27 Jul
My Baby Stole My Awesome Body and Won’t Give It Back!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’m smart. So smart that I convinced my husband that having our children 15 months apart was a good thing. So I have a 16-month-old and a 4-week-old, and I love them both. But my body is a wreck!

I won’t bore you with the long sad sob story about how hot I was (very!) or how my self esteem has suffered to the point that I’m afraid to initiate sex with my husband for fear of rejection. I am wondering, however, if you have any ideas for toning and strengthening muscles (both inside and out, if you catch my drift) because I can’t tell if I’m doing those stupid kegels right.   Meanwhile, I fear that if these bat wings (aka arms) get any worse, I’ll be swooping into my kids’ rooms in the middle of the night for the (many, many) feedings.

Signed,

Flabby Franny

________________________________

Dear Flabby Franny,

Your problem is not your body. Your problem is that you’re all messed up in the head. And it’s not your fault. Because you just had a baby. 4 WEEKS AGO.   Plus, you already have a   16-month-old!   You basically have two babies on your hands who need something from you every moment of the day. You are beyond tired.

I’m amazed you are even thinking about your body. Or sex. Because I would be sobbing. Constantly. And I would be curled up in a ball, humming the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island” while snarfing down gummy colas. But you’re probably a lot more stable than I am.

You are being way too self critical. Give yourself time to adjust to life with two very young children. Focus on sleeping whenever you can. And most doctors don’t even give the okay for sex until you’re six weeks postpartum, so don’t rush it. There is plenty of time to have sex with your husband. According to my precise calculations… the rest of your life.

If you want to start exercising, throw those two bambinos in a stroller and start walking. Up hills, down hills and definitely to the coffee shop.   As for the rest of the time, your arms will get plenty of toning carrying those two kids around. When it comes to the kegels, just squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you were trying to stop yourself from peeing. Hold for five seconds and then release. Do this 10,000 times. Maybe less. Like 20 times.

While you’re practicing your kegels and strengthening your pelvic floor, your husband can practice saying things like, “You are the most gorgeous mother and wife I’ve ever seen.”   Now believe him. Because it’s true. You’re a MILF.

Good luck!

Kelcey, TMH

13 Responses to “My Baby Stole My Awesome Body and Won’t Give It Back!”

07.27.11#1

Comment by Karin.

1 – you’re 4 weeks post partum, of course your body doesn’t look great. how much rest are you getting? how much “me time” are you getting? how well are you eating? how much are you exercising?

2 – it took you 2+ years to get that body, don’t think it will come back in mere moments of having your second baby. for me, my body came back within 6 months of my first, I had to work really hard for a year after my second was born (and I still gained 10 pounds) and my son is 4.5 and I still have to loose all my baby weight

07.27.11#2

Comment by From Belgium.

Double fun for mom and child: The baby/todler lift!

Lay on the floor on your back, legs stretched out, put the oldest on your knees and lift your legs and upper body simultanously. Keep for 12 seconds, repeat.

Not kidding, it is a yoga exercise, but since you are only 4 weeks post partum I recommend you wait until after your 6 week check up to start with it.
And don’t worry, your former svelte self will come back… eventually.

Karin Reply:

oh yeah – in my area, there’s StrollerFit and Itsy Bitsy Yoga (although this is focused on the kid) as well other, less national programs. Heck, my gym offers parent/child classes! Call your local community center, gym or yoga studio (pick your poison) and see if they have recommendations for Mommy & Me fitness.

07.27.11#3

Comment by Wendi.

I agree with Kelcey & the commentors 100%. I once read that pregnancy and giving birth is the most serious change your body can endure, second only to death.

Sleep is the best thing you can do for yourself right now.

07.27.11#4

Comment by Bean.

Trust me, you keep lifting those kids, and your arms will be rocks. Soon. My kids are 17 months apart, and by the time the youngest was 4 months old I was super skinny just from running around with them. It lasted until the baby was about 3, and then I had to start working at it again.

You can actually get tiny weights to insert into your vagina to help strengthen those muscles. I wouldn’t recommend it at this point (too soon after childbirth), but when you go back for your next appointment, you can ask your doctor about them. They help reduce the involuntary peeing that comes as you get older too.

Karin Reply:

do you have a weight rec? I’ve seen them but have no idea which ones to get. I got pregnant with #3 WHILE I had whooping cough (or as I like to call it cough until you pee your pants or barf)

Bean Reply:

Last time I looked at them, they came in sets of 3 and recommended starting with the smallest. But it’s been a while. Good luck!

07.27.11#5

Comment by MommyTime.

My advice is to hand over both children to your husband the VERY MINUTE he walks in the door twice a week, and take yourself out for a long, leisurely walk with your iPod, the dog, a nice, chatty neighbor, a tall cool drink with a straw, or any combination of the above. Take deep breaths and focus on feeling at peace. (This will be easier than it sounds because no one will be crying at you for any reason.) Benefits:

(1) It reminds your husband to appreciate how hard you are working all day, and to SAY SO;
(2) It gives you some time to be quiet in your own mind;
(3) It is technically exercise but doesn’t hurt or require an expensive gym membership or equipment
(4) It will be as good for your mood as for your body — which might even help you have some perspective on how awesome you are for having produced TWO ENTIRE HUMANS from that very body in the last year. Seriously? THAT is hot.

07.27.11#6

Comment by rojopaul.

My doctor told me it took 9 months to put on, you need to allow 9 months to get it off. Of course, he didn’t have a BFF who wore her skinny jeans home from the hospital. But don’t beat yourself up. It’s normal that it takes time to get back into shape, especially after the second child. In my case, the second child is 10 and I’m still not where I was pre-pregnancy, but that’s largely my fault. Oh, and I agree with the others – just get sleep whenever you can.

07.27.11#7

Comment by Plano Mom.

Did anyone make the connection between this question and the Fat Bones Mouthing Off post? Why must we always be consumed with adipose tissue?

The sexiest thing any man has ever said to me was from a neighbor that I really dislike. However, once when I made a comment about having fat and flab, his reply was “No way, you have the beautifully round body of someone who brought life into this world. Wear it with PRIDE, woman!”

Focus on being healthy, getting rest, and loving your babies. And as for the hubby, if he is stupid enough to say something, remind him it’s not the size of the mothership, it’s the motion of the ocean.

07.27.11#8

Comment by dusty earth mother.

I had my kids fifteen months apart too and because I had them in my 40’s, within two years I was in perimenopause. The combo of double birth that quickly and then hormonal stoppage nearly did my body in. I’m still working on doing what I can to be healthy and fit and coming to terms with my new body. Which ain’t the old body, believe me. But I’m still proud of it and you should be too!

07.29.11#9

Comment by Chunky Mama.

All I have to say is that you are a woman, who will be naked, in bed. And your husband is a GUY.
Rejection is not even a possibility.

07.29.11#10

Comment by Cheryl M..

I had my second in February, and I keep getting told “Rule of thumb is 9 months in, 9 months out.” Give yourself a break honey!

Also, please be careful with yourself…you don’t want to strain your sacroiliac joint like I did. It makes for months of pain and many trips to a chiropractor and physical therapist. This means DO NOT lift anything heavier than your babies!

All that said, I have some pelvic strengthening exercises you can do with an exercise ball that are great for getting your body back and aren’t hard to do. You can even feel your abs getting more toned! Drop me a line if you’d like them and I’ll scan the diagrams for you. 🙂

Consider Checking Out...