I remember walking in the street, while pregnant, looking at some young mothers pushing their prams, looking great. They were made up and wearing cool clothes: the perfect combination of the modern mum and the urban self-confident woman.
I thought to myself ,” Right, I’ll be a pretty mummy.” (It’s funny how I never stopped to consider the other mums around, wearing sweatpants and who had given up on their brush. Shouldn’t that have given me a hint?)
And then my beautiful baby came … nothing was (is) more important than her well-being. Who cares what I look like?! Arguments were pouring through my mind:
1) I’m breastfeeding, so I need to be comfortable
2) I am not going to buy more clothes, I’ll just wear my training trousers until I fit into my old clothes again
3) I am getting up at night and going to bed during the day, so no real point of getting out of my PJs…
4) I never go out. Winter in Norway? Minus 18 and 2-meter snow, say no more!
A few months past, and I was not losing weight as quickly as I anticipated. A very strange fact considering all the chocolate I ate, while comfy at home in this semi reality where you don’t really know what day it is and life is but one word : “baby”…
My arguments came as strong as ever:
1) I read that one needs sugar when one is under-sleeping (“one” found that a very good argument indeed)
2) I am breastfeeding, so I need the extra nutrients (loads of that in a pack of white chocolate chips cookies)
3) I can’t go on a diet because I’m breastfeeding
4) I’m still hormonal, so I need comfort food
The one person that really had to see me like this was “only” my husband. Slowly, It felt that the margin you get from your loved one for having given birth and putting your body through hell was wearing thin (he is ever so supportive, but it would drive me nuts if he was in shabby clothes day in day out). So, I had to rethink.
I was clearly not giving up chocolate. So, I went shopping.
With me came the wise advice of Susannah and Trinny (BBC’s “what not to wear”): put your attributes forward! I bought a pair of wide legged jeans that would fit the in-between person I was (in between my 20 + kilo pregnant self and the 8 + kilo self who had not returned to her “self” yet… still following?) and a top tight on the chest (definitely an asset at the time) and wide at the waist (definitely a handicap at the t… well still now actually… humpf!… moving on). I felt so good!
I twirled in front of my husband, who is so supportive and said yes you look so much fitter (than when I was 9-months pregnant? He couldn’t get it wrong.) Between you and me, I also got some underwear which didn’t look like I had taken over my grandmother’s closet and that was also a positive change.
To be honest, the first months I really couldn’t care less what I looked like, but after a while I started being impatient with this in-between body even though I knew I had no energy to change it. I should have definitely started earlier — accepting that current shape, buying two or three pieces of clothing that fit perfectly – even if you only wear them a few months – it does so much to your self-esteem.
When I stopped nursing around 10 months and going back to work, I got a rush wearing skirts and make-up and looking good. I still have bad hair days, and most of the time I find out I have a stain somewhere or other – but I make a point of wearing a little lip gloss or heels. And although the scales show (almost) the same weight as before, I don’t think I’ll ever have the body I had pre-beautiful baby because that’s just what happens: your bones move, your flesh gets imprinted, you need to treat yourself when you can… but hey! a little gym and Zumba will tone it nicely … the day I start 😉
Anyhow in confidence and happiness I am a pretty mummy. Mission accomplished!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ambre French, our French “maman” writing from Oslo, Norway. You can view her profile on our Writer’s Page.
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/iswc/1016400558/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.