This is the box:
When I slid it back in the closet not quite two years ago, it caused a bit of marital strife. Hubby asked me why I was putting it back to which I replied “in case I need it again.” He bluntly said “well, you won’t.” Choking back tears, I meekly responded “I’m not ready to be done yet.”
I won’t say things turned out in my favor or hubby was wrong. And I definitely won’t say I won because I truly believe in the end, our whole family wins.
But I am glad I stayed true to my heart. I’m glad that through all the emotional discussions, snappy remarks and hurt feelings I never just gave up. Because that box has held more than just my hopes and dreams for the past almost two years, it’s housed my maternity clothes.
And even though that box hasn’t been opened in nearly two years, I can’t say I’m jumping for joy to unpack it. Because while I love what those clothes represent, I generally avoid my maternity clothes like the plague. I wait as long as possible before I start wearing them and I put them away as soon as I can after.
I’ve noticed over the years that all those baby bump pictures and weekly selfies that are pasted all over the internet aren’t always truthful, it’s easy to manipulate a bump to look more or less pregnant and I’ve realized over the years that there are three types of pregnant women:
The “Take me as I am”
For this mommy, it’s just another day. She’s pregnant, whatever. If people talk/ask about it, that’s cool. If not, no worries.
The “I don’t really want to talk about it”
This mommy doesn’t want attention from her bump, especially from strangers.
The “Lavish me with pregnancy attention!”
This mommy is proud to be pregnant and wants every one to know she is expecting, including the butcher, car wash attendant and bank teller.
I stand firmly in the “leave me alone” camp (and I’m definitely not judging mommies who fall on the other end of the spectrum). A little bit of ballet posture and my bump nearly disappears, though it’s getting harder every day!
I don’t mind discussing things with family and close friends, but I do everything I can to hide it when out in public. I just don’t want the attention, I don’t want to answer awkward questions, I just want to get my business done and move on with my life.
So with this desire to keep the bump to myself, comes the hatred of maternity clothes. I haven’t always been this way, I was really excited the first time and went out in early in my pregnancy and bought a bunch of stuff. Only to be disappointed that I couldn’t wear it until well into the 2nd half of my pregnancy.
Then with my 2nd pregnancy, I started so much smaller (almost 10 pounds less than the first) that my maternity bottoms never fit and I ended up buying a pair of (really expensive) maternity jeans at 34 weeks, just so I wouldn’t have to walk around naked for those last few weeks.
And by #3, I was tired of the questions and comments. “Wow, you’re going to busy!” and the constant wanting to know boy or girl (and long-winded conversations that ensued when I said we didn’t know).
So this one, I’m holding off as long as possible. The bump is there, people who know me have started to notice and while I will unpack that box and wash everything, I don’t plan to jump back into those clothes any time soon!
I’ve become a master at avoiding the maternity clothes as long as humanly possible and here are my tips:
“Fat” jeans (or pants, skirts, etc.) I have quite a collection of really nice pants and skirts that I bought in college when I was student teaching, when I was 15 lbs heavier than at my wedding and almost 25 pounds heavier than when I started this pregnancy. I’ve found they’re the perfect in-between solution for when I can no longer fit in my regular clothes but those maternity panels are still too loose (something that drives me crazy!)
Looooong tanks. As a nursing mommy, I layer nursing tanks under everything to make feeding easier and as a pregnant mommy, I wear loooong tanks all the time to keep the belly covered. It allows me to continue wearing regular shirts that aren’t quite long enough and keeps the belly hidden when bending and moving while taking care of my other kids.
Tunics and leggings. This is something I didn’t discover until Doodle, but a long tunic (or short sundress) and leggings are ooooh so comfy but still looks put together. This is my go-to ensemble for long car rides and sometimes even flying.
Ponytail holders. Can you get those jeans on but just not.quite.button them? Then a ponytail holder is your solution (and pregnancy best friend). Simply loop it around the button, through the button-hole and back around the button. Voila! Instant waist extender and no need to run to the maternity store.