Friday, January 8, 2010

Mommy, your belly is squishy and jiggly!

Some times I miss snuggling with my now 8-year-old to watch TV or read a book. From the days when she was a baby, we always enjoy cuddling and having reading time together. As she gets older, those times seem more sporadic than I would like them to be, as she takes piano lessons and participates on Girl Scouts or has play dates after school.

Today, for some strange reason, she was willing to stop whatever she was doing and sit to read with me. Out of nowhere, she turned around and poked at my belly: Mommy, you are kind of round. Your belly is squishy and jiggly!

Yikes!! It's a good thing that I am in my early 40's and somehow have lost the need to fit into the size 6 many seem to think it's the ideal size. I am learning to focus on being healthy more than on looking like, I don't know, Kathy Ireland or Kim Kardashian. At home we do our best to not talk about diets or fat but focus more on healthy eating and the need for some physical activity. We also are mindful of not talking about our own bodies in a negative way.

I have to be honest: I was just a little uncomfortable with her comment and not sure how to respond. I didn't want to put “weight” (pun totally intended) on the weight issue, but wonder what was going through her head. I asked her what she thought of my belly being jiggly: she said she thought it was funny! I told her that my jiggly belly was a sign that mommy needed to get moving more to get her belly stronger. What else could I have said? She didn't think about it again and we continued to read comfortably with her head resting on my “jiggly belly”.

I hope that the fact that I have “real” women of all shapes, sizes and colors, women she loves and who love her very much, offsets the “ideal image” she's constantly watching on TV and on advertisements. I can only hope!

Have you ever had your child make a comment about your weight, your shape or your looks that left you speechless?   


  1. I love your response to your daughter. Words can so often be misunderstood, particularly from children and society's images are so very strong and perfect.

    My eldest daughter started commenting on my skin colour. I'm mixed race and married to a Scot. It always throws me and I wonder how she sees us. She says "Mummy your skin is brown", and I say "And isn't it beautiful". I worry that I'm going overboard. She has many black dolls and fairies and I put a lot of emphasis on black being beautiful, something I missed in my upbringing. I just want her to proud of who she is and who she comes from.

    Your belly is also the place that grew, held and nurtured your babies for 9mths at a time. It's an incredible and beautiful part of you.

    Thanks for your post.

  2. You gave the perfect response! It is hard when our kids throw us those curve balls - when you have to think on the fly. I love your approach to not make a bigger deal about it than necessary, often times parents carry on about something and then it becomes a big deal. Thanks for your vulnerability in the post Sandra, I love that you are so willing to share EVERY part of your life with your readers.

  3. I apologize.. somehow the post I wrote didn't get logged!
    Thank you for your comments and words of wisdom!
    Michele, I very much relate to your challenges as a mom of a multi-racial child who we call our "Germanian": half German and half Panamanian! Adding that the the already challenge task of instilling confidence in our girls is definitely worth another post all together!
    Thank you for your beautiful note about our bellies been the place where our precious children grew! It is a sacred space that needs to be honored and not put down!
    Thanks again!!!