Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Identity Theft

I'm not referring to my photos being stolen on posted on FB...I've since learned that the girl probably wasn't even pregnant, let alone with that just makes her crazy and makes me a little sad for her. Sure, it's weird. But, in the end no harm was done.

What I want to talk about is how I'm scared to get dressed these days. That might be a little dramatic. But I feel like I'm becoming a good candidate for "Not What to Wear".
I decided this while walking to Union Square the last two days and realizing that I don't make eye contact with many people these days because I don't like how I look/what I'm wearing.

My life has become a uniform of comfortable-quick-to-put-on (which usually means no laces or buckles) shoes/boots, yoga pants (though I've done exactly 2 yoga classes in the past 23 months) and a baggy shirt of some sort that looks even more attractive paired with a nursing tank underneath. The lovely, over-grown out, needs-new-highlights, thinning mop of hair is almost always in a clip or pony tail. There are STILL dark circles under my eyes every single day. I fear they may never go away at this point. I try my best to simply look presentable when I go out, but it's usually such a mad dash to:

  • Feed the twins
  • Clean it and them all up
  • Diaper Changes
  • Gimme that diaper
  • Bring the wipes back
  • Don't touch your penis it has poop on it
  • Do you have to toss every single wipe out of the container?
  • Let's put the wipes back in
  • OMG, you took off your socks again?
  • I'm sorry he poked you in the eye, that must've hurt. Come here.
  • Hugs and Cuddles.
  • Let's find those socks
  • Jackets on

While all of this is going on, it gets HOT and I've found that I can't do much of the above with many clothes on or else I end up an overheated, sweaty mess. So, I lay out my clothes that I'm going to wear next to their stroller, strap the boys in and then put my clothes/shoes/coat on as fast as possible before they also get hot and cranky.

My point is: there's not a lot of time to put an effort into how I "Look".
But the bigger question is: Who AM I? I don't know how this mommy person is supposed to look. I've lost all of the baby weight so all of my old clothes fit me--that's not the problem. But, I'd hung on to all of those clothes for so long--determined to get pregnant and not wanting to spend any extra money, so much to the extent that I'd started shopping at Goodwill!--that I am BEYOND sick of them. So, I've packed up at least half of my closet and donated it to Goodwill.

I've done a bit of shopping here (I really hate shopping) and there but I just can't figure out my "style" anymore. Plus, while I've lost the weight, I've also lost the muscle. My size is an 'issue' to find (Chicken: no one wants to hear that). I have a lot of "flabbaloge" around my middle (Chicken: Shut Up.) that I need to do something about...but haven't. Thus, I try to hide under a baggy shirt and fitted jeans/leggings. It's not the best look. And Chicken tells me I have nothing to hide so clearly I also have body dysmorphia. Yeah me!

I'm a mother. I'm of a certain age (ahem, over 40). I'm struggling with this new identity and how it looks on me.
I guess I thought when I became a mother, I would ease into it and look put together like so many mothers I see out there. I would finally look like a grown up. Yeah, that's it.
I don't and I don't even know what "that" looks like on me.
The Z is helping with all of this, but I'm still not sure what motherhood should look like.

Are any other new (ish) mothers struggling with this as well??


shroomie said...

I hear ya'! I struggled with the look for a long time as well. I think b-feeding also really altered my perspective too as I had to find something to wear that I could access the boobs at a moments notice. Today, I think I have found a new middle ground, my typical daily uniform is typically jeans, a sweater of some sort and my tennies. Not glamorous - but works for now.
The other point - birth rearranges things. And while we all have the goal to get back to that 'pre'weight- I think folks typically don't talk about how even at the 'pre' weight...things are not typically in the same 'pre' location. sigh..not sure how to help except to say, you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Very much yes! In fact, I posted something related to this today.

My son is 7 months old and although I did not give birth to him OR breastfeed him, I am staying home with him full-time and that alone has changed both the clothes I wear and my body.

Although we have to go for walks each day (thank god for the dog although it often feels like a curse), I haven't run a mile since he was born. I have done hot yoga once, but that's it. My body has noticed.

When my wife gets home at the end of the day I am lucky if I have brushed my hair. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

I nodded through this whole post because I've been struggling so much with my physical identity since BG was born that I can't even settle on a hair color. It's pretty bad. My problem was that before I got pregnant, I was much larger, and once I had BG, I was down thirty pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, so none of my old clothes even fit. I found myself buying comfortable (yep, yoga pants), easy-boob-access clothes and realized that holy hell I was really looking bad. I still haven't found the new me. I'm searching, but everytime I see something really put together, I think, "Yeah, that'll look great with crumbs smeared all over it." and then "Oh, right, I don't *go* anywhere!" And then I pick up another hoodie or pair of yoga pants. It's pretty dismal.

