I went through a bit of a weird patch after I had The Big Little Man. I really struggled to find my groove. Who was I? What did I like to do? A lot of that was to do with PND, but on the most shallow side of it, was what I was wearing.
Pregnancy changed my body. No shit! I hear you say. The actual pregnancy bit was great, I was growing a whole other person INSIDE ME! Of course I was going to look different. I wasn’t too happy when the stretch marks started to appear at 34 weeks, but I kind of admitted defeat at that point.
It was, obviously, AFTER Big Little Man made his appearance that I had to face cold, hard, truths.
I did not ‘ping’ back. My stretched and swollen tummy did not deflate the way I had hoped. My boobs were the biggest they had ever been, but were so sore I couldn’t even appreciate them. And don’t let’s get started on the nether regions; an episiotomy and haemorrhoids make not for comfy sitting.
Even a few months after, my body was not pretty. But then I was comparing with what had been. I still had bright red stripes across my belly, which was most definitely a ‘mum-tum’, aka, looked like a tyre around my middle. I was still trying to breastfeed. I still had an extra stone and a half of weight that hadn’t been there before.
Trying to find clothes that accommodated my new size and shape, and which allowed me to breastfeed was HARD. Well, no actually, it wasn’t. I could find the clothes. I just didn’t like them.
Also, I had gone from working to not. I had mostly a wardrobe of work wear, rather than casual wear.
Work wear that didn’t even fit.
I slipped into an easy wearing uniform of plain breastfeeding tops and comfy jeans. I looked horrendous. I also found myself doing things I wasn’t used too; sitting in playgroups, going for walks in the rain, sitting on the sofa for hours on end feeding a baby. My whole lifestyle had changed.
I also did the classic of not wanting to buy much because I knew I hadn’t lost the weight yet.
By the time I had gotten used to my new lifestyle, and finally dropped the weight (after A LOT of walking), I didn’t even know what was fashionable anymore. My body had permanently changed (mum-tum and stretch marks), and I didn’t know what suited me anymore. I had lost a huge amount of body confidence, along with my clothes sense.
It took ages to get that back, and discover what I needed in my life (and my wardrobe) as a Mum. Mum coat and mum shoes were an absolute priority. But then, just as I got into my groove again, yup, you guessed it, I got pregnant again.
It was easier in one sense, I didn’t have to make the whole transition to becoming a Mum this time; I knew exactly what was going to happen to body and mind.
However, this time around it was significantly easier in that I had no PND (I actually enjoyed becoming a Mummy again – it was amazing!), BUT watching my body go back to the mess that is post-partum was not any easier. I felt like I was back to square one. I was. Also, the Little Little Man would only breastfeed, I had decided to do the recommended six months, but he had other ideas. I spent the first year of his life needing constant access to my boobs. Not to mention I am one of those people who only drops the baby weight once they stop breast-feeding. Yay.
I only feel that I have now regained my mojo. And the Little Little Man is two years old. My body is permanently changed, but thanks to doing more exercise, it is certainly a lot better than it was. I have found a plethora of mumspiration on Instagram, which I am not embarrassed to say has really helped. I didn’t know what was cool anymore. I didn’t even know if people still used ‘cool’. Chrissakes, I’m only 31 but I felt like I changed irreparably. I hadn’t, thank goodness, I’d just gotten bogged down.
I think there’s a lot to be said for turning 30 as well. I genuinely don’t care what people think anymore. I wear what I like and what makes me happy. If it’s not quite right? Oh well. What’s the worst that can happen?
Yes, I still have days of wearing my walking fleece with my old-as-the-hills-which-bag-at-the-knees skinny jeans along with the boots I’ve had for years (obviously SO comfy), but that’s because I do the school run in the rain, come home and do housework, interspersed with lying on a floor playing with the Brio train set. Not really any need for an Outfit when no one is going to see it. But at least I know that when we do go out I don’t look (at least I don’t think I do), or more importantly, FEEL like a frump.
And that makes a heck of a difference.