Remember how things were before children?
Matching underwear, regular hair removal, clean clothes, maintained nails, and almost inevitably, cleavage. And this is just for work. When you have a baby – no matter how you choose to feed it – you are giving ownership of your body to someone and something else. A greater good if you will.
First by carrying it. The stretch marks, the flatulence, the water retention, the weird hair growth (hello snail trail), and all the other bits that leave you feeling like a walking baby vessel/whale. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED being pregnant. But it does give your confidence a little bit of a knock when you realise your knockers are now the size of actual watermelons and you realise you may have to give up sexy lace bras and don a man-repelling nude wireless number. Think Mrs Doubtfire and you pretty much have an accurate image of how you end up feeling as your breasts slowly grow to a H+.
Then comes the post-birth phase. The pain. The stitches. The exhaustion. If breastfeeding, the cracked and bleeding nipples. The empty ‘mum sack’ left behind now that the beautiful being who you carried has been majestically birthed, taking all of your sex appeal with it into a tired and beige abyss. I found that mine moved independently from my body for far longer than I liked. “Bouncing back” is totally a thing. It’s the thing that happens when my daughter runs into my mum tum and it bounces her right back off again. The thing is, you have changed. Your body, your mindset, your priorities, your whole entire world. And that’s okay.
Then once you have battled your way through the night feeds, having given up your wardrobe of lovely clothes and handbags that have sadly and regrettably been replaced by nursing tops and changing bags, comes a light. A glimmer of hope. Just before you feel like an old milking cow put out to pasture, a girlfriend asks if you want to go out for dinner and wine (always wine!). At first you think “how could I possibly leave the children I choose to bring into this world”. But then you remember that you haven’t even had a wee in peace for the last few months and the only thing that fills your head is the thought of that lovely glass of Pinot Grigio. And then almost as quickly as a 16 year old virgin comes the thought “WHAT DO I WEAR?!”. This is new territory. This is time to take back your body, reclaim it, own it. Wear a bra that lifts and shapes rather than just covering nips. Your body has changed – but it’s better than before. Think about all of the miraculous things that it has done. It’s not wobbly and saggy – it is strong. Insert totally feminist-rocking meme here.
Here is a little guide to looking and feeling fabulous on a night out post-baby:
1) Eyebrows/facial waxing. I think good eyebrows can fix most things.
2) Find something flattering that you can’t usually wear if you are needing to whip your boobs out. Take full advantage of being able to keep your tits caged for the evening. Stick to black. Black is flattering, slimming, sexy and looks great with dark lips. Black is your friend.
3) Shave all of your everything. It might just be a little dinner out, but to you this is the highlight of your social life so OWN it. Go to town on it. Milk it (literally – you probably will need to express at least once in the evening). Plus, this way you are prepared in case your wonderfully patient husband might get a little lucky when you fall through the door at 10.30pm a little tipsier than you had planned after suddenly being a light-weight after three large glasses of vino.
4) Drink. Drink a cold G&T before you go out. Dutch courage is totally needed and useful.
5) Have friends who say “Woahhhh Mumma you hot piece of ass, you”. These friends are an essential pick-me-up to make you feel great.
6) Take your most expensive, smallest, most impractical handbag out for a well deserved trip, after all, it’s been neglected for so long. This will feel weird I promise. Like ‘lipstick, purse, phone, SURELY I need more!’.
7) Leave the guilt behind. Surely your partner has been out and left the children that he equally created? *For more on this read the excellent Alison’s Dad versus Mum series. It is brilliant* So give yourself a break. Enjoy it. Even if you do end up spending the whole evening comparing notes on poo, leathery nipples (praying I will one day feel these again), and tallying hours of sleep.
Go forth MOLOs and be utterly fabulous. And remember- you are udderly sexy!
Like this? Why not give it a share and spread the MOLO love! You can Rowan’s last brilliant Motherload blog A Letter to my Mother, and for the very latest from our writers, visit The Motherload® homepage
A normal mum living a chaotic, gin infused life with my two daughters, lovely Fiancé and our two sausages. Spending my life standing on My Little Ponies and Shopkins. Instagram and scented candle-obsessed. Occasional hippy and serious shopaholic. Passionate about politics and lipstick.