I see it every damn day: droves of mothers who've just let themselves go after giving birth. I'm sorry, but when I see someone still carrying that baby weight around when their baby is, like, 10 minutes old? I mean, can you really call it "baby weight" at that point? It's been 10 minutes. That's plenty of time to get back in shape. It's not just the weight, either. It's hair, clothes, makeup, and eating habits, too. What are the signs you've let yourself go after having a baby? Oh honey. Pull up a seat and I'll tell you.
Let me make one thing super clear, by the way, because I will no doubt be accused of being "catty" or "judgmental" or "unfair to women who don't adhere to a very specific and unrealistic set of societal standards that basically exist to make women feel terrible about themselves." I talk like this because I care so damn much. I believe mothers deserve to be treated like sex objects whose primary function is aesthetic and sexual pleasure of others, just like all other women! #MommysAreWorthIt! So when they let themselves go, and peek behind the curtain of society's expectations for ideal beauty and appearance, I'm like, "Run, girl! Run! You can't ever unsee what's behind there! We'll never get you back if you do!"
So sure, you might be sleep-deprived and recovering from childbirth and keeping another human being alive, but don't forget what's really important: how you look. That should always be number one, right ladies? So if you notice one or more of the following signs that you're clearly letting yourself go, it's time to reprioritize.
You Didn't Make An Agreement With Your Partner That You'd Lose The Baby Weight
If you're not actively worried about (and planning on) conforming to an agreed upon, ideal aesthetic that you will desire to achieve before your baby is born, the battle is already half-way lost. What else do you have to be planning for before you have a baby other than looking like you didn't have one? I can't think of anything at all. No, really. Nothing.
You Didn't Do Crunches While You Were Crowning
Again, this is about being proactive. When something is important you make the time. For example: you're not going to be pushing that whole time. There's, like, a minute in between contractions sometimes. How many crunches can you do in that minute! Make it a game! Challenge yourself, for God's sake.
You Have Prioritized Feeding Your Children Over An Exclusive Gym Membership
Again, when something is important you find a way to make it work. So, did your baby really need that formula? Really? Because that stuff is extravagant and expensive and that is money you could have spent going somewhere with complimentary bottles of water in the locker room. Complimentary! You're practically losing money by not going. God knows you're losing muscle mass and, of course, we all know what you're not losing. Besides, your baby is just going to poop out that formula in an hour or two anyway. They don't even appreciate it!
You Spend Less Than Two Hours Getting Ready To Go Out
Fact: a woman's best self is the version that is most covered by products someone has sold her to make her the best version or herself — usually, someone else. That kind of perfection takes time. So bring on the makeup, clothing, unguents, and accessories and get ready to dazzle!
What's that? You need to get your child and yourself ready to go and you only got three hours of sleep? Don't worry. There's a cream for that. Just put that on instead of sleeping! You'll feel like sh*t, but you'll look incredible.
You Don't Wear Alexander McQueen Gowns Around The House Anymore
There's no law that says moms have to lose their sense of style, or stop wearing $90,000 dresses just because you have a baby. So why do so many women do this? It's beyond me.
Love yourself, sure, but more importantly look the way others want you to look as opposed to what is practical or comfortable for you.
You Don't Wear Make-Up
[Apoplectic spasm of shock and rage]
You Don't Shave
With the exception of the hair on your head, perfectly groomed eyebrows, and eyelashes (and those should be augmented with fox fur extensions) there should be nary a strand found anywhere on your person. Ever. Girl, if you keep this up, everyone is going to find out you're a mammal instead of a sleek and beautiful lizard person.
You Wear Your Hair Up Because It's Practical
What's that? You don't want your baby tangling their fingers in your hair? You can't afford to have your hair getting in your face and eyes as you watch your children? Oh, and wait, you haven't been able to wash it in a few days? Well I don't want to have to look at a top knot, unless one of the Kardashians has declared that they're the latest fad on IG, in which case I will need you to start wearing a top knot that takes four hours to do properly.
There Are Literally Birds Living In Your Hair
I mean, I can only assume. Ugh. Who even knows what's going on in that top knot.
