I Am Just A New Age Mother Who Wants To Be Fit, Not Look Like My Child’s Sibling!

Posted: May 10, 2016

For the new age mothers, walking the fine line between wanting to look good and overdoing it to ‘look like your child’s sibling’ is the challenge.

Moms back then appeared to be mostly happy with the choices they made. The stay-at-home mom, the working mom, the joint family mom, most of them came in one shape, the shape being roundish and that was all there to it. Most of them let nature take its course once a certain age set in. Mothers looked like mothers and children looked liked themselves, no room for confusion. Apple, banana and pear were considered as fruits and not body shapes and the terms  ‘yummy mummy‘ and ‘hot mamma’ was never heard of.

Cut to the year 2016, and you will notice most of us mothers, on a scramble to push a gigantic rock out of our way – the rock that’s an obstacle leading to opening the door to where everything is good and perfect. Where the fountain of youth flows. Where everyone looks young, very young. This trend to look young and glamorous at all times, could be a reflection of the fallacy that is being sold at every nook and corner that being a ‘yummy mummy’ is effortlessly easy. We have taken the bait to look like the mother from the Santoor soap advertisement.

While the grind of motherhood has not lessened, us new age mothers have brought on to our plates the burden of looking glamorous and fit. As it turns out, being a mother still remains to be the hard work that never really ends. You have got to grit your teeth and keep working away at it day after day. Yeah, it has cool and amazing moments and all, but the work you put in is tremendous and the room for improvement to be a better mom keeps growing every time you think you might have conquered the peak.

Don’t get me wrong, the last 13 years have been rewarding but I would be lying through my teeth if I say that, during this journey I have not succumbed to the pressure of wanting to look young. The clothes we wear, the bags we carry and the shoes we run around doing our chores, not only make us feel good, but they extend to giving an impression of who we are. Nothing wrong with wanting to throw in a little style into the wardrobe.

The way we present ourselves reflects a lot on what type of a mom we are. Some might consider it to be wayward, to define a person based on the way we look, but it happens all the time. Especially for us mothers, and thus, this revolution which unshackled us has also opened us up to being susceptible to being labeled, bringing along another variable to balance the tight rope walk of ‘being mom’. 

So I am not particularly thrilled when my journey to be fit, to look good at 43, sometimes gets misplaced as a desire to look 16, old enough to be my son’s older sister.

I belong to the group of mothers who don’t aspire to look as young as their children’s sister or their best friend. I am uncomfortable with the terms yummy mummy, hot mamma, etc., for the sexist connotation they carry but the worst offender amongst them all is, “you look like your son’s older sister”. Now, this statement, even though well-meaning, is disparaging to my son and me. What my son hears is that he looks old. That mom makes the nutrition choices solely to look 30 years younger. How incorrect is that?

I feel that part of being a mom is turning the spot light from yourself to your children, teenagers don’t need competition from their mothers in looking a certain way, they need someone to look up to, not a rival.

So I am not particularly thrilled when my journey to be fit, to look good at 43, sometimes gets misplaced as a desire to look 16, old enough to be my son’s older sister.

You see, I pin myself down on as the middle of the road as far as my fashion types go.

I don’t crave for that ultimate flat stomached body, because I know my tummy, which has housed my 2 babies, won’t ever look like a 16 year old’s, I also know that being over the age of 40 shows on the face. No amount of expensive lotions and serums can erase those age lines. So, when I work out, when I run, when I choose to skip pasta and help myself to a second serving of salad, I am doing so to be fit, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to look good for ‘my age’.

Walking the fine line between wanting to look good and not falling into the trap of overdoing it is the new twist in the game for us new breed of mothers. 

Redeeming the points of being of a certain age to look comfortable enough in our own skin while being realistic about the body image is a task that we must bear. Happy walking that tight rope, moms..

Happy Mother’s Day!

Image source: Shilpa Godbole.

Writer/artist. Combining my artwork with creative writing as a medium to put forth my

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Comments

2 Comments


  1. Happy that you picked this topic, Shilpa. You have really penned down the true feelings and dilemmas of every mom out here.

    One more point I have observed is, when some women go about trying to stay fit for health reasons or otherwise, they sometimes tend to start judging other women, who are on the healthier side and start thinking they are ‘lazy’ or ‘irresponsible’. But actually such women may be happier than the others in their skin. I say this because generally women in our society are judged for everything. But when some of us do it from inner motivation, then it is fine. But when it is done to evade the criticism of the others in the society then we may start judging ourselves and the others on each and everything, which is not good for all.
    Do write more such topics…….

  2. Pingback: The perils of being a mod mom – Shilpa Godbole

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