If you’ve done the math I’ll be 3 years postpartum in March of this year. While many women struggle to get their “pre-baby” body back or back into regular clothes as soon as possible I have relished maternity clothes and am in fact still wearing quite a few of them. I have a couple reasons for this so hear me out….
- I’m tall. I’m 5’10” on a short day. When I was a kid I had to go shopping in the men’s section for pants because I was so tall the women’s clothes didn’t fit me. I, sometimes by accident, wore my father’s dress pants. I went to a Catholic high school with a dress code. On occasion I wouldn’t have clean dress pants so I would go into my father’s closet (who, BTW was 6’3″) and stole his dress pants. I buy off the rack because I’m not wealthy enough to have a personal wardrobe made for me. Therefore I try to be very cognizant of my clothing because shirts are often too short if they aren’t the tunic cut which can result in accidentally flashing my muffin top. Out in public I’m less concerned with this because sometimes I wear my “hot mess mama” flag with pride but also because I couldn’t care less what strangers think of me. However as a teacher attempting to put on a professional front (which goes better some days than others) I want to try and keep any accidental muffin top leakage. Enter the extra band of fabric around maternity pants and the inherently longer maternity shirts. These two things solve tall girl problems more than I had ever thought possible! If I had known about how awesome maternity clothes were before I had gotten pregnant I may have furnished my whole work wardrobe with them. Lucky for me, online shopping doesn’t know if I’m actually pregnant so, in the interest of honesty, I’ve bought maternity clothes since giving birth….shhhh it’ll be our secret.
- Number 2. No, not just number 2 on this list, the Mr. and I are currently exploring the option of having baby #2. Some days I’m SO READY for a second one and other days I think “Oh holy hell why on earth would anyone do this twice?” Currently the holy hell days haven’t won; they usually only happen on days when the Munchkin is being a toddler terror which luckily are very few or when I think about trying to pay for a second kid. But I figure I might as well keep the clothes in the rotation just in case because I don’t want to end up buying all new ones if a number 2 were to happen.
- They’re so comfortable. All the stretchy goodness of leggings without the uncomfortable or unsightly camel-toe problems, or feeling like your jiggly bits are hanging out everywhere for people to see. I’m not against leggings on anyone but I definitely don’t think my classroom is the appropriate place for me to wear leggings.
- I’m not even sure what my “pre-baby” body was anymore. For many reasons, some that I’m proud of and some that sound an awful lot like excuses, I am not back to my “pre-baby” weight (to be perfectly honest, I don’t even know what it was without digging through my FitBit history). I don’t want my “pre-baby” life back (90% of the time…) so why am I so concerned with getting the body back? This body has birthed a smart, sassy, beautiful, wonderful little girl so kudos to it for keeping a developing human alive and then partially (long story) nourishing that tiny human during the first 6 months of her life. Some women’s bodies change in ways during pregnancy/postpartum seasons of life that fundamentally alter their body composition so getting back to “pre-baby” body is completely impossible for them. Some women can go back to their “original” body and that’s wonderful. No matter what, the postpartum body should be celebrated exactly as it is, because it is inherently awesome. Women should be allowed to explore this season of life without the pressure or worry about getting their body “back”. It hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just made an amazing transformation and like a butterfly it is more beautiful than ever. Some of that pressure is societal and some of it is intrinsic, although depending on your history that could just be deep seated societal issues that have seeped into your mindset, but either way we all need to ease up on ourselves. Each day, week, month, year, is different with different struggles, concerns, goals, and outcomes. Sometimes you’re in the red zone just keeping your head above water and sometimes you’re fully thriving mastering the balance of all that is on your plate; either way, your body composition shouldn’t be the measure of your life.
I have embraced the fact that I love maternity clothes even though I’m “supposed” to give them up. I still wear them regularly and I’m not ashamed to admit it.