So I was trawling Facebook the other day when this popped up:
If this was just a photo, with no text, my first reaction might have been, ‘wow, hot mama.’
But the text, specifically the line ‘what’s your excuse?’, had me spitting my coffee at the computer screen.
No one likes a smug mum, Maria. And shaming a woman at one of her most vulnerable, sensitive and often insecure times in her life is really… mean.
Good on you for being fit. No, really, gold star to you.
But here’s the thing – we can all shed kilos with diet and exercise. Narcissism is a little harder to shake.
I will, however, play your game.
After two kids in three years, I don’t look like you, and here are my excuses (yep, note the plural):
1) I like cake. And chocolate. And ice cream. I loved eating all of those things, in copious amounts, during my pregnancies. The opportunity to indulge like that won’t come again (no more babies planned here), so I relished it. I will forever miss being able to wake my husband to send him to a 24-hour petrol station in search of a mango Weiss bar. “You have to do it, honey…. I’m preeeeeggggnant!”
2) I like wine. I particularly like it between the hours of 5.30pm and 7.30pm, AKA acid hour(s). Sometimes, I take a glass into the toilet because it’s the only place where I can escape the Dora the Explorer theme song playing again, and again, and again.
3) I didn’t exercise much in the first few months of my kids’ lives. Because, you know, they cried a lot. And pooped a lot. And took up pretty much every second of every minute of every… you get the picture.
4) Giving birth was hard. Understatement much? I was sore for a good few weeks after the whole watermelon-pinhole scenario. I wanted to rest. So I did. When the kids weren’t crying and pooping and… OK, I didn’t get to rest much at all.
5) Fitness is not a top priority of mine right now. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to your lazy-full-of-excuses-new-mum stereotype, I do exercise. Every day. But unlike you, I don’t have a background as a personal trainer, I don’t make money from being toned and I don’t need to post a photo of myself on the internet in a crop top and hot pants to help with my self-worth. I’m proud of what my body has achieved, and I’m happy with a slow and steady approach to reaching my ideal size and shape.
I love hard working, high achievers. I especially love them when they come with a good dose of humility.