We put so much stress on ourselves to lose the weight after we deliver our babies. I have been down this road a few times already, four to be exact. I know from experience that I get big – really big – but I also lose the weight (or most of it) rather easily. Normally my measure of success is “when can I return to my old wardrobe”. What I mean by “wardrobe” is certainly not my pre-children size 2 skinny jeans – those have been dipped on gold and are displayed in our living room under a sign that reads “Your mama was so skinny…” (but I digress). When I refer to “my wardrobe” I simply mean my wide array of jeans in sizes ranging from double digits to high single digits.
Well, recently at four weeks postpartum I saw one of my good mommy friends. She delivered her third baby boy the same week Jonah was born. I was wearing my fanciest and most dressy yoga pants when I ran into her outside Jordan’s school. Her hair was pulled back in a stylish pony tail – not like the hurried mommy-tail I was sporting. She looked tan, at least in comparison to my Casper the Ghost complexion – and as a finishing touch she was wearing regular shorts!
She had graduated from the elastic waist of maternity clothes, completely skipped over the yoga-pants-stage, and she was already in shorts with buttons and a zipper. I caught my own reflection in the mirror and realized that I looked like I had just been through a car wash – without the car! My hair was a mess, I was pale and looked ten times more tired than my caffeine-filled body felt, and worst of all – my yoga pants were not quite as dressy as I initially thought they were.
I went home and started to go through my piles of jeans. I was determined to get into a pair that day – all of a sudden I just longed for zippers and buttons too! The elastic waist is great when you are pregnant, exercise and – well – those are the only times you should enjoy the ever-forgiving waistband of even the dressiest yoga pants, or so I thought that day! I started trying on my largest jeans, because clearly I would fit nicely into my double digit jeans… No – not even. My widened hips coupled with my excessively flabby muffin top just did not allow for the restrictive and very NON-forgiving waistband of my jeans. But wait – there, on top of my closet – EUREKA! A pair of jeans that my mom discarded last time she came to visit. These were not just “mom jeans”… they were “my mom’s OLD mom jeans!” – clearly a double negative – and we all know that two negatives make a positive… so I decided to try my luck!
SUCCESS! If I wiggled JUST so, sucked in, held my breath and moved the muffin top a little higher, then the two parts of the zipper could meet – just enough to stay closed. I even got to button the jeans – merely because the button was loose and gave me more wiggle room – so to speak – but they were buttoned none the less.
I sent my mommy friend a happy text, wanting to share my joy that we were now BOTH in our pre-pregnancy/ non-maternity/ very uncomfortable and restrictive clothes. I told her that I fit in my mom’s old mom jeans, which we exchanged a few chuckles about… And then she shared something that made me instantly feel better about myself. Her honest and innocent comment of “I am so glad I bought these shorts at H&M this week. You should go there too!”
WOW! How hard was I on myself the instant I saw her wearing what I just assumed were her normal clothes?! Immediately I felt “less than” and even went home to try on clothes in an effort to “keep up” with her. WHY?! At the tender age of 40 you would think that the days of comparing yourself and listening to the little internal Negative Nelly voice were far behind me. But no – I immediately regressed back to my high-school self (or even younger).
Well – lesson learned! I went shopping yesterday and bought some shorts that fit – and it does not matter what size they are. What is important is that I feel great! Now I just have to get used to zipping up pants again… this always seems to be hard for me to remember when I transition from maternity clothes. So if you see me with my fly down – please just ignore and compliment me on my new shorts!