You know what I wish someone had told me? That you’d basically have to go through the five stages of grief for your pre-kid body, because it’s gonna change on you in ways you never even anticipated.
First, you’ll go through denial, where you’re telling yourself that the whole thing is just temporary.
Sure, your back hurts all the time now and your boobs are starting to remind you of balloons with all the air let out of them, but it’ll all come back, right? Our bodies are resilient and we’re just going to snap back like rubber bands right? Right.
Except no, so then we move on to anger.
We start blaming stupid pants for being restricting and we blame shirts for getting tighter, and we blame the universe for making the guy who made bathroom scales.
You know that guy’s name is Richard Salter? You start wishing you could find Richard Salter so that you could punch him in his throat. He ruined your life. Fuck that guy.
After that, we skate right into bargaining, where we start watching our diet a little.
We say we’ll only eat salads and smoothies Monday through Friday if we’re allowed to bathe in tubs of nacho cheese on Saturdays and Sundays.
We promise the powers that be that if we can just find clothes that will hide the stretch marks in our next family photo, we’ll donate our lives to charity.
We even still sprinkle a little denial in there, pretending that everything in our body still works exactly the same way, and the only problem is how we’re looking on the outside.
We never do find those clothes we were looking for, and so this, plus a host of other shit, puts us in the throes of depression.
We’re seconds away from wearing potato sacks instead, and we kind of want to yell “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” at our children and spouse twice a day.
Sadly, some of us don’t get out of this stage, and it’s incredibly hard to do without a nice, strong support system to help us figure out our options. Check on your friends, folks, it’s not always obvious.
Finally, we reach acceptance.
We realize that we can work out, but that may not get rid of our scars. Our veins or darkened skin or lost hair stops bothering us every time we look in the mirror, and it kind of just becomes a thing we might fix someday, but maybe not because that money could also go to other things.
We become mostly cool with our bodies, and we come to understand that it’s just life now, like pooping with an audience, or eating leftover chicken nuggets for dinner.
I can hear the weight loss gurus and personal trainers out there frothing at the mouth about this.
I feel like I’m constantly hearing that because some crazy-fit mom in Hoboken ran a marathon as she birthed her baby, it means every single one of us could do the exact same thing if we just wanted it hard enough.
“The baby was still on its umbilical cord as she crossed the finish line!” They say. “It flew behind her like a victory flag. So she named it Victoria. Isn’t that an empowering story?”
No, but good for her.
All joking aside, if your body bounced back perfectly from birth, I’m actually super happy for you. That’s cool.
You should be proud of yourself, and I’m going to need you to wear extra bikinis in honor of those of us who don’t want to.
For the rest of us, though…what the hell, amiright? With so many crazy changes occurring within the one body we have, you’d think someone would’ve warned us with a billboard or something.