My husband has gained some weight since we had our first child nearly five years ago. It's not that I'm scrutinizing his body (I do enough of that to myself), but he's told me. It's been a gradual increase so the change wasn't obvious to me. However, when I look at old pictures of us, I can see that he has indeed filled out a little bit. I think it's because he developed a Dad Bod.
If he hadn't said anything, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Gaining a few pounds as we grow older doesn't surprise me. I've spent so much time focused on how motherhood has changed me, that I haven't noticed all the ways fatherhood has changed him. I admit, knowing that the Dad Bod phenomena is real makes me less insecure about my own body.
Obviously, our bodies aren't the only thing that have changed over the years. Our priorities, spending habits, and overall lifestyle shifted. Prior to kids, we often dined out and went to the movies. Free time flowed easier, but we still felt busy with work and daily commuting. We even joined a gym at one point in time in order to work out together.
We became motivated to model healthier habits for our kids. We cut back on going out to eat, making the majority of our meals at home. My husband (mostly) enjoys my cooking even if the little ones don't quite yet. Overall we're eating healthier than we ever were pre-kids. Still, there are outings for ice cream with the kids, plus playdates and birthday parties. Also, late night snacks after getting the kids to bed and convenience meals on busier days.
Honestly, I love his Dad Bod. Everything that makes him a great father is inside of that body.
We could probably think of a million excuses related to lack of time and caring for demanding young children, but I don't think it's something to be ashamed about. This is the man I married because I love him, not just his body. This is the man who gave me two beautiful children.
So what if he likes to hang out at the park instead of the gym? It's not that we don't value exercise or don't think it's important, but his focus is on getting the kids moving and having fun rather than sculpting his abs. Our motivation to be active is different. We go for walks, go swimming and run around in the yard. We dance and we get silly.
Rather than dressing to the nines for a fancy night out on the town, he'd rather dress comfortable to hang out at home playing a round of Candy Land or watching "Frozen" for the millionth time. His Dad Bod makes a great place for piggyback rides and cuddles. It makes his lap a comfortable place to snuggle for a bedtime story.
Honestly, I love his Dad Bod. Everything that makes him a great father is inside of that body. He's happy and healthy, and that is all that matters. We love each other through it all. And one more reason I love it? It's another example of teaching our son and daughter to have a healthy body image.
Plus, no matter what, he looks damn sexy doing chores around the house.