Don't tell me I look good for having 2 babies! Maybe you don't even realize it, but that's just wrong to say. Do you assume that all women will become overweight and out of shape when they are pregnant? Do you think that all moms are destined to wear 12 inch long zippers on the front of their "mom jeans"? Are you implying that women with babies don't normally wash their hair, put on makeup or walk out of the house without some form of bodily fluid on their clothes? Did you expect me to just let myself go and be a complete failure of a role model for my children? No? So then why would you give such a back-handed compliment?
That's just as bad as telling me I look good for my age. So before you even think of letting those words slip past your lips, let me reassure you...do not tell me that I look good for my age. That's like saying most people as old as I am already have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Or that most people my age have more grey highlights than blonde, their ankles are wrinkled up like a little girl's baggy tights, their muffin top has enough rolls to be considered a baker's dozen and they'd be happy if their butts could shrink back down to the days of the "secretary spread".
No, do not tell me that I look good for my age. I work too freaking hard to put up with that kind of insult. I eat right. I exercise daily. I get adjusted regularly. I do my best to get a good night's sleep - even if many of you can't understand that having 2 babies climbing on my head while I sleep IS a good night's sleep - it sure beats getting up every few hours to stumble down the hall, eyes half closed, hoping to avoid stepping barefoot on some teeny tiny toy that only hours ago couldn't be found with a bona-fide search and rescue team. I surround myself with positivity - in my thoughts, my words and my actions. From the tender loving ways I interact with my babies, to the extra special care I take in embracing my eagerly-desired and well-earned curves as I reward my skin with silky smooth lotions, I understand that for me and for my babies, thoughts and words become actions and character. And I am ever ready to deflect any negativity and allow only encouragement, praise and uplifting learning opportunities.
So don't you dare offend with me some half hearted attempt at praise, because when you finally decide to honor me with your kind words, I deserve far better than what's easy. Easy would have been spending my teens and twenties running around with friends eating fast food, junk food and garbage while completely avoiding any type of exercise. Easy would have been lounging around on a couch eating bon-bons during my pregnancies. It would have been so much easier to follow the main stream into the depths of sickness and disease and allow the media to teach me what drugs I need to take in order to ignore the symptoms of my ever-decreasing levels of health. And there's no doubt that it would've been so much easier if I didn't have an opinion of my own about pregnancy, or birth, or parenting. You see, I understand that the best way to make life hard on yourself or your children later in life, is to make life easy now. So no, I've never taken the easy road.
And while I’m on my soap box, don’t you dare ever tell a woman that she lost her pregnancy weight only because she breast fed her baby. Only because she breast fed? Do you have a clue how amazing a woman’s body is to first produce a beautiful baby in only 280 days and then continue for weeks, months, even years if she so desires, to provide nourishment for that baby? Breast feeding takes time, energy, dedication, commitment. There’s a whole scheduling issue that comes into play and trust me, from a mom who exclusively breast fed 2 babies each for their first year of life, you are either pumping or nursing every few hours, every day. That in itself makes you a metabolic wonder, but it is in no way a simple act that should be discounted in the same way one may look at a celebrity and say “well of course she looks good, she’s had work done”.
So please save your words and instead offer up something more meaningful. In discussing this very topic while celebrating a friend’s birthday, someone blurted out “you look so good you make people your age look stupid!” If you’re offended by that, so be it, but I got a good laugh when I heard it and so did the birthday girl. Mainly because there was some effort put into that compliment; and after all, isn’t that the whole idea anyway?
With my soon-to-be 45 year old husband, our almost 3 year old son and our 13 month old daughter by my side, I’ll be turning 40 this week, and contrary to popular belief it is not a life-altering shocking event. It’s been coming for years; every day I’ve gotten a bit older, a bit wiser and a bit better. So here I stand excited about all the possibilities ahead of me, created by those who still think age has anything to do with life. By those who will say “wow, she did such and such at 40?” or “I never knew a 40 year old woman could blah, blah, blah”.
So if I’m fortunate enough to hear from you in the coming days or weeks, or even if we should meet someday many years from now and you decide to bestow on me your kind words of praise, please don’t use any phrase that may take away from your intended meaning. Don’t tell me that I look good for my age. Don’t tell me that I look good for having 2 babies. Just tell me I look good. Period.