Could we maybe just stop rating women like prize pigs at the fair?

If there’s one thing that every pregnant woman has in common, it’s the barrage of unsolicited comments she’s received about her appearance.

“You’re not having twins, are you?”

“You’re so tiny! Are you sure your baby is okay?”

“You look tired!”

It’s not just pregnant women, though. Ask any woman you know about the times she was cat-called, body shamed, or generally made to feel uncomfortable about how she looked, and she will have a handful of stories ranging from amusing, to downright terrifying.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), there isn’t much that phases us these days when it comes to remarks about our physical appearance. Women literally have generations of experience taking all kinds of unsolicited comments (typically from men), so whenever this kind of thing happens, it generally just rolls off our backs and we get on with our day.

Now I know what you’re thinking: is this crazy blogger lady some sort of hypersensitive radical feminist who hates the opposite sex so much that she’s using this platform to launch a verbal tirade against men?

Relax.

I only hate men when they talk.

Look, I know it’s unfair to generalize. Most men are decent human beings who don’t feel the need to gratuitously mouthblast every woman who crosses their path, or spew their inane word vomit all over the comments section of Facebook.

But then I recall the time I announced my first pregnancy on social media, and a man – let’s call him Danny – someone who I would never dream of even sharing a cup of coffee with jumped at the chance to inform me that I “just went from a 9 to a 2”.

GASP!

Say it ain’t so!

Are you telling me that I am not longer on your list of “Women I wish I could skrog but I’m too much of a stubby, trash-talking mouthbreather to even come close”?

I’m truly devastated.

Truly.

And to think, I was considering leaving my incredibly supportive, loving partner of ten years for you.

At the time, it rolled off. I found it both amusing and pathetic, not to mention so completely befitting of an individual who used to drive his convertible around to all the local high schools after he graduated to try and impress the co-eds. I quickly forgot about it – and him – instead, choosing to focus on what mattered: the incredible support from friends and family and the little boy who when he arrived, made every extra pound totally, utterly worth it.

But this past week as I struggled with my own insecurities as it became painfully clear that this pregnancy is being exceptionally unkind to my body, it came flooding back to me, and for the first time – I felt angry.

Angry that up until very recently, part of me actually still cared about what people thought of how I look.

Angry that I was a willing participant in the early 2000s Hot or Not phenomenon, and enjoyed it.

Angry that instead of enjoying breakfast with my son before work, I usually use that time to put on makeup.

Angry that we live in a society where women are still judged and rated like prize pigs at the fair.

Angry that the actual President of the United States literally endorses and makes money off of a degrading, arbitrary contest that quite frankly makes me embarrassed to be a woman.

Angry that someone so insignificant and meaningless still manages to get under my skin, even after all this time.

But then I stopped being angry. Because in three weeks, I might find out that I’m having a girl. And even if it turns out that it’s another boy, instead of being angry, I need to start being better.

And I will.

Danny recently had a baby of his own, and I’ll admit that I was tempted to childishly reciprocate his terrible joke from three years ago.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I decided to stop letting him waste any more of my time, and replace him with some incredible women I know who volunteered to share their similar experiences.

Let’s all be better.

Enjoy.

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Mommy and the terrible, horrible, no good very sad brain

Somehow, I miraculously dodged the postpartum depression bullet like a ninja wearing a giant diaper-pad after the birth of my son.

I’m not sure how I did it, to be honest.

So many things went wrong those first few months that I should have been thrown into a pit of despair, starting with the unplanned c-section I still get choked up talking about.

Maybe I just didn’t have room for PPD.

Maybe something else was in the way.

Unfortunately, we’re all out of PPD at the moment, but would you like to try the suppressed grief instead?

From the unplanned c-section recovery, to the Great Breastfeeding Battle of 2014, to the most terrifying milk protein allergy hospital ordeal of all time, I still wonder how I came out of that first year relatively unscathed.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, a staggering amount of new mothers aren’t quite so lucky.

