Monday, September 26, 2005


So my friend Beth and I are trying to get in shape because we've realized that our kids are nine and eight months respectively and it's time we stopped looking like we're, oh, four months pregnant (me more so than her). I have decried the abdominal wall parting-of-ways that is my tummy, and I can only say that things have not gotten tighter and sexier since that missive. I actually split a skirt a few weeks ago. Yup, I went to get in the car because it was my turn to go to church, and there I was in my favorite pre-pregnancy little black number with a cute silk shirt (which, okay, I grant you was straining under the pressure of The Breasts, but only a little). I was congratulating myself on getting into said skirt, with heels no less, when I flopped down in the driver's side seat of my car and heard *rrrrip.* At first I halfheartedly hoped it was the upholstery on my '95 Tercel finally giving out. Sadly, no--it was merely my butt, attempting to make a break for it. I was half afraid it would try to take the boobs with it, so I said nothing, just kinda limped back into the house holding my skirt together over my hot pink granny-panties.

Now I know that nothin' says sexy like a postpartum woman dragging back into the house holding her clothes together, but my husband, God bless him, said "Sweetie, you are a beautiful woman, and you'll be able to wear that skirt again someday." And then he kissed me on the top of my head before he said, "It just won't be today." True dat.

So Beth and I went to the YMCA yesterday to try and get memberships, since they have babysitting and indoor pools and stuff, and it was all very nice, very clean and well-staffed. Now, please understand that I fully support the search for and use of high-quality child care for working parents and totally understand how important it is for some moms to get a workout every day. I don't think it's selfish--I think you have to take care of yourself if you're going to take care of your kid well, and I think if you're filled with self-loathing for feeling like you're a slug, it's harder to be nice to other people, especially young children who have no body image issues and who are not terribly sympathetic to yours. But I have to say, this tiny voice in my head kept screaming, "You're gonna leave your baby here?!" Now, in addition to my political feelings on this issue, I also know that on a developmental level for my child to be away from me and with other children for 45 minutes will do him more good than harm--he loves other kids and generally likes to be in the nursery at church. He doesn't even mind sharing his devoted "surrogate Grandmas" with other kids, so I know that he'd probably really dig hanging out with the other cool kids in the babysitting area for a little while. But yet this voice kept scolding me, like some kind of deranged Supernanny, about how I was abandoning my child and were less-cottage-cheesy thighs and clothes that fit really enough of a reward for tossing my poor vulnerable baby to the predatory toddlers of the Y daycare room?

How messed up is that? It wasn't even like I could have told you that I believed what the voice was telling me, only that it disturbed me so much that I put off joining the Y. I begged off, saying I was too poor (which is probably true, too), but really, I felt like I had to figure out where this was all coming from. Is my Mother's Intuition trumping my policitcal and academic beliefs? Is it merely rampant insecurity and egomania on my part (surely not, no!)? Have I gotten to a stage where making a commitment to anything not expressly family-centric riddles me with guilt? Is my cupcake-and-krimpet fetish subliminally undermining any attempt to get my snack cake monkey off my back? What gives here?