I have to face up to something that's hard for me to accept. Since having Emily, my body is different. Sometimes, it feels like it's not my body at all, but some other woman's body that I've been thrown into. I have marks that weren't there a year ago, and clothes I always knew I could fall back on no longer fit well (if they fit at all). I have never been good with exercise, but that's not all of it. Pregnancy changes a body, and it feels like beyond recognition.
For months now I've fought it. I've worn baggy and loose-fitting clothes because I can't bear to look at my new shape in the mirror, a shape that isn't me. I've spent whole days going back up to the bedroom to change my clothes yet again because I'm just not comfortable with how I look.
This is not to mention the fact that there are some clothes I've had to accept I'll never wear again. Some tops and dresses have my boobs making a run for it (if they weren't big enough to begin with, they're even bigger now). Some trousers just won't close any longer... and if they do, there's that awful extra skin that was a once much-loved bump hanging over the waistline.
Shopping isn't easy with a baby, either. I have never had much patience with changing rooms and now with Emily around, it's all too easy to avoid trying things on entirely. But I also know I can't quite get away with not trying things on any longer. Therefore, I just don't shop. (Instead, I shop for her.)
But the other day I had a slight revelation. Why not just embrace it as the new (temporary??!) me? I still hope, and keep hoping, to get to a point where I won't look at myself in the mirror and cringe (or be reduced to tears and/or a foul mood for the rest of the day). But until that day comes, perhaps I'm just making life more miserable for myself by hating the way I look.
The time has come, perhaps, to simply get on with it and carry myself with pride. Hold my head up, push my shoulders back - I am a mum. I've done it, I'm where I've always dreamt of being (just not as the second Elle Macpherson I somehow always pictured myself as...). I have a great life, a husband who loves me and an amazing daughter who obviously thinks the world of me whether my clothes fit me well or not. The rest can come later.
And strangely, since that day, when I started wearing more shapely clothes, not going out of my way to cover up every extra curve, I've felt better. I like myself more in photos and I've had comments about looking like I've lost weight. Go figure.
While on the topic, a friend and fellow mum has begun blogging about a challenge she's set herself: creating a capsule wardrobe. It's beginning to sound like a really good idea, I'm very eager to watch her "journey" unfold. It's not easy, so do pop by and offer her some encouragement!
This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading.