Single Mom S.O.S.: Body Check

by mssinglemama on September 4, 2008

 

Is your body image in check?

This one is coming from a fantastic new reader, we’ll call her Moon Beam… she’s a new single mom and is just now getting back into the dating game. In fact, she went on her first date as a single mom last night! But she’s concerned about how her new flame will react when he sees her new, post-baby body.  

Here’s the latest Single Mom S.O.S.:

I have a good body, but it’s still different than someone who’s never had kids, (if you know what I mean). Do guys know some of these differences or are they shocked?

I love hearing from new single moms because it takes me back to my first year of being a single mom. I was petrified of being with a man again. But I finally took the plunge and you know what? He didn’t care. Not one of them has… or at least they haven’t said anything, but who would? Were they all just being nice?

It is true, after having a child our bodies just aren’t the same. So… what do you think?

To the single mamas, how is your body image? Is it affecting your ability to get back out there? If you are out there are the men “shocked” when they see you?

And to the men, does it matter? If you’ve dated a single mom did you freak out at what you saw?

I want to hear from everyone on this one. Keep the comments clean please. My opinion: Men don’t care. They really don’t. But if you care, they will. (As always, I could be wrong). With that said, to the mamas – how can Moon Beam work on improving her self-image?

[Photo Credit: I wish I knew where this photo is originally from - if anyone does know, please leave a comment. I have a mild obsession with pin-up models]

Read the rest of the Single Mom S.O.S. Series Here»

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole September 4, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Such a good question! The post-baby body has been a concern of mine, but I don’t think I’m ready to date yet so I keep pushing it to the back of my mind. i would like to think it’s not a big deal, especially if the person really cares about you, but who knows! Hopefully there is someone out there brave enough to reveal what men are REALLY thinking!

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TentCamper September 4, 2008 at 8:59 pm

As a guy..I mean MAN…I am (well almost…long story) divorced and my ex’s body whent from good to …bad after our first son. She worked out…but it did not really help. because she worked out…I had no righ to say anyting. After our second baby…her body went to ….a whole nother level of bad…and stayed that way.
After splitting up I began dating a single mother….with a rocking body….then she tol me that she had 4 kids! There is/was nothing I would complain about in regard to her body. That woman is HOT. Actually…all of the high school kids around call her a MILF. Rock on Insane Mama!!!!!

That is my experience

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savoredlife September 5, 2008 at 4:25 am

I was JUST pondering this yesterday! My body image is a healthy one. I am confident with my[whole]self. Sure, there are areas that I believe can be improved, but I don’t think there is a soul out there that will say: “my body is Perfect just as it is now”…we all find fault somewhere. Eating healthy, staying active & genetics (thanks, mom!) have kept me in the shape I’m in….and I plan on continuing the same regimen.

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jonb September 5, 2008 at 5:28 am

My single mom has just a little bit of “skin” that stretched, but seriously, she has a wonderful body, but she is so insecure about it because it isn;t as tight apparently as she used to be. The thing is, I saw pics of her before, and I wouldn;t have found so physically attractive. Tii thin for me. But ultimately, if a man is with you and is really into you emotionally, you don;t need to worry.

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littlemansmom September 5, 2008 at 6:16 am

It took me over 4 years after leaving my X before I considered dating. My post-baby body outlook was far too entwined with my poor self esteem at the time. After lots of soal searching, lots of self healing and a better outlook for my future I began to like what I saw.

Quite frankly, these days I’m more in the school of thought of ‘ take me as I am or maybe you are just not who I thought you were’ (and I’d be better off without them!)

These days, I LIKE how I look…sure I still have a bit of a pouch and a few stretch marks but I carried a 9lb 6 ounce child in there for heavens sake! I’m proud of what I consider as my ‘mommy makeover’…and any man I’ve decided to be with liked it too!

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Kitkat4real (SOLO dot MOM) September 5, 2008 at 7:01 am

I think as women we have to be confident in our own skin. If we are doing what we can to take care of ourselves physically from exercise to good nutrition then we have nothing to be ashamed of. Just carrying yourself with confidence will go a long way in a guys image of you… if you believe you look good, they will believe you look good. This is just my humble opinion, but I believe it. :)

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DC September 5, 2008 at 7:11 am

Well I am a former single dad and married a former single mom. My experience was a little different. My ex-wife looked great after my son was born. You could seriously hardly tell she ever had a kid. It didn’t change the fact that she is and was an insane lunatic. (She left me, for another man.. bah). So when I entered the dating scene again that’s the only thing I knew, that having a baby shouldn’t change your body all that much. Well I was wrong… every woman is different.

