Diary of a Fat Chick

Fat girl living in a skinny world

Fat parenting? June 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rhonwyyn @ 1:42 pm
Tags: ,

Sunday, June 15

I discovered the well-rounded mama blog tonight. She’s the author of Plus-Size Pregnancy. After reading through the blog, I sent her this e-mail:

I just discovered the blog tonight. I really appreciate that you look at fat women and pregnancy and how being fat increases women’s risk of poor treatment and discrimination. I just really wanted to share a story with you that may encourage you to take your discussion beyond childbirth.

My mom is overweight; she gained weight with each pregnancy (four live births and two miscarriages). She now hates her size. I think she looks beautiful; she sees herself as much bigger than she really is. I tell you this because her perception of herself has had a big influence on how she treats me. I’ve been overweight for practically all my life. My siblings are much thinner. I think it’s because that as the oldest, I got the brunt of Mom’s hatred of herself projected on me. It hasn’t stopped now that I’m an adult and married.

I weigh about 360 pounds. I’m in fairly good health; I passed a physical 30 pounds ago with flying colors. However, Mom has frequently told me that if I have children, I won’t be able to “keep after them.” She says I have no energy and stamina and that my weight will hold me back from being a good parent. She keeps telling me stories of fat women she sees at work (she’s a nurse in a family practice) and how they are such sad specimens of humanity (my interpretation, not her words). She also tells me about one of her friends, who is an “armchair parent”: she sits on the couch or wherever and tells her children to do things instead of doing things with them.

I would hope that I won’t be a parent like Mom keeps suggesting, but since that is all I’ve heard, that is all that fills my head. My husband tells me I’ll be a great mom, but I’m still uncertain. What does a fat parent look like? How do fat mothers move beyond pregnancy into taking care of children while also taking care of themselves? Do fat parents continue to receive poor/critical treatment from medical personnel after they give birth? Does it ever stop?

What do you think?


3 Responses to “Fat parenting?”

  1. boobsihazdem Says:

    I think parenting and life is what you want it to be. Myself? I am 110kg, and some of the scare stories out there scare me. I am all for being happy with oneself, for accepting the flaws, for seeing the beauty in a big person. But if the weight is preventing you from doing something you want to do, then it becomes an issue. If you end up too tired to play footie with your son, or basketball with your daughter, then your weight is an issue.

    Otherwise, I don’t think it is. Your body is your business. You should not feel ashamed because society tells you to be. You won’t necessarily receive worse treatment than a skinny person. The level of care and attention given to obese mothers, at least in the UK, seems extremely high simply because health practitioners see overweight people being more at risk, and because the statistics tell them the risks in a way that any bloggers single experiences cannot.

  2. Annie Says:

    My mom never had the energy to keep up with me because she was always dieting. She’s been considerably more active since she stopped.

    Heck, her doctor suggested she go carb-less for awhile during menopause when she was having trouble digesting them. She passed out repeatedly. I would have much rather had a chunkier mom that had the energy to keep up with me!

  3. rhonwyyn Says:

    Oh wow, Annie. I never thought of that side of things. I think more than anything it’s my depression that holds me back, not my weight. When I’m up, I can do anything, but when I’m down, I feel so, well, depressed – no energy, upset stomach, etc. If that doesn’t quell thoughts of running after children, not much else will! :-/

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