Cut throat bitches wear mom jeans too..

I-want-us-all-to-winRecently, while coming down from an incredibly unproductive Red Bull high, I had an epiphany. You see, I’m a fairly new mom with two boys under the age of two. In 2012 I got married and less than two months later I found myself peeing on a stick before work. Oh hey, look at those two little lines! From there, things escalated quite quickly. In 2013 we had our first son, Dylan. In early 2014, we bought a house and we both changed jobs quite suddenly. Six months later those two little lines showed up again and on January 2, 2015 we welcomed our sweet little surprise, Colby.

In less than three years I went from mowing the yard in my bikini while drinking mimosas to wearing (gulp) mom jeans and starving myself so that I might one day return to those size sixes, which realistically is pretty ambitious. One day, while scrolling through Facebook, I found myself grading my mom bod on a comparative scale next to my ridiculously good looking peers. That got me thinking- comparing myself to everyone else is getting exhausting and binge drinking Red Bull is a seriously expensive habit. How might my perspective change if I stopped trying to present an unrealistic image of my filtered life to my fellow Facebookers, and offered them a bit of, I don’t know, the truth. The unfiltered truth.
It seems as though I have been competing my entire life. From playing sports to landing my first real job, I have always been in competition with those around me. I was a competitive athlete from the age of five and on. Yes, you heard me right- five. My dad often brags about his 18 month old toddler that was able to give her mother a goose egg in between the eyes after throwing a golf ball at her with lethal accuracy. I have a tower of old boxes in my basement filled with medals, ribbons, and old newspaper clippings all stating that at one point in my life I was kind of the bomb.

I loved it. I loved all of it. I had a deep thirst for competition and a relentless need to win. Whether it was the soccer state championship or a casual game of Uno, I was constantly playing to win. I wanted to be the best at everything I did, no matter what it was. I’ve caused serious damage to friendships due to drunken intramural soccer games. I’ve pieced together many profanity-laced rants after beach volleyball games that lacked the A-game of my peers, and I’ve got more than just a few gray hairs that have been caused by college football season.

If the person I’m describing to you sounds like a cut throat bitch, you’re not wrong in thinking that. But isn’t that how society tells us we should feel every way we turn? Like we’re all in competition against each other and have to win at everything? Who’s the prettiest, the skinniest, the wittiest, the most athletic, the smartest? Who makes the most money? Who has the biggest house? Who has the cutest kids? Who gets the most likes? We sit behind our keyboards secretly judging each other while tearing ourselves apart. And for what- likes?? F***ing likes?!

Why are we competing with each other via social media? Why are we constantly one upping one another? Our opinions of ourselves are literally being molded around a newsfeed filled with filtered, emotionally debilitating bullshit.

At a certain point, especially after having kids, my life became less about competing with others and more about encouraging them. After I had my boys I beat myself up mentally every day. I would look in the mirror, trying to find my way through the maze of stretch marks and wonder if my abs would ever come out of hiding again. I would stare at my college jeans and cry, cursing all the tacos and chocolate milk shakes I consumed during my back to back pregnancies. For the first time in my life, I felt like a loser. A squishy, vulnerable loser.

I envied the super women that bravely wore their bikinis mere weeks after delivering their babies. I was jealous of their perfect, muffin top-less silhouettes and their chiseled collar bones. Meanwhile, back in crazy town, I was too embarrassed to show my face at the local WalMart because society told me that having two babies wasn’t an excuse to not look like a lingerie model. Seriously…WalMart. I would starve myself. Then, I would get so ravenously hungry that I would devour a pack of Oreos like it was last f’ing supper.

I took spin classes at the gym like they were candy. “I’m just trying to get healthy,” I told everyone. Lies! I’m as healthy as a horse. I was trying to get the abs of Jessica Alba, the arms of Jennifer Aniston and the ass of Beyonce. Totally realistic, right? I was a woman gone mad because I was obsessed with the idea of an old reflection, and I was hell bent on not giving up until I saw that person again.

The worst part? In the midst of my questionable mental status and love/hate relationship with the elliptical I was neglecting the ones that really mattered- the sweet, beautiful little boys whose very existence depended on 100% of my undivided, undistracted, unwavering attention.

One day after dropping my kids off at the gym daycare my oldest son, Dylan, ran to the glass door as I was leaving. His big blue eyes started to tear up and he squished his perfect little nose against the glass door, begging me not to leave him in that petri dish with the mighty powers of his adorableness. Then it hit me, and at that moment I could feel my heart breaking into a thousand selfish pieces. Had I become so obsessed with my reflection and keeping up with the spring breakers on social media that I was neglecting the miracles that made my body the way it is in the first place? Was fitting into my comically small high school jeans again more important than spending time with my kids? Hell. No.

I made an important decision that day. I decided to stop competing with an image, to stop tearing myself down and to drink a milk shake. I allowed myself to not be perfect. I allowed myself to stop sucking in every time I walked by a mirror. I allowed myself to eat a real meal and stop wearing Spanx to bed. I decided that being a mom is enough. It’s more than enough.

My priorities are my boys, not my backside. I take care of myself, but more importantly I take care of them. And trust me when I say that I burn PLENTY of calories taking care of them. A little healthy competition is normal, being healthy is great and keeping fit is fine, but never again will I prioritize swim suit season over these precious years I have with my little ones. F*** social media for making me feel like I had to compete with anyone to prove that I could still be who I used to be.

I don’t want to be that person anymore. That person was a cut throat bitch.

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