I’m confident that Heather will not disagree when I nominate myself the more fashion-forward of the Rookie Moms. I am more interested in pop culture, more drawn to what’s new, and more willing to spend money on clothes. I am also less likely to leave the house without make up and would never ever wear sandals made by Teva unless I am on a camping trip. Heather might wear them any day of the week.
So, when we peeled off our shirts in a shared dressing room a few months ago, I was shocked to see what was revealed. Heather was wearing a well-fitting lacy bra and I was wearing a plain white, once practical but now saggy, cheap excuse for a bra. She looked fantastic to me, and I, looking in the mirror at myself wondered what I had been thinking when I got dressed.
I was at least 6 months out of nursing bras, but still somehow wearing what looked like it could have been standard issue at a boarding school or culinary institute, had they issued bras along with the uniforms of white coats and chef hats.
Over the next week, this image of my mirrored self in the dressing room kept haunting me. My bras were bringing me down. I like pretty things; I wear turquoise snakeskin vintage shoes. I refashion t-shirts into clothes for my kids! I designed the graphics on this website!
Sigh. It’s part of this whole Being a Mom identity crisis. And this one snuck up on me. I let my bras go all post-menopausal without even realizing it.
I marched myself to Victoria’s Secret and purchased five sexy lacy bras. I felt excited, empowered, and on a mission. I wanted to tell all my mom friends that they should be wearing cute bras, too. I confided in my friend Erin when I visited her house.
Sure that Erin would be wearing something hot under her tank top, I told her of my realization, painting myself first as pitiful and then proudly lifting my shirt and revealing my new hot pink lacy bra.
Erin takes great care of herself, alternating between exercises and massages like no one else I know. “Come here,” she said, leading me into her bedroom. (Any men reading this might be getting really hopeful about where this is going. Sorry, dudes.) She opened her top drawer and showed me two of the plainest off-white bras ever produced. “I just splurged on new bras for myself, and this is what I picked. God! What’s wrong with me?”
I could see the wheels spinning in Erin’s brain, launching into the same identity crisis I just endured.
I was inspired to share this post after she told me that since that day, she has instructed no less than three other women to not allow their standards in undergarment shopping to fall off track.
So, cautionary tale, mamas. When you come out on the other side of the bra-size-changing roller coaster that is pregnancy and nursing, it will be time to reward the girls with a few new bras. Remember, just because you are someone’s mother, does not mean your underwear choices must be Amish-inspired. Pick some color, some pattern, and dare I say, some lift? Now when I see myself in a dressing room mirror, my new bras make me smile – and forget about the stretch marks.