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and then they exploited the #mombod


After the weird and sexist #dadbod trend, women tried to take back their right to exist just as they are, mom bodies and all. Which is, you know, kinda the thing here at SOAM. So I have been hanging out on Instagram and Twitter in the #mombod tags and for the most part loving the movement.

But I’ve started seeing something more sinister. People are taking the movement and using it as a way to exploit the insecurities of moms and to make money off their emotional pain. I mean. This isn’t new. It’s the backbone of the fashion and makeup industry to feed off the insecurities of women. But it’s frustrating and makes me a little stabby. Kind of like that time they stole my picture and used it to sell stretch mark cream. SIGH.

So, you know, it’s finals week and I got burned out on graphing quadratic functions so I laid down on the couch and made this (GOD BLESS 2015 AND THE IPHONE). And I AM SO SORRY that it’s cheesy as hell, but it gets the message across. As always, aim for health. But, also as always, never forget that you are beautiful ALWAYS. You don’t NEED to change a thing to be beautiful. You already are.

Categories: Instagram, My Own Ramblings, News


You probably saw this photo of this professor last week on the internet. A student in one of his classes in Israel had to bring her baby to class, and when the baby started fussing, she made to leave, but her professor took the baby and soothed him and continued teaching. Which is amazing. I think at least six different people shared it with me on Facebook since the photo went viral. Because the opposite situation of this one happened to me just a few weeks ago.

I’m a single mom and I’m trying to finish my degree finally, years after putting it on hold for many complicated reasons. I don’t have many resources to turn to for babysitting and on one particular day I couldn’t find anyone to watch my 10 year old son. Rather than miss valuable information in a math class, I decided to take him with me. I won’t go into the whole boring, overly dramatic story except to say that I had planned very carefully how to keep him quiet for a whole two hours, I understood I may have to leave if he was disruptive, and yet my college broke their own policy protecting parents and refused to allow me to attend my class. It became a kind of a big deal, I wrote letters to about 20 different people in charge of the college and was given several good apologies almost immediately.

But the whole thing taught me a really important lesson about being a woman, maybe especially a mother. You’re gonna have to struggle the whole way. Not only does the necessity of finding a babysitter for my children fall entirely on me, but there aren’t a lot of resources to help a mom through her education. (I also wonder how a father bringing his child to school would have been received – I suspect it would have been honored for being a responsible father. Honestly, the double standard there is just as harmful for dads as it is for moms. To be surprised when a man is a good father is an insult to men in general.)

So when this professor took that child and allowed that mother to continue her education he made a statement. He told her and all women that he values them, they they deserve the chance to learn, that he will help them succeed. He taught everyone in that class that kids are a normal part of humanity, that mothering is a normal part of humanity to be embraced and supported rather than shunted off, out of view of the world. I mean, really, when you look at it from a biological point of view, parenting children is the actual reason for the human race.

I get it that kids can be disruptive. Believe me. I get that. But think how much better the world could be if children were accepted and expected, if moms were supported in their endeavors to better their lives? We need more men like this. Standing ovation to you, Dr. Engleberg. Thank you.

Now. Onto other stuff this week!

Follow SOAM:
~TIAW on Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
~SOAM on Twitter and Facebook.
~Participate here on SOAM.

~People can have misconceptions about miscarriage, and that can hurt. An article from NPR.org that I think too many mamas here at SOAM will relate to. Love you mamas, and your angels.
~This is such an important list I’m gonna save it and link to it permanently.
~Don’t judge people you see based on looks alone. You can never ever know the whole story.
~Learning to love our bodies can be complicated in so many ways. Sometimes they don’t look the way you want, but sometimes they don’t work the way they should.
~Check out the #girls with toys tag on Twitter. Awesome stuff.

See something that belongs in the Feminist Fridays? send it to me either at my email address (theshapeofamother@gmail.com) or over on the Facebook page.

Categories: Feminist Fridays, My Own Ramblings, News

1 pregnancy
25 months postpartum

When I took these postpartum photos six weeks after I had my son, I told myself that I was still beautiful, that my body had just accomplished a huge feat and that my stretch marks were a reminder of the amazing thing my body had done by bringing my son into the world…and all of those things are true! But I truly felt down about my body. I was not used to having a big, squishy belly. And the stretch marks were so purple! And all over my stomach!

But time passed and now my son is two years old. Two wonderful, life altering, challenging, joyful years. And the stretch marks have faded! They’re still there of course , and they always will be, but now they’re just white lines and not even noticeable in pictures. Losing the weight didn’t take much. I eat healthy about 80% of the time, I eat reasonable portion sizes, and I exercise about three days a week.

Now I’m gearing up for a second pregnancy and the rollercoaster will start all over again but I couldn’t be more excited because I know that my body is capable of creating and sustaining life and also capable of repairing itself.

Pictures: 6 weeks PP, 25 months PP, my son, age 2.

Categories: Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Submissions