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Being the obese mom and other motherly blues

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
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Default Being the obese mom and other motherly blues

So I took my kiddos to the park Sunday. They love the park. The only problem is we have to drive to get there. We live in West Virginia (moved here about 18 months ago) which is a huge change from Colorado. Colorado was great in that, 1- it had sidewalks, and they don't here, at all and 2- there was always a decent park within walking distance, the one here is well... I personally think it should be condemed, it is not safe at all. So we drive to a nice park, which is a 20 minute drive one way.

So we went to the park and they LOVED it. I tried to play with the kiddos but certain things I couldn't do. I don't fit down the slides for example and I don't sit on the swings for fear of breaking them. Well, my 2 yr old daughter, who draws attention and loves it, made friends with a teen girl there who took her down the slide. She fell in love with this girl, following her around and calling her, "Mom." She no longer wanted to play with me. It broke my heart. You would think it super charged my weight loss motivation...but it didn't.

Well, my mothering ego already is deflated my SIL informs us her daughter who is slightly younger than mine is nearing complete toliet training...mine is so not. She's getting there. She hates being wet, she's into taking off her own dirty diapers and she'll sit on the potty...just not at the right moment. It wouldn't bother me so much but this SIL is a real piece of work. She smoked, drank and drugged, admittedly (she said it was better than her feeling stressed out), through both her pregnancies. She told me that if the dr. put her on bedrest, even if the baby would die, she wouldn't do it because SHE doesn't like being told what to do. I was on bedrest both pregnancies all pregnancy long because my first baby did die. I didn't smoke, drink, or eat anything on the list of things not okay for pregnancy (caffine, fish, radishes, you name it, if it was on a "bad" list it didn't come near me). I had weekly injections. She boasted about her babies weighing under 4 lbs and 5 lbs. She still smokes/drugs with them in the house. Now I'm not mother of the year (in fact I generally find myself wishing I'd done better at this or that) and yet SHE, somehow, SHE gets the easy kids? No autism, no speech delays, no behavior problems... not even a potty training hang up?

Ok...sorry to lay out all the personal stuff out here. But I think if I don't start laying it out somewhere I'll self-destruct by overeatting and just go more and more into a funk.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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Default My daughter is now 19 but...

when she was 3 or 4, she went to pre-school with a girl who's mom looked literally like a barbie doll; gorgeous, thin, large busted, blonde hair. I on the other hand was attractive but overweight.

Katie asked me why do some kids get moms that look like Barbie and some have "big fat mommies". I went into how appearance isn't everything...goodness comes from within...blah blah blah. I cried about it later. It really really hurt.

I don't have any profound wisdom for you but do offer assurance that a lot of here have felt like you do.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Tara - First off - GOOD JOB for taking the effort to go to the park. That's great socialization and activity for your daughter and kudos to you for doing that! Many others flip the tv on and ta-dah -enough. No, you took the time and effort to do something special for her. Don't view her calling the teen who was involved with her "mom" as a putdown to you, think of how well you're raising your daughter to get along with others and get involved, rather than shy away from anyone new, any new experiences. To her, "mom" is a big deal and she was just showing this new person that she connected with her. Nothing at all against you, but more of a plus for this other girl.

Don't worry about the toilet training - no prizes are awarded to the family whose children are toilet trained the fastest ... and to compare is just to invite aggravation and self-doubt. Sounds like you're doing what you can to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child and to compare just raises the stress level and gets you nowhere.

The next time SIL pops in with a boast/brag, think that maybe the "easiest" children are sent to the mothers who are further down on the list of the Mother of the Year nominees because they'll end up raising themselves rather than having dependable, loving guidance and support.

Pat yourself on the back for being a caring mom - we need more of them around the children of today!
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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YAH for WV - I grew up there (Move to Cali when I was 15) - sorry tangent...

I felt like that too...we would go to the park and I would always be too tired to run around. Now I use the playground equipment as park of my exercise routine, pull-ups, push-ups, chasing the kids around. Stay with a program mama and you feel a million time better soon!

