New Motherhood Has Made Me Frumpy & That's OK

Mom Moment 18

sweatpants signWhen I was pregnant, I was convinced that just a few months after the babies were born, I'd be back to my fighting weight, all trim and toned and better than ever. So what if I might never have time to work out -- just carrying them would turn my flabby ham hock arms into lean, mean, Michelle Obama-style machines, duh. And, I'd be so busy with the twins that I'd barely eat, right? And I guess that I'd also decided that once I was a hot, skinny MILF (forget that I've never ever been skinny), I'd buy a whole new wardrobe with all of the extra cash I would have after caring, feeding and diapering two babies.

Now, for some strange reason, none of this actually happened -- I still have lots of baby weight to lose, sweats are my style staple, and I consistently seem to have mysterious orange stains on whatever raggedy T-shirt I'm wearing. So, yeah, I guess you could say that I've officially let myself go. No, I'm not proud of it, and yet, I just can't seem to make it stop.

All of you new Moms that still manage to go to the gym and blow-dry your hair and shave your legs, go right ahead and judge! I mean, really, how could I argue? What's so hard about washing my hair? Who told me to buy eight boxes of Girl Scout cookies? Can't I seem to find one T-shirt that doesn't have a hole in it? What about my poor husband who has to come home to Ida Schmutz-a-lot every night?

I can't even seem to get it right when I'm going out either. Sure, I'll do a smoky eye thing with my makeup, wear jeans without an elastic waistband, maybe even slip on some heels. I'll twirl my freshly-washed hair, smile coquettishly at my husband, fiddle with the dangly earrings I never get to wear. Then, I get home and realize that those skinny jeans I squeezed into have a hole in the inner thigh and that cleverly draped (read: forgiving) black top has a white milk stain on the shoulder. Damn you, motherhood -- foiled again!

I keep telling myself that I should go shopping, get myself some new garb, even if it's just a few new pairs of stretchy pants and some clean T-shirts. But, then I'd actually have to, like, get in the car, drive to a store, and squeeze my flabby tummy into double-digit jeans and tops -- uh, no thanks! I also probably need to accept that my feet are never going to shrink back down to pre-pregnancy size, and buy myself some shoes that actually fit. My flip-flops could definitely use the break.

Did I mention I haven't cut my hair in over a year? Yes, that's right, a year, probably more! Okay, to be fair, I'm actually donating it, but I reached the requisite 8-10 inches, like, six months ago. I look like Crystal Gale! Oh, see, right there? Even that reference dates me, so now I'm not only disheveled, but old and out-of-touch too. Waaaaaaaah.

In all seriousness, yes, I'm bummed out about how I look these days. I swear, I think I looked better when I was pregnant. But, at the same time, this belly flab is a reminder of the two healthy babies I carried in my tummy for nine months. That orange stain on my shirt is from lunchtime, when my 8-month-old son decided to blow raspberries at me through a mouthful of carrots, the three of us (including his twin) laughing the whole time. And if I can't seem to find time (or energy) to get out and shop, it's because I'm busy with two vibrant, funny, joyful babies who grow and change and learn and surprise me every minute of the day.

I'm not making excuses, especially because I know that many, many women are able to take care of their children and themselves. And I envy them, I totally do, and wish I was more like that. I know my current state of disarray isn't permanent, and when it's important enough to me, I will pull myself together. I'm taking care of my health and I definitely give myself breaks to get a pedicure or have lunch with a friend, but right now, my appearance doesn't seem to be a priority. I'll get there, I have no doubt. And in the meantime, I'm just grateful to have a loving and understanding husband.

Do you feel like you've lost your mojo since having a baby?

