Brett Ortler, A writer, pet lover and a dad, recently posted his opinions about his wife’s postpartum body. The synopsis – his opinions about her body do not matter!
We all have been through stages of judging someone based on external appearance. Right from childhood, the children who fit in the higher percentiles of the weight charts are often the blunt of some sort of teasing. This teasing, later on, turns into frank judgement. This might be one of the reasons why so many teenagers suffer from eating disorders. Later, this tones down to silent judgement as we become ‘grown-ups’.
The worst form of body-shaming/judgement is reserved for women who have just delivered babies. From the stretch-marks to the baby-belly, the arenas are endless. And that is why this quasi-open letter to those who judge hits home hard – it is because it is for each one of us!
“What did I say to my wife about how her body changed after she gave birth?
First of all, my wife’s postpartum body is really none of my damned business. Yeah, I’m her husband, but on the scale of important opinions, a husband’s view of his wife’s postpartum body is somewhere between that of a preteen sneering at a Picasso and my toddler’s desperation to be cuddled a fifth time before bed.“
He goes on to make a very valid point. Pregnancy rarely occurs alone. So when you decide to have a baby, you are asking your wife to go through a lot of changes – something you yourself might not be prepared to handle. So essentially, you are asking your wife,
“Hey, Lady, I’d like you to carry my child for 10 months. If we’re fortunate, this will produce a living child. However, this process will dramatically alter your neurotransmitter levels and lead to massive, permanent changes to your mind and personality, not to mention indelible changes to your body. Oh, you’ll also become a de facto dairy dispenser and gain enough weight to leapfrog 4 boxing weight classes.”
And these are just the few things that women go through when they are pregnant. The changes to the body and psyche are immense, and only women are able to bounce back from them!
Why I appreciate my wife’s post-partum body.
I became a father some six months back. Add the pregnancy to it, and my wife has undergone so many changes in the last 15 months that I cannot even imagine what she must have felt. She braved the nausea, fatigue, swollen feet, wobbly gait, hormones, frequent urges to pee, just to name a few. When my dude arrived, she was literally cut open, just to let him out. He, being him, would bite her, would refuse to suckle when she needed him to, would demand feeds often when she was exhausted, would start to cry just as she would fall asleep, and she braved it all without a whimper.
And even though I did whatever I could, I felt like a silent spectator as both of them settled in the roles of a mother and a son. And in the process, she matured from the tigress that she was, to a tigress with a cub! And her body was her way of metamorphosis in her new role. It is said, under immense pressure, even coal turns in to a diamond. While I wouldn’t call my wife something as ornamental as a diamond, she has definitely began to glow after the whole process!
So dads, before you compare your wife’s body to her former self, remember these three things.
- While she has changed, you have too! You are not the same person she married. If you can sport a bald spot and a beer belly, she has more than her right to flaunt her stripes!
- Sex is not always about the looks. Yes, you might have had some amazing sex with your wife when she had a toned body. However, evidence suggests that joy of sex is in the brain, not in the genitals. So, instead of getting disheartened, revel in the idea of a whole new world!
- If you judge her by her looks, you disrespect her. the world is a messed up place where dads are proud of the dad-bod but mums are conscious about their mum bodies. If you fuel her insecurities about her looks by judging her looks, ask yourself if you really deserve her. She is not a toy you own that needs to be perfect. She is the reason why your dreams have a meaning. So respect her. If she is unhappy about her looks, work with her to get back in shape. But don’t you dare judge her, else I will find you!
Mums and dads, what do you feel about the dad’s open letter? Do let us know in the comments below.
Also read: Five things you should never say to your pregnant wife
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