I get it. I really do.
Your body has just done the most amazing thing — given birth to a real live human being — and yet, it looks so unlike your own body, so unlike you, it’s scary. Your belly is now empty, shriveled as a deflated balloon. Your tits are enormous, but instead of being Playboy Bunny material, they’re jiggling like a Jell-o mold every time you move. No clothes fit you properly so you’re still tooling around in the jeans with the elastic-waistband you can pull up over your granny panties to just below the terribly unsexy nursing bra that looks like it’s been made from your grandma’s lacy kitchen curtains.
Being sexy is the furthest thing from your mind, because really, between the feedings and the diaper changes and the nonstop blood, who the fuck has time to even think about sex?
But then a couple months go by and the feel-good hormones have disappeared and the blob that’s been sucking the life out of you suddenly doesn’t need your attention 24/7 and so you turn your attention back to your body. To all the things that are not right with it. How it looks and feels so alien. So unlike yours.
I get that you’re just not feeling it anymore, that you want your pre-baby body back stat.
I get that those “pelvic floor muscle-building” classes that your midwife recommended and your insurance company paid for are over and you still see no discernible difference in that blubbering belly of yours. I’ve been there. It sucks.
But you know what? It’s okay. It’s not a permanent state of affairs. Trust me.
There is no need to take to the park to speed walk while pumping a 1-pound weight in your left hand while pushing your Bugaboo with your right hand. There is no need to subscribe to Jilian Michaels’ YouTube channel so you can attempt to finish off 30 Days of Shred without milk leaking through your sports bra and dream of fitting back into that sleeveless dress that will never ever fit again because your tits have settled in a completely different place.
My midwife told me to not even think about running the first year after my daughter’s birth, not if I didn’t want to piss myself every time I sneezed. And you know what? She was right. The first time I tried to run for a tram while pushing Diva’s stroller I thought my uterus was going to fall out. Worse, weirder pain than anything I ever felt while pregnant. And I have no problems sneezing.
Because eventually, those stomach muscles stitched back into place. Five years on, they aren’t a six-pack, because abs are made in the kitchen and despite many many planks and hanging leg raises, I have a layer of chocolate between my muscles and skin. Still, they’re as flat as they’ve ever been. It happens if you want it to. So please, please, just enjoy your time with your newborn. Don’t waste your time and money doing boot camp in the park while bitching about sleepless nights and worrying your kid hasn’t eaten enough because half the jar is still full. Your tits are not going to magically get less bimbo-tastic because you’re pumping a 1-pound weight, at least not while you’re still breastfeeding.
Instead, go for a walk. Feed the ducks. Take a tumbling class with the kid.
For fucks’ sake, do not commandeer the running path while doing squats with your limousine strollers three abreast. It’s not only unbecoming, it only makes you feel bad about yourself. You’ve just had a kid. Give yourself a break.