BTW - my DD is 4yo and still uses pull-ups at night, I say WHATEVER - she'll be ready when she is ready...
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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{{{{Hugs}}}} for you. I often feel like I fall short as a mother, but I noticed I only feel that way when I am not "swimming in my own lane." One reason I am losing weight is so that I can do some of the things you mentioned and more. I want to run around and chase a ball without feeling like I am having a heart attack. I don't want to be the fat mom. All that said, I don't compare myself to other mothers anymore because when I do I am always comparing my weaknesses to their strengths so of course I come up short!

As for your SIL having the "easy kids" - sometimes life just isn't fair. She probably has the easy kids because she isn't a strong person like you and she couldn't handle it. That or she is oblivious to issues her kids may have because she is so self absorbed. In any case, don't give her any thought. Focus on yourself and your kids and what is best for your family. Don't be so hard on yourself. Motherhood is hard!
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:42 PM   #6
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One of my main motivations for losing weight is to be able to play more with my kids, so I know what you mean. My kids have also said that I'm "fat," and it hurts . (Though, for the record, it's never been said in a mean way, just as a true descriptor. I don't think my kids actually care about what size I am in the least.)

Oh, and don't you worry AT ALL about the potty learning. It'll happen when it happens!
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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You need to channel your inner mother bear. To **** with your SIL. You *know* you are doing the right things.
All my children potty trained themselves when they were ready. All done by 3 years of age. Now 24, 24 and 20 and are still potty trained ;-)
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:59 PM   #8
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I know a woman like that....pregnant at 16, four kids by three dads, drugs and alcohol and smoking while pregnant...perfect kids. Her eldest daughter especially has always been highly intelligent and has done really well in school, thank God! There is hope for her.

My son did not potty train until three, but when he did it was literally overnight. They're just ready when they're ready and it has NOTHING to do with intelligence! Sometimes I think the smarter they are, the longer they wait! Seriously! My girlfriends little boy, a right bright little thing, was still not fully there at age FIVE!! I think he's just too smart for his own britches. He had a good thing going on!

You're setting the best example in the world for your daughter. You really, really are! None of us are perfect at this. I like that you said your better when you judge yourself in your own lane. I can relate to that. Yeah, I may not be mother of the year, but darnit my husband is running C25K with our ten year old. That's something!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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First of all --- I am right there with you girl about being a mom and being the fat one! I hate it. I try my best to dress nice and fix my hair but I don't think anyone sees it... sometimes I don't realize how big I really am. Its disheartening.

Potty training - my son potty trained at 3 months before 3 but it was overnight pretty much too. Well I would say a week. We didn't push it... let him decide more than anything. Don't worry she won't go to college in diapers! Teach her her letters instead and brag about that!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:28 PM   #10
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Ok.. first off, I too am the fat mom. We have to drive to the park, when we go. We live in the middle of nowhere, so yeah not walking 10 miles to a park to have to walk back up our mountain (we are 2 miles up a pretty steep mountain... not fun in the winter..lol). We might go to a park to play once a month, but my kids have most of the luxeries of a park here on our land and hundreds of acres of woods and farmland to explore, so they aren't deprived of it. I do try to get out there and play with them some.. and quite a few things they want to do just doesn't work (crawling around playing in the sand or playing tag etc.)

As far as your SIL.. stop comparing yourself to her. Being a mom isn't a game of keeping up with the Jones'. It's being the best mom that YOU can be. Be yourself, let your kids be themselves and quit trying to compare your kids to anyone elses. Yeah her kid may be potty trained already.. but was (s)he pushed to do it or allowed to do things on his/her own time schedule? I don't believe in pushing kids to do anything.. part of why I homeschool my kids (another is I dont want labels on my kids.. they tried and tried to push ADHD on my oldest before I pulled him, my 4yo would for sure be pushed to be evaluated because he exibits some autistic traits). I am way more for allowing kids to be kids, what happened to that? They grow up too fast to begin with, and it seems they are pushed to do everything earlier and earlier these days (preschool starting at 2.. hello?? how crazy is that???).

Well, my kids want me to help with a video, so I better go do that and wash up the dishes.

