10 Reasons My Body Image is Better After Having Kids

I am getting older. I find a grey hair on occasion, and the lines in my face are much more pronounced than they were just a few years ago. My butt is wider and flatter (this may be due to blogging and not aging) and my hands look old. I didn't think it was possible for my boobs to get any smaller, but they have. After the nice sized milk bags I got to wear for a couple of years, this particular disappointment is the hardest pill to swallow. I don't look terrible, but I'm only turning heads these days when I let a swear fly somewhere inappropriate. I never get a "How you doin'?".

It's fine, though. Except for the fact that I am not as fit or active as I would like to be, I am happy with the way I look. I like myself much more than I ever did before having kids changed my body, and I am comfortable in my mid-thirties, mom skin. Having kids and getting older has actually had a positive impact on my body image, and I am both realistic and content. 

1. While my husband is at work, and I am home with my three year old and five year old, I am the strongest, fastest, and tallest person in our house. As a fairly weak, slow, and short individual, this is quite a departure from real life for me, and I like feeling like a giant. I am also the smartest (barely), and while this has nothing to do with my feelings about my physical appearance, it makes me feel good. I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader, but I could beat the shit out of my kindergartner and preschooler at Jeopardy. Probably.

2. I have been fighting my hips and my pear-shaped body for as long as I can remember. Seeing a miniature version of my body on my perfect three year old daughter makes a lifetime of self-loathing melt away. If she is perfect just the way she looks, than I must be, too. I am just the way God made me. God and Hershey's. And Doritos.

3. Scars, stretch marks, and loose skin are the graffiti of motherhood. It may not be traditionally refined, or considered classical art, but it's beautifully flawed and unique. A masterpiece to be admired.

4. A body that housed humans is something to be proud of. Something to be respected. Even when your teats look like that of a retired breeding dog.

5. My hair has been in a ponytail for the better part of six years. When I finally get my ass to the salon and get a great cut, I strut around like I'm the hottest bitch on the planet. I hold my head high, and pull off hair flips worthy of a Pantene commercial. Before kids, a great cut made me feel good, but it didn't change my life. Now, it's the nicest thing I do for myself, and I feel amazing.

6. I have never liked heels. I like that they make me taller, but I've never been able to walk properly, and they hurt my feet. I do, however, like the way they look in my closet. Now that my work clothes are actually park and play date clothes, my heels stay where they belong. Off of my feet, and in my closet.

7. My children say endearing things like, "You're so snuggly" and "You give the best kisses" which make me want to eat them whole. And when I jokingly ask my son after a day of volunteering in his classroom, "What did your friends say about me? That I'm the coolest, nicest, and prettiest mom?" he gently replies, "No. Every kid thinks their mom is the coolest, nicest, and prettiest." And I smile, and squeeze him and kiss him until he begs me to stop.

8. My daughter is full of affirmations. She stands next to her father while he unclogs the sink saying, "Good job, Dad. You're doing great!" and she affirms me, too. "You look pretty, Mom." "You make delicious tomato soup (from a can), Mom. "You are my very best mom." I may be coming in first in a competition of one, but I'm still winning, dammit. And it feels great.

9. Since my daughter is still young enough to compare me to any brunette, I like to leave my People magazines around so she can point to the Jennifers (Garner, Lopez, Lawrence, sometimes Aniston) and comment on the incredible likeness. Instant ego booster.

10. I am surrounded by people who love me. Children who see my flaws as part of the mom they adore, not things that make me a lesser person. My husband loves and respects me, and still wants to nail me any chance he can get. Even though my body has taken a beating the past six years, I feel better about myself than I ever did before kids.

This was originally published on Funny is Family.

More About Amy: Amy and her husband made two kids, a three year old girl and a five year old boy. She does not consider herself a housewife, as she owns no pearls and only one apron. Amy has been featured on several parenting sites, and is a contributor to the best-selling book, I Just Want to Pee Alone. You can find her laughing at the absurdity of parenting on Facebook and Twitter, and pinning things she’ll never do on Pinterest. She writes embarrassing stories about herself (and her family) at Funny is Family

Top 50 Things I Could Do Before I Had Kids

I made this list with the help of lots of parents who were asked to list just ONE thing they could do BEFORE they had kids. I was expecting a few responses, but I was overwhelmed with all the responses. I had to put together a list.

