Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine’s #DIMELO love, advice, & relationship columnist. Her print column launched in August 2013, her weekly online column appears on www.latina.com. Pauline is the Aspiringmama with the blog to match, founder of the #Chingonafest community and The ChingonaFest Project Podcast on Soundcloud.
TheChicagoMoms.com: Was ‘BabyFat’ a labor of love? (I couldn’t help myself):
Pauline: Hell yes, it was. It was a bitch getting pregnant, the pregnancy itself was difficult with many sleepless nights, strange cravings (chocolate at 3 a.m. is a beautiful thing when arguing with a blank page), I was moody and irrational, the husband forgot what sex was, and was pretty sure I had no idea what I was actually in for by the time my baby was ready to meet the world.
TheChicagoMoms.com: Why was this book inside of you? What made you feel you needed to get it out?
Pauline: I have written about body image and related issues since I figured out I suck at product review blogging. My history includes bulimia, anorexia, and body dysmorphia. While I’ve been in recovery for a while now from the eating disordered behavior, the mind games I’ll be playing with myself for all eternity are a daily battle. Of course, having my daughter, Eliana, was a major wake up call. I wanted to be a healthy example for her, which of course, meant a certain number on the scale and a certain number on my clothing tags.
I had given myself a one year deadline to drop the pounds and wrote each day before bed. What resulted is much different than I’d planned, but it’s exactly what I needed to write and a book I hope all women can relate to. There is way too much societal stress to look at the f*cking scale as the basis for all happiness.
TheChicagoMoms.com: How did being denied (how many time was it?) encourage you to keep trying?
Pauline: It might sound juvenile, but part of my motivation to keep trying was to prove to the 43 agents who turned me down and the 15 publishing houses that said Great Book But Who the Hell is She that there will always be a market for a BS-free book written for post-pregnancy women who don’t like what they see in the mirror.
I know I’d buy it if it wasn’t mine.
TheChicagoMoms.com: What about motherhood has made it all worthwhile for you?
Pauline: Oh this question is harder to answer than it looks. Saying “Every Time She Tells Me She Loves Me” is truth, but almost cliché. Then again, Eliana expects a weekly “sleepover” with me in our guest room, complete with at home manicures, telling stories to each other, shadow puppets, and whispering and giggling with each other until we fall asleep. She’s not going to want me to be her best friend forever. So I’ll take now and always hold on to what this feels like.
TheChicagoMoms.com: What would you share with women who desire motherhood?
Pauline: Tough question, Dwana. I’m not really sure I can answer it. I desired motherhood long before I got pregnant and almost gave up. I was an emotional mess during fertility issues during the almost two years of trying. All of my friends were having babies left and right while I kept cracking jokes about my scrambled eggs to keep from crying. Not everyone who desires motherhood will realize that goal.
We got lucky once. I’ll take that.
TheChicagoMoms.com: What is your advice to aspiring writers, Aspiring Mama?
Pauline: Take no for an answer from every agent and publication that turns you down lest you look like a tweet-stalking psychopath. It’s okay to cry and make dramatic claims to just give up because you suck and your writing sucks and think how crazy you were for believing you could make it. I recommend chocolate flavored wine for these moments. Just limit the pity party to a single evening and live tweet it for the world of aspiring writers to relate to and retweet. Just be sure to grab your Big Girl panties and yank those babies up the next morning and get back to work.
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