"Babe, you look so pretty!"
My eyes immediately rolled back into my head as I thought about what my husband could have possibly done to tell me such a bold-faced lie. What trouble was he in? Where was he last night? Why was there glitter on his pillow this morning?
I hadn't slept more than a few hours a night for weeks now. I was running on chocolates and coffee (disappointingly putting on all the pounds I had shed while nursing), and would eagerly stare at the front door around 8 each morning, when the nanny was due to arrive. I needed to nap, shower, and to get all my errands done through my mom-haze before she left again at 6. Oooh, that sounds so productive, but let me be clear: my nap would turn into a 3 hour sleep which left me feeling more fatigued than I had been before, and I would spend the rest of my day half-assing all the errands I had to run. Before I knew it, 6pm was upon me and my bed was still unmade, I would be dependent on Seamless for dinner yet again (can we talk about a New Mom discount please, Seamless Web?), and looking pretty wasn't really something that happened to me anymore. Oh, and of course this was all punctuated by the baby needing to feed every 2-3 hours.
"Um, I know I look like shit actually," I challenged, nodding my uneven bird's-nest bun and make-up free face.
I would catch this liar!
"It's just nice not to see you in pajamas," he sheepishly admitted.
SO BASICALLY you're agreeing that I DO look like shit. I stared down in disbelief at my crumpled, saggy jeans and loose blouse (miraculously not spit-up upon yet. Or maybe it had dried into the pattern). Not exactly an ensemble to be proud of. But an ensemble, no less! I always put on clothes during the day. It dawned on me that he just never ever saw me in them. When he left in the morning, I was in pajamas. When he returned in the evening, I was another, fresh set of pajamas.
"I don't only wear pajamas! While I run around all day I wear..."
I couldn't even say those ironic words. I wore yoga pants for everything but yoga. I wore yoga pants like they were couture. I actually wore them to one of our lunch dates once.
Oh, the disappointment! How had this happened, to moi?!
When I was growing up in England, I always had a school uniform and oh how I hated it. I would Houdini out of it on the minibus ride from my boarding school to the train station (Sidebar: No wonder the driver was always grinning at me. I thought I was slick but I'm pretty sure he caught quite a few glimpses of my skinny, opaque-tight clad legs). Never would I have thought that I would unknowingly choose to put on a new uniform when I had kids.
Of course then I worked in the fashion industry and succumbed to the whole "I only wear black dahling" ethos, but truly, that was mainly because I was too lazy to plan my outfit in the mornings. Black, white, and red are stylish at all times. Yes, a friend's husband once asked her why I was dressed so morbidly, but c'est chic, darling. And I was really into this thing called sleep back then. All the kids were doing it (apart from mine).
In the days B.C. (Before Children), I used to look at mothers my age and snigger at how unkempt they were. I'll never wear a ratty old sweatshirt! I shan't go out with unwashed hair! I can't possibly imagine leaving the apartment in gym clothes! Who were these women? How could they let themselves go like this? It just wasn't acceptable!
In the days A.D. (After the Death of style) I realized how wrong I had been to judge those women. It's so HARD to find clothes that fit, that don't hang weirdly on your deflated, sagging, tired body. One could argue that your body is more messed up after giving birth that it ever is during pregnancy! Maternity clothes feel funny after you've abused the lycra content through 9 months of belly-growing, though I'll admit those stretchy, high waistbands allow for a semi-decent silhouette on date night.
I can't abide by having a momiform. I need a Resurrection. From now on, yoga pants are for physical exercise. Maternity clothes are firmly packed up, leaving me no choice but to Spanx it up under my regular clothing.
That comes with it's own set of problems. My poor husband is too used to touching my wasitline and feeling the unusual firmness of control underwear in all its beige-toned glory. And let's talk about how sexy they are. Not exactly giving me a leg up in the wasteland of post-partum romance, are they?
The other night instead of pajamas, I wore a nightie. I mean, don't get too excited. One could generally classify it as a long tee shirt, but you catch my drift. As my husband got into bed, he gently touched my back. Then paused. Then slid his hand higher. Then paused. Then higher, and again another pause before whispering to me in frustration "How HIGH do your pants GO babe?!" As I blankly stared at him, he caught on and we both dissolved into fits of giggles. And then the baby woke up. And then it was all over, before it had even begun.
In short, the whole pajama thing can't be helped, don't fall into the habit of wearing false workout clothing on the daily, and Spanxing is only to be done in public, but never in private.