50.  Talk on the phone.
49.  Eat a snack alone.
48.  Wear a bikini.
47.  Shop for clothes for an adult.
46.  Read a book.
45.  Travel on short notice.
44.  Have a clean house.
43.  Laugh without peeing or crossing my legs.
42.  Sleep naked.
41.  RELAX.
40.  Shower on a regular basis.
39.  Going on date night and stay up past 9pm.
38.  Watching a movie that was not made by Disney, Dreamworks or Pixar.
37.  Jump on trampoline without the need to pee.
36.  Shopping ALONE.
35.  Save money.
34.  Be sick alone without interruption.
33.  Stay in bed all day and have sex with the hubs.
32.  Wear jeans without my thighs rubbing together.
31.  Spending tons of money on makeup.
30.  Focus.
29.  Tan alone.
28.  Midnight drives to the beach and getting up at 7am.
27.  Watching a commercial or Lifetime without blubbering like a baby.
26.  Run away.
25.  Take a bath.
24.  Eat candy without having to hide it.
23.  Do my hair, not just in a bun or pony tail.
22.  Go without a bra.
21.  Sleep without worrying all the time.
20.  Eat chocolate without getting attacked.
19.  Watch Seinfeld naked while eating Chinese food.
18.  Watch horror movies.
17.  Not having to spell out ever swear word.
16.  Leave the house without SNACKS.
15.  Do a basic cartwheel or somersault.
14.  Breathe.
13.  Not have wrinkles.
12.  Have some privacy.
11.  Be on time to something.
10.  Get drunk and make poor decisions.
09.  Not worry about finding a babysitter.
08.  Have nice things.
07.  Wear yoga pants because I want to. Not because I have to.
06.  Chew my food.
05.  Curse like a sailor.
04.  Travel alone.
03.  Sit in silence.
02.  SLEEP IN.
01.  Pee alone.

Anything missing? What's on your list??

Check out our book!

Show and Tell

In case you hadn't heard, I'm in a book.

I know, it comes as somewhat of a surprise because I haven't been talking much about it lately.


Even I can't say that with a straight face. HA!

So many people have asked me over the last week or so questions like "So, who else is in the book?" and "What are the other essays like?" and "Do I really have to buy it or are you just going to give me one?" I have spent time trying my best to describe the amazing level of talent that I get to rub shoulders with in I Just Want To Be Alone. I have said things like, "These ladies are hilarious!" and "Do you know the blog People I Want To Punch In The Throat?" and "Just buy it and read it. You'll see what I mean."

But I feel as though my explanations have not done the book justice and I've been trying to come up with a way to introduce some of the bloggers in the book in a way that is amusing, relatable and that hasn't been done by the other gals. Some of the Super Cool Lady Writers have done lists of the Worst Pick Up Lines Ever Heard and Ways To Be A Good Wife. Others have super fancy PicMonkey powers and have been generating no joke, legit looking memes that hit the nail on the head. One gal is even promising to show her lady bits in the drive through window of Starbucks if we make it to the NYT Best Sellers List.

I don't know how to use PicMonkey.

I haven't had someone use a pick up line on me in years.

I'm not going to Starbucks naked because, well, I'm not crazy.

I do, however, watch lots of TV. Well, not lots because my husband refuses to pay for cable and we have an antenna that works on every alternate Tuesday. So, basically, if it's on Hulu, I watch it. And, after Sunday's SHOCKING episode of The Good Wife (*sob*), it got me to thinking: what TV show would the Super Cool Lady Writers say their essay most resembled?

So I asked them "What TV show is your essay most like?"

When I say *asked*, I mean I bugged them like a kid sister following the cool senior girls around town. This group is a seriously legit gaggle of writers and, for a newbie like me, I'm still shocked they let me sit with them at lunch and that no one has stolen my lunch money. Yet. Fortunately, they didn't stuff me in a locker and they weren't too cool to give this girl some pretty amusing answers.....

Amy at Funny Is Family: "24. It accounts for every second and you don't know if everyone will survive." Her essay is about her hands on husband. Jack Bauer? Not so much...

Deva at mylifesuckers: "Lost. As in my husband pretends to be lost but really it is just a big evil conspiracy. Also, Lost is his favorite show. Coincidence? I think not." Her husband really does get lost. A lot. And seemingly on purpose....