You Don't Follow An Expensive European Skincare Regimen
What are you even using ? Soap? A mild, pharmacy-bought cleanser? Barf! Listen, do what I did: mortgage your house to put a down-payment on this Swedish skincare line. It's crafted by trolls (but, like, fancy ones) in ice caves using only the purest ingredients. Madonna uses it. Gwyneth Paltrow uses it, you guys. What could be more important than looking like Madonna or Gwyn?
Ugh! Again with the "my baby needs formula" and "I need to pay for child care costs." I can't with you today.
You Don't Count Your Steps Or Have Any Plans To
Oh, so you took a beautiful walk in the woods the other day with your family? That's cute and all, but how many steps was it? How does it count for anything if you are not quantitatively measuring the value of your time based on how many calories you have burned? Don't you see how f*cked up that is?
You Don't Stand In Front Of Your Mirror Every Day Castigating Yourself For Your Numerous Flaws As You Cry
This is an important part of everyone woman's daily routine. If you do nothing else, you should make time for this. You know, for you. It doesn't have to take long, either. In fact, it can be a couple minutes a day.
All you have to do is stand in front of a mirror naked, compare each part of your body to the most beautiful, photoshopped image of a woman you can possibly think of, realize how selfish that is of you, feel terrible, cry, and finally resolve to literally become that other person. You know, fully commit to loathing yourself even more than you already do, especially when you realize you can't morph into another human being.
Your Heels Are From Last Season
Ew. They hurt my eyes.
You Don't Torture Yourself If You Eat A Piece Of Cake
As we all know, food holds moral value. Celery? Virtuous! Cake? You literal monster, how dare you?
If you've gotten to the point where you aren't physically repulsed by yourself every time you eat a morally malignant food, then you may have let yourself go beyond the point of my help.
You Eat Cake
Why were you even toying with that substance in the first place? The one exception would be if you were trying to impress a man by eating cake and saying something like, "OMG I am such a fatty, right? I mean, I love cake and I eat it all the time and I don't gain weight! How funny is that, huh? I'm not like those other girls. They're so b*tchy and they all eat bunny food. Ha! I love my burgers!"
In that moment you were prioritizing performative misogyny for male approval over watching what you eat. I'll give you a pass. After all, part of not letting yourself go is maintaining a focus on male approval.
You're Not On A Diet
How does that even work? How do you know what you're going to eat if you don't know all the things you're not allowed to eat? I mean, who told you what to eat?
Under normal circumstances I just go with whatever celebrity menu I saw published in a magazine that week. What do you base your eating habits on if not the latest diet that correlates your freckle patterns to how many carbs you should be eating? I'm so confused.
You Think Of Yourself As More Than Numbers On A Scale
OK, whatever snowflake. Next you're going to tell me your thoughts and feelings matter more than your jean size.
You Don't Care About Fitting Into The Dress You Wore When You Were A Flower Girl In Your Aunt's Wedding In 1993
You were so skinny when you were just 8 years old, is what I'm saying. Everyone needs goals, yo. Shouldn't this one be yours?
Your Nails Aren't Painted
Unvarnished nails incur my unvarnished opinions: you look like a destitute, Dickensian washerwoman dying of a contagious disease right now, and I can't believe you are doing nothing to change that.
You Don't Feel Deep Burning Shame At The Sight Of Your Stretch Marks Or C-Section Scar
Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't have had a baby, but aside from the baby itself there should be absolutely no indication on your body that they ever lived inside (or came out of) you. Any indication of your motherhood is a prime example of letting yourself go.
I say this with love: if you don't work on this soon you're literally not a woman anymore and I cannot be seen with you, you piece of trash.
You Love & Accept Yourself
I'm sorry. I can't help you anymore. Have fun not hating yourself and living your life as a woman who's just completely let herself go.
Writer's note: But really, guys. Not to get all feminist-tinfoil-hat on you, but the concept of "letting yourself go" is just another way to bring and keep women down. Live the life you want to live that makes you the happiest. Don't give in to the voices that tell you you have to adhere to any number of meaningless, often impossible beauty standards; spend that energy enjoying motherhood as best you can. Long live yoga pants and top knots.