You've most likely heard the terms, 'Dad-Bod' and 'Mom-Bod', but today I bring to you a new one: 'The Stepmom-Bod.'
People generally deem 'Dad-Bods' sexy- because, not only do men get a pass on all sorts of societal beauty standards, but, I mean, who doesn't find an actively engaged father incredibly hot?!
Am I right?!
'Mom-Bods' are looked at with compassion and adoration. Well deserved- they literally carried another life inside their uterus for nine(ish) months!
A 'Stepmom-Bod', on the other hand, well, that's a whole different ballgame!
When Eric and I met, I was freshly single from a pretty shitty marriage. My newfound freedom left me in the best shape of my life; I was all about the self-care! I no longer had to take care of anyone other than myself, and my image reflected it. I was down 46 pounds in 5 months, and I did it the healthy way (plus a little stress)! I went to the gym, meal-prepped, ate healthy, and slept as much or as long as I wanted. I started dabbling in botox and lip filler, and began taking my skin care regimen seriously. My nails were always freshly shaped and polished, and my lashes were thick and long.
AND, because I saw the results of looking and feeling better, it incentivized me to keep up with the routine.
And then I became a stepmom.
The 'Stepmom-Bod' doesn't happen overnight. That's the thing- a 'Stepmom-Bod' creeps up on ya. Slowly. VERY SLOWLY.
One minute I am looking forward to bikini shopping, and the next I'm wearing a decade old granny-style one-piece with matching floor length coverup.
me with my slammin' Pre-'Stepmom-Bod'
my now 'Stepmom-Bod' swimwear looks
How did this happen?!
Well, let me tell you...
A 'Stepmom-Bod' develops for a couple of reasons.
One: We are no longer only taking care of only ourselves. Even the most disengaged stepmom will still cook and clean and help with the random request every now and again. Where we once had a full day of "do whatever the fuck we want" our lives are now color-coded and blocked with a laundry list of activities, and, well, laundry.
Could we make time to go to the gym every day? Absolutely, but we would have to squeeze it in between packing school lunches, seeing the kids off to the bus stop, picking up random socks and toys in foyer, scrubbing crusted crud off a pile of dishes in the sink, figuring out dinner, making sure we have enough ingredients for dinner, seeing that we don't, getting side-tracked when we discover that we need to clean out the fridge before going to the grocery store to pick up those items to make dinner, buying all the other things we are missing (the amount of money I spend in toilet paper these days is insane), coming home, unpacking all the groceries, realizing that the kids will be home from school soon, greeting them upon their arrival, helping with homework, cooking dinner, greeting our partners when they come home, serving dinner, and winding down for the nightly routine... throw in an occasional sports practice, ball game or chorus concert and it's a pretty jam-packed day... EVERY DAY!
Those are just the days we aren't working- add in a commute and shift at the office, and you can pretty much guarantee that our 'gym time' has been whittled down to 'not gonna happen.'
Excuses, excuses... I know. But stepmom guilt is a real thing, and though we don't have to do all of the things, we still sort of feel like we do. Step. Mom. Guilt.
Two: We are no longer spending our cash flow only on ourselves. My paychecks were much larger when I was single, and I've received several pay raises since then! Look, no one tells us to buy our steps things. We know that. We want to do it. It brings us joy to provide them with fun little surprises every now and again, to shop for little things here and there to make them happy. Even if we didn't buy them the unnecessary wants from time to time, we still can't just go through a drive-thru and order a burger for ourselves if they're in the car; we aren't monsters! Those little purchases all add up. The $5 meal deal for one has turned into a 35 dollar foot-long receipt detailing happy meals, milk shakes and an extra side of chicken nuggies.
Also, no offense, but sometimes dads just don't get it. Especially girl-dads. Try explaining to your man the reasoning behind purchasing a $14 Bath and Body Works body wash vs. a $1 bar of Ivory soap and he's genuinely perplexed, "Soap is soap, isn't it?"
Yes, you're right honey. Soap is soap, it's not body wash. And it is most certainly not 'daisy and daffodil dream' scented.
So that is when us step-mommies come to the rescue and hit up the buy 3 get 2 free semi-annual sale and stock that shit up... it may cost a small fortune, but we do it for the kids- okay, ourselves too, but mostly for the kids.
Without the time or money for self-care regimens of manis, pedis, massages, 6 week root touch ups, gym memberships or even athletic apparel without holes in it, the 'Stepmom-Bod' is inevitable.
So what does a 'Stepmom-Bod' look like?
A 'Stepmom-Bod' contains one or more of the following:
Visible roots with striking streaks of greasy grey hair, accompanied by visible spots of aging including deep forehead wrinkles, pale flaky skin, sparse eyelashes, pursed lips, a muffin top accentuated by dimples of cellulite in thighs and buttocks, arms that jiggle even without a wiggle, nails and toes that are typically unpainted and scraggly.
Also generally seen wearing holey stretch pants with an oversized stained t-shirt, battered flip flops, her hair in a messy unkempt bun and completely sans makeup...
Oh yea, and she often complains about achy joints and sleep deprivation.
Or is that just me?
Over the past several years I have developed a 'Stepmom-Bod' for sure. I look at old photos of myself and think, Damn Girl!
Now I avoid mirrors (and scales) at all costs.
That being said, I don't regret it. Of course, I definitely need to make some better and healthier choices to get back on the look-good/feel-good wagon, which I really do want to do. But, for now, I am also not ashamed for looking a little duller and pudgier these days. Why? Because I have SO MUCH to show for it.
I may not have created another another human life, but I HAVE 'given life' to another human (two to be exact). All the blood, sweat and tears I have shed over the past few years may not have been in a health club or sauna, but they were shed, nonetheless (and well-earned). Every pound I've gained has come from an engaging family dinner or a family fun night out on the town. Every wrinkle that I see in my reflection has been deepened from re-learning the quadratic equation and Spanish basics. My hair is a stark contrast from ash-brown to blonde because my 'upkeep' savings went to two young ladies, who, let's be honest, probably don't even appreciate it most of the time.
Yes, here I am, Frump Master 5000, but I couldn't feel more blessed. It took a lot of time, energy and effort to develop my 'Stepmom-Bod.'
Being a stepmom isn't always pretty- in more ways than one- but the fact that we give so much of ourselves to something and someone(s) when we technically don't really have to...
Well, in my book that's downright BEAUTIFUL!
To all the other stepmommas out there rockin' the 'Stepmom-Bod' -
You are a dime piece to me, baby-girl!
*decides to spice things up a bit and throw on a dress and makeup just for shock value*
me as I am finishing this blog post in all my Step-Momma Glory