We’ve all seen those photos of the moms who get back into their skinny jeans in a matter of days or weeks post-pregnancy. A number of magazines at the grocery store checkout make their bankroll on tips and tricks from celebs who have gone from nine months pregnant to rocking six pack abs in a ridiculously small amount of time. These people are the exception, not the rule, no matter what we’re led to believe.
Post pregnancy bodies are one of the reasons that Sarah Blakely invented Spanx, so at least we can fake it to some extent!
Sometimes a mom will enlist herself in a boot camp in hopes of reaching that magic ‘feel good’ number on the scale. Other times a parent will be so overwhelmed with parenting, other children, or a slow recovery from birth that it takes years for them to regain their shape. Other moms never make it all the way back there – whether they’re working for it or not, and that’s okay too, no matter what that stupid magazine at the grocer says about Kate Middleton and her post-baby body perfection. Here are 15 reasons why moms will never lose the baby weight (so just stop trying).
13 Breastfeeding Calories
Just like an expecting mom isn’t really ‘eating for two’ a mom who is breastfeeding likely doesn’t need to eat two lumber jack breakfasts each morning to ensure she has enough milk for baby. On average breastfeeding can burn an additional 300-500 calories a day. Here’s the issue, a number of people get into the habit of that extra muffin, cooking, or whatever because they’re breastfeeding and never give it up – even by the time their child has entered school and has weaned years ago. Generally it takes an increase of 3500 calories beyond what someone burns to gain a pound (give or take). This means that someone having an extra 300 calories a day could be gaining around two pounds a month, which can add up very quickly!
12 Mommy Guilt Gets Buried In The Belly
Parenting is hard. Can we raise a glass to that? It’s no wonder that moms will rely on the help of spiced lattes during the day and copious amounts of wine at night as ‘mother’s little helper’. As much as these beverages are a necessary part of a mother’s social media account for the memes alone they pack a calorie punch. Some moms will give black coffee and teetotalling a try, but it’s only a matter of time before they’re back enjoying a sip of one of the few grown-up indulgences left in their post-parental world. No one’s asking for moms to give up caffeine or crushed grape or the tasty scones and charcuterie boards that go so fabulously with them.
11 Baby Got Back (And She Likes it)
Some women have envied the curves of other women for years because they just weren’t built that way. Pregnancy can be a great equalizer here, giving some women the booty they always dreamed of. Maybe their spouse can’t keep their hands off of these newfound hourglass dimensions, so why not enjoy it? Suddenly, mom can rock the cleavage without the help of a Victoria Secret Water bra. Another factor is that pregnancy gives many of us a glimpse of what our bodies are really capable of and that has nothing to do with a number on the scale or particular pants size. In a lot of ways it’s really liberating, so why spend unnecessary effort so long as mom is healthy and happy!
10 Constant Snackcidents
A snackcident is when someone sits down with an entire bag or box of something at the end of the day and before they know it, they realize they’ve scarfed down the entire thing. A snackcident doesn’t happen with a bunch of grapes. It’s most common with a bag of chips or box of chocolates or cookies. The best way to avoid a snackcident it to get out a bowl and pour the appropriate serving size before collapsing on the couch in front of The Bachelor. But that would require unloading and reloading the dishwasher, and who wants that? Self-control feels like it’s within our grasp until we find ourselves covered in cookie crumbs looking at the bottom of an empty box.
9 The Body Doesn't Get Enough Sleep
Recently an online calculator went around so parents could calculate how much sleep they have missed since they birthed their first child. This terrifying torture device notified me that I have lost around nine months of sleep since the arrival of my twins six years ago. That’s enough time to make another child, but let’s be honest, I’m too tired for that! No matter if someone’s children are champion nappers or criminally awake at 3AM, odds are sleep has gone out the window since their arrival. Quality and time enough spent sleeping is essential to keep the daily metabolic function running properly. Not to mention that when someone gets a crummy night’s sleep they’re more likely to skip the gym and crave comfort foods which are also pretty crappy for the waistline.
