Friday, February 21, 2014

Wear the Shirt

At almost four months postpartum, getting dressed is still hard. Enormous breasts make my shirts end awkwardly above my waist. More than ample hips refuse to fit into pre-pregnancy pants. Clothes need to be easy access to accommodate breastfeeding. And certain accessories (fun jewelery, cute heels) are just not practical - or safe! - while carrying around an infant. All of this results in many hours standing forlornly in my closet, trying to find something to put on that while make me feel comfortable and attractive at the same time. Well, no, not really...no one has hours to spend standing in their closet when they are a mom to an infant, but...you get the idea.

So, recently, when on a trip to The Grove, I walked by a store where the clothes looked feminine, loose, and comfortable, but still stylish. Of course, any clothes that can truly boast all of those qualities aren't exactly cheap, right? But, I decided the cost was worth it and invested in a few new shirts. I love all of them...when wearing them I feel pretty, comfortable in body, but plenty of steps above my typical outfit of yoga pants and a too-small t-shirt.

So, yesterday, when getting dressed to take Owen to the doctor's office, followed by a lunch with friends, I came upon the dilemma. Do you wear the nice shirt knowing the day is "nothing special" and that wearing the shirt means the super soft material will be wrinkled by grabby baby hands and slimed by baby drool and even potentially stained by leaking breast milk? Or do you save the shirt for a day when you will be going out without baby and you can be yourself and not worry about ruining the clothes?

And then it hit me. When do I go anywhere without Owen? Hardly ever. At the moment, I am content with that. I enjoy having my sidekick with me wherever I go (hey, we even "enjoyed" a trip to the DMV!). But what does that mean? Does that mean my nice, pretty clothes literally just stay on the shelf? In other words, do I disregard the time and attention to myself that makes me feel confident and attractive? Do I disappear into "being a mom?" Because, believe me, that is tempting and easy to do. I say it to myself all of the time. "Those black yoga pants have faded into a depressing shade of grey and that shirt is more wrinkled than not...but hey, it's ok, I'm a mom." Or, "I'm not sure when the last time I washed my hair was...but, it's ok, I'll throw it in a ponytail because, hey, I'm a mom."

So sure. "Being a mom" is a viable, acceptable excuse/reason for looking "bland and natural." But is it an excuse for not taking the time to feel good in our own bodies? I remember the first time I painted my toenails after Owen was born. He was maybe...two months? I felt deliciously giddy, like I was getting away with something to take the time to do something as frivolous as painting my toe nails pink. But, the truth is, it's more important to me to spend the time rolling around on the floor with Owen trying to teach him about the world than it is to make sure my makeup is done.

So. Back to my dilemma yesterday. Do I put on the $80 dollar shirt that is such a soft, gentle fabric and a sweet shade of coral and makes me feel "pretty" again just for a visit to the doctor's office? All the while knowing that wearing it will subject it to the wear and tear of motherhood? And then I realized. Leaving the prettyness on the shelf is ridiculous. This is my life now. Wearing faded, too-tight clothes while I wait for this to "pass" is stupid. Motherhood doesn't "pass by." This is who I am. And I can choose to leave certain parts of me on the shelf because they might not be the perfect fit for this lifestyle, or I can choose to find a way to make it work.

So, I wore the shirt. I felt pretty. The shirt got wrinkled and drooled upon. And I felt like a mom. But a pretty, happy, smiling mom. So I guess what I'm saying guys is....wear the shirt!

10 comments:

  1. Glad you decided to wear the shirt ..... and that you felt good in it. With kids, one moment to the next is unpredictable. BUT we can be stylish and beautiful while breastfeeding and tending to a wonderfully fussy baby.

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  2. Exactly to this entire post. I have so many shirts sitting in my closet, unworn since the baby was born because they are either too small or too nice to get spit up on. At least, that had been my thinking until recently. But this week, something changed. Actually, what changed was that my only pair of jeans that fit me (bought postpartum) reeked of spit up, and we had to go visit a daycare center. So I almost had no choice but to dress up, even though I knew I wouldn't even be taking my coat off. So, I dressed up, and it felt so liberating! Can't believe it took me six months to figure that out.

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  3. I am not a mother, but I try to live by this rule too. Nice things would rarely (or never) get used if just brought out for special occasions. I think this applies to things other than clothes too. What's the point of having something if you can't live with it?

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  4. I remember those same cycles of thought. It's tough sometimes, but do try to wear the shirt. :-)

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  5. I am having a huge issue with my clothes. I am only about 5 pounds or so above my pre pregnancy weight but still nothing fits. My body is just a different shape. It wasn't a big deal when I was home most of the time but now that I am back at work I need more than 4 or 5 outfits to wear. My job is pretty casual but not enough to get away with yoga pants. My husband keeps telling me to buy some new clothes but I have been resisting. Reading this makes me feel like I should do it - I will buy and wear the shirt :)

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  6. I need to follow this as well. I have been "saving" a few shirts but the idea is pretty ridiculous considering that before this week, I wasn't without Izzy except for when I went for a run with Buster and CP would watch her. I do love yoga pants, but wearing work clothes has been nice the past few days!

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  7. I am still working on "wearing the shirt"! My post pregnancy body is taking some getting used to, I guess! I have started taking my baby out for neighborhood (hilly) walks and that is helping me feel better about my body! Also, I have committed to at least putting on make up every day and I have to admit, that is helping me feel more feminine and well, pretty! :-)

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  8. Hey, I have a question I wanted to ask you regarding your blog. If you could send me an email when you get this, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!
    -Tiffany
    tpham(at)dropcam(dot)com

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  9. I love this!!! I have settled into drab momville as far as clothes, and I wear the same drab loose clothes over and over again. This inspired me to go to H&M at lunch and find nice new tops!

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  10. lol! I love it! :) I just gave up maternity pants and stretched-out tshirts for "real" clothes. I was surprised I didn't miss the comfy but much-worn pregnancy clothes!

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