post-maternity clothes

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The after effects of wearing non-maternity clothes during pregnancy  |

The same non-maternity top before and during pregnancy.

It’s now two years after giving birth and I still feel self conscious about some of my clothes. Prior to being pregnant I had a few empire-waist tops that I was able to wear well into my pregnancy. Also, when I was pregnant I purposefully purchased a few tunics that were non-maternity so I could continue to wear them after the baby was born. I thought I was being so resourceful–not having to spend as much on maternity clothes, I was buying clothes I’d be able to wear again.

Now though, when I wear those tops, I feel like I look pregnant. I feel like I look as if I’m hiding something. I worry people think I’m still wearing maternity clothes. And, now that I’m over two years out, I feel like I’m given looks of suspicion for pregnancy #2. (Of course, this could be completely unfounded paranoia. It’s just that I know myself and my group of friends and we have often joked about monitoring each other’s wine consumption at knitting to predict who the next expecting mom-to-be will be.)

The other day, I tried on one of the aforementioned tunics and asked Tim if he thought it made me look pregnant. He gave the very polite and politically correct response, “I think I just associate it with you being pregnant,” he said. Needlesstosay, I didn’t wear it that day.

So, my advice to the pregnant moms out there: while it’s great to be able to re-purpose your pre-pregnancy clothes as maternity wear, you may feel differently about the outfit postpartum. Maybe you won’t feel this way. Maybe you won’t feel that wearing those outfits as maternity clothes has tainted them forever. Maybe people in your office at work won’t remember that you wore that dress when you were pregnant. Or maybe you’ll just be better than me and not care what other people think.

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There was an interesting article being passed around on the internet this week called 10 Great Ways to Be An Unhappy Mom. It was on, and I thought all 10 items were worth remembering — more of a “10 Great Ways to Be An Unhappy Person” (the mom part was secondary). For some reason, the link to the article isn’t working now, and the only one I can remember off-hand is #10: Allow “busy” to become your default answer to, “How are you?”

As I was rushing to leave work today, I couldn’t believe how fast this week flew by. I guess that’s a good thing, but I seriously can’t believe it’s Friday again already. There were so many things I didn’t get done this week, and as I made a mental list for Monday I just left feeling stressed rather than relaxed and ready for the weekend.

This is a very busy time for me at work. I had a cold last week that spilled into most of this week (knock on wood – I may actually be getting better now). One day in particular I felt like calling in sick, but I didn’t dare for fear I would be that much further behind at work. I haven’t dropped any balls yet, but I have so many in the air I’m just racing around trying to keep control of each one.

I’m also teaching a class this semester. It’s the first semester I’ve taught since Adelaide was born and it’s just one class, but part of me wonders if I’ve taken on too much. I really enjoy teaching, and it feeds my creative soul in a way that is so different from the writing I do at work or blogging. I like talking about writing with others who like talking about writing. It’s fun to share my knowledge with students who are actually interested in what I have to share.

This semester the course I’m teaching is a “hybrid.” It’s a 10-week Continuing Education class, but instead of meeting every week in person, we only meet in class four times. The rest of the work is done online. There are weekly assignments, but the students are free to work on them any time throughout the week. It’s kind of nice to not have the weekly commitment of an in-person class. I still get to see Adelaide in the evenings and help put her to bed most every night. Still, there is A LOT of prep time involved each week. I wouldn’t say it’s “easier” to teach this way. In some ways it’s harder. It’s definitely different. I think we’re offering the same course again in the spring semester, so after I’ve already taught it as a hybrid once, it should be easier the second time around.

I haven’t posted a blog entry since October 1, and I feel guilty about it. I have all these things hanging over my head. There are emails I need to respond to, friends I need to call, blog posts I need to write. I feel “behind” in life, and that’s not a good feeling. Hell, I haven’t even finished the post I drafted to summarize Adelaide’s first birthday (nearly 3 months ago), let alone the first haircut she had last week, or any of the other numerous blog ideas I’ve had.

On the plus side, this week I tried on a skirt that I haven’t been able to wear since before I was pregnant and it finally fits again, I hosted knitting last night so my house is significantly more clean than usual, and I bought a pretty (dare I say sexy) nursing bra today that I’m pretty excited about.

I’m behind on life and busy. How are you?

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I have nothing to wear. When I look through my pre-maternity clothes, all the tops are too tight through the mid-section and are unflattering. My pants are too tight too. I can’t even get them buttoned. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. It was only 10 weeks ago that I had another human being inside my belly. She stretched things out.

I’ll be going back to work in less than two weeks (yikes!), and there are two major considerations that come to mind as I contemplate adding a few new things to my wardrobe.

1. The tv show What Not to Wear. To save expenses, Tim and I got rid of our cable several months ago. We got a Roku and subscribed to Hulu Plus instead. This, combined with Instant and regular Netflix service and the non-cable channels we get for free, has worked well for us. For some reason, even though we aren’t paying for cable, we can still get a few cable channels as well as the network channels CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox. We get the Food Network, the History Channel, TBS and TLC.

Needless to say, I’ve watched many an hour of these channels while on maternity leave. I’ve seen more episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, Cake Boss and A Baby Story than I care to admit. I’ve also watched many episodes of What Not to Wear. However, I’m not as embarrassed to watch this show in marathon. It’s educational! When I went to Marshall’s  two weeks ago (thanks for watching the baby and letting me get out of the house for a few hours, Tim), I looked at clothes and asked myself, “What would Stacy and Clinton think?”

While I enjoy the show for the complete-makeover-before-and-after aspect and the emotional transformations, I genuinely like most of the “after” styles and have learned some good tips from the “experts.”

2. I’m a nursing mom. So, not only do I have the voices of two tv celebrity fashion experts running though my head when I shop, but I also have to factor in nursing practicality and boob accessibility. While pregnant during the hot summer, I liked being able to just throw on a simple dress for work. However, pulling a dress up to your chest to nurse doesn’t really work when out at a restaurant. It’s not particularly practical for pumping at work either. So, when looking for dresses to wear this fall,  they don’t need to be  specialty nursing dresses, but the top does need to have  “pull down” ability.

I like this top from The Gap:

On Twitter I follow Babys1stYear from Recently, I’ve come across a couple of posts for inspiration:

Let’s Talk About Nursing Clothes

15 Fashionable Tops That Are Easy to Nurse In



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