(ps.. my kids all potty trained on their own around the age of 3... without a potty seat and have had very very few accidents from the day they decided for themselves they were ready. )
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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Okay, my daughter turned three in April and we JUST started potty training - she does fine provided she has NOTHiNG on the bottom, she treats panties like diapers so we're stuck going commando for now I have had my own insecurities over the 'slowness' of this training, but these days I just chalk it up to a perfectly normal kid in no hurry to be a big girl with her potty habits. I'll survive

My biggest motivation for losing weight has been to improve my quality of life for my family. They deserve the best, healthiest me they can have, and at 260-ish pounds I just couldn't give them that. Even fifty pounds off has made a HUGR difference in my energy and abilities, and more gone will only make it better. It's hard now, sure, but not as hard as missing out on life from the sidelines because I was too tired and fat to participate. Not having any pictures of myself with my babies hurts a heck of a lot more than a half hour of strength training or saying no to another piece of dessert, you know?

Some people have easier and harder paths in life, for any number of inexplicable reasons, we don't need to complicate it further with weight issues. Your sister has her own challenges to deal with, whether she shares them or not, just focus on YOU and what you can do for yourself and your family. You have NO reason to feel down or guilty, just move forward and do the bedtime you can.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #12
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Well, none of my kids trained before 2 and I think a couple of them were more than three.

As a veteran with 4 I can tell you that most of the early childhood accomplishments are really not very important.

I was hyper-overweaningly proud when my oldest taught himself to read at 3-- he used to run around looking and sounding like a child genius, for which I gave myself 100% credit-- and you know, he's still a smart kid, but he's also disorganized and lazy and convinced he's way too smart to do a lick of work-- so he practically flunked out of high school (thank god, he didn't)... point is, brilliant reader at age 3 does not necessarily promise a direct train ride straight to a nobel prize. The qualities that people need to succeed in life are not readily apparent by their speed at potty training, or learning to read, or anything like that... there is no point taking too much credit or blame for what preschoolers do-- they do stuff in their own time, and it has surprisingly little to do with us.

Regarding being "the fat mom..." count yourself lucky that you've decided to do something about it. Both of my daughter's who are now in their teens told me, separately, that they used to be afraid that if they got hurt I wouldn't be able to run fast enough to pick them up. Isn't that JUST AWFUL?

And you know what? I used to worry about that myself, but I thought they never noticed.

They did not care that I was fat, and now, when they look at my fat pictures they look kind of surprised.... but we both knew that they better not fall down on the other side of the playground or somebody's else's mom might get their first.

Good for you for tackling this problem while your kids are still little. It will make you more comfortable while running around with them.

But, you are a good mother now! Thin or Fat does not make you a good or bad mother. Period. End of story.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #13
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We always compare ourselves to others. We will always find someone with smarter, prettier, more well behaved kids or someone thinner,prettier, etc. than us. The thing is, we can also find people with more I'll-behaved children who are way larger or uglier etc. You are doing the right thing by trying to be active with your kids. This is the truth.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:42 PM   #14
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Thanks all. I know comparing myself to the SIL is a ridiculous situation to myself into. I should be pittying those lil' girls. They've almost been yanked from the home twice and they're going to have a hard enough life without any added complications. Sounds almost shallow now that I'm worrying about potty training and after reading your guys encouraging words my Dr's comments regarding my son's toliet training at 4 (though we didn't know he was autistic at the time)..."I have never seen an 18yr old, who is functional, not be toliet trained" came to mind. Its too true.

I love the idea of really teaching my children something instead of praising something that is a normal development!! Thanks all.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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I would like to say, from personal experience, comparing your parenting skills or your children to others will always cause you unnecessary pain. Period. If you know you are doing your best then you are a good mom.

Please just focus on what you can do and enjoy your children. It made me so angry to read about your sister but having kids is one area where the "Life isn't Fair" saying really comes home to roost. I have a family member with Aspergers and his mother did "everything right." It isn't fair, at all. Bearing healthy children isn't something to be proud or self-righteous about (maybe like your sis) it is a BLESSING!!! We can do all we can to have healthy babies and sometimes they are sick or disabled or we can't have them at all. (even tho the sick and disabled children are a blessing in their own ways - different subject, tho)
Good for you for taking your kids out to play even tho' you are still overweight and can't do all you want to! And, regarding your sis's drinking & c while pregnant and having the "easy" kids, I think the saying "Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides" is apt!
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