Self Absorbtion vs. Self Care

When I was pregnant, I gained a whopping 50 lbs. I love how all of the pregnancy books tell you the average weight gain is somewhere between 25 and 30 lbs. Yeah, I blew that out of the water. Oh, and speaking of water, that's what I retained and lots of it. My legs and ankles were so swollen that I could barely fit my piggies into a pair of crocs. CROCS. Not only was I wearing plastic/rubber shoes in public, but they were just about the only shoes I could wear. That's right, not even flip flops were large enough for my feet that rivaled inflated rubber gloves.

But my fashion woes did not stop there. In those final weeks of misery--I mean pregnancy, I also found a uniform in velour jump suits. I achieved a balloon-like state in quite a hurry and I only had a few more weeks to go, so I refused to spend any more money on stylish maternity clothes (isn't that an oxymoron?). There I was, nearly every day in my pale pink velour jump suit with my pastel purple crocs. Pregnancy, while bringing out a glow of beauty in some women, had reduced me to a swollen, miserable, fashion victim.

After Addie was born and I shed all of that water weight, I was forced to face my closet and actually put an outfit together. I had a steady decline over nine months of what I found acceptable to put on my body and quite frankly, I did not trust myself. If it wasn't for Tim Gunn's,  A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, I may have never returned from the land of elastic and polyester.

In all honesty, I don't take my wardrobe that seriously. I love a t-shirt and pair of yoga pants as much as anyone and I don't obsess over what I wear when I leave the house... much. But truthfully, one of my biggest fears in staying home full time with Addie was not "Will I be a good enough mom?" or, "Will I feel fulfilled?" or, "What if I can't manage it all, even when I'm home more?" No, I was far more shallow than that--I worried that I would be trading business casual for sweatpants, leggings and a scrunchie.

I know Addie doesn't care what I look like and I know Curt tells me I look sexy in my sweats, but I also know that I need to feel good about myself. Perhaps it's the years of working in a helping field and all of the emphasis that work puts on maintaining good self-care. Or maybe I've crossed over the line into straight up vanity. Wherever it comes from, I know that I take better care of those around me when I feel like I've got it together and for me, part of that means not feeling like a frumpy mess.

Sometimes Addie and I have pajama days and those are so much fun. There are also days when I need to iron my pants, put a little outfit together and get out of the house. After all, isn't the phrase to live by, "Everything in moderation?" ...or perhaps it's, "Make it work."


Kate said...

the scrunchie comment just about killed me. Yet another wonderful post, dear sister! Keep them coming. :-)

Carmen said...

No matter what the occasion or lack thereof..there will never be anything wrong with wanting to be stylish! Love ya! Ya!Ya!

sara said...

Oh thank you, loves! You make me smile. :)

Jamie said...

My hubbys motto: Look good, feel good. Feel good, play good. Of course he was talking about baseball and polishing his shoes but I think you can apply that here too!

sara said...

I love it! That needs to be on a t-shirt... A t-shirt I own! :)