The other day I was shopping at Costco with Sydney and we had the usual fanfare (as in "OH! She is SO CUTE!" and "Wow! She just smiles at EVERYONE! That's wonderful!" and "Cherish this time, they grow up TOO FAST!"). We don't mind stopping to say hello to everyone. On our way out, an elderly lady chatted with Sydney and asked how old she was. I replied that she is nearly eleven months old. I was holding her on my hip with both arms (girlfriend is HEAVY!) and utterly exhausted. Every muscle in my upper body was flexed under the weight of my 24-pound (gone dead-weight-limp) baby girl. And that lady looked down at my belly sticking out – full of the combo pizza and berry sundae I had enormously enjoyed on our way in to the store – and looked me dead in the eye and asked me if I was pregnant. Yes, that's right. The only excuse for a woman holding an 11-month old baby to have any lingering baby weight MUST be that she's pregnant.
I freaking hate Los Angeles sometimes.
Earlier as I wandered through my friendly neighborhood Costco I couldn't help but notice all the older ladies (and by older, I mean in their 70s) with puffy collagen-injected lips and perfectly smooth and wrinkle-free skin. Their 40ish-year-old counterparts have the perky breasts of 19-year-olds (19-year-olds with implants, that is), and bellybutton rings peeking out from the waistbands of their size 2 jeans. Even the 20ish year olds that passed us by had perfect ski-slope noses, nary a blemish on their bronzed skin. Don't even get me started on the mothers in my age group toting one, two even THREE children along with them who have no stretch marks and asses that float along behind them in their short-shorts.
Is it me, or am I the only one who thinks that NOT everyone's genetics can possibly be THAT GOOD?
And WHERE ARE ALL THE FAT PEOPLE?
The expectations on how young mothers should look are sometimes just ridiculous. The lengths to which people go to look certain ways are insane. I should be proud of myself for losing 25 pounds in the last 4 months but instead all weekend I've been self-consciously checking out my belly. Reminders that I once carried my precious Sydney in my body comfort me only a little. Hello, Manda, the baby weighed as much as some Thanksgiving turkeys on the day of her birth! You were 42 weeks pregnant by the time she was born … THAT'S TEN MONTHS OF PREGNANCY! There should be a parade in your honor or something. Yeah. Instead the only badges I've got to show are saggy boobs and a poochy belly and haters and celebrities who have the world convinced that your worth is attached to how thin and perfect you can get after you have a child.
If for the rest of my life people will rudely ask me if I'm pregnant (and my response should have been, "Nope, just fat! And who knew that weighing 158 pounds was FAT?! Isn't that HILARIOUS!?"), if I never again have the body of a 20-year-old who runs every day, fine. I'll take it. Because you know what? I'm not 20 years old and I don't want to be. I'm not more concerned with what I look like than the fact that we have a happy, healthy family. I'd rather have my daughter any day than to have abs you can bounce a quarter off. I'm very happy to be who I am right now.
And I'm damn right to be if I do say so myself.
(and you can suck it, Rude Lady At Costco and the rest of you people who think that mothers should look like stick bugs)