In my experience, when we become parents our own mothers do their best to be supportive. Some are successful, to be sure, but others don't have the most, um, tact. They want to help, of course, but they usually end up saying things that leave us scratching our heads. Take comments about your postpartum bod, for example. What's meant to be encouraging can end up being judgmental. Then there are the things your mom will say about your post-baby body when she's "just being honest" that are anything but helpful, constructive, or supportive. Mothers, right? Can't live with 'em, wouldn't have life without 'em.
Throughout my life my weight has been the central focus of numerous family discussions. You might say this is part of latinx culture — "flaca" and "gorda" (skinny and chubby) are both commonly used nicknames. Still, even though calling someone "chubby" isn't meant to be malicious, it can be damaging. Then, when I was postpartum, my family seemed to focus solely on how much weight I had (or had not) lost. Why not skip the sweets this time? Why not start walking more? It came from a good place, I suppose, but it was also irritating. I had limited mobility my first year postpartum thanks to severe tearing during childbirth. Plus, my traumas didn’t exactly put me in the best headspace for being motivated to work out. Comments about my post-baby body and how it was or wasn't living up to some fallacious standard of postpartum beauty was the last thing I needed to hear.
That said, none of it bothers me now. These days I’m putting more effort into my health and fitness (and not just looking to “lose the baby weight”), so I’m able to put those initial post-baby body remarks out of my mind. If you’re currently postpartum you might recognize some of the following statements. Know that you have my permission to ignore them, even and especially if they are coming from your own mother. You also have the right to let your mom know her unsolicited thoughts aren't appreciated in any capacity, so she can stop immediately. Most importantly, don't let the following comments get to you. You're beautiful, your body is incredible, and how you feel matters way more than how you look. Always.