Dean said...

Could have wrote this myself, replace the nursing top with a sports bra and you have it(oh and fitting into my clothes, not there yet). I wondered this myself, who the hell am I? Why do I look awful 24-7, and I miss having a job that brings some more definition to "me".
Having twins is hard, isn't it?

K J and the kids said...

Not a new mom per se....and I feel EXACTLY the same way.
I was just explaining this to my wife this morning.
My mom was the mom who gave her last dollar to our clothes and spent nothing on herself. I was saying that I feel like I'm turning into her and I want to wear cute fashionable items as I age but am afraid of losing touch with fashion altogether.
Her response was.....that's not gonna happen. You are a "mom" now, but when the kids get older and you have more time for will change.

I don't know that I believe her. I'm willing to give it a try for sure though :)

B and D said...

You took the words right out of my mouth (except I think you deserve more slack since you are dealing with 2 babies!). I always feel like such a slob and when I try to wear something somewhat cute, it just doesn't seem to work. I fit into some of my old clothes, despite still having 15 lbs to lose since BFing is definitely not a magic weight loss pill for me and getting back to running is only doing so much :( But I feel like so much of what I have is out of style or just plain old and needs to go. What I really need is for Tim Gunn to makeover me and my closet! With clothing approved for chasing around a 16 month old of course :)

anofferingoflove said...

yes, yes, yes. even though i am very close to my pre-pregnancy weight, nothing is in the same place anymore, hips are wider, breasts are bigger, etc. its awful. i live in baggy jeans or sweats on the weekends.

Next in Line said...

My goal is to not let myself go any further.

I spent a year in nursing tanks and hoodies. I still wear that on the weekends when I am not at work. I hate clothes that are hard to nurse in. I also have dark circles under my eyes and feel it is permanent. Most of my shoes don't fit anymore. I have prepregancy clothes that 'fit' but are terrible to nurse in or just don't work any more. We also have no extra money for new clothes and no time to shop. I hear ya sista!

For the Long Haul said...

Totally feel you. I could have written this post...but it wouldn't have been as good. Can't wait to hear how to figure it all out... :)

Bridgwest said...


Anonymous said...

I definitely understand how you feel. My daughter is nearly 4, and just in the last few months I finally starting doing something about my appearance. I remember days when I was really young, think teen years, and people looked when I walked by because I was attractive. A few months ago someone called me his hot lesbian friend and I told my wife, he must be trying to butter me up for something because no one on the planet would call me hot. For the past few years I did not feel attractive at all. It is hard. It seems like it will all fall into place and come so easily once we attain the motherhood status we so longed for, but sadly it takes time to find that look that works for you. I also find I am missing the little bit of rebel in me and I really want to put some bright red or purple highlights in my hair, kind of holding on to myself in this mommy look, but I fear that 1-people will laugh at me trying to pretend I'm still a teen when I so clearly am not, and 2-my boss might really have a problem with that. I too just don't know what look suits me anymore. I am not the type to have perfectly coifed hair and nails, and I don't want to be in mom jeans. I also don't want to look like I think I'm younger than I really am.

Good luck to you. You'll find it. Even just finding 1 or 2 new tops that you feel sexy in again, or taking a few hours one afternoon to find a different hairstyle that is still quick and easy, but leaves you feeling more put together will probably go a long way.
Melissa in Durham

Gayby Rabies said...

check, check and check. I have been feeling all of this lately! I've hardly bought any clothing during the past 3 years because I was either convinced that I'd be pregnant soon, or pregnant, or trying to get my body back from being pregnant. I've never found a style that suits me. Even going back as far as junior high- I'd try to emulate the style of a particular crowd with disasterous results. Finding some sort of personal style has taken on new urgency for me, because I've been pretty much abandoned by all of my childless friends. Trying to make new friends through the mothers of multiples groups isn't as easy when you don't feel good about how you look. Maybe we can nominate each other for what not to wear, that way we'd get some style advice and a new wardrobe!

Kathryn said...

Just like loveinventsus, my kiddo is 7mo and I didn't give birth and am no longer breastfeeding her... We also have a (not ours) 21 month old every day. Getting out of the house is.. special...
I figured out maybe in November? that a whole bunch of somehow unique tank tops (J Crew, on sale, awesome) and a round of loose cardigan-like wraps.. I can run around the house sweating my but off in the tank top, and then before leaving the house toss the wrap on. Done, set, looks like I put effort it...

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I really think you should go out for a bit when HN is there and go browse a bit and find one or two items. These are the criteria:

must fit well
make you look and feel FABULOUS

You'll start feeling more confident in those and it will slowly start coming back but you've got to do some of the work.

on the bright side, you are at your pre-preg weight!!