It’s OK Momma . . .

It’s ok Momma,
To feel a little worn when you look to your breast, your belly.
You’ve sheltered and fed and grown life with them.

It’s ok Momma,
To feel that tired drain at the end of your day.
You’ve been watching your babies run and learn and grow.

It’s ok Momma,
For your heart to pinch and sway at the sight of your darlings.
Your heart now holds more dreams than your own. 

It’s ok Momma,
That your endurance is stretched, and your strength tested.
It helps make you the momma you are now, and the momma you’re becoming.

It’s ok Momma,
That sometimes you’ll fail.
It only makes you real, it only makes you human.

It’s ok Momma,
Remember you are none the worse for wear.
Instead, you are more radiantly beautiful than ever.

It's Momplicated Archives

I am so honored to be part of ChrisAnn and Kristin’s Gathered Thoughts link party at Love Feast Table. They have taken their Gathered Thoughts Cards written by people all over the world and invited bloggers to write a post based on the prompt they’ve received. All participating bloggers will be linking their posts this week at Love Feast Table. Click over and take a look, you can be sure inspiration awaits you :).

why I finally said goodbye to my pre-baby clothes

It was time friends.  Time to undress the hangers.  Time to over-turn the drawers.  Time to empty the closet and start over.  After five years of holding out, on the cusp of starting a new decade of life, I finally . . . *tearfully* . . . said goodbye to my pre-baby clothes.

It’s not that I didn’t try my best to get myself into them again.  After each pregnancy I dutifully emptied the RubberMaids full of skinny pants and fitted shirts in an effort to inspire myself to some form of dramatic weight loss.  I bought work-out DVDs, joined the gym, and signed up for Weight Watchers.  I just underestimated exactly how hard it would be.  I had been redistributed, literally and unevenly I might add, and the numbers on the scale just don’t measure the same pants size anymore.  And then of course you know “The Rule” that goes into effect the moment you even get close to making it back into your old clothes.  You get pregnant.  Again.  So now here I am, nearly two years after having a second baby, even farther away from fitting into those ever-shrinking, ever-loving pre-baby clothes.

It’s a disheartening reality, especially since I stubbornly refused to buy more than three pairs of pants and a handful of shirts after I had my first.  Because, you’ll remember, I had all the motivation of a closet full of clothes that was going to inspire me and transform me.  So for the past four years I’ve been wearing and re-wearing the same few articles of clothing that I don’t even really like because I bought them on sale.  Because, as you’ll recall, I was going to lose all the baby weight.  Which at this point is even doubtful I can call baby weight, considering the baby is able to run around the house telling me they’ve pooped their pants.  *Sigh*

Over the last year especially, that closet full of clothes started to become less a point of inspiration and more a point of frustration.  Every time I bravely glanced at the clothes I couldn’t wear, they whispered their disapproval threatening they would refuse to be in style if I ever finally managed to stuff myself into their single-digit size “M” prints.  And in truth I let myself believe the lies those clothes whispered at me that the pre-baby-me was better in some way than the mother-me, and I found myself longing for that girl believing if I could get her back it would somehow make me happy.

Let’s be real here.  Who needs to be bullied by a closet full of clothes?

Not. Me.

It happened one day when I was putting away the few articles of clothing that fit that I got tired of hearing the judgmental whispers of my pre-baby clothes and decided that they needed to go.  I didn’t want to compare myself to me anymore, so I started tearing them out of the closet determined to face my current reality and replace my pre-baby clothes with clothing that fit.

Brave as I was, It hurt more than I thought it would and I might have cried a little as I haphazardly tossed them into white plastic trash bags.  There were a lot of good, precious memories tied to those silly pieces of clothing.  The black turtleneck and shimmery gray pants that made the first outfit Michael ever bought me.  The jacquard skirt with the satin sash I wore to my bridal shower.  The silky tanks I wore on our honeymoon.  The yellow button-down blouse I wore to my first interview as a married woman.  Saying goodbye felt like finally letting go of a really special season of my life and admitting I could never go back.  I mean, I always knew that in my head, but I finally felt it in my heart.  Or maybe it was my waist.  Regardless, the me that wore those clothes is gone.