Nicole at NinjaMomBlog: "Hmmmmm....Seinfeld? It's kind of about nothing." She's right. And she manages to make "nothing" hilarious. I hate her.

Bethany at I Love Them the Most When They're Sleeping: "The Simpsons." Two words: Husband. Gynecologist. You do the math.

Meredith at From Meredith to Mommy: "Big Bang. Duh." Her husband doesn't declare Miller Time. Nope. It's Deuce Dropping Time...

Suzanne at Toulouse and Tonic: "Shear Genius." Hair color and SHEAR hell....

Stacy at Nurse Mommy Laughs: "A cross between The Bachelor and Duck Dynasty." Internet dating has never been funnier....

Abby at Abby Has Issues: "I would like to say "Sex and The City" since I'm single and it's about wanting to just sleep alone but that would be unrealistic to think I'm paid enough as a writer to afford even one pair of Carrie's shoes/a NYC apartment and I don't have a nicotine habit or sex swing like Samantha. Sadly, it would probably be more CSI in that I would be trying to figure out clues on how to get them the hell out of my bed." Abby really does have issues. So do we, she says. She has more.

Courtney at Our Small Moments: "The Amazing Race. Or Friends since they were all young and dumb like us." The first year of marriage...what you should know.....

Meredith at The Mom of The Year: "Duck Dynasty. Except sans Miss Kay's patience...or cooking skills. And instead of ducks, it's bees." Meredith actually lived a not so secret life. With bees. Bless her heart.

Ellen at Sisterhood of Sensible Moms: "How I Met Your Mother." What's a few indecent proposals among friends??

Rebecca at Frugalista Blog: "Modern Family, no doubt." Silly Daddies. Babysitting is for Mommies....

Karen at Baby Sideburns was not available for direct comment however, consensus is that her essay most resembles Wipeout. Or Fear Factor. Read it. You'll understand.

Jen at People I Want To Punch In The Throat: "Survivor: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast." This, ladies and gents, is why she makes the big bucks writing.

I hope this gives you a little insight into what you are in for when you pick up I Just Want To Be Alone for yourself. And your mom. And your sister. And your Best Friend. And that Girl Who's Stupid Bridal Shower You Have To Go To Even Though You Hate Her And Her Stupid Squealy Voice ("....and the dresses are adorbs!"). And the Cashier at Target you see three times a week.

You get my point.

Buy the book RIGHT HERE. I made it so easy. Really. I'm a giver that way.

There's something for everyone. Even someone like me who can only get PBS every alternate Tuesday and when it's not overcast.

This originally appeared on Keeper of the Fruit Loops.

I am the Keeper of The Fruit Loops, Manager of the Fecal Roster and Driver of the People Mover.  In other words, I’m a mom.  I’m an Erma Bombeck Martha Stewart with a Roseanne twist and I have the mouth and organized cabinets to prove it.  I blog about my life with a husband and two fruit loops and I have a fairly decent following on Facebook and Twitter.  And by fairly decent, I mean 526 Facebook fans who think I’m hilarious and 108 Tweeters who ignore my tweets.  I also Pin things on Pinterest like it’s my job.  My husband regularly laughs at my jokes (well, more of a 70/30 split, really) and people usually laugh loudly at me during PTA meetings.
Find me:

I Just Want to Be Alone

I have big news, everyone! Remember last year when I put out the anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone? Have you read it yet? Yes? Great. Thank you. Did you leave a review yet? Because those things are ridiculously helpful to me and the Kick Ass Bloggers. Have you never read it? Why not? What are you waiting for? Are you new here and you've never heard of it? Well, first of all, welcome and second of all, you're going to want that book, so here's where you can get it. Plus, it's on sale, because the powers that be at Amazon deemed it so and I have no idea how long this sale will last, so you might want to hurry.

Because IJWTPA was such a fun thing and a great success I decided to do another one! Last time we wrote about our kids and never being able to pee alone. This time it's the men in our lives who just won't leave us alone. I don't know about you, but I crave me some alone time. I need it like men need sex. I just want a good book, a hot cup of tea, and an hour to myself. Hell, even twenty minutes to wander aimlessly through the aisles of Target alone without the Hubs saying "We don't need curtains" or "Skip the shoe aisle, we're on a time table here" or "Haven't you spent enough already?" would be fantastic.