A funny thing happens to women when they come out (it almost sounds like coming out of the closet) post baby. A new mommy’s first few days out (when she has managed to get help/ bull-dozed daddy to baby-sit/ manipulated her mother/mother-in-law/expressed for the feeds ahead/charmed a friend that baby-sitting is a cool thing to do) sound a bit like this:
You look lovely!
No, I am so fat!
No really, you do.
No, I am still eight kilos over my pre-pregnancy weight.
But you look great.
No, I need to lose weight.
I love what you are wearing.
It’s all layers, to camouflage my belly.
The new mommy feels a bit dazed, while she is still coping with the fact that her body looks nowhere close to what it used to look like. It’s as though while she was away giving birth, the young have got younger, the slim have got slimmer and the hot have got hotter. She feels apologetic about her figure, which according to me has no business to get so svelte so soon, unless you are a Hollywood stick insect feeding on raisins. So she sounds all apologetic, and defensive. Oh my god, I am so overweight, and I have to get back into shape, and how the baby leaves me time for nothing.
I recently met a mommy who said she had just been resurrected. I was trying to compute how long she’d been out of circulation when she told me her baby was five months. I told her she looked great. She reminded me she was wearing black.
Now, no one tells you this, but every woman looks pregnant for a few weeks/months even after giving birth because even after you pop the baby out, the uterus still takes time to shrink. So unless you have spent a few lakhs on tummy tucks, you will look like women who have given birth look.
At a recent lunch, a few singletons who were ‘trying’ to lose weight were talking about a fancy boutique yoga class. Now since I am a no-frills, Iyengar Yoga person and don’t believe in five-star yoga, I, as usual put my foot in my mouth and said it was all balderdash. Or some such.
I was then told that it’s run by a certain Bollywood stick insect’s yoga teacher.
But the new mommy was all ears. Really? Where is it? What are the timings? I would love to join. I must join. I must do something.
Another one bites the dust, I thought.
And then I wondered. Why are mommies in such a hurry? First you wait nine months (and for some, many years before that) to give birth and then you want your life back in three?
The sad thing is, the fast-forwardness percolates into everything baby too. By the time the baby has barely latched on, you want to know how soon you can feed solids. By the time you feed solids, you want to know how soon they can walk. By the time they get on to their feet, you want to know when they will start talking.
And then, one fine day, you complain that you miss them being babies.