The Evolution Of Mom Boobs

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
mom boobs
Zhenikeyev / iStock

I didn’t know when, exactly, but I knew that you would be mine someday, somehow.

If only you could know how hard I wished for you to come into my life and change my world. Every night before I went to sleep, I would visualize your presence, hoping I could bring you into existence through the sheer force of my will. I sent bargains out into the universe like flares. “Please, please, please… If you could just do me this one favor, I’ll be so grateful. I’ll do anything.” I could see you vividly in my mind’s eye, round and soft, a bouncing bundle resting beautifully on my chest.

But for all that effort, I think something backfired because you didn’t turn out to be at all what I had expected. What I asked for and what I received were, frankly, two very different things. My vision was, specifically, the kind of boobs I saw in magazines, gracing the upper torsos of bikini-clad models or the kind bobbing along the beach ahead of Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch swimsuit. I never once recall looking at my boy-shaped 12-year-old self in the mirror and saying, “I wish I had mom boobs!” Yet, here we are: tangerines in tube socks. I mean, I know we don’t always get exactly what we want, but there is such a discrepancy here. I feel cheated, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

So mom boobs, I have a bone to pick with you.

First of all, your timing was terrible. You made me wait until I was freaking 15. While all my friends were nicely filling out bras and bikinis, I was shaped like an ironing board. This was back before I realized that boys should notice me for things like my brain and my wicked sense of humor, so your absence tricked me into despairing that I’d never get a prom date. And thinking I’d probably end up an old maid surrounded by cats, because who wants to date an ironing board? Nobody.

When you finally did decide to make an appearance, you half-assed it. (Uh, half-boobed it? Whatever.) You showed up, but barely. I had to supplement your meager presence with copious and embarrassing amounts of padding and went through enough tissues to dry the tears of a thousand flat-chested adolescents. Do you even realize the panic a teenage girl feels when she realizes that her crumpled Kleenex boob-enhancer is now migrating down her sleeve?

I guess you overcompensated by showing up in a big way (really big, like DD) for some of my friends. But you didn’t do them any favors, either. They were always complaining about how inconvenient and uncomfortable you were, always squirming in their pokey underwires, and wearing multiple sports bras to keep you in check during gym class. You couldn’t have just been a nice, acceptable, equal size for everyone, could you? No. No.

In college, I moved on from filling you out with wadded-up paper goods only to spend a small fortune on “miracle” bras and squishy chicken cutlet inserts. I managed to overcome your underachieving and still look halfway decent, but that’s only because everybody looks halfway decent when they’re young and firm, so I give you no credit for the relative cuteness of my early 20s. None.

Then I got pregnant with my first child. And oh my goodness, hallelujah! My years of yearning and wishing paid off because there you were, finally. My A-cup runneth over. But what’s this? You were so sore that I couldn’t even take a shower without wincing. And even when the soreness of those first few pregnant months subsided, I still couldn’t enjoy your presence, because now you were competing with a belly the size of a taxi.

Throughout the years, I nursed my babies and you grew. And ached. And sprouted weird hairs from time to time. And leaked in inconvenient places, like at my husband’s family reunion where I chatted people up for, like, a half hour without realizing there were two huge, widening wet spots on the front of my shirt. Your mass fluctuated with every pregnancy and birth, and my lingerie drawer filled up with ugly nursing bras in sizes spanning practically the entire first half of the alphabet.

When my last baby weaned, I thought, This is it. Finally, my boobs are my own again, and I’ll have some nice cleavage to put in a pretty bra. Sure, your sides were striped with purple stretch marks from all that fluctuation, but you were still bigger than you’d ever been. The scenario I had dreamed of as a breast-deficient, mammary-challenged preteen was finally going to come true!

Only, it didn’t, because when all was said and done, you decided to lay on my chest in defiance. You shrank to mere floppy shadows of your former selves, and you declared yourselves tired as you rested on my ribcage like somebody pinned a pair of socks to my collarbone. You were like, “Whew! Our work here is done. Peace out.”

Now I have to fold you into a bra. You flop lazily toward my armpits when I’m on my back, and you droop downward when I sit like you’re trying to get a better look at my belly button. All these years of trying to make you look good and this is the thanks I get? Your flat-out (and I do mean flat) refusal to cooperate?

I guess I must grudgingly admit that you’ve technically done your job. You have completed your biological function to nurture my children, so yay. Thanks. I know there are no guarantees in life, and as long as you’re healthy, I should be grateful. I guess it’s not your fault that all your hard work turned you into mom boobs.

Still, I would appreciate it if you could muster up a little perkiness. I’ll attempt to tone up my pecs and invest in some decent bras, if you could maybe do your part and look a little less…defeated.

Don’t let gravity get the best of you yet. We have a lot of years left together.

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