Model Amber Rose posted a shapely post-first baby selfie, which was far less impressive than the mommy selfies posted by older moms who still face a camera, even if they must deploy their kids as human shields between them and the camera.
Oh sure, it’s easy to preen in front of a camera phone after losing weight from a first baby, but what about moms who have lost the diet war but won the kid lottery? Just working out our issues and getting in front of a camera during the holiday season can be an accomplishment.
My husband recently went on a photo framing kick and found pre-kid bikini photos of me. I realized I’d finally reached the stage when my “before” pic is better than the “after.”
I am going out on a limb and guess I am not the only parent in that situation. Between our pre-baby pics and superstar selfies, it’s a holiday miracle if we don’t go into hiding.
However, I speak as the voice of Christmas cookies past when I say moms of all ages need to remember those child birth breathing exercises when we look in the mirror years after baby is born.
Here’s a pro tip: A shrewd mom does a selfie with a child on her lap when she snaps the picture.
I had taken myself out of the picture, literally, until I realized kids can take it very personally when you duck out of holiday and family photo ops because you’re more concerned with how you look than how they feel.
My solution, and that of many I have seen online, is to scrunch yourself down behind the kids.
In my case that’s easy because I have four sons, one age 20, two towering teens and the “baby” age 10. I just sneak in behind the wall of tall and “presto!”
Then comes this pre-Christmas selfie of Ms. Rose to send moms and even grandmas fleeing in horror from the lens.
Rose’s selfie even affected my mom, age 83.
It was 7:24 a.m. this morning when my phone rang and my mother said to my answering machine, “Have you seen this Amber Rose person and how quickly she took off the baby belly?! Can you find out how she did it and call me back?”
This is because, despite the fact that her first baby was born 48 years ago, she is a retired New York City fashion designer who was brainwashed by her industry to be forever young and thin.
Mom brainwashed me. Thankfully I had four boys, so the cycle of skinny-crazy could finally be broken because I have nobody to pass the skinny gene envy on to.
Over the past 20 years of motherhood I realized that taking back your pre-baby body is really a snap with babies one and two, and from there on the going gets rougher.
However, that doesn’t mean we should give up.
In that spirit, I let a friend talk me into trying a 15-minute a day core and balance workout called T-Tapp, which was originally made for models like Rose.
This is all I have in common with models in this lifetime.
While it actually did take me down half a size in a week, I gained something much more in realizing I don’t take the advice I gave my sons.
“Stand up straight,” is one of my mom mantras. Turns out I’m a sloucher.
I notice many moms become slouchers from fatigue, lugging kids, and perhaps seeing one too many Amber Rose-style super mom selfies.
So, here I am doing a workout and the first big result I get is my sons constantly crowing, “Posture! Form! Stand up straight mom!”
Quin, 10, kindly offered to time my workouts and be my mobile mirror. Ugh!
“Relax,” he advised. “I love you the same no matter how much my arms go around you.”
My son’s words did make me stand straighter.
Posture and self-esteem go together.
Parents need to embrace a body-mind “selfie” workout regime in which we stand tall and love ourselves as much as the children whose leftovers we nosh.