Friday, April 9, 2010

The Mom Club

So when I was dealing with infertility (and really, to some extent you never stop dealing with infertility), I always felt like there was an exclusive Mom Club just for women with kids, most of whom did the whole pregnancy thing as well. These people went through the whole L&D process, got their stretchmarks, did the whole no-sleep newborn thing, and are somewhere in the middle of raising their little ones.

I hated not being a part of the club.

You know how in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" the main chick as a kid feels all bad about not sitting with the cute blonde girls at lunch? That was me. Relief Society meetings, social gatherings, work gatherings—all of these things were a nightmare at some point because I was not welcome in the Mom Club, and therefore knew nothing about the whole momming process, and could not complain about fat'n'happies at all. And while realizing that "feeling left out" is the stupidest part of infertility, it stung.

But now I have officially inducted myself into the Mom Club, and by authority of doubling my pants size and finding angry stripes all over my expanded and somewhat jellyish body, I'm going to say the following:

Sure, we all look at old pictures of ourselves and think life might be better if we were still that skinny. If we still fit into our jeans from high school. If sexy in our bedrooms meant the same thing it means on TV. Heck, I've done it since my metabolism started slowing down (which is how I describe the year I learned how to bake).

But I was right about making the trade. It was a great trade. I say we give ourselves a collective break, and call stretch marks and baby weight a thing of beauty because they are proof we did something awesome, and made the necessary sacrifices. We can realistically say that the physical sacrifices are the easy ones. We can love our bodies because they gave life and bodies to our children. The price was cheap, and we no longer need to complain about paying it.

Here's to C-section scars, jelly bellies, stretch marks in various states of lumpiness, and letting go of things that aren't coming back. And to allowing husbands to redefine what is "hot" to equal what is "you." And when people excluded from the Mom Club tell us to shut it about how sad it is to have a mom bod because we look awesome anyway, let's finally start listening.


Sarah McMullin said...

Best. Trade. Ever.

Watching your husband become a dad is the most beautiful sight.

Lisa said...

I think the real question is--how can we make people who aren't in The Mom Club not feel so left out? I think about that a lot. I don't feel like someone has to have a kid to have a fun conversation, to hang out, whatever! My only requirement is that they think my kid is cute. I think that's pretty easy. ;) But seriously, how can I not give off Mom Club vibes? Because I don't mean to.

Having a baby is the coolest thing my body has ever done. My sister insists that she can never have kids because she's afraid of labor. And I always tell her--giving birth is the coolest thing I've ever done! Sure, it sucked at times, but I pushed a baby out! My body is amazing!

Brit Bennion said...

Can't tell you how much I needed that...not loving the stretch marks right now! I hated not being in the Mom Club, but I hated it even more that I felt that I needed to be in the Club to make myself feel accepted. But there's no way I'd trade anything for my little buster brown!

Brooke said...

I relate to the Mom Club thing. Unfortunately it sometimes turns into, "so, you just have the one?"

If only you were in charge of body images everywhere!