being a mom
Bikini Beautiful Week: I Wrongly Thought Raising Sons Meant I Wouldn’t Have To Worry About Their Body Image
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This is a Reader Submission –
â€œDaddy, am I fat?â€
Overheard this morning, as Iâ€™m upstairs quickly braiding my hair, I look in the mirror. I feel fat today with PMS bloat, I figure this is the best I can do in the 15 minutes I have to get ready before heading out. My 4-year-old is at the table with his routine breakfast. My 9-month-old is in the Pac-n-Play while â€œ3 Little Kittensâ€œ chimes from an electronic toy that is a hand me down from his brotherâ€™s baby days.
I hear my husbandâ€™s reply, â€œNo boy youâ€™re so skinny I can practically see through youâ€! He giggles. Upstairs I remain silent. My mind races, did I say â€œfatty baby is killing my armsâ€ or did someone at daycare make fun of him? Itâ€™s happened beforeâ€¦ Aubrey said I smelled Mommy. I had a bad day because Karen told me my hair looks like a girl’s, but I like long hair. He pronounces it â€œYong hairâ€ and tells me my yong hair is bootifull, and likes to touch it when we lay on the couch reading.
I have two happy, healthy boys whose eyelashes are the envy of any mascara commercial. Their smiles light up a room and theyâ€™re full of magical boy energy and playfulness that charms everyone they meet. My chubby infant crawls like a champ, and pulls himself up on furniture. My pediatrician keeps lecturing me about the childhood obesity epidemic in America but Iâ€™m confident heâ€™ll lose the weight once he starts toddling after big bro.
I thought having two boys was going to be so easy. I scoffed at friends with girls. No makeup wars, princess dresses or someone stealing my heels! No body image issues or period problems! But recently I have begun to realize raising boys isnâ€™t exactly the cake walk I thought it would be.
Like any other mom I want to raise respectful young men who are confident and brave enough to call out any kid who acts like a bully, and donâ€™t view women as sex objects. I tell my son that everyone is different, and itâ€™s OK. Our friends come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some families have two daddies, or one mommy, and thatâ€™s OK too.
We have a pool in our community that just opened. Nine months post C-section, Iâ€™m nervous about wearing a two piece even though my husband assures me I look great. Now Iâ€™m very conscious of what I say around my older son who soaks up everything he hears like a sponge. I try not to say I look fat today, or I hate my belly. Although he hasnâ€™t said anything self degrading yet, I tell my son he is handsome, that he looks grown up in his Angry Birds shirt that is currently his fashion fav. He seems out of place with his So-Cal, Kingston-like hair, and skull flip flops among the short haired, Nike-shoed children at daycare.