You see, when I entered the dating world again, I only wanted to date single moms. I figured they would be much more understanding of my situation. Once I started on the crusade to find my one and only, I hadn’t seen a woman like my ex-wife since and it didn’t matter because every one of them were different and made me happy in their own way.

Fast forward to my current wife who was of course a single mom. She has stretch marks. She has extra skin. She is imperfect… much like all of us. And you know what? I love her more than I *ever* loved my ex-wife. She is incredibly sexy, flaws and all. I wouldn’t want her any other way. We’ve been together for 4 years and married for one of those 4 and I love her more now than ever. Anyone that’s too wrapped up in what you look like and not who you are isn’t someone you ultimately want to be with anyway.

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Susan September 5, 2008 at 8:43 am

Honestly, how many guys have rock hard bods after the age of 40? Maybe some do, maybe it’s easier for them to stay in shape, maybe I’m naive… but unless the man I’m with has reached a physical ideal himself I don’t feel too bad about my not so ideal parts. After all, is it really that bad to be naked with someone you dig, even if she has a few pounds or stretch marks?

(That said, I AM trying to lose some weight!)

As many of you have said, especially DC, if two people love each other for reasons other than physical appearance (which I would hope they do) it doesn’t really matter. At least that’s been my experience.

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LJ September 5, 2008 at 8:55 am

I think it’s all about self-confidence. If you love yourself, who can help not love you as well? If you are down on yourself, what else can you really expect..

So try hard single mamas! Know you are amazing any way you are! Be proud that you are raising awesome little people, and doing it well! That alone ought to send any man into “Damn, I’m lucky..”-mode.

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QTMama September 5, 2008 at 9:53 am

I am what I am – if he doesn’t like it? Well, then, I’ll find someone who does. It’s simply NOT all about body. It’s about attitude, self-worth, and confidence. If he’s gonna love me? He’s got to love ALL of me, skin cancer scars, stretch marks, and boobs that just don’t hang the way they use to.

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jenn September 5, 2008 at 10:54 am

Haven’t started the dating thing yet, but I definately don’t have alot of self-confidence right now. I’m small and I gained (and lost) 50 pounds when I was pregnant and on bedrest. I have some stretch marks. (Not as bad as some people, but I won’t be wearing a bikini.) I have a hard time imagining that someone could find me attractive. I know it’s a mind thing. Have to work on it.

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mssinglemama September 5, 2008 at 10:57 am

FYI ..

I gained 80 lbs when I was pregnant!!! And now weigh less than I did before becoming pregnant. My body has been through the ringer as well.

But seriously, not once, as a man commented on it. And I’ve only been with one single father this entire time – the rest were all single and childless.

Loving this positive comments.

I think it’s all about how you see yourself. And if it helps – maybe get some new lingerie that covers the areas you’re concerned about – maybe just for that first time.

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the sits girls September 5, 2008 at 11:50 am

This is a great topic, because all mom seems to have different experiences after having children. We’ve seen some look fabulous and others not to fabulous. But, honestly, if the man love you and is really into you, it won’t matter if you have a little extra skin somewhere or some stretch marks that won’t fade. :o )

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T September 5, 2008 at 11:56 am

I agree. It is how you see yourself. My soldier was curious about the c-section scar but didn’t have a problem with it. He even pointed out that it was me who had the problem with it and the stretch marks. He’s told me that he wants me to do whatever I want to feel better and so far, cycling, running and yoga have helped me to be in good shape. I can’t help the other stuff.

I think it is true. If you point out your flaws, others might see them. If you don’t, they may not even notice. Besides, no one is as harsh on us as we are on ourselves! Be proud of your baby mama body!!! You brought LIFE into this world!

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j September 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm

theshapeofamother.com

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Moon Beam September 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Wow! Great comments. I agree that the most important part is loving yourself regardless of your flaws, and I’ve always been self-conscious for no reason. I probably just need to get over the initial ‘first time’. My ex-husband had some serious issues, so although I would have gladly given it up at any point, we rarely did it. Ahhhh, it’s been so long, hopefully I can make the leap.

