Four months post-baby in few months ago, I was in luncheon with friends who celebrated her birthday. One of my workout-guru friend, who was a really nice person actually, screened me from head to toe and said, “You look bigger and changed.” I stunned and managed to smile.
How many times new moms (or mom at all) have faced the cultural pressure regarding their physical appearance? I can be assured that we, new moms (and all moms) do not need to be pointed out that our figures have changed. The society, including social media, constantly remind us how much we are expected to bounce back after pregnancy.
No. We don’t need to hear that. You don’t need to show and tutor us “how to get your pre-baby back after pregnancy” shit.
Inside, we, all women, know. You know. He knows. People know, that after pregnancy, women “should” try hard to get back to her ideal weight and shape. But the shit people may have forgotten is, no matter how hard we want to have an ideal “post-baby body”, we nurse and take care of our babies at home.
We are sleep deprived. We struggle to wake up in the morning because bae keeps up all night to breastfeed. We manage to cook and eat healthy for the sake of breastmilk nutrition while our babies cry or want to be carried to soothe him/herself.
The point is, our life has changed. While we want to fucking bounce back, it needs commitment, dedication and fucking time. At least in one to two year of post-baby, we barely have those.
You think I just making up excuses? Because you see moms on social media, especially Instagram, holding their 7 months baby while showing abs and shit with inspirational caption that ruins your self confidence and literally makes you want to fucking slap your flabby tummy, questioning why you can’t be like her?
Those #fitmom are not you, and you are not them.
You know, your jelly flabby tummy was the place where you gave life, grew your baby healthily – even though your body nearly gave up on you because of the weight, the hormones, and you put such effort to make your body did daily activities like other normal people.
Maybe, we can start bucking the system and instead start praising each other for being the amazing, life giving, creation birthing vessels that we are – moms.
I can assure you, that for me, my body doesn’t need to squeezed or changed based on what the world think we need to be. Instead, our body needs to be cherished and revered for the incredible life it just brought into this world. It is beauty. It is all it needs.
Of course, we want to work on ourselves. We want to be fit for ourselves and our kids. And it doesn’t need to be pointed out and put on the spotlight. We are having our insecurities while trying to raise little humans that depend on us.
That’s what I do. You have no idea how much I want to workout and get fit, because endorphin is lyfe, but I take a step back and do it slowly. I do not put pressure on myself because baby is #1 priority.
The things I can do so far are little steps: Balanced, healthy eating; when I have the time, I do workout – but when I can’t or feeling unwell, I don’t do that. As simple as that.
I don’t go overboard. Those #fitmom on Instagram won’t bow me down. They inspire me, but they don’t scare me.
And you shouldn’t. We, moms may have different approach and goals, but our priorities remain the same – to nurture and nurse our baby healthily and happily, watch him/her grow while having fun with all the process.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
I have survived!
I don’t know if that word is suitable to convey my experience of being a parent, but honestly that’s how I feel. It’s truly about survival – for the baby and, even more, for us, the parents.
I keep getting advices that having a newborn means lacking sleep and getting hungry all the time. Rarely people talk about the emotional wreck that new moms got to face. And by emotional, it means exhausting, exhilarating and gut-wrenching.
Just like weddings and marriages, or any romantic relationships, people often see the surface, the dreams and the rainbows. Parenthood is alike. You are showered with gifts, prayers, wishes and kisses because of the little bundle of joy has arrived. You prepare a lovely nursery room for the baby, with pastel-colored palettes and cutest dolls you’ve ever found.
But the reality speaks louder than those imaginations. It’s scarier, darker and more annoying.
I can’t even wear my old jeans for a while. For the time being, pyjamas and yoga pants with loose t-shirt are my bff. I even contemplate staring at my wardrobe, thinking what to wear to go out with the baby. Now, I can’t just wear what I want. I need to wear what accessible for the baby for breastfeeding.
I just bought maternity clothes and didn’t feel right. Frankly, I hate the design and the fabrics they used – I feel like an old-fashioned woman. Thinking to re-sell it even before wearing it outside, I ended up buying more front-button shirts and dresses. They look more polished and even fashionable to mix and match. BUT them jeans I have, they haven’t fit yet. Ugh!
At the end of the day, I sometimes prefer to stay at home than going out. Because I have “nothing to wear” (an excuse for “nothing can fit me well because I am bigger now”), and I can’t just go out with my hair tied up so messy and face so annoying you’d want to punch – swollen and tired face completed with panda eyes.
I just want to stay at home, wearing any comfy ugly clothes, don’t give a single fuck for whatever going on in the world, shower only once a day while sweating all day everyday. But then, I get bored and want to go out but so lazy to get dressed. Ugh!
An ungrateful jerk
In the middle of mixed emotions, I miss my old life. I miss going to the office, the boring work routine, and workmates. I miss the life outside the home, the workout buddies, the café’s talks, the driving around and movie night with husband.
Until I’ll remember that someone, somewhere who wants to be a mom doesn’t get to be one. Someone out there wishes they could be you, willingly wake up every night to morning to breastfeed and change diapers. And here I am, holding a precious little one who brings light to our house.
I admit that the first 6 weeks were hard. I complained a lot about not sleeping enough, whilst my mom stayed at home with me to nurse the baby and cooked meals for us. And if mom wasn’t at home, I didn’t even know if I have the energy to take care of my baby.
Slowly, after that phase has passed, I gained consciousness of my emotions. It was like finally I can live sober after getting drunk every single night. I was thinking that I am allowed to have mixed, random feelings. I am allowed to be tired, especially after my body gave birth. My hormones, my routine, my body – my life has changed. And I don’t have to enjoy motherhood every second of every day. That’s completely normal. I know I have been doing great, for my baby and the family, and I am allowed to have any feelings bubble up – no matter how small or wrong they might seem to others.
Being a mellow mom
I didn’t know this would happen so soon.
Around 3 weeks after Raiden was born, I had always seen his little face and thought that, “How my body could grow this little munchkin and bear with it for 37 weeks are totally miracle. And now he’s growing every day. His face will no longer be this tiny anymore, so do his feet and hands…”
Then tears came out. Shit. Hahaha…
It’s true the sayings that we, new moms, should totally enjoy every seconds with our babies because they grow up in a blink of an eye. Before you could even realize, they go to school and no longer rely on you for everything. They want to be more independent. And you must let them, even though you know you can’t. Even though, God knows, you would want them to need you through their life – just like when they were a baby.
See? I forecast things so fast that time machine is jealous of me. That’s bad, Amelia, chill…
That has made me more relax when Raiden is awake in the noon or night. I no longer complain when he cries, or when he doesn’t want to sleep when it’s sleeping time. I don’t care if Raiden "bothers" my schedule and could not do other things than nurse him and play with him.
It made me love him even more. I must enjoy the present and not overthink about the future so much.
It means that I’m going to fall in love. Hard. At the same time, my husband and I still can’t believe that we’re now parents. Even though having a baby could be overwhelmed for me (and for us), everything is worth it.
And when the time is finally available for me to do something else as the baby is asleep, that’s the time when I fully feel worn, chubby and grateful at the same time – than you ever knew was possible.