These days my gut pro­trudes out as far as my ass, and get­ting jeans over my thighs is a mat­ter of prayer. Wel­come to my life, where the snap­back is slow and treach­er­ous.

I had a baby in Decem­ber, and I have two kids already, a four year old and a two year old. They are bril­liant. They are beau­ti­ful. They dri­ve me fuck­ing insane.

When I am not thank­ing God that they are at school dri­ving their teach­ers insane, I am at home. Writ­ing arti­cles for this site, whip­ping shea but­ter for this one, run­ning back and forth between my com­put­er and a com­mer­cial-sized mix­er like a dement­ed pas­try chef.

*This* is the world in which my snap­back will take place. The twi­light zone of ‘3 kids under 5’, the unfor­giv­ing land of ‘breast­feed­ing a new­born’, where show­ers are an irreg­u­lar delight and dias­ta­sis rec­ti is a reg­u­lar top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion.

I go on Insta­gram and see sexy women in sexy neon span­dex film­ing their sexy work­outs. Mean­while I count the steps to and from my kids’ school drop off as car­dio, while pray­ing none of the par­ents notice I’ve been wear­ing the same out­fit for weeks. 

There is no metic­u­lous doc­u­men­ta­tion of progress. No cropped ‘before and after’ pho­tos. I use the glimpses of myself in the back­ground of fam­i­ly pic­tures to see how far I’ve come.

‘Oh Look! In this Jan­u­ary pho­to where my baby is cough­ing direct­ly into my mouth my thighs look a lit­tle heavy. But in *this* March pic­ture where I’m bent over pick­ing up laun­dry while my kids smile on the couch, my sil­hou­ette is slim­mer!’

Look, I’m going to lose this weight. I’ve done it twice before. But it won’t be cute. It will be a grad­ual, fraz­zled, sweaty affair. If I’m los­ing an ounce a week, I’m doing good.

My snap­back after baby #1. It took me 14 months.

And until then it’s stretch pants. Glo­ri­ous stretch pants that I pull on first thing in the morn­ing and wear every­where until the seams give way to the ten­sion of my inner thigh.

It’s laugh­ing through­out all of this, because let’s be hon­est, it’s pret­ty damn fun­ny.

It’s refus­ing to pan­ic, because all these extra jel­ly ain’t changed the fact that I’m fine.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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15 Comments on "My Snapback Won’t Be Quick, And It Probably Won’t Be Glorious"

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Stacy Harris

THIS IS MY LIFE!!!!!!!! in words FACTS!

Aisha O.

OMG Leila, you’ve got me dou­bled up in laugh­ter over here!! This whole snap­back body thing is a joke and I’m SO over it. They claimed it’ll take me the same amount of time that I car­ried my boy to lose the weight. Well, he’s turn­ing 9 months next week and the hang­ing tum­my is still, well…hanging. I recent­ly realised I’m actu­al­ly ok. My body went through the mir­a­cle of preg­nan­cy and birth and I have a gor­geous lit­tle human to show for it. YES!


Pot­ty mouth, no need for those words.


Humor mixed with real life! So true :)


Nev­er had kids and not plan­ning on any, but this is hilar­i­ous to any­one try­ing to change their body and any­one who knows a par­ent. That Ker­mit meme at the end had me rollin’.


It might not be quick, but it will be glo­ri­ous just because you did it :-)


I think you need to stop look­ing at pic­tures that may not ever be who you are. I am a moth­er of two and teach Pilates. I tell my clients stop want­i­ng oth­er bodies…enjoy yours for all you know your poten­tial could be bet­ter than those pics.
It’s not what isn’t, it’s what you wish was that makes unhap­pi­ness.” Janis Joplin

Justice Petty

You teach pilates. What about the moth­ers who don’t teach pilates and who are not into fit­ness. She nev­er said that she was unhap­py.


As a young woman whose nev­er had a child, I found this arti­cle a reveal­ing reminder about the sac­ri­fices moth­ers give just to birth life. Thanks for the pics and trans­paren­cy to share. ?