As a Mother, I’m Not Supposed to Admit This
Women are notorious for judging other women.
It's just a thing for us.
We don't allow each other to just woman and mother and be without weighing in on the how of it and attempting to advise on the should of it. Sometimes it's well meaning — like when your mom tells you to exercise after your baby because your bottom is turning to fluff.
This interference, if you will, can be inspirational (seriously, do you guys know Galit? She took the words of some ultimate body-shaming judgers and turned them into something beautiful?), but mostly, it just works to get in the way of us reaching our full potential.
It fills us with doubt and wrecks our confidence until it just makes it impossible for us to be our authentic selves.
Which is why this admission I am about to make is made with trepidation. In fact, I turned this post in late because writing it and giving a part of myself to all of you is hard when I know it may not be received in the way it was intended.
So once I press”Publish,” I intend to duck and cover (aka go to the pool with my Dudes and not read a single comment) once I put this out into the universe because I know I’m not only not supposed to feel this way. In fact, I’m not allowed to feel this way. Not if I also want to be a good mom and a strong woman and someone who will be able to live happily on this planet.
But as I desire to keep it real, both here, on DudeMom, and in life, I’m just going to put it out there … Deeep breath … And let it go … okay here goes …
I WANT A TUMMY TUCK.
**Ducks under desk.**
I'm supposed to be all baby-birthing-battle-scars-warrior woman about my belly. I'm supposed to shun doubt and embrace stretch marks and wear a bikini to the beach and tell all of the fat-shaming haters to take a hike.
Only, I don't want to. (Except for the fat shamers taking a hike thing — that part I’m down with.) Because I'm not feeling it. And I hate living the “supposed to” life even more than I hate doing 400 crunches a week to no avail.
I thought about spending a bunch of time in this post justifying why I want a tummy tuck (I have an unhealthy amount of belly fat that diet and exercise will not eliminate, according to more than one of my medical doctors), and then I thought I'd reassure you that, although I want a tummy tuck, you don't need to worry because I'm not actually going to get a tummy tuck. (I am too poor for that, and Kanye’s mama — she haunts me.) But then I decided that wasting my breath on convincing people that I need to be true to myself is just, um, wasting my breath.
Because I shouldn't really have to do those things. The why or the why not of a thing isn't what’s important here — it and how others feel about it shouldn't determine whether or not I am allowed to live my truth.
I applaud and secretly envy the women who live with full body confidence. When I read about moms dancing their wiggly bellies around the beach in freedom and happiness, I feel my heart fill with pride on their behalf, and I celebrate that bravery with everyone else.
But that story is not the only story, and feeling that confidence so strongly you can flaunt it isn't the only feeling that should be validated.
I have a friend who recently had cosmetic surgery, and when I went to visit her, she talked at length about the stories she was telling people about her surgery and recovery. She created this elaborate plan to start a weight-loss program in advance of surgery, say she had a hysterectomy to explain her recovery, and then attribute her new body to her commitment to healthy living.
I felt terrible for her and all women when I sat there listening to her plan because she felt like she had to do that. And not only sad for her, but for all of us. Being true to yourself shouldn't be so scary.
Of course, I don't think body insecurity should be shouted from the rooftops and taught to little girls, but I do think that it is a realistic part of many women's lives, and those who admit it and choose a less popular path for dealing with it or find ways to live joyfully and truthfully while embracing themselves should not be discouraged.
So, yes, I want a tummy tuck.
I wish that my belly skin wasn't what it is. I wish that my workouts could rebuild the muscle I destroyed inadvertently in making my babies. I don't let that desire overpower my ability to enjoy my life with my children. I still go to the beach and wear a swimsuit (not a bikini, but I didn't wear them when I was single without children either; I’m too modest for that) and play with my boys and love life and sunshine and flowers and cupcakes. I'm not selfish or vain or materialistic or sad.
My desire to be different doesn't control my life — it’s just another part of it that makes me ME.