As many as 20% of new moms experience varying degrees of PPD, and as many as 80% experience a mild form, known as the “baby blues”. Symptoms include overwhelming sadness, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, sleeplessness and trouble bonding with the baby. If these symptoms persist and are left untreated, this type of depression can last for months, or even years after the baby is born. For the handful of women I have personally known to fight this battle openly, I also know that there are just as many, if not more, who choose to fight behind closed doors.

I happen to know a little about the latter.

When my father died, I shoved it all away. I refused to talk to anyone, and the worst part was that the grief I declined to acknowledge was compounded when I experienced recurrent pregnancy loss a short time later.

So if you’re reading this and you’re going through some pretty heavy stuff – PPD, grief, anxiety or literally anything else – I want you to know that you can reach out to me, anytime. Leave a message below, email me at rebecca@rebeccaford.co, or if you know me in real life, get in touch.

But I also want you to know a couple more things, and I’m not going to go easy on you.

1. You are not brave.
I say this with love, because I know what it’s like trying to do this alone. It won’t work, and it won’t get better, I promise. Fighting alone isn’t you being fearless, it’s you being stubborn. Asking for help takes real courage. Reaching out is brave.

2. Burying your feelings isn’t cute.
I wish I sought help a long time ago, when I needed it the most. Instead of dealing with my feelings in a healthy, adult way, I have always been more comfortable burying them, or burying them at the bottom of a box of wine. As you can imagine, it’s been highly ineffective. I know you may be shocked to hear this, but burying your feelings doesn’t actually allow you to feel anything at all. It masks the pain, and until you feel each loss—I mean really feel it—you will always be stuck in that pit I mentioned earlier. Don’t get stuck there. It’s uglier than you could ever imagine.

Don’t tell me to “get over it” unless you want a drop kick to the back of the head

As I sat in my midwife’s office today wiping away tears that seemingly came out of nowhere, I felt completely humiliated.

It’s been two years. Why can’t you get the hell over it? I scolded myself. Crying in front of complete strangers is easily in the top-three most humiliating things to do in public, next to sneeze-farting and getting your period in a white skirt.

I digress.

We’re just constantly told to “get over it”, and I have no idea whyWe are told this so much that today, I was actually angry at myself for not “getting over” a traumatic birth experience that happened to me two years ago. But feelings aren’t simply something you can turn off, like flipping a light switch, or that time I found out that Johnny Depp hit women.

(You’re dead to me, Johnny).

Bad breakup? Get over it.

Stressed out at work? Get over it.

Simply feeling sad about life? Get over it.

“Get over it” and “move on” are the boilerplate poster children of bad advice, and frankly, I’m sick of hearing them. Believe me, if someone could just “get over it”, they would. No one wants to lie in bed all day with the curtains drawn, wallowing in anger, sadness or grief.

So here’s an idea.

How about instead of asking people, women, moms and everyone in between to “get over it” and “move on”, we say, “Hey, let’s talk about it,” instead?

How about that?


January 25th is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a special day each year designed to bring awareness to mental health issues in Canada. To learn more, click here.

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Great, another mommy blogger

If you’ve clicked on the link to this post, I thank you, from the bottom of my tiny, black heart.

No, truly.

The fact that you have made the conscious effort to read this drivel in lieu of any number of infinitely more interesting activities is a testament to how much you value me as a human being, and — hey, where are you going?

For those of you who are left, welcome. You’ve made it a lot further than most people, mainly those who rolled their eyes/ignored my status as I shamelessly plugged this blog on social media.

So let’s get started.

Why unfit-mom.com?

I know what you’re thinking: Becca, what could unfit-mom.com possibly offer me?

First of all, what makes you think I’m doing this for you? Get over yourself.

I write because I love to write and frankly, this blog may be the only legacy I leave my children.

But if we’re being honest, I feel like a complete failure 99% of the time. Sometimes, I seriously believe that I’m breaking the world record for the number of ways I’m botching parenthood. So if I write anything at all here that makes you feel something, commiserate, laugh, fart, or laugh-fart, it will all be worth it.

In conclusion, I really do hope to see you back here, because frankly, I need the exposure.

And maybe a foot rub, if you’re offering.