8 When The Family Doesn't Clean Their Plates, You Do
Wasting food is terrible. Knowing how lucky my family is to have access to healthy food, it makes me cringe to know how much food gets wasted in our house. According to a recent survey completed by an independent think tank, Canadians waste around 40 percent of our food. As parents we’re aware of this, so we end up scavenging their plates like some sort of deranged raccoons after our children go to bed. Here’s the thing, odds are it’s not the carrot sticks and cucumbers most moms are stone cold munching; it’s the chicken fingers, ketchup laden fries, or the last three bites of that ice cream sundae that they didn’t finish. While this might be good for the local garbage dump, it’s not ideal for weight loss.
7 Baby #2 Is A Go
Some people go by the family planning theory that once their children are out of diapers they want that to be the case forever! This means that they plan on having several children in really quick succession. With most theories saying it takes as least as long to lose the pregnancy weight as it did to gain it, many people having children only a year or two apart will often skip a focus on that last five, 10, or even 20 pounds because they know it will only be a matter of months before they’re popping out another baby. Unfortunately this can add up over time, making it even harder to lose, even after the baby making has stopped.
6 The Maternity Pants Are Impossible To Give Up
Maternity leggings are some of the most comfortable clothes I have ever worn. In the words of George Costanza, “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”, only replace velvet with maternity leggings. The belly support, the extra thick material, the way that plumbers butt is never an issue! My kids were a year and a half old before I threw out my last pair, and that only happened because of a hole in the knee. Shopping for jeans is hard enough for a lot of women, even before the extra stuffing provided by a post pregnancy body. By maintaining the same size, women can milk the boyfriend cut, maternity clothes a little longer, because why not!
5 All The Healthy Food Goes To The Kids
Parents care a lot about the well-being of their child, often putting their own needs below their child’s. In my house this has to do with berries. I’ll purchase three half pints of raspberries only to have my kids gobble them up in two seconds and reach into my bowl for seconds, and I let them. Every. Single. Time. Then two hours later I end up with my head in the fridge only able to find something significantly less healthy than these mystical stolen berries. When a parent purchases the same food in bulk suddenly their kids revolt and decide said food is disgusting. It’s a never ending vicious cycle and the big loser (or winner) is the number on the scale (and perhaps the local grocer).
4 It's Called 'Treating Yourself'
The kids go out for ice cream, so mom grabs a cone. Hot chocolate after hockey practice? Why not? It was a tough day at the office, so why not indulge in a little extra whipped cream on that afternoon coffee? As parents we make concessions and sacrifices constantly, which means we’re more likely to treat ourselves in small ways that are probably a little less healthy than in our pre-parenting ways. Things like massages or yoga classes can seem like timely indulgences that we can’t sacrifice because we need to be there for our kids, but a Boston cream donut only takes three minutes to eat. Self-care involves a mom giving herself time, not sugary treats to eat, no matter how tasty.
3 The Midnight Mom Munchies
Parents often run on empty all day long. Finally, the kids are in bed and mom has a minute to breathe. Then her stomach starts rumbling and she realizes that she hasn’t eaten anything beyond that muffin her toddler threw against the wall at 3PM. Mom could chop up some vegetables and make a healthy salad, but that bag of potato chips is looking mighty tasty right now, so she eats it instead. This isn’t a rare occurrence. This feast or famine mentality that many parents employ when they’re watching their children isn’t a once in a blue moon habit, for some it’s weekly or even daily, and it all adds up. Skipping meals while running after a tiny dictator 24-7 isn’t conducive to personal meal planning.
2 Everything Else Is More Important
People don’t really understand how much free time they have pre-children until long after it’s been snatched away from them! Time spent at a gym after (or before) work several times a week could be an important social activity. But when baby comes along it could be the difference between half an hour with baby and an hour and a half. Working parents have enough guilt over time lost with their children without adding self-care to the schedule. By the time baby goes to sleep, they’re often too tired to hop on that elliptical. Some parents will eventually make up for this time by chasing their toddlers around a playground, while others are happy to sip a hot cup of coffee while playing candy crush on their cell phones.
1 You Just Don’t Want To
Just because something is expected doesn’t mean it has to happen. Grown-ups are in charge of their own destiny, and if spending copious amounts of time working out, meal planning, and someone doesn’t have a staff of paid help to push them to making all of the choices they need to in order to get back into pre-baby shape, it isn’t going to happen. Someone isn’t going to quit smoking until they’re ready, and a parent isn’t going to focus on fitness unless this is a goal they really want. At the end of the day, our bodies change as we age and as we put them through various challenges (like childbirth). If it was easy to look like beach bodied 21 year olds, we all would.