A funny thing has happened to Facebook since you’ve been blessed with your babies. All those invisible friends who were having kids and obsessing over kids and posting pictures of their kids who were white noise to you before, they are now the people you notice and stop on as you scroll. The others with their pictures of drunken nights and play-house dinner parties in urban settings, dressed fashionably and looking for all the world like they are at a photo shoot are now cruelly taunting you as you hide on your toilet check in on the world through the window of your phone. It can feel awful. Look how much better everyone is doing then you. How fit and trim these other parents are and how interested they are in how their food is made and how much they can exercise. Which is strange because you are kind of, well, not totally, but yeah actually totally fat. Like fat in the face fat. Not just a little tight in the crotch fat, but all new pants and a new strategy at Kohl’s kind of fat.
You aren’t really aware that it’s happened until you see a picture. But once you do see it, you know. You have crossed the line. It’s gonna be a long journey to fitness. You subsist largely on the three C’s of early parenthood; candy, coffee and catnaps. Crying can be substituted for candy or catnaps. Coffee is untouchable. You are both dehydrated and bloated which seems impossible, but isn’t. You are tired and sleepless and tasked with more than you knew you could do. So your glands seek sugar for the short bursts of energy you need. In this early phase with peeks of happiness driven by loving something more than you ever thought possible and lows of madness for exactly the same reason, you turn fat, grey and blobbish.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel. That light is hashtagged. #TBT. Thats right. The mockable, thoroughly pleasurable social media phenomena of Throwback Thursday is your saving grace.
First, find all your friends who’s kids are older then 8 and younger than college. Then, really wind yourself up by looking through their family photo albums. Look for albums with titles like, ‘Fun Run 2013’ or ‘A Day at the Beach’ or simply ‘Mom Runs Two Marathons in One Week’. This should really get you to pull the trigger on those Donuts. Maybe even make you down a pint or two of Ben and Jerry’s just before bed. You’re not really searching the short energy burst at this point. Your just eating your feelings. It’s a complicated emotional maneuver. Your recent trip through your closet, your truly fucked digestive system and your coworkers catching you wearing the only 2 pants you fit in anymore has led you to think there might be something to it.
Then do it. Find all those same friends with their grown kids and look at there various TBT photos of them with their babies at their first birthdays or first anythings, really. If they don’t participate in TBT, no problem. Just scroll through their photo’s. You’ll get there. You’ll see the now dated photos of those parents, those marathoning sunbathers bundled in formless clothing, dressed perpetually for fall, playing with their babies, sprawled on couches and covered in kids. You’ll see it. In addition to their beaming happiness and pride (they are after all curating these pics and they can only go so far in there unwitting role as caregiver to your broken psyche) you’ll see the familiar pallor. The grey ghoul expression on their double chinned faces. Their general dishevelledness. You will see their wholly recognizable unwellness, and you will smile. They too were like you. They too lost all sense of self. There is hope that you may process food effectively again. You too may sleep and exercise and know the names of the movies, maybe even see a few, that were nominated this decade. Their is a chance that you will once again order the flat fronts and not worry that your underbelly will be too evident.
There is hope.