August 31, 2015 by Katia
Back to school is a bit of a witch’s pot overflowing with different, sometimes contradicting ingredients. Last week I wrote for The Mid about how my son told me he was scared of grade one and I flunked my response to him.
Back to school can also mean that we can put all that talk about “bikini bodies” and thigh gaps to rest for another year.
I lost weight fast after my first baby which gave me the false impression that once I would have to go through the whole pregnancy, birthing, pound shedding cycle again a little “we’ve got this, body. It’s a piece of cake, no pun intended” pep talk would suffice. To add to my delusion my belly reached an all time record breaking flatness about a year later without any special efforts taken to that end. No strollers were abused via bootcamps. No green smoothies consumed. As my son entered toddlerhood, I was, in fact, convinced that I was on to a new form of natural diet driven by stress and fear for my increasingly adventurous child’s safe being. Then baby number two happened and it became clear that Dr. Atkins needn’t lose any sleep over me, as my theory crushed and burned no calories. My stress levels doubled, if not tripled yet those stubborn extra pounds refused to go anywhere.
Here are some curve balls that your body, if it’s anything like mine, will throw at you after your second child:
- No, First Child, we’re not pregnant and it doesn’t matter how many times you ask us during school pick up in front of other parents and kids the answer is still no (unless you actually are, mom). Glass half full? You may be offered a seat on public transit. If that happens, it’s important not to ask yourself or the seat giver upper any questions.
- You now have two kids. This directly correlates with the size of your eye bags. The other day we took our toddler out and allowed him to stay up past 8pm for the first time ever. Walking back home he declared he was “so tired” and immediately ran off to climb a fence. I hope that puts our eye bags in perspective for you. Positive spin? Sleep deprivation is a great excuse for pretty much everything in life and you’re wearing your proof.
* You used to have breasts. Glass half full? Maybe you didn’t like having breasts.
- You will wish you could come up with some clever hair trickery, the female equivalent of the comb over, to camouflage your grays, because as of (insert baby number two’s birth date) you will officially never have time to color your hair anymore. Ever. Flip side? Sorry. You’re on your own on this one.
- Let’s put it this way, if you were ever considering a career in hand/foot modelling, now would not be the time to launch it. The mani pedi situation is at an all time low. On the flip side, you can definitely put your feet to good use as sandpaper.
- Double super max fatigue driven by years of sleep deprivation will come with a side order of brain fuzziness which may, if you’re working, result in repeatedly walking up to the printer instead of the person you’re supposed to see in the adjoining cubicle. Put a positive spin on it. Nobody at work is likely to feel threatened by you.
- Said fatigue will also sometimes manifest itself physically in eye twitches. Glass half full? No one’s going to notice your eye bags now.
- You may need to pee. All the time. Preferably five times in one sitting. Does it help to know that it’s not just you? Other women with children need to pee all the time too. You will make tonnes of new friends whenever you visit the restroom.
- If you have younger children, you may find yourself spending most of your day operating at minion level, scooting down to break up fights or provide eye contact enhanced disciplinary messages. I’ll bet that you sometimes carry around a person or two, and maybe some of these persons choose to forego their individual bedrooms on a daily basis and end up sleeping in yours. Guess what? I have a message from your back and it’s censored. Flip side of back pain? I’m going to need more time to work on this one.
Funnily enough, despite all of the above I don’t feel betrayed by my body. I’ve realized that my biggest problem is not with the physical changes that second time motherhood inflicted on me, but rather with their emotional by product – the sense of loss of control over things that used to be important to me and its derivative, the sense of identity erosion. As long as I find some time during the week to invest in the things that make me feel like myself I’m totally fine with my mid section.
This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic “back to school”. All summer long my husband has been urging our six-year-old to complete his workbooks. All summer long Six Year Old obliged but always pushed back asking for more TV. Parenting is all about compromises (at your expense) but sometimes there are win/win situations, like Planet Earth on Netflix. Or TED Talks. My son and I watched the talk about de-extinction a while back and sure some of it will go over a six-year-old’s head and most of it will go over yours, but it’s still a win-win.
How do you feel about what I wrote? What is your relationship with your post baby body like?
What educational shows do you watch with your kids?
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