Posts Tagged ‘body’

Dressing Your Post-Baby Body

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Dressing your post-baby bodyClothes shopping after baby is just…different. No matter if you still have baby weight or you already lost it all, your body is just different. I didn’t notice it as much after my first as I am aware of it after my third, and I realize part of that is age and time. But some of it is strictly baby-related.

For example, my feet are slightly bigger, by about a half-size. They are slightly wider at the forefoot. Not enough to change my shoe size, but enough to make some of my flats not nearly as comfortable or roomy as they once were. My shoulders are slightly broader, although my hips (?!?) don’t seem to have changed.

All these small changes have definitely changed how I shop for clothes. Not because I’m ashamed of my body, but simply because it’s different than what it used to be. Here’s how I have adapted.

  • Get a good bra. Seriously. If your bra sucks, nothing is going to look good on you. I am loving Coobie bras right now. They’re $20, washable, one-size, and don’t have underwire. If you need to start from square-one on bras, go to a professional fitting. Nothing is the same after baby, and that goes quadruple for The Girls.
  • Try everything on. I used to be able to eyeball items in my size and determine if it would suit me. Not anymore. Try everything on, unless you can afford to just never wear it.
  • Alter your clothes when possible. I just don’t fit into one ready-to-wear size neatly anymore. My bust is over in this size column, while my waist is waaaay over there, and then my hips are over here. I already knew how to sew, so I began to alter my clothes myself for a more tailored fit. It makes me feel better about how I look in the clothes I already have. If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, ask a friend who sews or ask your local dry cleaner. Alterations generally don’t cost much, and they are certainly cheaper than buying all-new clothing.
  • When you find something you like, buy a few. I used to like way more variety in my closet, but these days I find putting together a new outfit everyday kind of taxing. After dressing three little girls each morning, it’s no wonder why! So now, when I find something I like, I buy a few in different colors. It saves time (and usually money) and then I have things in my closet I know fit well and look good, instead of the one shirt I want to wear over and over because it’s the only thing I feel confident in.

Fashion-wise, I understand I am kind of in a rut. But I also understand that this a season. There will be a time when my three girls are only TOO HAPPY to pick out and shop for their own clothes and will not want my help at all, and then I’ll have that tiny bit of mental energy it takes to have fun shopping for and dressing myself once again. But until then, I’m making do just fine.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City. 

Why I Don’t Hide My Body from My Kids

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Why i Don't Hide My Body From my KidsAs I sat waiting in the chair outside the dressing room, I could picture what was going on: The quiet snaps and fabric stretching, then the frantic removal of clothing. Another try, maybe this one would be better. No, no, no. This one has to be a winner—no. An exasperated sigh escapes, as she returns the clothing to the hanger and dresses herself again. There’s a long pause before she exits the dressing room.

“Did you find anything, Mom?”

“…No. I didn’t.”

The time spent together after each swimsuit shopping attempt was always in silence. Eventually, my mother stopped trying, and our summers were spent with her always on the side of the pool, reading a book.

And now, as a mother myself, I have so much empathy for that valiant woman who sacrificed so much for me; one of those sacrifices, of course, was the body she had before children. Her mother-body didn’t measure up to the beauty standards set for women. And though I never considered myself magazine cover-worthy, my postpartum lumps, sags, and stretches have me even further from contention.

But when my little boy lifted my shirt during a tickle fight and said, “Mommy, your tummy is big like a trampoline!” I fought the urge to cower, to cover, or to hide. Instead, I laid back, pulling my shirt up to my bra.

“My tummy is big, baby! You know why?”

His eyes looked at me in curious wonder.

“It is so big because you used to live in it! Can you believe that? And your brothers and your sister lived in it. And some people have their babies live in their tummies, and their tummies get small again. And some people, like me, have babies live in their tummy and their tummy stays big! Isn’t that so neat? Isn’t it neat that our bodies can do great things, and are all different?”

I lost a part of my mom when she was told she didn’t measure up. I’m doing what I can to tell my kids that they get to decide what the standard is.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway.