I know moms who, mere months after having a baby, are back to their pre-pregnancy shape. They go to their barre class or baby boot camp, and post workout pictures hashtagged #noexcuses. They wear bikinis. And no one would ever guess that they birthed a baby or two. But damnit, I’m not that mom.
Don’t get me wrong. More power to those in-shape mamas. I would love to wear a bikini or hip-huggers—but right now I’m crazy busy with work and my three-year-old son, so squeezing in the gym is tough (so much for no excuses, right?). But here’s my confession: I’ve 100% accepted my current shape, and have also realized that it’s allowed me to embrace some fashion “styles” I previously reviled. That’s right, I reviled them, probably just like you do.
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I’m not embarrassed of my mom bod and the new look I’ve learned to love. Of course, if it’s your thing to wear a bikini or short shorts no matter your size, go for it! For me, though, I’ll be wearing some not-so-sexy things that just make me feel good.
1. Mom jeans might be a trend right now, but I’m talking actual mom jeans.
There’s a reason they’re called “mom jeans.” After you have children, especially if you have a separation of the abdominal muscles, your stomach just might not go back into place. So instead of letting it hang out, I suck it in with that bastion of mom fashion, the high-waisted pant. Without it, I would have what I consider to be an unattractive muffin top—not to mention that having a waistband digging into your bulge is annoying AF.
2. A tankini — yep, I gave in to the tankini.
This is my bathing suit of choice now that I don’t really want to reveal my tummy. I tried a one-piece, but the second you have to go to the bathroom you realize there is nothing as truly uncomfortable and gross as trying to pull a wet suit down to pee. My tankini is also often accompanied by a swim skirt, because I don’t personally like showing the world the current state of my ass (and when you’re chasing a kid on the beach, you do a lot of running about). But if you don’t mind what your ass looks like, go for it!
3. Granny panties have become the norm.
The principle behind these absolutely enormous panties (to borrow a line from Bridget Jones’s Diary) is the same as mom jeans. When you have a big tummy, it’s just not comfortable to have low-rise underpants cutting your bulge in half. And besides, it shows through your clothes. Better to have a smooth outline, even if that means wearing the same kind of undergarments as your grandmother…
4. Non-underwire bras have become my new best friend.
After nursing, my boobs are not the perky things they used to be. And that’s OK—I wouldn’t trade my breastfeeding relationship with my son for anything. But although the purpose of underwire cups are to add lift, somehow my droopy boobs just don’t fit right in them. Do I need a professional fitting? Maybe. But why bother when sports bras and nursing tanks (even though I’m no longer nursing) are so much more comfortable?
5. Flats over heels, literally any day.
I’ve forgotten how to walk in heels. When I’ve had to put them on for fancy events or the occasional date night, I end up hobbling home and wondering how I ever walked in the things. Obviously heels are no good for chasing around a toddler, so my feet have just gotten used to more sensible shoes. Flip-flops have also been a casualty, as a recent near-fall at the pool while stumbling after my kid proved. If I know I may have to be on the run with my non-stop toddler, I wear shoes with backs instead. Toms are my mom-shoe of choice.
6. Bermuda shorts might not be sexy, but they work.
So yeah, I don’t love my thighs either. Plus, I feel like I’m getting a little old for short-shorts—and even if I wasn’t, crawling around on the ground with a toddler and sitting cross-legged while wearing them can lead to revealing more than intended. But long pants are just too hot in warm weather, and I’m not going to suffer that much no matter what I look like. Enter the Bermuda short: perfect for a mom!
7. Pantyhose is where it’s at.
I never in a million years thought I’d don this old-lady trend. But at a professional event a few months ago, I was not willing to show my pre-summer pasty stems—without a tan, my legs looked uneven and splotchy. What was a mom to do? Should I break down and wear panty hose for the first time since I was twelve? The answer, after much internal debate, was yes. I found a very sheer hose close to my skin color, and was pleasantly surprised at the results.
I believe we should accept and embrace what motherhood has done to our physical form. And if that means I feel more comfortable in clothes that are different from the belly shirts and low-rise jeans I wore in my pre-kid days, that should be OK, too. I’m not ashamed of my body—but I’m not ashamed of my mom jeans either.