I went to Target (not the crazy part, don’t worry) with the intention of purchasing diapers. Instead of stopping near the children’s or tween section like I always do, I decided to take a detour to the women’s clothing. In what seemed like minutes, my cart was loaded (thanks, Target), but the truly crazy part? It was all for me.
I’ve been in somewhat of a rut when it comes to clothing and fashion. I am super passionate about fashion, which is evident by the nicer clothes my kids wear. For some strange reason, I have no problem dropping money on their stuff, but when it comes to things for me, I’m always hesitant.
Yesterday I attended a meeting at my daughter’s middle school. As I stared into the intimidating sea of impeccably dressed parents, I became awkwardly aware of how vulnerable I felt, hiking down my leggings and desperately trying to stay hidden. My hair was thrown in a messy bun, and I was in great need of an eyebrow wax. I tried to remind myself that many of these moms were not deep in the trenches of a new baby with their older child, but I also knew that the real problem was with me and my self perception.
Confession – I still layer my shirts. Remember when that was a thing? It’s almost like that lower layer serves as a shield of armor that protects me from my own insecurities. I don’t even know what it feels like to shed it.
Another confession – I’m at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. By a landslide, if we’re being honest. I could sit here and tell you that it’s because I’ve had multiple pregnancies in the past two years or simply from poor genetics. Both points would be valid, but they aren’t an excuse for my lack of grit when it comes to self-care. I fondly remember the days where I felt confident in my own skin, during another life when I made myself more of a priority. Motherhood is all encompassing, and sometimes you lose yourself a little along the way.
I realized suddenly that I had stopped treating myself long ago. If something isn’t for the kids, my husband, or the house, I sigh longingly and keep moving. The excuses are plentiful. I’ve told myself for the past few years that buying new clothes is pointless since I’m trying to lose weight. I’ve yelled at myself internally to stop eyeing cute things because I don’t deserve them – that until I hit my goal weight, I am somehow less worthy.
Moms, we need to stop the negativity. Embrace the size you’re at, whether you’re working to change it or not, and buy the damn shirt. Get the new shoes. Treat yourself to the earrings. Try something on, and if it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it anyway and tell yourself that someday it will. I have a whole closet of “Somedays.” You know what I’ve realized? They haven’t made me feel any better, and many have gone unused. We deserve to feel beautiful now because we are – size does not define us.
Stop telling yourself that things are too expensive. Do you buy things for your house or kids? Then you can treat yourself. Go to Target. Browse H&M. If you change sizes in a few months, hand them down to another mom in need or resell them for a few bucks. We cannot let the our size define our self-worth. Crying in your closet is not going to make your clothes magically fit – believe me, I’ve been there. Hiding myself behind clothes that I hate isn’t going to make me any skinnier. It’s also not going to make me happy.
I left Target with a few new shirts that I love. It’s a start. They’re trendy, they’re me, and it’s time. I might not be at the weight I want and there are likely many more important things that we should be spending our money on, but I need to make myself a priority. I am a mother, daughter, wife, friend, and person. I am ready to be present and embrace the blessings I have in life instead of wallowing in what needs improvement. Today, it starts with shirts.
Moms, put yourselves out there. Buy the shirt, take the class, or join the group. Stop fixating on everyone else’s perception of you and embrace who you are in this moment. Stop feeling trapped within the confinement of the same pilling staples that make you panic when it’s laundry day because you have no other options. Stop settling for a look you don’t love. Better yet, stop hiding. You simply cannot put a price tag on the self-confidence that comes from feeling well put together and owning who you are. Get out there and fight for yourself. You are so worth it.
About the author: Jessica is an East Coast girl recently transplanted to Austin, Texas. She is an OB-GYN RN, freelance writer, and content manager in between her time at home with her three busy kids. You can follow her antics on Instagram or on her blog, Motherhood, Written, where she writes about the fun and messiness of parenting with a nine-year age gap. Website: http://motherhoodwritten.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.lauren.969