"Whenever we're getting ready, I throw on a shirt and shorts and complain that Sarah's taking too long finding something to wear," starts a post to Facebook by Brad Kearns, owner of the DaDMum page. Couple banter over who takes longer to get ready is totally common, but the rest of Kearns's post delves into something much deeper than who stands in front of the mirror longer — it comments on his wife's postpartum body.
We all know it's not about the clothes. It's about the fact that the whole post-natal process sucks ass. The kids have become the number one priority. For nine months of pregnancy the body is stretched, poked, and prodded like a science experiment. . . . Then the baby is born. . . . people come in and visit; they say how great mum looks while they cuddle the baby. The partner takes a week off work to help out while they recover.
But soon enough, the partner has to return to work. People aren't visiting as often. They're left with the original responsibilities and a newborn that isn't sleeping properly yet. It's hard to rest, hard to eat well, hard to even leave the house for some. Then they look at Instagram and Facebook. Oh what do you f*cking know, the celebrities with a personal trainer, chef, nanny, and a makeup artist post a picture that goes viral of their "post-baby body". That only took six weeks. From that point onward the expectation is set.
F*ck that expectation.
Kearns ends his post with an important message that all women need to hear: "Take as long as you need to look after yourself and get yourself back into the swing of things. Nobody who loves you is going to care how long you take. What they will care about is your mental health. It's unhealthy to think six to 12 weeks is enough time to bounce back to your prebaby body. If you're not ready, don't set the bar so high that you fail. Set your own bar. The one that works for you."