It's my first month back to work after a three-month maternity leave, and I am constantly greeted with, "Oh wow, You look great." Yes it's a compliment I guess, but what if I didn't look great ... then what? And why is that the first thing that comes to mind?
I was blessed to have a healthy pregnancy with a safe natural delivery. I was even fortunate enough to have avoided the dreaded stretch marks and cellulite. But, the low-key obsession with pregnancy and weight loss was still a problem for me.
Although, I am at my "goal weight," I am nowhere near my pre-baby flat stomach. I still feel as if I have a few inches I should lose. Gaining 35 pounds over nine months and only losing 20 pounds so far, it is a daily struggle as I have a mini presidential debate with my thoughts on whether I should indulge in my favorite Talenti ice cream or if I should eat an apple or two.
I make a conscious effort to not pout when my 2-year-old slaps the flat on my stomach and giggles, but instead appreciate the moments when my husband lovingly stares at me and tells me I "look beautiful" and my body is "perfect."
I have not focused on dieting or exercising for the last three months or even while I was pregnant. In fact, I did the complete opposite; I ate takeout a majority of my pregnancy and scarfed down whatever was available post-delivery. Plus, I am breastfeeding, so nursing mothers need double the calories.
I attempted to enjoy my pregnancy and FMLA of 12 weeks by simply doing nothing besides adjusting to my new role as a mommy of two under 2. But, it wasn't until I was up late at night breastfeeding and scrolling my timeline full of socialites who have snapped back faster than the average person, when I realized this has become a scary obsession.
It seems as if right after delivery so many social media celebrities are posting pictures eating a colorful salad, sipping detox tea in workout gear exposing the infamous "stomach selfie." Why does the primary objective post delivery seem to be who can bounce back to pre pregnancy weight the fastest? In reality, the goals should be who got to sleep three hours in a row? Who didn't soak through their pad and destroy their panties? Or who didn't spill a whole bottle of pumped milk today and get peed on at the same time?
When I was younger, I remember new moms wearing frumpy clothing for at least the first two to three months after giving birth, but now Millennial women are in lace and spandex within weeks. Many women aren't even giving their bodies enough time to heal before they're racing to a gym, disregarding the doctors six-week orders.
We should be spending those first few months smiling with gratitude as we bathe our little ones, holding and nurturing them during every crying episode, singing off key lullabies as we rock them to sleep. Let's not lose sight of the beautiful accomplishment of bringing life into the world. We should simply be enjoying the moments with our infants who will soon be crawling and destroying our house within a blink of an eye.
Yes that A, B or C Celebrity may have lost their pregnancy weight super fast, but she also may have a team to watch the baby at the gym while she works out. Who knows? But for those without that luxury, remove the comparisons. Focus on your growing baby, eat healthy without starving, don't touch your gym bag without medical clearance and forget about adorning the snatched crown until YOU actually FEEL ready.