“How does she do it?” Soon after giving birth to her second child, Dutch model Doutzen Kroes walked down the Victoria’s Secret runway again. “That’s not healthy,” jealous moms from all over the world exclaimed.
Bugaboo Runner’s Vogue campaign sparked the same kind of response. With the Bugaboo Runner you can safely jog while your kid naps in his or her stroller. In the ad model Ymre Stiekema, also Dutch, pushes the stroller while jogging, wearing nothing but a bikini. Her tight and fit body, as well as her outfit, now are the subject of ridicule. Because who in the world runs in a bikini? And this is not what motherhood looks like. “Stiekema, Bugaboo and Vogue are portraying an unrealistic image of motherhood,” critics say. Because real mothers don’t have time to run.
If you were to believe some reactions, all women who become mothers are doomed to live the rest of their lives, overweight and exhausted. That is, if you’re doing a “good” job. And apparently it is other moms who determine what “good” really is. A flat stomach — even if it’s your freaking job as a model to look good — definitely doesn’t make the cut in the good department. Skinny mom equals bad mom.
I’m so tired of moms who think they have the answer to everything, pretending motherhood is the same for everyone and every kid or parent has the same needs. Your children need to be the center of your life, 24/7. Thus, if you have time to run or exercise, they’re not, which automatically makes you a bad mother. But that’s not all. There are so many rules to live by!
Also: breastfeeding is better than formula; staying at home with your kid is best, but if absolutely necessary daycare is an option. But only for two days a week, tops. The television must stay off, reading to your kid is best; never buy prefab baby food, making it yourself is just as easy.
Who in the world could keep up?
If you’re happily living your life that way: hurray for you. But please stop bugging me and other mothers for choosing differently. Motherhood can be challenging enough as it is, trying to balance between baby, husband, job and my biggest love: me — am I even allowed to say that, moms? Pedantic mothers, who are presumably super unhappy with their own choices in life — why in the hell would they bother interfering with other people otherwise — should keep their critique to themselves. Or go scrub a toilet.
I’m certainly no Doutzen, not even in my wildest dreams. But I too have lost my pregnancy weight, without any workout. How? Well, it was plain and simple luck. Nothing more and nothing less. After six weeks of breastfeeding, every pound I had gained was gone. Everything had vanished in thin air. The scale was no longer my enemy, though the mirror still is. When I look down I can still see a flappy belly where my baby girl once lived. In order to get the six-pack I never had, I workout as often as I can. Sometimes that’s once a month, at other times it’s every day of the week. Just depends on how the wind blows.
In a response Bugaboo said the company wants to inspire moms and dads to explore the world with their families. To me that’s exactly what they’re doing. I’m willing to run a half marathon in October. To do so I’ll have to train with my daughter. Maybe soon I’ll use a Bugaboo Runner, while she takes her afternoon nap. Come to think of it: I could use a new bikini too. One I can wear while running.
This article was first published on The Huffington Post