If love is a battlefield, motherhood is a massacre. Pregnancy is a time of glorious transition, personal growth, self-awareness, and humility. It is hard to maintain successful denial as our horizons, waistlines, and appetites are expanding. With my first pregnancy I gained a gravitational pull- it’s true. Why else would so many people rush up, unable to pry their hands from my belly?
I have 10 weeks to go and my last pair of maternity jeans are too short. Okay, they’re too tight as well. Sigh. As much as it pains me, it’s time to find a pair that fits so that I don’t have to wear shorts and capris as fall hits. I happened to be on the side of town with all the shopping centers, so I decided to make a quick trip to Target. I figured that the mall maternity stores would be better, but why not explore the option? I’d just try the jeans and if they were great and a good price, I’d snag them and return them later if I found a better option.
I entered with my happy toddler, walked past all the clothes that supposedly fits my age group appropriately and headed to the maternity section. I now realize that clothes for juniors and infant girls are the same size. On the way I encountered an onslaught from the juniors department- the highlighter colors and sequins should have a warning label for those with epilepsy or common sense. I hurriedly pushed the cart past to the safety of the very small maternity selection.
After a quick search I realized there were only Liz Lange jeans in one style for those of us with great expectations in the belly region. I grabbed the two sizes larger than my usual and maneuvered my cart to the family dressing room over discarded clothing debris and hangers. Meanwhile, my son was kicking his feet against cart to make his light-up shoes glow. Oh, the joy of childhood. Somehow this red shoe strobe-light accompaniment transported me to the time of my childhood when a fashion crisis was not being able to find my glitter-filled pink bracelet. As I pulled up the first attempt at fashionable motherhood I realized that these horrors were SKINNY JEANS. The flap of extra material was clinging to my belly, the thigh and behind sagged like a rapper’s pants, and the knee downward were painted on. HORRIFYING. Maternity skinny jeans?! Do they come with a self-esteem counseling packet or weight loss advertisement?
I stripped those things off as if I were auditioning for “The Full Monty”. Even my son stopped kicking and gave me a horrified look. Of course, it could be that my thighs are white enough to blind the Almighty. I desperately searched the tag for any indication that these were ‘slim’, ‘skinny’, ‘tapered’ or ‘therapy-inducing’. Nothing.
I decided the designers at Liz Lange need to be punished. They probably want me to pair these things with mustard suede, fringed heels and that off-the-shoulder shirt in the highlighter-puke hue.
I’m not sure when wearing colors that make you look radioactive or sick became cool, but the neon I wore in ’89 was mostly on scrunchies and slap bracelets (outlawed in schools in ’92. Still mourning that one.)The teens who think they are 80s chic need to go all out and prove it. Shoulder pads, teased perms, and flock of seagulls hair. Name me 4 political world leaders from the decade who impacted the Cold War and THEN we can discuss Saved By The Bell.
Most people seem to think that ‘skinny jeans’ means ‘make you look skinny jeans’- NOT the case, I assure you. I’ve seen a few young ladies who have successfully pulled off the look, but these girls would look good in a gunny sack and could have found more flattering options. Nothing is funnier to me than the pre-pubescent boys who try to sag their purple skinny jeans by having their boxers hang out. I’d love to see John Wayne ride up on the boys whose jeggins are riding low. I’m sure he’d want to know where Lil Wayne got his animal print jeggings.
All sorts of congratulations are in order for the women who lose 50 lbs or more in less than a year, but those who gain it in 9 months, while we may have an excuse, are still having a tough go of it. If men looked in the mirror over 6 months and watched pot bellies form, hair recede into baldness, wrinkles appear, and all muscle tone vanish, they might be crying into their Bluebell ice-cream too. Taking a population who are not in control of their bodies, emotions, hormones, or appetites and then ambushing them with unlabeled skinny jeans is cruel and unusual punishment.
Pregnancy may be a lesson in humility and preparation for your body and life to be a willing servant to the needs of another, but even the women most comfortable in her skin or jeans has her moments. Bravo to those who don’t lose their personality or flare! Work that smuggled basketball and be hot mommas. It’s the first step to not losing yourself and demonstrating personal care to your kiddos. (Lest you think I’m on my high-horse, I type this as I wear sweats and my husband’s t-shirt. Half a day in heels was enough, thank you.)
It’s difficult to find clothes that accommodate various body types, regardless of pregnancy. Trying to look attractive when you are hosting a hostile take-over can be discouraging and we can all agree that the clothing options are deteriorating. Bathing suit shopping is the killer of all female self-esteem, except for about .3% of the population. (They still can’t find bikinis that cover their rears, thank you!)
I must remember that I am called to clothe myself in righteousness, not skinny jeans. I should be adorned with a loving attitude and gracious smile, not earrings that will be ripped from my lobes. Along with my diaper bag, I should carry the burdens of others. Gentle and encouraging words should be on my lips along with my lip gloss (Where did it go?). As I hike up the elastic waistbands on my ill-fitting pants, I must remember those who need to be uplifted and encouraged. Then there’s hair- bad hair is almost as horrible as bad manners and we’ll leave it at that.
It’s easy to look around and see fashion disasters. In my 9th month last time around I told two friends that I dressed nicely to walk the dog so I wouldn’t be nominated for a “What Not To Wear- Maternity edition”. As we grow and change, it can be difficult to cast off the old. (Just because the cargo shorts from 7th grade still fit, they are NOT acceptable to be worn, Hubby.) It’s hard to let go of what is comfortable, sentimental, and worn-in but sometimes it’s just time to get some new things to put on. Just please- PLEASE…don’t choose brightly colored skinny jeans.