People tend to forgive pretty much everything when you are pregnant. Emotional outbreaks in professional settings? Yep. Wearing the same pair of black stretchy pants every day for 6 months? Sure! Public hoovering of Doritos without ever offering to share? You betcha!
In fact, when you are pregnant, everyone brings you treats and encourages you to take more. After all, you are "eating for two". People always want to know "what is the baby craving today", even if the baby is only the size of a pea.
I know that with my first baby, I noshed with abandon. I kept telling myself "no problem, I will just take it off after she is born". After all, I was pregnant!
I threw myself at queso dip and donuts with abandon. Mowed through cupcakes like they were water. Got extra cheese on EVERYTHING. Everyone EXPECTED me to chow down and I was happy to oblige. Honestly, pregnancy was like a giant, 9-month free pass.
And then Sterling was born... and I was left with all that weight. A little extra cushion. Chub.
No matter what you call it, it was only cute when I was pregnant.
And I learned one of the many cruel truths of motherhood: after you have the baby, that baby weight is flab, no different from weight you packed on at any other time in life.
In fact, it's worse because your stomach (and ass, and boobs, and hips, and thighs, and pretty much anything else important...) are all stretched out of place and ripply.
It's fascinating how the weight that gathers around your midsection during pregnancy instantly morphs from "necessary and cute" to "lumpy and gross" immediately after the birth of a baby. The first time you go to get dressed and realize that your maternity clothes are STILL the only thing in your closet that fits, it's a cold dose of reality.
I used to joke that I never wanted to leave the house without the baby in tow, because she was essentially my "explanation" for why I looked the way I did. I even threatened to have T-Shits made up (really big, loose, baggy ones) saying "Baby Recently On Board" or "Yes, I DID just have a baby. That's why I look this way".
But I never did.
Instead I shifted into "Momtabulous" mode, exercising and eating well... for about a week. And then the exhaustion started to kick in. And I shifted back into grab-whatever-is-pre-made-and-shove-it-into-my-face-in-the-few-seconds-I-am-not-nursing-changing-a-diaper-or-soothing-a-screaming-infant mode.
"No big deal, I am breast feeding. The weight will just magically melt away" I told myself. Only it didn't.
So I eventually weaned the baby and got back to the grindstone, while dealing with sleep deprivation, blowouts, teething... and calorie restriction. Not exactly a friendly combination.
And I had almost gotten to the promised land of Pre-Baby Weight... when I got pregnant again. And I pretty much flushed all that effort down the drain.
So this time I am doing things a little differently. This time I am investing in cute shoes, and making my peace with spending a little extra time being Absolutely Flabulous (yes, that is indeed a technical term).
After all, I will only get a short time to enjoy this phase of their lives, and I am pretty confident that they will have plenty of "crazy mommy" memories without me throwing calorie reduction into the mix :-)