I've said it before and you'll likely hear me say it over and over again: women (or those perceived as women) are held to ridiculous beauty standards. People who have just given birth are expected to "bounce back" or "look adorable" or "lose the baby weight" immediately. This is not only potentially unhealthy, it's also unrealistic. I refuse to care about how I look postpartum, and that's just one of the many reasons why I won't apologize for wearing my partner's clothes when I was postpartum.
With so many other things to worry about, like keeping a human being that just exited my body (along with organ I created) alive, I refuse to be held to image standards that I don't agree with in the first place. There was a time I was extremely image conscious. I look back over my first limited supply of postpartum pictures and I can see the look of panic at having my picture taken. I remember my desperate attempts to hide my no-more-baby-bump behind lumpy sweaters and layers. I can see the anxiety that my carefully crafted look will fall apart as quickly as my free-flowing shirt can bare my stretch-marked belly.
The truth is, dear reader, I am happier when I'm comfortable and I'm comfortable when I'm not worried about my looks. Turns out I'm most comfortable postpartum when I'm in my partner's clothes ,and I refuse to apologize for that. Here's why:
Because They're Comfortable
There is something about a postpartum body that is insanely uncomfortable. What is that something, you ask? Oh, you know. Just everything. Everything is totally uncomfortable about a postpartum body. At least, that is the case for me.
Being in my partner's comfortable clothes helped me focus less on my lopsided tummy and more on baby snuggles.
Because My Clothes Didn't Fit Postpartum
Sometimes, honestly, they still don't fit. I am not above wearing my partner's clothes now, either. I especially like the tighty-whiteys. They're so comfy! (And actually, they're blue.)
Because They Make Me Feel Close To My Partner
When we are not close physically or emotionally during newborn times, wearing my partner's clothes helps me feel close to him. Feeling close to him reminds me that we're in this parenting gig together and even when we don't have time to acknowledge it.
Because They Smell Like Him
Yep. I totally went there. One of the reasons I fell for him is because the guy smells great!
Because It's A Time-Saver
All new parents know the chaos of mornings, especially when you have multiple children and adults who need to be multiple places at multiple times. Sometimes I just don't have time to try on my own clothes and see which ones fit my ever-changing postpartum body. I know that those flannel pajama bottoms and "Papa" shirt will work just fine for the walk to my home office or the drive to drop off the bigger kids at school.
Because It's A Throwback
When I was in high school I wore incredibly baggy clothes, to the point that you cold barely tell there was even a person in them. Sometimes wearing my partner's clothes makes me feel like a teenager again.
Because They're The Only Clean Pajama Pants
Newborns are hard. They don't often let me put them down to do laundry. Thus, the one or two pair of my pajama pants that fit me postpartum get dirty pretty quickly. So if his are there and at least semi-clean? They're on.
Because They're Replaceable
My partner, bless his heart, has what we jokingly refer to as "the uniform." For the entire time we've known each other, and likely well before that, he generally can be found in a standard outfit: blue jeans and a black shirt, sometimes pajama pants at home. Parenting is messy and black shirts are pretty easily replaceable, so this is kind of awesome.
Because I Feel Like It
I just do.
What's that old saying? Something about when mama's happy, everybody's happy?
Because Why Should I Apologize?
Seriously, why should I apologize for wearing my partner's clothes? He doesn't care, so why should anyone else?
The one person I will apologize to for wearing his clothes is my partner, and even then it's only a very specific apology. When my leaking boobs stained his favorite shirt? Yeah. That actually happened. Sorry, babe.