After saying my final goodbyes, and tucking a few of those precious pieces away in the basement for memories sake, I’ve decided to believe that the old-me wasn’t better, she was just thinner.  At the end of the day, I love my life.  Being a mom is one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me, and I will confidently take today over any other previous day – the big, the flabby, the saggy, and all.  I have a husband who loves me and two little boys who I wouldn’t trade for the moon in the sky to have my pre-baby body back.  When I lay them down side by side, there’s just no comparison.

I’m not saying I’m done trying.  I’m just done feeling bad about myself.  I will accept who I am today and move forward from here with clothes that flatter who I am, not who I was before, or who I hope I’ll become.  Besides, like a Facebook friend of mine commented, if I do ever make it back down to that magical size I once was, I deserve a new wardrobe anyway.

It's Momplicated Archives

Mommy Body Image

There’s nothing like a mom-and-tot swim class to bring you right back to high school again.  You know, where there is an unspoken pretty-skinny caste-system you find yourself somewhere in the middle of.  One of the many reasons why I was not a huge fan of high school . . . but there came a point in my life that I decided to stop wondering where my name fell on that list and decided to write my name where I chose.  I joined Weight Watchers the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college and lost 40 lbs.  It was incredible.  I was wearing clothing sizes I outgrew in the eighth grade and still had a bowl of ice cream every night after dinner.  Crazy I know.  Who loses 40 lbs eating ice cream in three months?  People who very recently were teenagers.  That’s who.

Irregardless, I got engaged and to my delight every dress at David’s fit me.  I bought a dress off the rack, walked down the aisle with no alterations, and married my prince charming . . . all the while posing for as many fabulous pictures as I could.

Enter newly married young adulthood.  The pressure is off, and so apparently am I . . . off my bathroom scale that is.  Add 25 lbs.  Cue baby number 1.  Add upwards of 50 lbs (I had to stop looking at the scale at the obgyn for my own sanity so I’m not entirely sure where exactly I landed before the birth).  Reality check – I’m recently not pregnant, bigger than when I started, and very unhappy about it.  Re-enter Weight Watchers, subtract 20 lbs to bring me back to where I was before baby number 1 . . . but with a whole lot more belly.

Cue baby number 2 at the EXACT moment I reach pre-pregnancy weight (I think the timing of that is a universal law or something).  Add a cautionary 35-40 lbs (again can’t look at the end of pregnancy) even MORE belly (if that were even possible), and begin the post-pregnancy calorie burn I call “running” (which for me is really like jogging or walking with a little bounce).  Subtract 7lbs . . . which I might add I was pretty proud of . . . until today at the mom-and-tot swim class.  I really thought you could grow out of the comparison game, but I’m beginning to think it’s not that easy . . . at least for me.

Gone are the days of comparing bra sizes and waistlines in high school.  Now we play a new game with new rules in our post-baby bodies with all the stretch marks, cellulite, and flabby saggy bellies (or lack there of) that go with it.  Sadly, there are lots of skinny moms out there who make me feel pretty low on the skinny-mom-totem pole.  Lots of skinny moms who also brought their kids to the mom-and-tot swim class at the pool today.  I try very hard to blame it on genetics – that somehow it’s just in them to be skinny and that it’s because I’ve inherited my Oma’s physique that I look like I’m built for hard labor or to maybe be a lineman.  Sometimes I decide it’s because they have lots of money and can afford to “freshen up” a little bit (and by freshen up I mean get professional help – and by professional help I mean get a tummy tuck).  But when I allow myself to be honest I know that it really isn’t completely about any one or all of those things, and a lot to do with daily choices everybody gets the opportunity to make.  Including me.

