Sometimes you don't realize you're living in a fog of motherhood until the haze clears a little. For me, clarity hit as I was looking in my closet, full of nursing tops and stretched-out jeans and all I could think is that before this, it housed my maternity wardrobe. Had it really been over a year since I'd worn something that wasn't designed to accommodate a baby being in or attached to me? I'm a stylist! This isn't something that should dawn on *me*! But there I was, experiencing either a case of the cobbler's shoes or worse, oof, feeling a sudden mourning of self that attacks every other mom. And I'm betting on the latter.
Those first few months of a baby's life are so completely engrossing-- keeping them fed, dry, and content is physically and mentally draining but add to that the moments you simply want to study them, learn each line on their tiny palms by heart, and almost all of your attention is spoken for. Add to that a three-year-old with whom I ALSO don't want to miss a moment, a few styling and writing projects I took, and my blog that I figured would keep a semblance of ME going. With all that I was trying to pack in, was it really a surprise that feeling sexy and flirty fell off the radar?
photos by Joi Photography
I appreciate my fortune that this body brought two thriving, happy babies into the world, the privilege that I can be at home with them as they grow, and that I could dress comfortably through pregnancy and breastfeeding...and pregnancy and into breastfeeding again. Being a mom is an important part of who I am. But also important is rehoning the facets of myself that have been rubbed off a little in the process. I don't want to lose sight of them altogether.
My husband always tells me I'm beautiful (and means it) even when I'm in a housecoat with spit up on the shoulder but if you've ever looked in the mirror and could only see a mom, you'll know it wasn't anyone else's validation that was going to flip my switch to feeling like a sensual, desirable woman again. It was my own mind that had to change.
So where am I starting? By setting "feeling sexier" as a priority.
- My closet got a bit of an update because as a stylist, I know that what you wear reflects your mood and if there are only nursing tunics available, it's pretty hard to feel like anything but a dairy farm. (I'm nowhere near weaning my baby but a crop top is just as easy to nurse in.)
- I'm wearing bras that aren't made for nursing! I only do it for the couple hours I can leave my baby, but it's totally worth it.
- A spray tan came at the right moment! My friend, Makeup Artist Holly Decker began carrying the Vita Liberata line and gifted me a tan which suddenly made me feel like showing some skin.
- Possible TMI? But I got my period. First I was annoyed but then excited that my body agreed that I was ready for a change of pace.
- I did photos with the Boudoir Queen of Saskatoon, Crystal of Joi Photography. It was the perfect way to kick off my commitment to appreciating my body for MY pleasure. Have you done a boudoir session? If like soooo many women, you'd like to but feel this isn't the best your body will ever be, pleeeease read this personal post Crystal wrote called "I'm Not Good Enough Right Now" about getting nekkid for her own boudoir photos when she felt exactly that. Spoiler alert: the moral is that your body is amazing because it's YOURS and always deserves to be celebrated.
- I'm making time to enjoy my body and treat it right. It seems obvious, not like something about which resolutions should be made, but for me (and probably other women whose time is limited by kids and obligations), it just is.
Thanks to Crystal of Joi Photography for collaborating on this post with me. I'm fresh in my vow to bring some sexy back but I'm taking every little win as a big one: choosing to tie on strappy sandals rather than slipping into my everyday sneaks, putting on some smudgy eye makeup just because, spending time with my husband and some wine without an episode of DS9... I'm making it happen!
Moms, if ANY of this resonates with you, I hope you know you're worth the effort. When you're happy and fulfilled, you can better take care of others. So show yourself some love.