It was time friends. Time to undress the hangers. Time to over-turn the drawers. Time to empty the closet and start over. After five years of holding out, on the cusp of starting a new decade of life, I finally . . . *tearfully* . . . said goodbye to my pre-baby clothes.
It’s not that I didn’t try my best to get myself into them again. After each pregnancy I dutifully emptied the RubberMaids full of skinny pants and fitted shirts in an effort to inspire myself to some form of dramatic weight loss. I bought work-out DVDs, joined the gym, and signed up for Weight Watchers. I just underestimated exactly how hard it would be. I had been redistributed, literally and unevenly I might add, and the numbers on the scale just don’t measure the same pants size anymore. And then of course you know “The Rule” that goes into effect the moment you even get close to making it back into your old clothes. You get pregnant. Again. So now here I am, nearly two years after having a second baby, even farther away from fitting into those ever-shrinking, ever-loving pre-baby clothes.
It’s a disheartening reality, especially since I stubbornly refused to buy more than three pairs of pants and a handful of shirts after I had my first. Because, you’ll remember, I had all the motivation of a closet full of clothes that was going to inspire me and transform me. So for the past four years I’ve been wearing and re-wearing the same few articles of clothing that I don’t even really like because I bought them on sale. Because, as you’ll recall, I was going to lose all the baby weight. Which at this point is even doubtful I can call baby weight, considering the baby is able to run around the house telling me they’ve pooped their pants. *Sigh*
Over the last year especially, that closet full of clothes started to become less a point of inspiration and more a point of frustration. Every time I bravely glanced at the clothes I couldn’t wear, they whispered their disapproval threatening they would refuse to be in style if I ever finally managed to stuff myself into their single-digit size “M” prints. And in truth I let myself believe the lies those clothes whispered at me that the pre-baby-me was better in some way than the mother-me, and I found myself longing for that girl believing if I could get her back it would somehow make me happy.
Let’s be real here. Who needs to be bullied by a closet full of clothes?
It happened one day when I was putting away the few articles of clothing that fit that I got tired of hearing the judgmental whispers of my pre-baby clothes and decided that they needed to go. I didn’t want to compare myself to me anymore, so I started tearing them out of the closet determined to face my current reality and replace my pre-baby clothes with clothing that fit.
Brave as I was, It hurt more than I thought it would and I might have cried a little as I haphazardly tossed them into white plastic trash bags. There were a lot of good, precious memories tied to those silly pieces of clothing. The black turtleneck and shimmery gray pants that made the first outfit Michael ever bought me. The jacquard skirt with the satin sash I wore to my bridal shower. The silky tanks I wore on our honeymoon. The yellow button-down blouse I wore to my first interview as a married woman. Saying goodbye felt like finally letting go of a really special season of my life and admitting I could never go back. I mean, I always knew that in my head, but I finally felt it in my heart. Or maybe it was my waist. Regardless, the me that wore those clothes is gone.
After saying my final goodbyes, and tucking a few of those precious pieces away in the basement for memories sake, I’ve decided to believe that the old-me wasn’t better, she was just thinner. At the end of the day, I love my life. Being a mom is one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me, and I will confidently take today over any other previous day – the big, the flabby, the saggy, and all. I have a husband who loves me and two little boys who I wouldn’t trade for the moon in the sky to have my pre-baby body back. When I lay them down side by side, there’s just no comparison.
I’m not saying I’m done trying. I’m just done feeling bad about myself. I will accept who I am today and move forward from here with clothes that flatter who I am, not who I was before, or who I hope I’ll become. Besides, like a Facebook friend of mine commented, if I do ever make it back down to that magical size I once was, I deserve a new wardrobe anyway.