I am not going to become another fat mom. There are already too many of those around today, sadly. I completely see now how someone lets this happen to them, since having James. There are not nearly enough minutes in the day to accomplish things as mundane as mopping the floor or raking the backyard, let alone time enough to nurture your own soul.
I adore my child; he is the greatest thing I've contributed to in my whole life. His sweetness and delight are infectious and addictive. I can't get enough of his sweet smell or the way he smiles at me. Even so... there are times when I head straight to the pantry and stuff candy or cookies or chocolate in my mouth as fast as I can cram it in. I have realized that I do this because it's a tiny little escape. It's a precious second of time just for ME. Sweets are associated in my mind with comfort, with release, with good times. I use them as a way to nurture myself. Until the second after the taste leaves my tongue.
Then it's a litany of horrible feelings washing over me, sounding in my head. Ugly, fat, glutton, addiction, disgusting... on and on. You don't need this, I tell myself. You shouldn't. Don't have another piece. And then I do, a big f*** you to the food Nazi in my brain. And then I feel even worse.
I've checked out and bought countless books about food addiction, I have watched Oprah and read her magazine regularly, I know the drill. I am not stupid. No one who struggles with food addiction is stupid. We all know what to do to be healthy and lose weight. But this isn't even about weight for me, at least not at this stage. Breastfeeding is managing to help me maintain my pre-pregnancy weight, thank God. This is about control, and feeling my emotions, and managing them. This is about feeling good about myself, dealing with loneliness, dealing with fatigue. This is about trying to figure out how to be a mother and still feel like myself, like a whole and separate person.
So I know how women become fat after having kids, or become alcoholics, or abuse pills, or shop themselves into debt. Whatever your coping mechanism was before you had kids is the thing you'll turn to after. We do it because doing so feeds something in our souls that is lacking. We do it because we're tired, we're sick of doing all the housework, we're lonely for adult conversation. We do it because, while we love our kids more than anything in the world, we need someone to nurture us too.