Mama Pants from over at The Family Pants issued a bit of a challenge to her fellow mama friends: Get thine fancy back.
I will stop right here and get real with you: when other ladies admit to being unable to get a shower every day, I shrug. Getting just enough time alone to attend to my personal hygiene and make up (you'd better believe that I do not leave my house with out it. Ever.) has not been difficult for me. Go ahead and hate, I'll understand. I will also use my job as my defense- there's no way I can squeak by without looking presentable and somewhat professional.
Getting one's fancy back doesn't stop at the daily shower and (hopefully) matching clothes that do not include yoga pants. Finding your fancy has a heck of a lot more to do with how you feel about yourself. It's no secret that I've struggled with my own self image since puberty. Oh, I've had temporary break-throughs when I could look in the mirror and be pleased with the reflection, but those moments are fleeting. I've started to consider just what it is about those moments that I like. One thing stood out overall: I wasn't wearing any pants.
When I was in high school, I wore skirts quite a bit. Because I also chose to wear my hair long, one of my science teachers assumed that I attended the same church as one of my closest girlfriends and that's why we dressed similarly. I can't speak for my friend, but for me dressing myself in a particular way had more to do with my personal comfort and what I thought to be attractive than anything else. (The churches I was raised in and now attend as an adult do not make any suggestions about the way a woman should dress or style her hair.) I wore scrubs while I was working at the county hospital in the early
years of my marriage and scrubs pretty much make you feel like they fit: comfortable yes, but also frumpy. Some days I would wear a nice skirt and heels with a lab coat and on those days I would feel... Dangit if I didn't feel fancy.
I put this theory to a test once. One of the cardiologists was a youngish, single man who would not greet me (and some others) when we passed in the hall. This included the times I nodded and said hello first. Then came a day when I looked pretty dang polished with my black dress, shiny heels, and crisp lab coat ensemble. Wouldn't you know, the good doctor stopped in his tracks, smiled, and said "Hello" and "How are you?" I don't know how I stopped myself from laughing outright. The next week, back in scrubs, I was snubbed again. It seems to me that others take notice when someone is feeling fancy.
I ponder these things as I sit and sweat my pregnant ass off. Coincidentally, that would also be my least favorite part of my anatomy, coupled with my hips. I have been considering how I gave up on squeezing myself into maternity pants at least a month ago (I'm sure it has been even longer) and I still have eleven weeks to go until my due date. The only exception to this is an outfit comprised of a long, silky tunic and black leggings, but I will say more about that later. I reflect on the post partum period and the desperate attempts to pull one's pre-pregnancy jeans back on. Those are unpleasant memories at best. It also seems to me that jeans accentuate the very parts I would like minimized.
I have given myself a challenge in conjunction with Colleen's: I'm not going to wear pants again for a solid year. I'm going to relieve myself of the burden of shopping for new jeans, yet again, and the emotional beating I silently give to myself in the dressing room. I am freeing myself of the number printed on the tag sewn into the back of those pants. I will not allow myself to stand with the pants finally on, zipped, and buttoned, and squeeze at my soft parts and lament that "if only" this was firmer/less bulge-y/whatever.
Despite my love of skirts and dresses, this will be tough for me. Sometimes a good pair of jeans looks and feels good. And with my challenge I am giving myself just a few exceptions:
1) Yoga pants will be permitted for working out.
2) Leggings are okay too. I don't wear them wear often and when I do they are
usually underneath a short dress or skirt anyway.
There it is, out in the open on the interwebz where I can be held accountable. June 2012-June 2013 shall be deemed The Year of No Pants and I will reclaim my fancy.
JoEllen was a teenage bride and now a mother to three boys: Logan (12/2007), Lincoln (6/2011-9/2011), and L#3 due August 2012. She also works as a lactation consultant for WIC. You can follow her blog at www.noble-hearts.com
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