July 22, 2013

Celebrity moms

I feel really bad for Kate Middleton.

It was tough enough for me with just my family and friends calling and messaging endlessly for days: is that baby here yet? I can't imagine having them, plus the press, plus strangers around the whole world, all waiting for the news. But that's part of being famous, I suppose.

I read an interesting blog post on the Huffington Post about the sick obsession with pregnant celebrities - specifically, about the intense focus on their post-baby bodies. Written by a mother of two young children, the post touched upon so many things I've been thinking (and worrying) about for the better part of the past year.

Everywhere you look, there are "news" articles about this actress, that singer, this model, etc., and how fast she was able to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. I remember one particularly disturbing one that I stumbled upon when I was maybe 5 or 6 months pregnant, about a (former?) Playboy bunny whose goal was to lose 40 pounds or so in a month. It was frightening - because even for people far less visible than this girl, that pressure is still there. The day I went into the hospital, and the nine months leading up to it, I was "looking great," I was "glowing;" almost as soon as the baby was in my arms, I got bombarded with questions about when I would start working out again.

It's upsetting. For all the ways that new mom celebrities and I are different, the one thing we have in common is this new role we've taken on. No matter where you live, no matter what your economic status or career, the first few weeks as a new mother should be about resting, about recovering, and about bonding with this new member of your family. The scale shouldn't cross your mind at all.

Within a few weeks of delivery, I had lost a good amount of weight - part baby, mostly fluids. Since then, I've been losing 2-3 pounds a week, not bad considering I had the same rate of loss when I was in the gym 6 night a week and all I do now is walk with my baby and breastfeed him. There's still a considerable amount of weight to lose, and I'm working on it, slowly but surely. Still, I can't help but feel self-conscious, like people are judging me - she was a runner, she was in good shape before, why isn't she back in her old jeans yet? They see that it's possible for the women in the magazines, so it should be possible for me too, and for all the other "real life" postpartum women they know.

It's silly to think people are judging me like that - and if they are, to heck with them, I'm doing the best I can and I don't need to make anyone else happy. But the sad thing is, it's likely in the back of at least some people's minds, because it's constantly all over the media. So-and-so is looking amazing just X weeks after delivery!

I'm not So-and-so. I don't have a personal trainer and full-time nanny who can watch my kid while I spend hours on a treadmill to make sure the tabloids don't catch me looking like I just created another human with my body. I'm just Mary. And I'm doing the best I can.

I'm lucky to have a great partner who isn't putting any pressure on me over all this. Matt knows I want to lose weight, and he supports my decisions and encourages healthy habits, but he is by no means forcing me to overdo it and try and get my body back as fast as these famous women. I can't say it enough, I'm so lucky to have a partner who has fought the same battle as me, who understands the struggle with weight and the issues with food. I'm getting a lot better about communicating with him and working through tough times. I told him that the wait over news about the job has me fantasizing about binges, and he listened without judgement and offered advice and support.

And I'm lucky to have an incredible son who loves my body no matter what it looks like. This body made him, and now it nourishes him. He doesn't understand baby weight, he just knows that I'm his mama and I take good care of him. Ideally, he'll never know me at this weight - but it's lovely to know that no matter what, I'm still so loved by this little boy.


Amy said...

Such a great post. I feel soooo bad for Kate. The media frenzy outside the hospital is just insane. I cannot imagine the pressure she must be feeling right now.

There is something in the water in my town right now. I know SO MANY girls that are pregnant or just had babies. I was at a baby shower at the end of June and everyone was commenting on post-baby bodies, particularly of two new moms in our town. They both just had babies and it was as though they walked out of the hospital in their old jeans.

Honestly the one girl has a 6 pack and is wearing crop tops with an infant. It's unsettling.

I just think no matter who you are it's all some sort of race to 'look amazing' after having a baby.

I hate to be judgemental... but that mom with a 6 pack I've seen out at the bar, and in pictures out partying while her baby is at home. I'd rather be in maternity jeans for 6 months than be seen out partying a few months after having a baby. Some people's priorities are just too warped.

Caron said...

Good for you taking a sensible approach to losing weight after having your baby. That is the best way. I gained about 30 pounds with each of my babies. When my oldest was born, I lost seven pounds which was what she weighed. I'll admit I was disappointed as I had read that I would lose up to 20 pounds immediately. It took me several months to lose the other 20+ pounds but I did it eventually.

Hang in there. You're doing great.:)

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Yes we went through the same things as celebrity moms, but we also don't have a lot of the luxuries that they can afford, like personal trainers, nannies and chefs or home-delivered/prepared meals. I can not imagine the stress of having to have been teeny tiny in the first place, though, let alone after giving birth. You are doing fantastic! Keep up the great attitude!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Hehe... I commented after only reading half-way through! You mentioned my two cents. Great minds think alike!

That Loud Redhead said...

"Created another human with my body" Love it!! LOL!

You have such a great mindset...keep with it!! You're doing great!

Spoonful of Me said...

Those celebrity moms on magazine covers have airbrushed figures not real post baby weight loss figures. They also have access to more than most moms can dream of.