The curse of the Stick Bug Mama

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?


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)

11 thoughts on “The curse of the Stick Bug Mama

  1. feefifoto says:

    You want fat people? We got ’em. You’re obviously living on the wrong coast… well, okay, both coasts are wrong. Move to the Midwest and you’ll feel skinny.

  2. J. says:

    I think many of the fat people live in my state (go, Midwest!), but I still find that the bulk of my friends are still quite slender.

    But if it makes you feel better, I’d give my left leg to only weigh 158 (and if I gave my left leg, I’d still be more than that). Granted, I’m creating a child in my womb at the moment, but I didn’t even weigh that pre-pregnancy. Maybe I’m just extra-sensative that I passed the good ol’ 200 mark this past week.

    And I love your pictures of Syd! Don’t let those mean plastic old ladies make you feel bad. Syd’s cuter than they ever could hope to be (or have ever been) and they speak only in attempts of self-preservation.

  3. Rachel says:

    All the fat people are in KY. You aren’t fat at all. I agree, you should be proud of the fact that you have a daughter and not worry about your weight.

  4. Liz says:

    Manda. You’re HOT. And I mean that in the most uncreepy manner possible.

    My sister is a stick-bug mom and I feel like the pressure I put on myself comes from that. She’s 5’1″ maybe 100 and something very small pounds after having birthed SEVEN CHILDREN – no multiples. It’s hard being the “fat” girl in the family and coming to terms with my body size in that context….

  5. Lily says:

    Sheez, Manda, let me at the woman who asked whether you’re pregnant. I am furious that she just had to make an insensitive comment that made you feel so bad. I think you look fantastic, friend. That amount of weight lost is nothing to sneeze at; it’s a HUGE amount of weight to lose! In other news, Syd looks so different, now; she just keeps changing so much.

  6. Katie says:

    Living in San Diego (and a beach area specifically) I have the same problem, mostly with uber-thin fake-blonde girls….ugh. Yuck. Thankfully Alice is super cute and reminds me on a daily basis that I don’t need to be stick-thin!!!!

    Sid continues to be adorable!

  7. Brandy says:

    First of all you look FABULOUS! Second, I am with J – 158 sounds freaking awesome to me right now. My goal is 140 amd I still have 55.6 pounds to go but that’s better than the 84.5 I started with. Anyway, I think you look great and just because that woman was INSANE you shouldn’t let it bother you. Oh and come visit Indiana sometime – we have a TON of fat people here. He he.

  8. Amanda Culver says:

    I remembered wanting to punch people when I was pregnant with my little girl and everyone kept asking me if I was having twins… the nerve of some people!

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