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.
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.