Growing pains

One of the hardest things to do as a mother is to let go of the concept of who I used to be. I have an entire wardrobe’s worth of clothes that I can’t wear right now. Some of it’s too small. Some of it’s not breastfeeding compatible. Some of it’s fancier than my life currently requires.

This is either snot or bananas. I’m telling myself it’s bananas.

The point is, it’s clothing that I wore in a former incarnation of myself. Who knows if I will return to a state in which I will be able to wear that clothing — and will still want to?

In my most recent wardrobe purge, I got rid of my microminis. I’ve seen much debate about how old is too old to wear XYZ. Well, I can tell you that the age at which a woman is too old to wear microminis is when she decides they are more trouble than they are worth.

For me, that age is apparently 42.

I kept the short-shorts, though they may go in the next purge, for much the same reason.

I don’t feel that I shouldn’t wear these things. I am not getting rid of them because I feel it would be inappropriate of me to wear them, or that people would laugh at me behind my back. (They might. They might not. I don’t much care either way. I am cool going to the grocery store in a track suit coated with snot/bananas. I’ve long stopped caring what people think of my clothes.) The point is, I no longer feel any desire to deal with wearing skirts so short that I have to sit carefully or risk showing the world my underwear. It’s too much trouble.

And just like that, I’ve moved on. I am not the same person, sartorially speaking, that I was before kids. It’s a small shift, but a definitive one.

There are dozens of these shifts, I’m finding. Some are subtle. Some are drastic. Some are transient, others permanent. But that’s okay. They’re just signs that I am evolving. I may gain or lose weight. I will eventually stop lactating. But I will never grow younger, or stop being a mother. It’s unrealistic of me to expect that I will go back to being just as I was before. I’m not that woman anymore.


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