I am writing this as I sit on a plane, trying to keep my 9-month old happy in my lap, when I KNOW all he wants to do is get down and stand and cruise around. So far, we’ve only had one five-minute meltdown, so I think we’re doing okay. However, naptime was also 45 minutes ago, so I think we may be cruising at 40,000 feet towards a tantrum.
We’re headed to Florida.
That right there was everything I was able to write on the 2.5 hour flight. No naps were taken. Goes to show you that no matter how much you prepare, it all goes out the window when there’s a tiny person involved. This Type-A is going to have to learn to roll with the punches.
As I said, we’re headed to Florida. My husband is a medical resident, and is going to be completing his medical training at USF in Tampa starting in July. The process of matching is too long and complex for me to get into; just know that when we initially found this out, we were in shock. There were tears. There was anger. There was sadness. There was fear. There was longing & regret. And that was all before I realized I was going to be in a swimsuit climate for most of the year.
We already had a trip planned to see my parents, who currently live in Tampa for over half of the year. After all of that happened, we decided that probably made sense to do one day of house hunting while we were here. I have to say, it’s starting to make it all feel very real. However, as I am sitting here in my parents’ lanai, looking at the bright blue sky and listening to the birds chirp, and Ohio is in the middle of yet another Winter Storm Warning, I am wondering what I was possibly so worried and sad about. But I digress.
I have a new byline for the site-“one new mom’s quest to fit her old self into her new life.” That was never more evident as when I was trying on swimsuits to bring down to Florida. New life also equals (at least for now) new body. It also doesn’t help that I have not been able to run for the last four months and Ohio hasn’t seen sun since practically October. I put off trying on swimsuits for as long as I possibly could. One morning, I decided it was time to face the music. I put on some of my old bikinis, staring at myself in the mirror, and thought “Well, this isn’t going to work anymore.”
It really is amazing how even though you may be able to say that the scale is back at your previous weight, or you can get into most of your old clothes, your body is most definitely not the same. Your old “go-to” outfits now just look weird. Things are different. Things have shifted. Maybe a little saggier, and maybe a little stretchier. Even though I was one of the fortunate ones who escaped without stretch marks or a large weight gain, things still don’t look…great. I don’t know a single mother who doesn’t feel crappy about how they look after a baby, even if everyone else thinks they look great, or is even envious of them. Having a baby doesn’t just change your body, it changes your mindset of how you view your body.
But that’s the thing. See, your body doesn’t just belong to you anymore. You’re borrowing it. It belongs to the wonderful little person that you created. My husband loves to say that he provided the “seed money” for our son, but I grew him.
Sure, my old jeans don’t fit the same anymore. Probably because my hips are wider from slowly spreading to allow for J to come meet the world. My stomach is lumpier. I’ll attribute that to the stretch of my stomach as my baby grew bigger and healthier (plus, it’s not like I had a six-pack before). “The twins” aren’t exactly glorious. Well, I’m sure they’re not, since they have been my son’s main source of nutrition for the past nine months.
What can you expect? There’s a reason Barbie was never pregnant! Perspective, people.
So I went swimsuit shopping (online, of course. I’m not a glutton for punishment.). I have come to the realization that until I can have some sun and temperatures above 40 and can run, a two-piece swimsuit is not going to make me feel anything but uncomfortable. Although never in my life did I think I would be wearing a one piece suit at 28, I did find a beautiful one that I love and actually feel great in. The looking outwardly good can, and will, come along later with a little time and effort. The feeling good about myself needs to start now.
Of course becoming a mother changes your mindset of your body, but it’s up to us to make a change of mindset a positive one. It’s not a defeat, it’s a victory.