04 October 2006

Back in Shape

I have been asked, in all genuine care and curiosity, when I am going to "get back in shape" after pregnancy. Back. In. Shape. It's been four years since I had Rowan, 16 months since Kestrel. Before Rowan, I was a total gym dog and powerlifter. I was actually recruited for the gym's bodybuilding team. I was like that, back then. But now? I will never "get back in shape". Because before, I was a Maiden, and after, I was a Mother. Forever afterwards, I am mother-shaped. The four-pack abs are gone forever. Which is biologically as it should be. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed. That keeps poundage on, since biologically, you're supposed to retain fat, so that if there's a food scarcity, you can keep feeding your baby. That fat? That's there for survival of the species. I think I have better endurance now than I ever had before. But then again, caring for a small being is incredible 24/7 exhausting work. I am not model-thin nor am I muscularly toned. But by god, I can move mountains. Of laundry, of dirty dishes, of toys, of odds insurmountable for my litte tribe. My body is working the way it's supposed to, to be a mother to the race. And there is something incredibly powerful about that. More powerful than my gym-induced weightlifter body ever was. Because this body is formed this way not only by purpose, but by the evolutionary pressures of the ages. The pressures that I am the successful result of. A few weeks ago, I was laying on the bed, and Rowan came over to tickle. My shirt got pulled up, and he sat back and started tracing my belly stretchmarks (most of which came from my pregnancy with him). Got this huge smile. And then said "Mama, you are so beautiful." I would not trade that for my old four-pack abs. Not in a million years.


At 10/04/2006 11:24:00 PM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

This is truly beautiful, I am in awe of it. I love it and am going to print it up HUGE and hang it up on my wall of affirmations.

Thanks for this awesome reminder.

At 10/05/2006 08:54:00 AM, Blogger SFWriter13 said...

"Out of the mouths of babes" just seems so fitting here . . . :)

Once again, thanks for sharing!

At 10/05/2006 08:53:00 PM, Anonymous Dana said...

Boy I wish I could look at my body that way. Tim says he likes me "squishy." Yet, I'm on that climber for 5 miles each day trying to get rid of the squish.

At 10/06/2006 01:39:00 PM, Blogger Mama Chaos said...


At 10/08/2006 09:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Come and visit me sometime at the Benicia Capitol, I'd love to see you!


At 10/08/2006 09:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot, elise@skudvision.com or http://www.livejournal.com/users/eliseeagle

At 10/09/2006 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

I *so* needed to read this! Thanks for sharing this wonderful insight.

At 10/10/2006 08:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, like I've always said, "I am in shape. 'Round' is a shape. I am not amorphous."


At 10/12/2006 02:17:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

have any of you seen Shape of a Mother (http://shapeofamother.blogspot.com/)? Your post belongs on there Laureen. that blog is so inspiring for thoseof us who think we're the only ones who look this way, feel this way about our bodies, etc. sweet post, thanks!!

At 11/07/2006 09:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you know, i have never sought or been much interested in the skinny-model or body-builder figures, and motherhood was a welcome transition to something my body was longing for. i didn't know very much about motherhood at the time, but i knew enough instinctively to gape at my mother when she told me (a few days after elijah was born) that she wore her pre-pregnancy clothes right after i was born. i loved my belly, and i do still, what's left of it.

but another thing i see in mothers is a curving of the shoulders, a closing of the chest, a hunching -- that is so common, sometimes slight and sometimes pronounced, and it makes me want to cry. it is like a denial of the self, a restriction of the heart. in my libra-esque-equivocation, i wonder if that is borne of my own brand of self-denial, but of this i am doubtful. it takes courage to see the true face of the Mother, and i think that takes openness.

At 11/07/2006 09:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(quoth the hoser who dursn't speak her own name,
sorry about that.)


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