Loving the Mom in Me

Knick-knacks, art, stamps. Souvenirs from worldly travels, cards with personal messages scrawled on the insides. The theory behind collecting tangible mementos to serve as a personal cache, storing the happy and bittersweet, is well and good. Reminiscing is proverbial soul food, comforting and helping us to appreciate life all the more.

Well, I don’t collect anything. Except maybe dust bunnies under furniture. That doesn’t mean my memories and vacations aren’t marked by random tid-bits strewn all over the house. A t-shirt here, coffee mug there. If I were hard pressed to find a particular item that would accurately represent my life, I would pray they were clean and then point to my underwear drawer.

Yep, you read that correctly: my underoos. Just as we can pinpoint a specific era by its hairstyles, the various stages of my transition to womanhood are marked by my panties.

Days of week

 

Life’s simplicity. My biggest concerns were playing outside until sunset and if Mom and Dad would force us out of bed for the 8am Sunday Mass. I didn’t know what fly-away hairs were , nor did I care that my legs were more muscular than my friends’. Gymnastics was fun and I loved it. But as a young girl, I wanted to be a “big girl.”

 VS Cotton

Then I was a “big girl,” just not big enough. I needed to hit the milestones immediately or I would surely wither away in dramatic female fashion and DIE. Along with big girl status came a little more self-awareness. Tall Skinny Mean Girls started making fun of my short, muscular build, calling me fat at a party. My supposed BFF joined them in mocking my “tree trunk legs,” and the memory of such betrayal is forever burned into my mind. Had I known then what I know now–that my body was killer, yo!–I would have strutted my stuff proudly. Instead, I wandered off and sat by myself, embarrassed and ashamed of my appearance.

Silkwww.orifashion.cn

 

Thirteen turned into eighteen over night, or maybe it was an eternity, I don’t remember. Found me some confidence. Turns out I wasn’t an ogre after all. A sense of humor, some intelligence, and an outgoing personality were appealing. I also had abs. I found my tribe and a few boys at school started to notice me. *waves* Still, it was entirely too easy for others to completely change the perception I had of myself. One mean word, one rumor through the grapevine. Would I ever be comfortable in my own skin?? Of course, I never let on that I struggled with this; vulnerability equaled weakness, and high school is what it is.

thong kmart

 

College, career, independence.

First broken heart, first real love, marriage.

College was a whirlwind of responsibility, too much beer, and a few bad decisions. And fun. SO. MUCH. FUN. I made friends there that are still in my life today, and that handsome boy I bumped into at a bar? He put a ring on it.

fitmaternity

 

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Stephanie and a baby carriage. Or three.

Motherhood.

Life changes in the blink of an eye even though, in the thick of things, it appears to be moving in slow motion. Motherhood is no exception. In the throes of newborn bliss are endless days (and nights) of sleep deprivation,  piles of laundry, and hormonal roller coasters.

The toddler years are filled with fleeting dreams of the kids moving out and leaving me alone with a good book and glass of red.

I said fleeting.

Because as quickly as Kindergarten sneaks up on us, high school graduation will do the same. I’m doing yoga in hopes of stretching out the good ‘ol uterus in case any of the kids ever needs a place to stay.

 

Even though some panties were more fun than others, I wish I had known to revel in each of them and just be. All too often, I found myself wishing away the present to fast-forward to the future. Each chapter of life comes with its tribulations, but, more importantly, its gifts. I try like crazy to understand this and remind myself that while the days are long, the years are short. My love for my children is unwavering, though my patience may indicate otherwise. My love for my husband is even stronger than it was the day we said “I do,” though I would appreciate if the man could age just a little bit.

That love hasn’t changed.

Where I do notice changes, some subtle, some not, ALL negative, are in myself. There are days I am again the self-conscious middle schooler, noticing the fine lines creeping out from the corners of my eyes. The extra weight around my middle. My feet that are indefinitely a size larger today than they were five years ago because of the thrice miracle of pregnancy; the adorable heels in my closet are so sad because I will never wear them again. And don’t get me started on my boobs, like where they should be as opposed to where they actually are. The exhaustion from interrupted sleep, the limited time for myself, the obvious alteration of my career and professional goals–these are the sorts of changes I tend to notice first.

