Recently I found a website that is a reader-written blog, by new (and some not-so-new) mothers. The aim of the website is to showcase post-natal bodies and support other moms as they come to terms with their new bodies. Sounds great. But there are some common themes new moms write about that really irk me.
Many moms mention celebrities and how they feel they should be able to look like them just as quickly after having a baby. I NEVER thought that. Why would I? I'm not a model or celebrity. Those women are who they are partly because they are genetically unusual, LOL. The benefit of being in the tiny statistical abnormal group of women and then a celebrity, is the abundance of money. Surplus money can easily be used to 'buy' time and people. They can pay for nannies, cooks, drivers, assistants, cleaners, personal trainers. They don't have to focus on primarily being a new mother, if they don't want to. They can afford, both financially and hence time wise, to spend 4 hours a day in a gym.
I can't do that; it never occured to me to think that I should be able to. And hence, that I should look like a celebrity--post natal or otherwise.
Of course, being the person I am, I see the other side too, LOL. Those celebrities do what they do post-natally partly because it is their career...it is a self-perpetuating cycle, if they want it to continue. To be a celebrity, they must maintain their form; being a celebrity allows them the freedom to do so.
The other common theme that drives me bonkers is women who put on 30, 40, 50 or more pounds during pregnancy, and expected to lose it with birth. Seriously, many women expect to come home from the hospital looking like before the positive test. I just don't see how they thought it was possible, even if they put on only 15lbs. Baby averages just under 8lbs, placenta is 3lbs, uterus is 2lbs, increased blood is 2lb, increased fluids is 2lb and suggested fat increase is 5lbs. That's 22lbs. Not all of that can be lost with birth. And if you put on more than the average 11lbs that can be lost with birth, how do you expect to suddenly lose it? Even the ones that think by 6 weeks they should have lost 30lbs make me want to shake my head. Women are horrified that by 6 weeks they still have a soft tummy, stretch marks, and extra weight.
Now, I was a little sad with my post natal body, LOL, but I never expected to look 'perfect' after the birth, or by 6 weeks, or even by 6 months. I don't understand how these women are coming to the conclusion that all evidence of pregnancy should be eliminated by 6 weeks. They usually say 'the media' lead them to believe that would be possible and NORMAL. So it comes back to celebrities again?
Am I unusual that I don't form my ideals, ideas, or values from strangers that the media has decided are the idea of ideal? Why is it I don't look at Angelina and think I should look like that? Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't want to emulate these strangers.
Then there are days I am surprised everyone else doesn't want to babywear. And days it surprises me that some knitters don't knit socks. And other days I get a reality check when I hear a 3 year old talk like an adult.
We all have our own realities; why would I try to emulate that of a professional perfectionist?