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Heather September 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Oh, the post-baby body. It actually isn’t as bad as I had envisioned while preggers, but things are different and I highly doubt they’ll ever be the same. I’m coming to terms with the new shape of my body. I eat well, stay active, and try to embrace it. Of course, there are days that I get down on myself, too.
I love the comments here. I agree that it is more about how you see youself.

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jonb September 6, 2008 at 9:51 am

it ultimately comes down to you. if you look in the mirror and like what you see, then that’s what matters. however, if you can say, “you know, i wish this or that” then do somehting about it. so many women i know complain about their bodies, but then when I say hey, work out with me and I will help you change that. nothing, because it is harder to decide to change, to give up certain things and put the time in to your body.

i know as single moms you are all really busy. but i did learn from my girl, you have the time for the things you choose to make time for. it just matters what your priorities are.

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Jaclyn September 13, 2008 at 6:48 am

I’ve only had one child, and she was 7lbs, 8 oz. However, she stretched my stomach big time. I’ve got stretch marks bad (though they’ve faded to silver).

Somehow, she actually ripped muscle tissue above the belly button. The doctor told me that the muscles there (I think they are the obliques but not sure) are distended (separated) and nothing will fix it beyond a tummy tuck. No amount of sit-ups can fix the permanent pooch or the stretch marks.

The doctor said the lace the fingers of both hands together in front of me. That’s how the muscles are SUPPOSED to be. Now, keep them in the same position, but pull the fingers away from each other a few inches. Yep, my daughter literally ripped me apart with all her somersaults and pushing. lol.

I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, and kept it on until my divorce. I now weigh 130 (whereas I was 180 when my daughter was 15 months old).

I’ve felt bad about my body, but being 180 as opposed to 130…well, lets just say that some of us have to experience something worse to appreciate what we DO have.

For example (and sorry I’m always so long-winded): before getting married I was 5’3″ and 110 lbs. I’m used to being smaller. At my stature and bone size, it was really hard for me. I was not used to being ‘big’ and in ‘someone’s elses 180 lb body’. Now that I’m down to 130 again, although its not 110 — I’ve had a baby, and I’ve earned that extra bit of “cushion”.

I try to see my stretch marks as “war stripes”. I joke that they are my daughter’s scratches from inside my tummy and how she “almost broke loose” many times with her escape attempts.

Mostly though, I look at my daughter and know they are well-earned. Someday, I hope I can also feel they are well-loved.

My BF doesn’t mind them at all and is always telling me what a beautiful body I have. I’m still working on seeing myself in the light that he does, but I’ve come a long way. I’m sure some guy will care, but those are the shallow ones anyway.

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Kate August 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

First guy I was with post-baby got a look at my c-section scar (the whole 5 inches of it), and replied “Wow, science fiction eh?”. Needless to say I never went out with him after that.

But I have found its women who point out how different I look now post baby, not men. Maybe I just can’t pick-em. I have been out with better dates since then, but I am still self-concious about that scar.

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Heidi (SingleWorkingMama) August 15, 2009 at 8:19 pm

It’s all in how you carry yourself. If you accept your stretch marks and other battlescars of being a Mama, so will your suitor! Let’s face it… How many guys have perfect bodies? Not too many. And it doesn’t stop us from being attracted to ‘em! Same goes for us. I call my stretch marks (which my daughter told me “look like wood” – haha) my Mama Tattoos. Sure, I wish I was perkier than I am in certain areas these days, but we can look to Victoria for help in that department. ;-)

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christin December 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I’ve been single since about halfway through my pregnancy with my daughter who just turned one. Needless to say, i was apprehensive of getting back into the dating scene. I was most worried about the fact that I’m 24 yrs old and most the women guys my age are dating have not had children. so i was feeling like i was up against lots of young girls whose bodies looked much better than mine. well come to find out, guys aren’t looking at the parts you’re worried about. they are going to look at the parts of your body they find most attractive, so don’t point out the bad parts.

I have been seeing my guy now for 2 months and he said it’s all about the confidence. he told me i walk with a strut even in my birthday suit which makes him not even notice the stretch marks and saggy skin.

stay fabulous and strut your stuff!

