The 5 Stages of the Mom Bod

I remember a few months ago I was feeling really jazzed about the fact that I was back to my pre-baby weight, making workout plans, and eating salads. Then the 9-month sleep regression hit and 6 (ish) colds later I am still trying to find the best concealer for the bags under my eyes. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with my kid. I scroll through photos of him after he is in bed, send videos of him doing the cutest things ever in the world to poor unsuspecting friends, and can't wait to scoop him up from daycare at the end of the day while simultaneously wondering how the heck stay-at-home-moms do it on a daily basis.

Mamas... We put everything and everyone else first. We scarf our food down so we can feed our offspring before they lose their shit in public. We'll take a solid 20 minutes to get ready instead of the hour it used to take. We haven't shopped the women's section of Gap in months.

But, the mom bod begins to form. And while I'm attempting to embrace it, I'm also trying to convince myself my jeans (which were probably a bit tight pre-baby) will fit like they did in college when I had a killer metabolism.

Photo by Shannon Michele Photography
Behold, the 5 stages of recognizing you have a mom bod and attempting to reconcile with it. 

Stage 1: The Realization

Manicures are few and far between, you've been due for a haircut for months, and the last $300 you've spent was at Baby Gap, Carters, and most likely Amazon Prime. Your kid has a perfect wardrobe but Lord knows you could use a new pair of pants because things have clearly shifted around a bit.

The last time I met girlfriends for brunch my makeup started flawless (well, for my application skills it was pretty good), my hair had some sort of shape, and my outfit was cute. But then I was rushing to get out of the house, got wind burn from 20 mph gusts, and shoved my face with delicious french toast. The result was a puffy, hunched over mom bod in our group photo. Woof.

Stage 2:  Diet reassessment

You went through your pregnancy trying to eat as healthy as possible (with the occasional double-stuffed-Oreo-topped chocolate lava cake), taking your vitamins, and promising yourself you'd be back in those pre-baby jeans in no time.

But then you needed calories for nursing, so you felt like that cake was still justified. Or you dropped the first 20 lbs in a few days post-partum so you figured, it can't be that hard to lose the rest, right?

Months later you find yourself finishing the last 6 or 7 (probably more like 8 if we're being honest here) donut holes "just to get them out of the house." Your diet starts tomorrow.

Stage 3: Deciding its time to workout again

Part one of this stage involves rationalizing the purchase of a hefty new sports bra that will keep the ladies intact while you're still producing milk, or maybe you're one of the lucky ones whose boobs got big and stayed big. (Insert jealous eye roll here).

Part two involves making a really, really motivating playlist. This takes a few days because you've been listening to white noise and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for too long and have no idea what music is popular these days.

Part three is making a plan. It's written down, the Tone it Up videos are bookmarked, and you're gym membership awaits you.

Stage 4: Reality

Your ladies don't fit in that new sports bra anymore because... weaning. You may already be planning a lift after the second child because this situation is not attractive in any way.

The gym is always on your to-do list but remains the one constant that never gets crossed off. You didn't have time to meal plan so dinner looks like a bowl of cereal.

You've spent all of your energy being a mother, wife, coworker, and/or daughter today... who has time for anything else?

Stage 5: Giving yourself some grace

You made a baby! I mean, you literally grew a human from almost nothing and now he or she is cuddling in your arms like a sweet little angel. Or maybe you just got spit up on, in which case just wipe and go on with your day newborn mamas. You would much rather cuddle that baby, sleep, or have some "me" time with a bottle of wine and a Netflix marathon than go to the gym or pluck your eyebrows.

And that's ok!

I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy, was asked by one woman if I was having twins, and sometimes I can spot a third chin in photos. Lets not even get into what my old belly button piercing looks like. I'm guilty of buying baggy shirts to hide the pooch and I still wear maternity leggings because they are that comfy. But I've got stretch marks to prove I did something amazing and mom bod or not, he was worth it.


  1. Chuckling and nodding my head over here. LOVE this post. Gimme all the oversized shirts. Amen mama!

  2. Amen! I'm still working on the "giving myself some grace" bit of this. I'd just managed to get my body back on track after having my son, and I got pregnant again. I LOVE my son, and I LOVE that I'm able to grow little humans, but it's an adjustment for sure!

  3. Heard that. All of that. I also gained close to 45 pounds during pregnancy and frankly - getting the number on the scale to go down is only half the battle. It's just not the same. Strong, not skinny is my new mantra for the mom bod. We grew people in there. And they are awesome. And we are strong.

    Needed this today.

  4. Yes to all of this, hard to adjust at times, but our bodies did something amazing and we have to be thankful that we could and try not to let the little things bother us.

  5. stage 5: once you stop breastfeeding your boobs disappear!! :( wahhhh i miss the girls. ah well. Violet is totally worth it and I think chasing after a baby all day and carrying her up and down the stairs has got to be the best workout ever. xoox

    1. Like literally disappear! Poof! They're gone! I never had such non-existent boobs until I quit breastfeeding. Haha

  6. Ughhhhhh someone asked you if you were having twins???? I swear! Yes to giving yourself some grace because having children is no joke and bodies do not just bounce back. Cracked up with the pluck your eyebrows, that is what the rearview mirror is for right? ;-)

  7. You nailed it on this one!! I kept nodding "yep!", "yep!" :)

  8. Amen!

    And then you are ridiculous enough to go through it all over again! Yikes. I'm nervous about how much more shifting happens after two.

  9. WORD! I swear I had good intentions after SS. Now I have new baby, so my diet starts after he is one!

  10. What is this word you speak of? Gym? I understood donut holes but gym?

  11. I'm still rocking my pregnancy leggings too! And I'm guilty of buying loose tops to hide my 3 months pregnant looking belly :/ So glad I'm not alone in this!

  12. Loving this real post! You go mama!

  13. OH my goodness, I was nodding my head through this entire post! So good, and so true :) They're totally worth this Mom bod though, aren't they?! :)

    1. Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it! :) They are so, so worth the mom bod! Hope you are feeling good and enjoying those newborn snuggles mama!

  14. This post is so good! And SO true!!

  15. This can totally apply to all women! Sometimes the realization stage is the hardest!

  16. oh my gosh this such a wonderful post- and so true! so glad i found your blog through the link up! cant wait to follow along and hope you'll stop by mine too!


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