The Bounce Back
As if pregnancy isn’t hard enough women especially black women have become obsessed with the “bounce back” theory. For those of you who are not familiar with the “bounce back,” it is a woman’s ability to behave, look and overall exist as if she didn’t just have a life-altering experience…. childbirth. Becoming a mother is something that I never saw in my future. Real shit! Most women I’ve known either have children for sport, actually are in love or just get caught in the matrix and left to raise their children alone. And then there’s that small percentage of women I know who actually try and plan their families. Chile and they get so bent out of shape when I said “Meh… I don’t know if kids are in the stars for me.” Then they want to get all up in your business like well why not? Are you single? Can you have children? Blah, Blah, Blah….pause Sis I just don’t want kids, ease up. I thought I was going to be single-ish, child-free and fabulous forever, but God and GHOE (Greatest Homecoming Ever) had other plans for me.
When I found out I was pregnant I was beyond surprised and scared AF. I took about a week to tell my boyfriend who I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with for the past two years. He was living in our hometown of Baltimore and I was in New York. Both of our careers were taking off and I was fearful of his reaction, but I decided I was going to have my baby even if it meant doing it without him. Yes, people, I said decided #mybodymychoice, on the other hand, that’s another topic. Anyway, I finally found the courage and the inner peace to tell him and he was just as shocked and scared. But, he was supportive and there for me each step of the way. IKR #blackdads
Alright, now that we’ve covered the specs let’s talk about why we’re here to discuss the “bounce back” theory. Like most women, I began to have all of the anticipating emotions of becoming a new mom. I was thinking about a gender reveal, baby shower, baby names, dealing with the normal breast soreness and fatigue. And of course, sending my girlfriends DM’s of women on IG who have had children and bodies were completely snatched. When I tell you snatched sis, I mean snatched to the high heavens. Like how? And I just knew I was going to be one of those mamas.
After I had my son, I’m telling you I didn’t know what tired was until I became a mom with a new baby. I did decide to breastfeed so people were telling me “Oh you’re breastfeeding you’re going to lose weight so fast.” Truth is I only gained 16lbs my whole pregnancy. I was home starving from nursing and pumping all day every day and I gained more weight doing the very thing all the blogs and even doctors say is supposed to help with your bounce back. I’m like how is this happening? What about my sickening bounce back? I started to feel really down about it and felt a lot of pressure to get it “under control”.
There’s so much pressure out here for us to be “perfect.” You got women posting their post-surgery bodies all over social media and it’s hard not to feel insecure sometimes. Especially, when you’re fresh off of the baby train. You have all kinds of crazy hormones racing through your body, you’re sleep deprived and you have a little person bossing you around all day. Don’t get me wrong I love my baby more than I knew was possible. But I’m tired, I don’t feel sexy or desirable and I’m usually covered in bodily fluids that are not mine. Understand, this is the most vulnerable you’ll ever feel in your life. Applying pressure to yourself that is unwarranted will make you go crazy.
But the gag is you’re not Ciara, Cardi B, JLo or Beyoncé and neither am I. These women are millionaires with nutritionists, chefs, nannies, and nurses 'round the clock. They don’t have to do the things we do as everyday women and mothers. They were already in some kind of amazing, flawless and unicorn existence before they had children. Fact is everyone’s pregnancy and bodies are different so ease up off the pressure. We cannot continue to allow society to dictate our reality. That’s giving people so much control over you and your mind. I still have to stop myself from feeling bad about my post-pregnancy body. Truth is I just had a baby ten weeks ago and I’m tired AF but my boyfriend has made it clear that I can still get it.
When you’re feeling back to “normal”, (which for some of us new moms mean engaging in the selfish act of showering daily) you will do what you have to do to get to where you want to be physically and you will do it. Don’t let your man, your ego, or these gossip rags tell you that you have to physically and mentally pretend that you haven’t given the world a gift. So, to all of my homegirls who gave birth this year and/or are expecting, CONGRATS SIS! And if no one tells you today, let me be the first to say you’re beautiful, you’re a great mom, you’re strong AF and your bounce back is on its way. It’ll be here sooner than you think and exactly how you need it.
Written By Yanni
Professional Makeup Artist