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Abimom May 26, 2010 at 2:33 am

My guy wanted me preggers and wanted me after, though he hasn’t really seen the new bod. My little girl’s only 2 months old so I haven’t lost much of the weigh yet–a whopping 20lbs when I wasn’t small before. I never minded my old curvy body, not much. But now, I’m still wearing my pregnancy pants because the old jeans still don’t fit. I’ve got severe stretch marks and the skin is all loose and weird. My honey wanted a picture of me, I sent him one more than a year old when I was even smaller than I was when I got pregnant. He didn’t want it, said he wanted to see me, stretch marks and all, just as I was now, because that’s how he wants me.

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Sweetbearies July 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

You have to be happy with the shape of your body and not care what others think about it. I say eat healthy and exercise for health’s sake, but do not starve yourself to looks a certain way.

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Sherrie August 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I know a lot of woman are insecure about their bodies and have good reason. But, from personal expierence, Id have to say the only issue were my boobs, they shrunk but thankfuly still perky. I got lucky, and genetics are good. After my baby was 9 months I lost all the baby fat and more. I weighed 135 lbs before baby and I am 5′ 6″ tall. I gained up to 170 when pregnant. At 9 months post-partum I weighed avg 120lbs and wore size 4 pants. I never weighed that much since the begining of puberty. I didn’t diet, infact, after baby i was ADDICTED to sweets, eating ice cream and fudge every other day. The only thing i think i did to get slim was work and occasionaly exercising. Maybe most mothers dont work while theyre kids are babies, and i did since my kid was 1 1/2 months old. I just turned 21 when i had him but i dont think being young has anything to do with it. I love my body more than i ever had before and now my baby is 16 months and i have no problem wearing a bikini, no one can tell i have ever even had a baby.

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Kira April 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

No offense, but I think it is a bit arrogant to brag about the shape your body is in when you have women pouring their hearts out about their body issues. Next time you may be well served to use a bit more sensitivity and tact ;-)

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Nick Stanham November 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

To be honest, I think the person themselves matter more than physical appearence. Most men would understand the trauma that pregnancy puts on a woman so would understand completely.

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Jenroyal May 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Hi, first time visiting the site! It’s great btw
It is so nice to see so many comments regarding the post baby body image. I thought I was the only one suffering through it. I have been on raising my 3 kids alone now for 3 years. I’ve had a couple relationships in that time. The one thing I can say about the men I have been with is that none of them had a problem with my body. Its weird too because, I feel like I have a very low self image right now! Thanks for your “food for thought” comments

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David June 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

As a guy, I think the body can definitely be a first point of attraction. If you have some cellulite, extra skin, or even stretch marks, it’s not going to matter if you’re with a guy who truly cares about you, those things are absolutely nothing that he is worried about. Trust me…guys are at least as concerned with the way they look in the bedroom for the first few times anyway. If you are comfortable with the skin you’re in, your guy will be comfortable with you too. It’s ok if you don’t feel like a model-just let us know you aren’t comfortable with your body and we’ll remind you that we do find you hot/sexy/attractive. “Nice guys” are going to understand that you are very self conscious about this, and will work to convince you that it’s nothing you should worry about. The way you look is most likely not the reason that things didn’t work out with your child’s father. If that was his reason for being unfaithful and/or leaving you, then you are better off without him. If someone isn’t able to look past your surface, do you really think they will make a good partner who will support you and love you?

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TwinMama January 18, 2012 at 1:35 am

I am SO self-concious about my body especially since i feel like with clothes on my body is deceiving I’m very petite 5′ 2″ size 1 but I my belly is stretched from the babies plus i nursed twins for a year haha and so I feel like when a guy meets me he expects something else I definitely don’t have the same confidence and don’t really have the urge to meet someone

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Jane A April 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

LOL – I’m worried that a guy will even look twice at me because I’m a single Mum with 3 young kids, let alone the whole ‘what does my body look like after 3 caesars’ scenario. Post separation I probably look my best, stress kills my appetite so I have well and truly lost all baby weight and then some. But I do have some stretch marks, and a caesar scar, and after breast feeding 3 kids for a year each, well let’s not even go there. More scary for me is not “what will he think of my body?” but after being with my ex since I was 19, it’s “how on earth do I even start talking to to a guy, let alone get naked with him!”

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Joe H March 10, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hey Jane, ANY guy gets flattered when a woman comes up to talk to him. A guy isn’t looking for a ton of confidence in a woman. Unlike women who are turned on by confidence and charisma, most guys are so full of themselves that they don’t care if you come across as shy or clumsy. Just be yourself, and when the right guy shows up, don’t worry about getting your clothes off — he’ll do it for you. lol

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