I'm Not

Photograph by Twenty20

You look great for having kids!

If you've ever heard that phrase, you know exactly what it means: You look presentable, but let's face it, there's some definite damage there.

Now before I go any further, I would just like to say there is absolutely nothing wrong if you happen to have a body that shows some physical evidence of you growing humans and there's absolutely nothing wrong if you happen to be genetically-inclined with elastic skin and perky breasts despite having kids. It happens to "real" mothers both ways.

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I would also like to say there is nothing wrong if you've chosen to prioritize other parts of your life, such as eating cake or self-care practices that don't include dead lifts, or if you have certain medical conditions that don't mesh with six packs. Everyone is different and "health" doesn't translate into "looking sexy based on stereotypical standards."

We can be grateful to be mothers without loving every roll, right?

OK, glad we cleared that up. And now that we got that out of the way, here's the thing.:

I am just mighty tired of my mom pooch. I don't have a problem with pregnancy. I'm grateful to have experienced it. I'm glad my stomach was able to accommodate four kids.

But I'm not pregnant anymore. So why oh why do I still have to look like I am?

Sure, there may be some medical stuff going on. I'm pretty aware that diastasis recti is real and I definitely have it, but you know what else I'm aware of? Insurance doesn't always cover treatment for it, because after all, moms are supposed to have their bodies ruined, right?

I know I'm not the only mother in this boat. We can be grateful to be mothers without loving every roll, right? Sometimes it is genuinely hard when we make an effort to fit into our jeans again, only to feel like no matter what we do, we will still have this ever-present "pooch."

Despite whatever real obstacles we may be up against as moms, whether that be medical conditions that have weakened our muscles, health conditions that prevent us from exercising, or life conditions that have conditioned us to put ourselves last, it can be hard for us to balance feeling good in our skin with, well, our actual skin.

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I'm speaking out for the moms who are just a little tired of that fight for balance—the ones who recognize that we are more than our "mom pooches" but kind of sort of wish we could lose them at the same time, and the moms who don't care if we can get a six pack but think not looking like we're pregnant (when we're not) is too much to ask for.

It's not asking a lot, really.

I just want to not look pregnant when I'm not. That's it. And maybe eat an occasional donut without it pushing me over into the "about to give birth" category. Sigh. A mom can dream, right?

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