So I have emerged from the aforementioned mommy body rant brought on by the inevitable necessity of being seen in public in a swimsuit today . . . with the following thoughts of thanks:

1.  I have a husband who loves me.
This one really means a lot.  Especially because he asked me out on a date way back when nobody else would, before I ever got skinny and looked great in a pair of single digit pants.  Despite the fact that my body has become somewhat of a yo-yo, I know deep down in the bottom of my heart that he loves me just the same.

2.  I have two really cute little boys.
Every time I get a little sad about stretch marks or my bubble gut I look at these two precious little boys and I decide wholeheartedly that it was 100% worth it.  I would never ever trade those boys for anything.

3.  My friends are my friends and have always been my friends.
The people who have been and continue to be the most important friends in my life love me no matter what.  Coincidentally many of them have been my friends since before high school . . . so that should say something really profound right there.

The Pre-Preggo Jeans

Today is a momentous day in my new-mommy life . . . a day I questioned would ever come.

I fit into a pair of my pre-preggo jeans . . . but not just ANY pair . . . my FAVORITE pair!  I cannot describe to you my excitement when I busted these babies out of the dresser and actually got them buttoned.

I do however, use the term “fit” loosely (definitely no pun intended).  Yes they buttoned, yes I have worn them all day, but there is a reason why you are not seeing a full-body shot.  I hit my pre-preggo weight earlier this week, but all the momma’s know that doesn’t mean anything in regards to fitting into your old clothes the way you USED to fit into your old clothes.

I am undeterred.  I know that it is possible to get back into shape.  A lot of hard work, a lot of food deprivation (meaning all the cakes and goodies I normally like to eat and that I ate when I was pregnant), and I am getting there.  I still have a ways to go.  But the dream is becoming reality.

While I hate to admit it (especially when it comes down to the exercise) all the work is worth it.  I know the probability of having my old body back is close to 1 in a million without surgery, but I’m not going to stop trying.  I feel healthy, and I feel good about myself.
I would never ever trade being a mom for all the flat bellies, or stretch mark free skin in the world.  Change is part of being a mom.  And that change has been one of the most miraculous, wonderful, exciting changes I could have ever imagined – even if it comes with a little more sweat than I am used to. :)

A moment with Jillian Michaels

I’ve been trying to lose my baby weight since the doctor told me that Elijah was only 6 lbs 15 oz, not the 12 lbs they thought he would be.  (Oh good the baby’s fine.  Oh crap, all this extra weight was just me eating Christmas cookies!)  I didn’t really see anything change until almost 11 months post-baby when I started Weight Watchers.  It’s been great, I’ve logged 10 lbs on the program so far, but as most mommas know, your body doesn’t really bounce back quite like it used to pre-baby . . . so I’m having to take it up a notch.

My friend Erin Handler suggested the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred workout DVD.  I hate hate hate working out.  Nothing about sweating makes me excited.  But I hate not being able to fit into normal clothes more so I’m realizing I have to pick the lesser of two evils.

Let me just say . . . Jillian Michaels kicked my butt this morning.  I am still having a hard time walking down the basement stairs.  But I made a choice today to do something for myself and sacrifice something small (my personal comfort today) in order to gain something much more valuable (a deposit in the account of future good health).

And as if that wasn’t enough of a motivational moment in my life today, Jillian spits out this great line in between butt kicks and bicycle crunches, (yeah I know they really made me tired) . . . Come on ladies, change doesn’t happen without stress . . .

Wow.  I almost stopped butt kicking.

She’s right.  I know she was talking more along the lines of a shrinking waist line as a result of all the cardio and strength training she was making me do, but I started to think about all the other “stress” in my life over the past year and how it has changed me and made me stronger.

Do I like stress?  About as much as I like exercising, but if the end result is a more mentally and emotionally fit me, then I guess the aggravation is well worth it in the end.

So here’s to a better tomorrow and the choice of making the most out of every kind of stress to reap the best change in life :).