Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scenes From A Public Restroom

When I became a mom, I knew that my life would never be the same. I was smart enough to know that everything was now going to be about this tiny pink bundle of poop and giggles. Despite the fact that I knew that I was giving up frequent "girls nights" and most of all my freedom, it didn't really bother me because having children was something that was important to me.

Pregnancy was rough on me. When I got pregnant with Autumn I was at least 120 pounds overweight. I gained nearly 60 pounds with her, 40 of which I lost immediately after she was born. I recovered from my c-section without issue. I went home from the hospital after 3 days and began the journey of raising this beautiful baby into the funny, smart, and sassy little girl that she has become today.

Eventually, Erica came along. I weighed my heaviest ever the day she was born. 314 lbs.! I again recovered nicely, but she was suffering. My diabetes had complicated her life. My weight had already affected this squirmy,little newbie. I decided then and there that I was done. I had to lose weight or there would be no more babies. Of course, I did nothing to lose weight so I just became resigned to the fact that my child bearing days were over.

Those who knew me during my pregnancies have their little jokes about the necessity of my swinging right arm to propel me forward with it's momentum and who knows what jokes people held privately. I began to realize after Erica was born that I had to do something to lose weight. I didn't want to be somebody's fat mom. I still don't want to be somebody's fat mom. I NEVER want my children to be ashamed of me for how I look. I also don't want them to value people by their physical appearance. I don't shy away from these topics with my children, but I also try to be careful not to make them overly concerned with body image. It's a slippery slope.

Autumn knows I'm fat. We've talked about it. She also knows that words hurt. She will never say that I am fat, she always says "the way that you are". When she questioned why her dad started picking her up a couple of days a week, I explained to her that I was seeing a personal trainer and that I was trying to lose weight. "Mommy, how come you don't want to be the way that you are?" she asked. I told her "Mommy needs to be healthy to spend lots of time with you and to make it easier for me to do lots of fun stuff with you." She smiled.

Remember those girls nights out that I gave up? Well,they are nothing compared to losing all private bathroom time. I don't think that I have gone to the bathroom by myself in 6 years. If I started out by myself, it's almost a guarantee that the door is opened at some point or God forbid, I end up holding a crying child while I am otherwise indisposed. Same goes for public restrooms. Trying to keep kids on point and from in depth conversation in a public restroom is near to impossible. Who doesn't love the random (at the top of their lungs)"Mom, is that you poopin' or somebody else?"

This weekend we went out for breakfast and Autumn needed to visit the ladies room, so when in Rome. As I sat there she started asking me about why my belly was getting all wrinkly and was insistent that I answer her despite my many and frantic replies of "shh". I finally whispered, "Mommy is losing weight baby and her skin is getting loose." I still wonder what others must have thought when they heard her say "Oh Mommy, I am so proud of you!" Apparently..I've been doing good job.


  1. I am so happy you brought up the fact you are raising your kids to be sensitive, most people don't care if their children are cruel or not. It is disgusting. Especially when it comes to issues of weight. Overweight people seem to be the only group that it is socially acceptable to make fun of and redicule. More people should raise their kids in that manner. http://bigandwonderfullymade.blogspot.com/

  2. What a delight to read!!! This is one you should submit to woman's and mother's magazines. The ending was so funny! God I just love to read whatever you write! Congrats on all of your strength and accomplishments! Your daughter's are very fortunate to have you as their mother!!

  3. I know how you feel, when you say you have no private bathroom time, because I have the same problem and if it's not one child it is all three of them. Nothing beats AJ applauding me for going pee or poop. I am always like mommy has been going potty for a long time baby now it's your turn to use the potty, lol. Anyway, as Autum said me being the way I am I thought that I taught my children to be kind and not to judge people because of the way they look, but I was so embarrassed at WalMart one day when I was by myself with Glen and he had to go potty. Here is this sweet little boy in the ladies room with me and a lady who was the way she was walked in as he was washing his hands and Glen says mommy she's FAT! I told him to hush because his mommy was FAT too. and he came back with No mommy she is FAT. I grabbed his hand and took him out of the restroom with that feeling in my stomach of OMG I am just gonna die right now!
    Glen has sense learned that it is not polite to call people fat and that words do in fact hurt sometimes more than being hit. People are people no matter what they look like big or small, and it is not cool to say things about people like that. Just thought I would share that with you because I think we have all had those public restroom experiences.