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Cathy: Reconciling differences

supermomThanksgiving weekend was spent with my husband’s extended family, eating, eating and, well, eating. There was one family drama — a big one — but otherwise it was really nice having everyone over here and talking, and hanging around and eating. I took one walk. I battled the cold everyone’s been passing around. Honey and I had a date with the baby in tow at the art museum across the water. At my church on Sunday, we had an after-service Thanksgiving leftovers luncheon, to which I brought my sautéed kale with garlic, raisins and walnuts that my in-laws didn’t eat. They preferred the four kinds of pies and two kinds of sweet potatoes and two kinds of mashed potatoes and two stuffings, etc. The kale was a hit at church, which felt good.

Well, there I was, holding Baby C who kept dropping her juice bottle in experiments in gravity. My nursing top was gaping in an unflattering way, as I kept bending over to pick up her bottle. A very nice man came over to get some pecan pie which was in front of me, and cooed at her, talked baby for a while, and here comes the bomb — wait for it — he added, “and I see you’re having another!”

Now, my Honey said before I left for church that morning that I was getting cuter everyday. This was in response to my looking in the mirror at my lopsided nursing boobs, my still doughy, chunky middle eight months later, and feeling exhausted from another sleepless night of coughing and nursing, and moaning about my appearance. So when the very nice man at church asked if I was having a, no — told me I was having another, it just about crushed me. At the time, I was able to laugh it off, but later, I feel pretty blah.

Isn’t it enough that I’m up and around, beginning to lose the pregnancy weight, while sporting a nursing E-cup on a five-foot-two frame? I’m beginning to get back to yoga, trying to walk the dog when it’s not too cold and wet and when the baby and I aren’t sporting colds. I haven’t slept a solid night’s sleep since July 2007, and I feel pretty yucky. Hey, people, I’m showing up and with an eight-month-old trying to circus dive off my shoulder! I think that’s pretty good in and of itself!

So, keep the commentary to your very nice self, please. It would do a world of good for the esteem of any woman lugging around a baby. We’re not Hollywood moms with a drawer full of Spanx, personal trainers at beck and call, and starvation diets. We’re real moms, with real bellies and real appetites because we’re breastfeeding. And no matter how much formula may be pushed on us, even in this more enlightened age than our parents’, we’re doing what’s best for our babies, and eating for two.

I’m taking the superwoman route after that comment — I am a super woman because I am doing it all, and doing it well, most of the time, anyway.

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