My uniform for the first few months after the twins were born consisted of yoga pants, nursing tops, flip flops and wet hair cinched in a knot because I was too tired to do anything else with it. Whether I was going to the mall or the pediatrician’s office, I donned the same attire, fixated on just surviving the newborn months than whether I should apply foundation on my face.
Fast forward a few months later and I slowly found more time to prep: fixing my hair, wearing actual clothes (denim shorts count!) and yes, even putting on makeup. I felt better after these little changes and less like the big blob of the earlier months. I did my best to at least wear real clothes even if the only people who would see me the entire day were my kids.
Because even if getting ready stole precious minutes of my day away from mom-duty, the end result made me feel better and reminded me that the madness of the first few months was temporary. In fact, while I was excited to go back to work for many reasons, one of them included the excuse to get dressed, look presentable, and inevitably, feel better about myself.
But is there too much pressure to look good too soon? With Kate Middleton’s delivery of Prince George came applause for baring her baby bump on one side, and skepticism for having fresh-blown out hair and makeup on the other. This was quickly followed by scrutiny of her already-slender body when spotted grocery shopping a few short weeks later. Many were amazed she had slimmed down so quickly where many moms struggle for months to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes.
There has been so much talk recently about the pressures to look good post-pregnancy, including the Fourth Trimester Bodies project featured on The Huffington Post. The photographer showcases a variety of women’s bodies during the first few months after delivering their babies, hoping to portray women’s beauty reminiscent of those depicted in Renaissance art—curves and everything.
Then there’s this gem of an article by Amy Wruble of Carriage Before Marriage titled “Fashion Faux Mas: 10 Reasons Moms Dress Like Crap” had me laughing from numbers one through 10 because of how much I could relate. Yes, there’s a reason why I don’t wear dangling jewelry and it’s not always because I don’t have the time to put them on.
Even though I fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes again, I can’t say that my belly has remembered how it used to look. Carrying twins on my smallish frame as well pregnancy complications took a toll on my belly, as I am left with scars and flabby skin that thank goodness I can hide most of beneath my clothes.
And once home from work and on weekends with no big plans, I still lounge in my yoga pants and nursing tops. I keep my face free from makeup and don’t bother with heating up the hair straightening iron. Vegging out can feel oh so good.
At the same time, now that I’m back at work, I have no choice but to wear real clothes, and I’m glad for it. I’m not a fashion guru or have an overflowing closet, but looking presentable cheers me up and, as Maria sings in The West Side Story, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty.”
How about you—do you dress any differently now that you’re a mom? Should a mom dress up to feel better or does doing so add unnecessary pressure and tasks to an already busy day? Let us know what you think in the comments below!