Friday, January 27, 2012

Crazy-Person Time: Mompetition with Myself

Basically all I can keep up with these days is school, homework, and baby.  My mantle has been bare since Christmas came down (the shame!), our back room is filled with random stuff that needs sorting, and Tony has been completely taking care of the house these days (without complaint, I might add)... Blogging is sooo lacking and I hate it.  But I wanted to write up something quickly that's been floating through my mind lately - and guess what? - it has to do with babies. :)

Mompetition.  I think that's the word at least.  I did some googling with mixed results.  But basically it's that thing I've heard about from friends and bloggers alike where moms feel the need to compete with each other or have their babies compete in some imaginary race to milestones or greatness or whatnot.  I don't know.

But basically I'm engaged in this competition all by myself.  Like a total crazy pregnant person.  I'm not sure if it even counts when your baby is still a tiny lemon-sized inside-baby.  But I'm calling it that, regardless.

Bear with my crazy.  I'm competing with moms who have no idea they are competing... and winning... in my head.

So I said it from the beginning - I've always looked so forward to being pregnant and sporting a big old belly.  I've never been thin, and besides the seasonal "oh man I should lose some weight but I'm lazy" thoughts in my head, I've never been one to be overly concerned with body image.  But I feel like I'm huge already - and I find myself comparing my bulging belly to any and every expectant mother I can find out there.  It seems like everyone is pregnant, in blogland and real life (which is fun!), but that means there's a lot to compare to.

I'm plagued (again, like a crazy person) by fears that I'm getting too big too fast (even though I've only gained a few pounds) or that my belly is bigger than it should be this far along.  Crazy, I know.  I've got to sound so ridiculous and maddening, to those who are trying to have a baby or those who are worrying that they aren't showing enough.  But it's how I've been feeling.  I feel self-conscious around those who I fear are judging me.  I know that every body handles pregnancy differently, but I feel the need to tack on a few extra weeks each time someone asks how far along I am... It doesn't help that I keep hearing, "Are you sure there aren't two in there??"

It has nothing to do with not loving my body - it's all about the mompetition - feeling like I'm somehow not doing it right, even this early in the game.  My jeans were insanely tight at about 8 weeks - some people are practically giving birth wearing their regular clothes.  I seriously saw this picture - of a SUPERMODEL at five months - and felt bad about myself!  When else would I  EVER feel the need to compare myself to a SUPERMODEL???

So lame, I know!  Promise, the whining is almost over!

So, the thing is - at home - I love my big pregnant belly.  I'm constantly pointing to it or making Tony feel how solid it is.  Why can't I get over the crazy and realize that I should embrace this, regardless of what others might be thinking - even though the likelihood is, they are thinking nothing but positive??

This is absolutely not a plea for compliments or anything of the sort.  Just wanted to put my feelings out there.  Maybe those of you who have been knocked up had crazy feelings like this too??  :)   Now that I've put it out there, I'm determined not to feel ashamed of my maternity leggings - regardless of how far along I am.  Thanks for bearing with me.


  1. Claire!! ok now I feel bad for texting you back saying thats gonna be a big baby! But for real, it means your body is growing and your baby is growing. It all means everything is going the way it should. Your beautiful and having a pregnant belly no matter what size is awesome. And unfortunately the mompetition doesnt stop ever. I start judging Lyla against other babies who are singing whole songs and mine just babbles, but then I realize that she is unique and it will happen when it does, and that does not make me a bad mother like I sometimes think I am. And no shame in wearing your pregnancy leggings, your pregnant right? I love you and I believe your beautiful and I dont care how far along you are and how much you are already showing. Love you!!!!


    (sorry if this is rambling, but i'm at work trying to type quickly :)

  2. At least you get points for recognizing the crazy! :)

  3. I remember being worried/upset I didn't look like any of the illustrations in "What to Expect." They were illustrated women, whose purpose was to show what you MIGHT look like at 5 months pregnant. I spent way to long studying them and asking my husband which illustrated woman I looked most like. Seriously?

