As a pregnant woman, I feel entitled to a lot of things. Seconds on supper? Yes, please, eating for two here. Others getting the door for me? Why, thank you. Ice cream every day? Do you even need to ask? There are a lot of perks to being preggo (I even just trained JD how to lace my sandals - success!) but I have encountered a fine line between enjoying these little bonuses and adopting the mentality of American consumerist entitlement, which I am still learning/failing at in equal measure. For example...
Reality: your body grows and you will need stuff that you did not need as a non-pregnant woman.
Lie: you need/deserve to buy a whole new wardrobe to dress your adorable, blooming bump.
When I was working in a professional atmosphere, I really believed that I had to have a lot of maternity clothes so my colleagues wouldn't suspect me of wearing the same thing every day. But, who the heck cares? Even though I bought a whole new wardrobe, I wore my black maxi dress almost every day with different tops and managed to look clean, creative, and professional. When I went digging through my old clothes for Round 2, I discovered I owned a whole pile of maternity clothes I didn't like and could not make myself wear again. They weren't my style, fit (20 pounds lighter this time around!), and I just plain didn't feel good in them. I made the mistake of purchasing quantity over quality and ended up with a wardrobe that was headed straight for the second-hand store, money wasted (which just about kills me because I really hate wasting money, especially on my one-income family budget). The only two things I have kept in rotation? One black non-maternity knit skirt from Target (which my sister had to take in 4 inches!) and said black maternity maxi dress, also from Target. In fact, let me count the ways I love my black maxi dress...
One: it is comfy. No more pants for this girl. I have heard maxi dresses likened to crotch-less yoga pants, and it's true - they sit soundly in the realm of awesome. And while maternity pants are truly revelatory (their magic will leave you speechless and in wonder of why not all pants are created with stretchy panels and a lack of buttons), the dress will always be more comfortable and forgiving. Two: it is ruched on the side which means you don't look like you're wearing a tent - huge bonus when you're already sporting a ginormous belly and other enlarged body parts. Three: it is black. Enough said. Four: it is long. I have such a hard time finding dresses that have a long silhouette. So many I try on hit my ankles leaving me looking squatty, not to mention heels are then not an option (which I still like to wear occasionally). And five: I can layer my non-maternity button ups, tops, cardigans, and belts over it which make it the most versatile thing I own.
I thought this time around I would do things differently. Like, "I'm a minimalist mom! I can do this!", but much to my dismay, I'm still figuring things out. Just recently I bought another maternity dress which - in hindsight - is rather unnecessary and I don't love it as much as I thought I would (cue inward cringing/crying). Sigh. Someday I'll learn. I just wish it was a less-expensive way to learn. Maternity clothes are not cheap.
Finding I'm content with my building blocks of one dress, one skirt, and a couple of tops, I can give myself permission to stop searching for more. I can be done. I can enjoy what I have and not feel obligated to look newer and cuter.
Maternity challenge? Enjoy what I already own and don't buy anything else. Problem-solving and simple living at it's finest, folks. :)
pictured above: me at 20-something weeks with Alice, 20 weeks with Milo, and 30-a-lot weeks with Alice again