Like most, I prepped and prepared as often and as much as I could for the birth of my daughter… Which, whilst it was the most beautiful experience of my life, didn’t exactly go the way we’d hoped…
And yet, I did minimal preparation for when she was actually earth-side. We decorated her nursery, bought endless sleep suits and vests, even spoilt her with toys, despite knowing she wouldn’t be ready for them for months. I read tonnes of books but only one singular book for life with a baby, which was about breast feeding and actually super handy, it was Milking It by Chantelle Champs, let me know if the books I read both pre and post birth are of interest to you and I’ll pop a little blog post together for you.
After experiencing the most surreal, often traumatic but also magical experience of bringing a baby into the world, you’re left, just a day or days later, with this teeny tiny helpless human with very little support (especially during lockdown) and expected to know how to keep them alive. It’s just mad isn’t it. Thankfully, Goldie was a chill baby from the get go, my midwives were amazing and for everything else there was Google and the ever so occasional phone call to 111.
I feel like there is so much that isn’t said about being postpartum, you get the usual negative crap from other mums who have the “been there done that” attitude which isn’t usually very helpful or nice as I don’t want to hear that I should “enjoy it while it lasts” because every experience is very different thank you very much.
If you’re dealing with those negative Nelly’s then please know that sadly they come for every expectant mum and please also know that having a baby doesn’t necessarily mean every cup of tea will be cold, you won’t get to wear make up again and bubble baths are a thing of the past… I have several hot cups of tea a day, I wear make up most days and if I’m feeling it I have a soak in the bath every week. Having a baby doesn’t mean your life as you know it is over, for us, Goldie has slotted right in and it feels like she’s always been here, so if you’re expecting, hold on to that, it’s definitely not all doom and gloom as some would have us believe.
But anyway, what I really wanted to discuss today was the postpartum identity crisis that I’m currently going through and I know at least two other new mamas who are also struggling through right now.
I am the happiest I have ever been. I feel like I have a real purpose in life, a spark has been lit inside me and my life feels ever so completely whole since Goldie came into the world. It’s hard juggling two businesses, a baby, planning a wedding and trying to keep some sort of order at home, but I love it and I would not swap a single piece of it for the world. However, there is something inside me that is lost. A little slice of what made me me is missing and it’s really hard to explain, particularly since I just stated myself as being “whole”
It’s a small piece and one that, if I didn’t do what I do for a living, it might not feel like such a big deal. But since I am a fashion content creator, wearing clothes that make me feel great, that look great and hopefully leave you guys feeling inspired is a large part of my day-to-day. In fact let’s be real here, it’s the whole point of what I do.
So when I'm looking into the mirror at a body I no longer recognise with a heap of clothes on the bed that no longer fit or flatter my all new shape, it’s really quite a big ordeal.
I have hips for the first time in my life, real sexy curvy hips, and I like them, however, I’m not sure how to dress them, how long they’ll stick around and if I should invest in clothes that fit them or hold on a few months to see if what they say is true and I’ll return to my version of “normal” by the time Goldie is one years old.
I also naturally have a tummy which means the clothes I used to feel great in now cling in places that I’m not yet comfortable being clung to. Not to mention the majority of things just simply do not fit past my shoulders… Yep apparently thats a thing, your whole skeleton can shift… BIZARRE!
And whilst clothes are just clothes, they’re a huge part of what makes me me and I’m sure a huge part of what makes many-a-mama feel like them. I’ve always championed how fashion is more than just “fashion” it’s a lifestyle, a huge part of ones identity and can be the difference between a good day or a bad day for so many. Clothes are a huge part of what make me confident and without them, I’m completely lacking, I’m self conscious, emotional and ever so lost with who I am.
Yet I’m happy; happier than ever before and pushing on, knowing that this will pass and that it is normal to feel this way. However, I do wish more people would talk about this as it was never something I was prepared for until now and until talking to other new mums and hearing how they feel exactly the same way.
I basically need a brand new wardrobe. I need to clear the majority of it out and start again.
But it’s so hard to do when in the last few years I’ve been mindful of what I’ve been buying and I’ve invested in higher priced pieces that I thought would last a lifetime… (don’t even get me started on shoes, I have a pair of Gucci loafers that I can’t even fit my toes into anymore…) But in this respect it really is just clothes and rather than having a whole host of beautiful clothes hanging in my wardrobe, beautiful clothes that I can no longer fit in to and therefore hating myself and my new incredible, magical, child creating body, I should cut the fashion cord and let go of them in favour of new pieces that make me and my new body feel just as fab as the old stuff did.
Anyone else with me? Seriously if you’d like to buy a piece of my wardrobe let me know as chances are it’ll be up for sale soon.
Amongst the chaos of motherhood, a loss of identity and more happiness than I ever felt possible, there were some pieces that have really helped me through this last 4 months; Pieces other than leggings, joggers and trainers, I promise.
The first being oversized shirts, both printed, colourful and of course, you can’t beat a simple white shirt. They’ve been such a saviour for hiding all the bits I’m not quite sure about just yet but still allowing for styling opportunities through accessories, shoes and jackets/waistcoats etc. They're breastfeeding friendly and also something I found to work well whilst I was pregnant to, a good thing to invest in, in my opinion.
I’ve loved high waisted jeans (granted two sizes bigger than before) particularly these Levi’s rib cage babies and all of the Ragged Priest designs you’ve seen me rocking since baby.
Waistcoats have been so fab for the warmer months as it’s meant I can wear jeans and trousers that I’m not quite so confident in right now, but the waistcoat adds an extra layer which covers my bum, my new hips and my tum, whilst adding a little something extra to my looks too. I won’t hide forever, I know I’ll get there with loving myself once again, but for now it’s a process, that waistcoats are really helping me through.
Cross body bags have also been really fab for breaking up an outfit, adding some interest, drawing the eye down the body which in-turn works to elongate. Not to mention they’re cute af and always work to add a spring to my step.
And now, the hunt for the perfect summer dress or two is on. I’m now on the prowl for some summer dresses that are right for me; dresses I can lean on when the sun shines or layer up when it’s a little more cloudy. Dresses that feel like me, even with this identity crisis thing that’s going on right now. I have a few on there way to me as I have some rather exciting events coming up, one being my birthday, that I want, no, I need to look fab for.
Watch this space, I’ll update accordingly.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post. I would love to chat with some of you in the comments if you have been through this identity crisis malarky and of course if you have any tips for getting over the new mum identity crisis as I have a feeling there could be others reading this post who are feeling exactly the way I do too. And if that's you, hi, hello, I would love to hear from you, us new mamas gotta stick together.
Lots of love to you all