Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins, The Preschool Mommy | Posted on 19-06-2012
Tags: body, Gina Perkins, mall, mom jeans, postpartum, shopping, transformation
I got dressed up for our Father’s Day brunch. Makeup, a dress, heels, jewelry – the works. It did wonders for my confidence. I felt like a beautiful woman – an attractive wife, a good-lookin mom. I wasn’t hiding behind the fear of bumping into anyone I knew for fear they’d wonder if I had gone homeless because of my greased over hair and dirty clothes. DJ even responded differently to me – she seemed proud. It was sweet, and eye-opening. I needed to start putting some effort back into my appearance. It made me, and apparently our whole family, feel better:
So, I spent four hours at the mall yesterday. Four hours. With two kids. I thought I was being brave, but I now realize that such an expedition falls more accurately into the category of “stupid.” However, desperate times call for desperate measures. And I was desperate. Am desperate.
My 13 weeks postpartum body is wreaking havoc on my psyche. Father’s Day not withstanding, I am still in my maternity jeans (is that even normal at the stage in the game?), only have 2 hideous nursing bras, and a plethora of tops that no longer fit properly. There are a few cotton dresses (the black one pictured above, for one) that are seemingly flattering, but they’re literally hanging on by a thread from over-wear. Rather than continuing on with the daily defeat of a dozen wardrobe changes only to settle on sweatpants, I decided it was time to grab a few new outfits to keep my Father’s Day self-esteem elevated.
With my husband’s (eager) blessing, and debit card in hand – I packed up the kids and felt pretty stoked about the transformation that lie ahead. Homely stay-at-home-mom would be better known as Hot Mama in just a few hours. Or so I thought. Things didn’t quite go that way.
When I pulled into the mall’s parking garage at exactly 9:55 am (5 minutes before the stores opened), here’s what I saw:
Mom-mobiles everywhere. In fact, a fellow mom was lugging her double stroller out of her SUV and started chatting with me as if we were long lost friends. And, in a sense, we were. Both moms, with two kids, trying to do something for ourselves. “Same idea! Too hot to be outside, so great to let the kids run around here. Part of the stroller brigade!” OK, we weren’t in same tribe. This trip was so not about my kids.
My first stop was at H&M. I’d never really shopped there before, but it seems like all the cool kids do – so, naturally, it made sense for me to begin Operation Retire Mom-Jeans there. I was only slightly put off by the sea of fluorescent lighting, and heart-thumping beats. With DJ in tow, and Bitzy staring at me with wide eyes from her stroller – I began grabbing. Man, didn’t even know what size to get….which was slightly depressing. So weird to feel so disconnected from myself. Anyhow, tried on something like these:
But, I looked like more like this in them:
My breasts just aren’t what they used to be. This realization greatly limits my options. No spaghetti straps, no strapless tube dresses, nothing that shows cleavage – and for the love of God…NO STRIPES. Awesome – whittled down to mom-dresses:
OK, maybe I just needed a cute pair of pants. Maybe if I just ditched the maternity jeans and traded them in for something a little more “current,” then I could get away with the ill-fitting tops in my closet. White pants. White pants seem to be the thing of the season. Trouble is – let me repeat: I just had my second baby 13 weeks ago. And um, I never really lost the weight from my first. So, I looked less like this:
And more like this:
Alright, so not ready to give up the elastic waist. No problem. I get it.
Did I mention that once I had a dressing room full of clothes, Bitzy decided she was famished and started screaming at the top of her lungs? Oh, and that DJ stripped down naked within 3 seconds of pulling the dressing room drape closed, and insisted on also trying on clothes? So yeah, you guessed it – I had to nurse Bitzy while also ensuring DJ didn’t go streaking. It was at that moment that I realized I wasn’t brave. I was stupid. Really stupid.
Of course I could only take 7 items into the dressing room at once. So, after I emerged from the room 30 minutes later – the dressing room attendant looked at my pitifully and asked if I wanted the second set of 7 items. After shooting her an “Are you kidding me?” look, she sheepishly muttered, “Maybe next time?” Maybe not. I think I gave her a lesson in birth control, actually. School of hard knocks, sister.
Alright, lunch. Which really meant watching DJ shake parmesan cheese into her mouth while (again) nursing Bitzy, all the while shoveling bites of salad into my mouth in between retrieving forkfuls of marinara stained fusilli from the table and booth. Totally relaxing.
This was followed by returning an adorable orange and white chevron-striped summer dress that I had purchased the day before (only to get home and try it on again and have that “What on earth was I thinking?” moment…remember, stripes?). DJ took it upon herself to grab every last piece of jewelry off the racks and adorn the mannequins while I was settling my transaction. It was past nap time, and she was totally breaking down. Her listening skills were all but gone, and she was entering that Tasmanian Devil phase of exhaustion….tempting her fate at the top of the escalator. And Bitzy, well, hungry again – naturally.
We ended up in the Ladies’ Lounge at Nordstrom. As I watched beautifully groomed, impeccably clothed women saunter in and out of the restroom, I began feeling more and more sorry for myself. The wall of mirrors opposite my chair weren’t helping the cause. Oh, and DJ? Um yeah – she totally lost her marbles. This is what she was doing while I was nursing Bitzy:
Notice the shoes are off? Yeah, she made herself right at home – and I call this her “Shop Till You Drop” look.
The intended shopping spree wasn’t a total waste, though. I did come home with this:
Which I am certain will make my butt look smaller.
Needless to say, I didn’t morph into Hot Mama quite as easily as I had intended. On the drive home, I reflected on the new drop waist dresses that are all the rage – and how they make me look like I am smuggling a keg on my chest (totally unflattering to the nursing mom), and I had a moment of “but these giant, saggy breasts have given life to DJ and are doing the same for Bitzy.”
While I might feel like a foreigner in my own skin, I know that this is just a temporary state-of-being, and one that is a privilege to be experiencing. Having a stretched out body means I was blessed enough to carry and birth two healthy daughters. The rest will come. The halter top dresses, and the white linen pants, bras that don’t unsnap with fold-down cups…those will all be in my future. I will be Hot Mama, likely mourning for the sweet days of wearing mom-jeans because they represent my babies being….babies.
When I got the girls home and in bed for their naps, I slipped these on and snuggled in between my girls.
Life is good.