ANOTHER week, another celebrity is pictured ‘stepping out’ looking fabulous just three months/weeks/days/hours after giving birth…
I am never surprised by this ‘news’.
I am usually more surprised that, with a newborn baby to look after, they actually have the energy to ‘step out’ anywhere, let alone to make themselves look like anything other than crap.
Unless they all have nannies.
If I was a celebrity with a newborn I would definitely have a nanny … and servants … and, possibly, a wet nurse (if this is still a thing).
But in view of the fact that I am not a celebrity, I would like to request to the national media that they do NOT bombard us with countless guides to Getting a Post Baby Body like A Pop star/Princess/Anyone Thin Who Was Once On X Factor, as part of their ongoing campaign to turn us into an image-obsessed, size zero society. Because, and I think I speak for a lot of new mums when I say, we don’t actually give a toss.
We are far too busy worrying about everything else.
Like, how do I take a shower when the baby won’t let me put her down?
Or, will I actually die if I go another night without sleep?
And, is my baby feeding enough, too much, too often, not often enough?
Not to mention wondering whether every rash, spot, cough or sneeze is meningitis.
As it happens, I did fit into my skinny jeans again, but quite by accident and without the aid of a tabloid diet guide.
HOW TO GET YOUR PRE-PREGNANCY BODY BACK WITHOUT EVEN TRYING
1) GIVE BIRTH TO A BABY. An actual human being has just left your body – that is most of the weight shifted right there.
2) EXERCISE. Forget the gym. Once you have had your baby any excess fat will soon drop off because you will NEVER sit down again. Also, from the moment you get out of that hospital bed you will always be carrying something or someone or both. Twenty-four hours a day.
3) DIET. Most days you will not have time to eat. You will put toast in the toaster, pour cereal into a bowl or half make a sandwich. But rarely will you have time to consume it.
Dinner will become a luxury. Babies hate you eating dinner. They are perfectly happy in their bouncer. Then, the moment you pick up your fork, your smiling bundle of joy becomes a screaming monster, demanding you put your food down and pick them up.
Finally, breastfeed to get the calories literally sucked out of you, or formula feed to burn calories while making countless trips to sterilise and make up bottles, using only one hand.
When I had just given birth, the very last thing on my mind was ‘how will I ever squeeze into my skinny jeans again?’ It was more like; ‘will I ever have time to get dressed again’?
Before I had my first child I was determined not to become one of those cliché tired, new mums wearing vomit-stained clothes and ‘comfortable’ shoes.
And I didn’t.
I was worse, far worse. If I managed to get into any clothes, vomit stained or otherwise, it was really quite an achievement. But the worst thing was I didn’t even care.
Now more than two years and a whole second baby later, things have got a bit better. I get dressed most days but I care even less about what I wear. The first question I ask myself when I look in the wardrobe (ok, rifle through my washing basket) in the morning is not, ‘will it go with my shoes?’ or ‘does my bum look big in this?’ but ‘can I get away with wearing this outfit again today?’
It is normally a toss up between the snot-covered leggings or jeans with a chocolate fingerprint and possible wee stain. As a general rule of thumb, ‘if it’s not poo, it’ll do’.
These days I am still far from ‘stepping out looking fabulous’ but it doesn’t bother me at all. I may have rubbish hair and bags under my eyes, but with a toddler and baby to take care of 24 hours a day, I am just grateful to be happy, healthy and still in one piece.