being a mom

An Open Letter To The Women Who Ran A Half Marathon Weeks After Giving Birth

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mom-running-stroller 2Dear Mother of an 8-week-old who just ran a half marathon,

Congratulations! On… well, like a billion things. You are absolutely doing life better than me, than most of us, in so many ways.

I’m over here still claiming to be “postpartum” and my baby is seven months old. I’m also still rocking maternity pants and I’m not terribly torn up about it. I manage to exercise approximately twice a week, if I’m lucky. And I usually reward myself with a sip of wine for every sit up. It’s actually highly motivating. I just did 328 sit ups, so… ::Virtual clink::

So, when I saw you last week, carrying your tiny, fragile baby which I could only properly describe as a newborn, and your body already looked like that of a gazelle, once again, all I could do was stare with my mouth hanging open for three solid minutes. Sorry about that, by the way. I don’t know if you heard me mutter “Are you fucking kidding me?” under my breath and make a face that I generally save for really bad things, like, racism or Heidi Montag. But again, I’m sorry.

All I can say is bravo, amazing mama! It is unreal that a baby lived inside your flat-as-a-board, hard-as-a-rock belly for the better part of a year. Actually, come to think of it, three babies lived in there at various points in time but no one would EVER know it by looking at you.

I promise I won’t claim to be better than you at anything ever. My body is more comparable to my grandmothers than it probably ever will be to yours. But I ain’t mad at cha. You’re awesome! ::First bump:: Oh, sorry, I really didn’t mean to punch you in the back of the neck. Anyway…

The fact that you ran a half marathon, at a point in time when I could barely figure out how to brush my teeth or hair again doesn’t make me angry or bitter. No way dude! I’m not bitter. Do I seem bitter? It just makes me confused, amazed and kind of weirded out. Not gonna lie.

But… how does that work exactly?

Are there female bodies which birth and pregnancy take no toll on? Because if so, mine is certainly not one of them. It’s just not. Pregnancy made me barf, fart, sweat, wretch, and complain a shitload. Recovering from birth was a day by day process and on both occasions my stitched vagina craved ice packs and cooling bottom balm, not running sprints. Nope. No part of me wanted to run sprints post-birth. Not for a minute.

I bet you didn’t even break a sweat when you gave birth, did you? Ha. Me either. I have some very flattering pictures to prove it… wait, no, I’ll show you another time. Did the baby actually fall out as you slept soundly and then come morning you awoke and said “Oh, lovely!” and strapped her on your back for a five miler? I mean, if not, when exactly did you begin training for the thirteen mile jaunt you just went on? Like… yesterday???

I’m not trying to say that it’s easy to be you or anything. In fact, I imagine it’s very hard to be you. I’m over here, spilling wine on my kind of off-white, completely stained couch. Chugging coffee. Maybe going to yoga. And feeling pretty okay about myself, most days. As long as I keep my two kiddos from digging in the garbage before noon, I’m calling that a win. You, on the other hand, are most definitely on an 11 mile jog because it’s your “rest day.” WTF!!!?

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