I love pop singer Pink for a million and one reasons. In addition to being an amazing vocalist, songwriter and performer, I love how she keeps both marriage and motherhood real–the good, the bad, and, yes, even the ugly.
Of course, I don’t know her personally, but she’s one of those celebrities who genuinely lets her fans into her world. With respect to parenting, she doesn’t shy away from the tough parts, and she draws attention to the things she is passionate about: breastfeeding, teaching tolerance, having a healthy body image, and raising a strong, independent daughter, all values I strongly support. She and I are both 37, and her daughter, Willow, is about the same age as my daughter, Maya–so I can relate to so many of her posts on multiple levels.
Some of her most recent Instagram posts have particularly struck me. Pink, who has been ridiculously shamed about her body on more than one occasion, posted a photo with a caption about being ready to get back to the gym after her second baby was born. In the post, she admitted to the world that she remained at the same weight six weeks after delivering her son. Read that again: The same weight as she was the day she delivered her son.
This admission is an insanely important one. Why? Well, contrary to what many people think, the weight doesn’t just fall off for every new mom—breastfeeding or otherwise. We often look six months pregnant for weeks until our uteruses shrink back to their normal sizes. Likewise, the weight doesn’t necessarily fall off just even if you were thin and fit pre-pregnancy. A woman’s body does amazing things during pregnancy and beyond, but not all women walk out of the hospital in their skinny jeans like Us Weekly and People may lead you to believe. In fact, barely any do. Yet there’s this unreal expectation that celebrities – with their abundance of trainers and chefs–should bounce back immediately afterwards, even if the rest of us can’t.
And that just isn’t fair. I love that Pink isn’t rushing it–just as she didn’t rush it last time. Her approach to her post-baby body is healthy, beautiful, and above all, sane. Just yesterday she posted another truth statement – that she had lost 5 of the 30 she had gained, and was still #committed. Way to go, mama!
Like many new moms, I know how hard it is to come to terms with a body that doesn’t feel quite yours anymore. The same amount of gym time or intake doesn’t yield the same results, and your body fat is stored differently now. Add that to hormones and exhaustion, and you can find yourself in a really tough place, as many who have been through those first postpartum months will tell you.
And while we all can say, “It doesn’t matter how long it takes,” the truth is, many of us DO want our bodies back quickly and, as a result, there is often (unnecessary) anxiety associated with that inevitably complicated journey.
Pink’s brutal honesty about how long it takes is a must-see for new moms. Watching a celeb like Pink take it slow and steady with a realistic goal in mind is refreshing in this world of fake everything: Photoshop, airbrushing and filters, and selective sharing of flattering posts online. Yes, she is a celeb with an amazing trainer, but in she is also a human being who has just birthed another human being. Unlike most celebs, she defies expectations and isn’t afraid to acknowledge she has a long way to go.
It isn’t wrong for a new mom to want to want to lose the baby weight or to want to be strong and fit again, as soon as she can. But the truth is, whether your goal is to look great or merely to fit into any pair of jeans without an elastic waistband, that goal will take time. Being kind to ourselves along the way is key, and that’s something I think all new moms can take away from Pink.