Why?

Why do I fail to take note of the fuller heart that ultimately makes me more grateful for each passing day? Or the fact that some short people in my house call me a name I have proudly earned and wear like a crown: Mom. Or that my body, while not the same as the twenty-one year-old version, has my undying respect for all it has done? How about the increased confidence for which I credit Motherhood?

Those are the changes I want to put on a pedestal where other women, and especially my children, can admire and emulate. But that kind of self-love starts with me, and it takes work. I adored, and still long for, my maternity panties, and though I’m most comfortable in the all-cotton, white crotch bikini briefs right now, my silky thong days aren’t over yet. Loving where I’m standing, blooming where I’m planted. That’s Motherhood.

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This post is part of a monthly series #NakedMoms
Hey, look! We're naked. Okay, not really. But we are the participating Pittsburgh bloggers. #NakedMoms

 

 

Posts from fellow #NakedMoms on Motherhood & Loving:

Loving While Waiting by Heather at Diary of A First Time Mom

Present in Love by Laila at Only Laila

I Loved You Before You Were Born by Joyce at Mommy Talk Show

My Mom Was Right About Motherhood by Thien-Kim at I’m Not The Nanny

Being a Loving Mom Begins With Loving Yourself by Steph at Confessions of A Stay At Home Mom

I Love Being a Working Mom by Vanesse at Mommy Works A Lot

How to Balance Your Checkbook of Love by Diamonte at Liberated Mommy

Naked Love. Learning to Be Vulnerable by Summer at The Dirty Floor Diaries

Back To Love by Brandi at Mama Knows It All

 

Sources to pictures HERE

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Comments

  1. I LOVED those silky string bikini undies, they never gave me wedgies and were silky against my clothes. Where can I get them?

  2. I have always wondered about maternity underwear. What’s the point? My normal human underwear fit just fine when I was pregnant.

  3. You know what? You’re right! We do need to put these changes on a pedestal. I mean, why not? We earned it! Learning to feel more, to love better…that’s a gift!

  4. That naked mom’s book at the end with the 13 faces on it: you have the nicest smile by far.

  5. Mamma, I LOVE this post! Funny, honest, and very very you. LOVE!!!

  6. People may think I am crazy but I wore thongs all through both of my pregnancies. Only time I wore the granny variety was the weeks after and I could not wait to get back to my butt floss. I do wear boy shorts to bed- but otherwise- thongs. When I wear the full butt cover, I get a massive wedgie. With a thong it is supposed to be there and isn’t a mass of bunched up fabric in my bum. Loved this post…

    • I, too, love my butt floss but unfortunately, my pregnant hips spread so far that they were starting to cut off circulation to…well, everything! I do hope to eventually don my sexy panties again, or just wear a bed sheet since that sounds really appealing right about now…

      :)

  7. Maternity underwear. My Mother bought me a huge pair and gave them to me as a baby shower gift. Gotta love it!

  8. This is very, very cool. And so true. Our life in panties? I can’t think of a more accurate tracker. And P.S. Those last panties ARE the hot ones–for reals. xo.

  9. LOVE this! I think it just easy to wish for anything that what you have. We do have to learn how to be present in the moment, whatever that moment is.

  10. I definitely need to learn to revel in the moment more. I have wished my life away more than anyone I know. I look back and think “Gosh, I was smokin’ hot. Why didn’t I enjoy it more?” I’d hate to turn around in 10 years and think, “Gee, I had all the time in the world to spend with my kids and I spent it yelling at them.” Thanks for the reflection.

  11. christina says:

    The days are long but the years are short…so going to steal that!

  12. Jumpin' Jack Flash says:

    Very amusing piece of writing, humorous but yet tear-jerking at times. Sort of like that movie SIDEWAYS with Paul Giamatti where they go to wine country. Anyway, just be positive and enthusiastic and enjoy life each day regardless of which panties phase you might find yourself in.

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