Saturday, April 6, 2013

I can see clearly now . . .

This week has taught me one thing: why middle aged mothers are pudgy. I blame the husbands and children. Yep, it's all their fault. Well, maybe the chocolate I have stashed accounts for a portion, but still . . . It's a sequence that goes like this:

- You get pregnant with your first child, husband is worried sick about you miscarrying (again) so he discourages you from basically any physical activity other than getting in and out of the car by yourself.
- Your precious new little one doesn't sleep. At all. Like, seriously,  at all. No naps. Not at night. And your husband doesn't get up at night to help because he "doesn't hear her".
- After you've learned how to cope with extreme sleep deprivation you start to work out again, basically because you need some time to yourself and also because you want to prove to your husband that no, you don't do 'nothing' all day as a stay at home mom.
- Then, BAM!, you're pregnant again. You miscarry the baby, get depressed, stop eating anything good for you, stop working out, and starting baking a ton.
- Happily, you soon get another bun in the oven.
-You give birth to the little guy, lose the wait, get back in shape, and then find out that you can't eat gluten.
- Depressed because you can't eat a donut, you devour a ridiculous amount of starchy substitutes.
- Life goes on. You think you've got a handle on this and refuse to ever be 'that middle aged mom'. You know, the jaded one with the short hair and the pooch.
- A few miscarriages and years later you make it through another pregnancy and give birth to a giganto baby that nearly rips your 100 lb frame apart.
- You endure a summer of a broken stroller and pubic symphisis and a prolapsed bladder and a screwed up back that makes you feel like you are 80. You get new running shoes for your birthday thanks to your awesome hubby, after using them a few times, the pain is excruciating and  not worth it to put some miles in.
- Fall comes and you've still got a squishy tummy. Winter comes and it gets worse. Spring comes and you have ambition to get out their and get in shape.
- You and your hubby plan out which days you get to run and which ones he gets to run. Between his work schedule, his freelancing work, and his race training, there is no free time for you to run. Except for maybe 9 o'clock at night, which doesn't work because after being up the whole night before nursing and rocking your youngest who still screams through the night, and homeschooling and dealing with kids all day, then cooking/cleaning up supper, and  finally holding and caring for baby while husband draws, watches shows, or runs; when the baby finally falls asleep around 9 or 10 all you want to do is actually take a shower by yourself uninterrupted or go to sleep.
- Your hubby buys the kids a trampoline. You think it'll be a great way for you to have fun with the kids and get some cardio in. You excitedly jump in. Within 3 bounces you've peed yourself and are dying from the pain of your pubic bone.
- After stuffing a cookie in your face to relieve the stress and then changing your pants while a screaming baby holds onto your leg you realize that yes, you will in fact become a jaded, pudgy, middle aged mother just like everyone else because that's just how life is.

So, I'm a little discouraged at the moment. After writing it all down, my head and my heart feel a little bit better, but I don't want to look in the mirror. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I love being a mother, more than anything, and until the last few years how my body looked didn't matter much to me at all.  I've only become insecure since the commencement of motherhood.

In perspective, none of this probably matters. When I am a middle aged pudgy mom I'll probably be content with the way I spent my time during young motherhood, yet still baffled by how quickly the hours, days and years flew by, and will still be conjuring up rational one liners to say when my child or grandchild asks why I have such a squishy tummy. Motherhood is a sacrifice in more ways that I first understood. My body will  never be the same. I may never run as much as I used to. I'll be glad to make it to 40 and still be able to walk without emptying my bladder. But I don't regret them.

 I guess, overall, I'd rather have to go change my pants after bouncing around singing and  holding hands with my kids on the trampoline , than having no hands to hold.


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