Image via Mike Licht,

mom secrets, postpartum weight, time for mom


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Littl... LittleManMama

Amen to this article. My son just turned 20 months and I am just starting to lose the weight and pull myself together. More power to the mamas who do it sooner, I have no idea how they do it. I kept telling myself that true beauty came from within and that physical appearance doesn't matter in the big picture. But I definitely felt disappointed in my appearance regardless.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

Love this article. I too wear the elastic waistbands still, and my kids are 3 and almost 2! I thought I would jump right back to skinny, between running around with my girls and not having time to eat.....yea, not even close lol. Thank god I'm tall, because otherwise I'd look like an oompahloompah with all this weight gain. I just feel like a yeti now, I need to get my act together already and get healthy. Not skinny....healthy. I don't my girls to see my constant weight battles, my temper tantrums when nothing looks good. Not healthy for them or for me.

Mary Cimino

I keep up a simple tip in my mind before I go out of the house: Brush my hair, put on real pants (Cute sweat pants are an option) and wear a clean shirt. I'm a beautician but I hardly wear make up unless I'm at work. I tell these tips to all my new mom clients and they are very simple to follow. Joys of motherhood...

Kaela Wheeler

Oh the hork machine made sure anything I wore smelled, so I never wore anything that couldn't be laundered within an inch of its life. I will say, with summer coming, it's so much easier to be a cute human burp rag. Get thee to target and get a few jersey dresses. They're like sweatpants your husband actually wants to see you in :)

nonmember avatar HS

Get a job outside the home. That'll snap you out of your funk real quick.

jrphelps jrphelps

I am not trying to brag, but after I had my son & I was breastfeeding, the weight seemed to melt off for about 7 months without me even trying.  I was even below my pre-pregnancy weight & feeling pretty dang good about myself.  Then came a vacation & I stopped totally watching what I was eating for about a month & a half & the weight was slowly returning.  I told myself I HAVE to do something about it if I wanna chase after my vibrant son this summer.  So I went out, invested in a new pair of tennis shoes & put him in the stroller & we walk a couple of miles a couple of times a week.  It is hard to get motivated cuz I didn't wanna miss out on time with my son as he is only 9 months old, so I had to make him a part of my work out routine!!

TheOt... TheOtherLove

I honestly think the speed you get back into shape depends on your husband/partner.  Some women get back into shape so fast becuase they are afraid of their man losing interest and have some bad self esteam.  If you have a good partner, you may take a little longer, but you are not obessed with the face ever woman you see is "prettier."  Do what feels right, and as long as you are not pushing 200 pounds you will be fine.  Take some time off from the mommy game and do what makes you feel sexy.  For me that is a new pair of "stripper" shoes and rocking them out at the bar.  I am a big believer in a post partum party....a stepping out celebration.

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I do not agree with this article!!! For me, I have to look good in order for me to feel good and to be an active mother. Get a double jogger and create a routine. Wake, breakfast, jog, nap and while they are napping take a damn shower!!! You don't have to blow dry because long hair can be a hassle, I know! But please shave your legs for your hubby's sake! You dont have to be skinny, but you do need to be healthy in order to run after 2 toddlers at once. And if it help, get hubby involved. Go for walks/runs with him. And get those girl scout cookies outta there!!! And get a damn haircut! How can people seriously let themselves go, literally?!

Lesley Rae King

I kind of agree, since I've been there, but I also take a lot of offense to some sweeping generalizations. Oh, no, DOUBLE-DIGIT SIZES! As in, a size 10? GOD FORBID! When I am at my medically ideal weight, maybe I'm a size 10. More likely, a 12. And the poster who said, "As long as you're not pushing 200 pounds....", well, f-you. I was "pushing" 200 pounds 20 months ago when I completed my first triathlon, when my twins were 4 months old. I had lost all the baby weight +2 pounds (yes, in 4 months, with twins.) I had been running just about every day, training for the race. I won a fitness contest (among new moms). I seriously looked pretty good. And yup, I was sorta close to 200 pounds. Get over it. Not everyone is (or should be!) a size 4. I want to be a size 12. I personally would look too skinny as a size 8. I would not be healthy.


MomLi... MomLily67

New mommies: enjoy the frumpiness, you are adorable, strong, fascinating beings. I'll come over and wash your sweats and stained shirts if you need. You will not ger back yo your pre-baby body, you will grow into an improved one.

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