    I think it's a combo of hormones and feeling the pressure to gestate, birth and raise a child. I just felt like I wanted to get it right for as long as I could. Not only are you not the first person to think this, but I think it's totally natural and normal to feel that way at least at some point in your pregnancy.

  4. Dude. You're so normal. It's weird to let go of the whole goal of being skinny, and instead embrace the belly.

    I never blogged about this specifically, mostly because I know it's crazy... but I found myself sucking in my gut ALL DAY LONG at work until just a few weeks ago. And it wasn't even on purpose! It was just my natural reaction to "I feel like my belly is poking out right now". I kept feeling breathless while talking to patients, I kept giving myself stomach cramps from working my abs so hard, and it took DAYS before I finally figured out that I'd been trying to keep this "gut" sucked in. Even after I figured out what I was doing, it took an entire week of consciously reminding myself to let my belly relax before I felt comfortable with it.

    And STILL! Every time I take a profile shot for the blog, I have to remind myself to let it all hang out. The camera comes out and my vain self immediately "sucks it in."

    I'm like you, I haven't gained much actual weight... as in, every time I get weighed at the OB's, Rob threatens to feed me gravy and milkshakes (everything's ok, I'm gaining the right amount, but Rob's side of the family gains like 50 extra pounds per pregnancy in a very unhealthy way, and they think that's normal) but my fat redistributed itself in crazy ways. My belly is HUGE. My boobs are ENORMOUS. And it's awesome but weird to see a much rounder version of me in the mirror these days.

    You're normal. And beautiful. And this infertile chick gives you permission to feel the way you do about these crazy changes. I feel that way too. :)

  5. Also, my Christmas tree is still up and decorated and I might actually still be too lazy to take it down this weekend. If my tree's put away by Valentine's day, I'm good.

  6. Cuh-laire! This is not a "Oh you're ok" comment. It's an I understand, but won't say anything you don't already know.

    Do you, however, know about this?

    It's me...and hopefully to you.

  7. I was teaching 10th and 11th graders when I was knocked up with Joseph. I didn't tell them I was pregnant until I my 4th or 5th month and they were already guessing and trying to get me to admit it. In their smooth, subtle teenage ways...

    "DANG MRS M! You need to lay off the ice cream!! Unless there's something you want to tell us??? HMM???"

    As I started to balloon out, my dear, sweet, teenagers would walk into the classroom in the morning and say things like,

    "DUDE! LADY YOU ARE HUUUUUUUUGE!!! You aren't about to pop are you??"

    Balm for the self image soul, for sure. It's hard to 100% love getting plump when we spend the rest of our non-gestating moments trying to stay healthy and not put on weight. I kept my pregnancy from my students as long as I could and given the chance, I would have told them sooner. (The change in cooperative additudes was like magic... no one wants to upset the pregnant lady have have to deliver a baby in the classroom.) But before telling them, as my midsection widened, I became way more self-conscious. Everyone's pregnancy is their own personal deal and you are look perfect just the way you are! You are pregnant and your belly is going to plump out as quickly or as slowly as it damn well wants to. Nevermind your feelings on the subject. And they are real feelings and you have every right to feel them. But no worries.

    The Mompetition can be hard sometimes, but at least you recognize it and are battling against it. :)

  8. Honey I hear you. I've had body issues all my life. It was very very hard for me to see the rising number on the scale and be ok with it. VERY hard.

    But around the 7th month I totally made peace with it (remember, I only found out I was pregnant at 5 months). After that I loved sporting my belly. I actually kind of miss pregnancy fashion!


  9. Dude, if anyone had preg body issues, it's me. I'm pretty sure that the only people I saw while pregnant were other pregnant chicks. But only the ones who looked like they shoved a basketball under their shirt...and that's it. But after awhile, the reality of dealing with the looming birth and subsequent parenting overshadowed those feelings. But your sister is right, the competition among moms doesn't end, every stupid thing the kid does gets compared to every other kid, whether by you or by someone else. It's frustrating. The whole thing is just so darn frustrating. So for right now, I suggest you rock those leggings for as long as possible and stop measuring yourself up against anybody. You look awesome and that's that.


Your comments make me happy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...