“Mom, are you having another baby?”
I get asked this question by my nine and seven year olds at least twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky. Our fourth born arrived four months ago, and the children are certain that something is terribly wrong with me since my body hasn’t immediately bounced back.
Tact. We’re working on it in our home. Clearly we need some practice.
Dressing your postpartum body can be quite the chore, particularly in those in-between months when you’ve finally (blissfully) gotten to the place where your regular clothes fit again, but they don’t fit…well. What to do when you want to wear something besides yoga pants, but you don’t want to purchase a whole new wardrobe? I have one word for you:
The modern day girdle, Spanx are a gift for those living in that transition between almost there and finally made it back to pre-baby weight!
It’s true that Spanx make you feel like you might die a slow death of midsection claustrophobia. Just pulling the body-shaping undergarments on is a workout in and of itself, so basically when you wear Spanx you’re killing two birds with one stone: Workout, and completely eradicate the flesh over your abs.
I am now at the point that, with the help of my trusty Spanx, I can fit into almost all of my regular jeans. No, I don’t think I get the full amount of oxygen that I need to fully function while wearing Spanx and jeans, but I do get my kids off my back about having another baby. So I consider it a win.
So for you moms who are trying to get your body back after baby, here are a few tricks (to go along with the Spanx, of course).
1.) Maxi skirts are your new best friend. Paired with a cute t-shirt, or a tank top and jean jacket, the maxi skirt masks the problem areas while showing off the fact that you have a waist again! Way to go, new mom!
2.) Maternity pants can still be your friend, too. Let’s face it – the elastic waistband is ridiculously comfortable, and with the right shirt no one will ever know you’re still in maternity pants unless you tell them.
Don’t tell them!
3.) Scarves and lots of them. It’s winter time so I can write that now. It’s harder to pull off a cute scarf in summer, but not impossible. You’re a new mom, for heaven’s sake! You can wear what you want!
Scarves are effective for two reasons: First, they help mask the midsection, thereby saving you from the remarks of young children and older men who seemed to have lost their filters (I’ve been asked twice by older gentlemen in the grocery store when my baby is due). Second, scarves are a safer accessory than necklaces when holding baby, who will grab hold of anything around your neck and pull with all her superhuman baby strength until she cuts off the blood supply to your brain.
4.) Cute shoes. You just can’t go wrong with a pair of cute shoes. They beg people to stare at them. Am I right?!
5.) Finally, confidence. Listen, the fact is this: Whether you had a baby a month ago or a decade, you have to remember that you grew a human inside your body! You carried life, and you brought it into this world. What you did, Mom, was nothing short of miraculous, and the after effects of that miracle may mean you hold on to a few extra pounds for a while…or forever. And that is okay.
Dress your body as it is now and stand proud and confident in the sacrifice you made to bring life into this world. Don’t worry about your jeans fitting perfectly, because I can guarantee the baby that nuzzles against your neck doesn’t care.
And your older kids will learn tact. Someday, they will figure out it’s best to not say anything at all. For the time being, you will just have to offer them grace. And maybe wear your Spanx.