When I made the decision to quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom I knew that there will be some changes in my household economics. I knew that there will no longer be weekly happy hours and that I would have to be more financially responsible.
I learned to live without spontaneous shopping trips and to consult my wallet before committing its contents to anything that wasn’t previously budgeted for. But every now and then, when some extra disposable income comes my way, I get to forget about budgets and indulge in buying a little something extra for me.
One of such days was this past Saturday when I got my husband to volunteer to stay with the children while I enlisted my best friend to go clothes-hunting with me. I was very excited with the idea of getting clothes that actually fit and to freshen up my closet a little. Every element was there so I could go out for a little shopping spree EXCEPT that, as we started going through fitting rooms and piles of clothes, nothing, absolutely nothing fitted!
How could after all those hours at the gym and all the pounds lost I still look, well, I still don’t fit in anything at all? Is there a switch inside my mind I could just turn off so I no longer care about either the way I look or about keeping up with fashion trends that clearly aren’t made for my body type?
I left the mall with only a dress and a feeling of defeat stuck in my throat. My wallet was the only one happy about feeling fat that afternoon. But then, when I came home dragging my sad face through the door, my husband made me try the dress on for him and my daughter to see it. My almost two-year-old changed my mood in a blink when she started dancing around me screaming the word for skirt in Spanish and grabbing my hand so that I would turn around and model the dress for her. It was as if she knew I needed a little extra love and attention.
Her little laughter and my husband’s smile of approval was all I needed to feel better and to turn my frustration into the motivation to continue going to the gym this week.
Maybe I will venture to the mall again soon and perhaps next time I will have better luck finding things that are actually flattering. In the mean time, I’m glad that I have the loves of my life to help me mend my fragile postpartum self-esteem with their smiles, and their hugs and their kisses. It is healing to know that in their eyes, it doesn’t matter what I wear or how I look.
To them, the only thing that matters is that I am there to love them back.