Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Something Changed

There's been this recurrent thought or series of thoughts running through my head the last year and I've been trying to wrap my head around them for some tme now.

Remember the dresses for my brother's wedding? Well I ordered Option 1 and Option 3. Option one, the black and white one with the green sash didn't fit right. I don't think I could have taken a size larger or smaller, it just didn't flatter me. And Option 3...well, I should love Option 3, the strapless green floral. It fits well. I like the pattern. It hides my post-baby pouch. But I look at it and all I can think about is that I can't wear a strapless dress. Not because of any church rules or because I don't like strapless dresses. In fact, almost every dress I own is strapless. I just put this new dress on and I suddenly feel like I'm exposing too much. I feel like a 33 year old posing as a 25 year old. And then there's this question: do mothers wear strapless dresses?

Don't laugh, I'm serious. In many ways my life is so much more mult-dimensional now that I have Rolo. But something else happened too. It's like a switch flipped and I'm not the same person anymore. Which, like, duh, I guess on some level every new mother feels because all of a sudden, you have a new label: mom. This is different than what I antipicated though. I feel like a different person and that my former self is a stranger. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own skin. I'm not sure that it's good or bad, just different.

Some of it is a self-consciousness that I don't think I had before. I know I'm not the best looking girl in the room, but I was always fairly confident about how I looked. I was in tune with my own body. Now....not so much. Maybe because I have less (read: zero) time to focus on myself I'm not as in touch with my own self-perception.

Maybe because I know other people tend to, silently or otherwise, critique mothers fairly harshly (something I am guilty of myself) and now I assume people who either see me with Rolo or know I have him are doing that very critiquing of me. Maybe I don't want to wear a strapless dress to the wedding because people may think "Who does she think she is? Just had a baby and strutting in here in her little strapless number?" Maybe it's because my shoulders and arms used to be toned and now? Now I have that extra mom wave (you know when you wave your arm and fat on your bicep wiggles too). I'm not really suggesting that I have a weight problem, just a different-than-it-used-to-be body problem.

It's more than just this one dress. I go clothes shopping and rarely ever buy anything. I may try clothes on and they may fit fine, but I just...don't think I look good in most things anymore. I lack the desire to actually make purchases. And it stems back to having Rolo. Or maybe it was getting older? Is this what it feels like to get older? I've never felt old before.

Maybe I'm depressed? I don't think I am. I'm not sad or anxious. I just can't seem to reconcile my old self with my new self. Maybe it's just a body image thing. Maybe if I could ever get back to a gym, I would be able to purge all this from my system.

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At 11:33 AM, Blogger Star said...

This is obviously a complex thing and there is not a simple answer.

For the time being, rest assured that you can totally rock a strapless dress. There are lots of moms that wear strapless dresses and look classy and appropriate. I cannot imagine that you are trying to wear some trashy strapless bedazzled number that would be inappropriate. In fact the dress you are talking about is classy and probably very flattering. If you will be comfortable, wear it. If you will feel self-conscious, screw it, find something you are comfortable in and I am sure you will look fantastic.

Bigger issue: maybe some focus on you time is what you need. You know we are right down the street and always willing to babysit so you can have some time to do whatever--have your chakras read, get accupunture, take a bath, work out, whatever!

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Christy said...

1. You are very often the best looking girl in the room.
2. Do you want a babysitting appointment time? I'd be glad to sign on for an hour or two a week. It would give you an appointment for "you" time, whether you wanted to use it or not.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Meg said...

I hope this doesn't mean you'll be buying "mom jeans" anytime soon.


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