Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have a confession to make

I’m still wearing maternity clothes.
Wow. Feels good to put that out there. Jude is 9 weeks and in the past month I have lost a mere one pound. I can’t remember exactly where I was with Jack at this point. I know at Christmas time I was in my “fat jeans”, which would have been when he was around 10-11 weeks. So I’m not sure why the weight loss seems to be so much slower this time around. Maybe it’s a second baby thing? Or maybe it’s the fact that, in those days, Jack was taking every spare calorie I could muster? Or maybe it’s because it was winter and I never left my house and just wore sweatpants all day long? Whatever the reason, I’m beyond ready to be back in my regular clothes, if I could only inch them past my thighs. Until then, I have to keep the elastic waistbands around a little while longer.

Well, at least until a few days ago. I finally caved this week and took myself on a bit of a shopping spree for my birthday. Jon offered to entertain Jack all night so I could schlep Jude around the mall for two hours and get his opinion on a handful of clothes two sizes larger than normal. Which brings me to another confession: why I bring Jude everywhere. It’s not just to give Jon an easier time. Jude’s an easy baby, Jack is a bit more tough, and the two of them together is quite a challenge. But I don’t think that’s the real reason. I think I finally figured it out. Jude’s my greatest accessory, but more than that, he’s my big, fat excuse. A great reason for why I’m still wearing maternity shorts, why my roots are showing, why I never wear make-up … I can only hope that people take one look at Jude, and then realize why I look like I haven’t slept in days. His cuteness also helps deflect the attention away from me.

But more than that, he’s part of my identity. Both boys are. I think I’m at a tough stage in life. Many of my peers aren’t married yet, and a lot of those who are don’t have one kid, much less two. So I’m at this awkward place where I look like I could be in any number of life-stages. And it doesn’t help that I’m petite and, if one was not looking closely, could pass for a college student.

Which must have been why, while at a stoplight the other day, two boys in the car in the next lane yelled in my general direction. Now maybe they didn’t notice the small children in large car seats, or the diamond on my left ring-finger, or even the SUV I drive that, in my opinion, screams, “I drive this large car just to haul small children and their many accessories!” And part of me just wants to tell them, “You just hit on a MOM, of TWO, who wears MATERNITY shorts, smells like SOUR milk and goes to bed before 10 every night so she can be up at 5am to NURSE her BABY. Cool, huh? Now go pick on someone your own age.” But they just didn’t know.

And that is why I keep my kids close. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love an occasional evening alone just as much as the next mom. But not to re-live the past. I love being a mom and I’m proud of my boys (unless they are throwing a fit in public), and I wouldn’t trade it for any other dream. Not even the living-in-England-while-getting-my-Ph.D. one. So no, I have no desire to be young and single again. Now,I will confess (what are we up to, three now?) I do miss the just-Jon-and-me days. Which is why I really appreciate a chance to have a date night or even a quick trip to the grocery store, just the two of us. And why I’m working hard at convincing my husband to take me on an exotic second honeymoon next year. I mean, I have been known to occasionally begin a sentence with “Someday, when the kids are all out of the house …” But I don’t want to rush things. I want to enjoy the right here, the right now. The little boy sleeping soundly in his crib, completely worn out from tearing apart Daddy’s office, and the little boy lying on the floor next to me working so hard on a smile …

And I aim to enjoy it all regardless of whether or not my hips ever return to normal, I get to sleep in on a Saturday, I get to wear those cool earrings that always get caught in tiny fingers, or my shoulder forever smells like spit-up. My goal is to enjoy motherhood, and all its quirks, and never try to hide it!

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