I guess you could say it all started on Pumpkin’s second day of dance class.
The first day, I was wearing a long, shapeless sweater—we all have that one. The second day, I wore a new form-fitting sweater and my skinnies tucked into my boots.
As I joined my daughter in her parent-toddler Dance and Movement class, jumping, crawling, waving my arms–I took a peek at my reflection in the wall-to-wall mirror, and felt a hint of pride. Two kids later and I still got it, my brain crowed.
But pride goeth before the fall, as they say.
My eyes happened to linger a second longer on my skinny jeans and I caught the reflection of another mom who always sat in the back, texting or sometimes taking videos of her daughter. This woman is, well, physically the opposite of me. And she was looking at me. I’d know that look anywhere. The one that says, I’m so fat, why are you so thin? Didn’t you have a baby? Oh, you have two kids??
TWO KIDS LATER AND I STILL GOT IT, MY BRAIN CROWED. BUT PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL, AS THEY SAY.
I initially felt bad for her, and I still do, a little, and for others like her. Before I became a mom, I used to think all I would need to do was Get Rid Of The Baby Weight and I would be back to my old self. I never realized that not only would my hips widen permanently, but so would my shoulders and bust as well. I never could have foreseen the extent that my ab muscles would stretch in pregnancy, and that they wouldn’t simply snap back like a rubber band.
But I’ve been blessed with my grandmother’s genes, and even though because of that fact, I’ve had my share of ups and downs in childhood, it has finally paid off for me post-pregnancy. I’ve filled out, and now I look, well, normal.
BUT I’VE BEEN BLESSED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER’S GENES, AND EVEN THOUGH BECAUSE OF THAT FACT, I’VE HAD MY SHARE OF UPS AND DOWNS IN CHILDHOOD, IT HAS FINALLY PAID OFF FOR ME POST-PREGNANCY. I’VE FILLED OUT, AND NOW I LOOK, WELL, NORMAL.
It isn’t easy for some moms–including me—to get back in shape, no matter the obstacle, and yes, I now no longer mind my stick limbs; I embrace them. I used to feel guilty that pregnancy hadn’t greatly changed my body as it had others’. And while I didn’t have real body image issues for the most part while growing up, I had never felt fully comfortable in my own skin and endured taunts from classmates and relatives regarding my bony frame. But I’m done feeling guilty. It’s time to celebrate.
I HAD NEVER FELT FULLY COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AND ENDURED TAUNTS FROM CLASSMATES AND RELATIVES REGARDING MY BONY FRAME. BUT I’M DONE FEELING GUILTY. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE.
Times sure have changed since the days of Why don’t you eat anything? You look anorexic…are you? and You’re SO skinny…what’s wrong with you?
Now I’m finally rockin’ my skinny genes while watching myself perform pirouettes in a wall-to-wall mirror.
How did you overcome others who may have tried to body-shame you?