All my life, I've dealt with my own body issues. I imagine they're not too much different from the average American woman. We want to be thinner, we want to have bigger this and smaller that. It's only in hindsight that we see how great we looked at a given time, because all we were thinking back then was, "I feel so bloated." Ha. Oh, dear sweet naive little Amanda.
After my son was born, I was left with some extra weight, extra skin, and a gap in my ab muscles that made me look pregnant even though I wasn't. My doctor diagnosed me with diastasis recti - basically, my ab muscles don't touch in the middle like they're supposed to. As a result, my stomach bulges. My mom has the same issue, still, 30 years after I was born. I'd like to tackle this head-on myself so that I can get back to feeling like myself. But that's so much easier said than done.
Genetics really screwed me over on this baby recovery thing, because the mom bod is strong with this one. Apparently my skins lacks any and all forms of collagen, so instead of snapping back to a slightly more wrinkly version of itself, it's just....there. I have a super hot flap of skin that just wobbles about when I move.
Ugh. This is painfully real. Are you cringing for me? I'm cringing for me right now.
And look - at the end of the day, I'm mostly okay with this. If this is the price I have to pay to have my amazing and beautiful children, then so be it. It's a small price, in the grand scheme of things. The real (not superficial) downside is this: my diastasis makes my core unstable. So I have bad balance, low strength, and my back hurts because it doesn't have any support.
All of these weird body quirks combine to mean: literally jeans just don't fit my body anymore. Ah, I am mistaken. I can do that 1980's pleated high-waist pant thing! That's always a good look. The pleats leave extra room so I can just shove that extra skin into a nice shame pocket. If I want more coverage, I can add a fanny pack. Because nothing spells confidence like trying to cover my mommy tummy with a thousand layers of clothing.
My old jeans do button, but all my loose skin fluffs out over the top like a batch of over-risen dough. Wrinkly dough. So that means I can only wear loose tops, which, let's be honest, don't do much for my figure. I need something that defines my waist, even just a little. The mom-tum actually makes my waist look smaller by comparison, or so I tell myself. A sewing group I'm part of recently started a trend of replacing their denim waistbands with yoga-type waistbands. I might need to join them. That might be the only way to get jeans that feel comfortable, don't squeeze me like a doughboy, and still make my butt look good.
Look - I think maybe this comes off as self-effacing. And it is, but in good fun. I don't connect my self-worth with my physical body. That's a surefire way to be disappointed. I'm more forgiving of my body than I am of the denim industry. They can do better - and there are a whole lot of us out here with mom bods who'd love to see them try.
What jeans fit you best? Can you still wear the same wardrobe you had before kids? Do you still feel comfortable in your own skin? @pi3sugarpi3