I was on the verge of an identity crisis this morning. Standing in my bathroom, about to apply my not-really-matching foundation, looking at my 9 weeks postpartum body in the mirror and wondering what I should wear today, I started to panic. I am losing myself. I used to wear lipstick. I used to care about my clothes, and I used to wear heels. I even used to dry my hair, every day; I wouldn’t leave the house with wet hair (Seriously? Who would do that?).  I put on a purple t-shirt and ponytail, deciding it would be fine for today, until I noticed the shorts and tennis shoes on the floor behind me from yesterday’s ‘fine for today’ outfit, and I said to myself “This is not who I am…” But I answered myself: this is who I am, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. My outfit for today, yesterday, and the past few weeks may not represent who I want to be, but it certainly represents who I am, at least at this moment.

Today I’m going to be running errands in Austin’s 100+ degree weather, carrying a 13 pound baby girl who is guaranteed to spit up on both of us at least twice, and somehow I will probably get baby poop on myself.  How can I look cute? Honestly, how can I be bothered to look cute? And how can I look put together without wearing my go-to staple of long dark jeans, which would be ridiculously too hot for the weather, and require heels which are borderline ridiculous for errands with a baby in tow. Oh, and a shirt with nursing access, so cute dresses are not an option yet. My closet is full of maternity shirts that are too big, three nursing shirts that have been seriously over worn in the past 9 weeks, and maternity jeans and skirts that fit but I am pressuring myself to wear real clothes with buttons instead of panel waists. My fancy pre-maternity work clothes are neatly boxed in the garage. I feel too guilty to go shopping for new clothes without first checking what is in those bins.

What’s a girl to wear? No longer working, but still caring about looking put together. Not comfortable with my jiggling areas in skimpy summer clothes, and feeling too frumpy in Bermuda shorts and tennis shoes. Too hot for jeans, too embarrassed to wear denim maternity pencil skirt one more time (yet eternally thankful for the thick concealing and controlling fabric of thick denim with lycra!).  Not willing to go shopping for clothes that fit the transitional body, preferring to invest in transitional workout clothes to help the transitional body speed along its transition.

I took off the purple t-shirt and hung it back up, choosing a teal, blue and white fringy scarf and a white t instead. I put it on with a teal skirt and gold flat sandals. The t requires an undershirt to conceal my bra, back fat, and jiggly belly. I realize that it’s probably just as silly to wear an undershirt and scarf in 100 degrees as it is to wear jeans, but I will pretend. I look sort of cute, but I look better in jeans.

Should I forgo errands and spend the afternoon getting my closet under control? Bring up boxes one at a time and start getting the maternity wear out of my closet? Would getting my closet under control help my life feel more under control? Is that more important than groceries, diapers, making returns, going through the stack of mail on the counter, doing baby laundry, ordering baby announcements, and finishing a birthday gift for the party we’re attending tomorrow afternoon?  Fortunately, my baby girl just woke up from her nap, saving me from self-absorption. I will have the same closet crisis tomorrow. And I still have wet hair. But now it’s time for much more important things. It’s time to change her stinky pants!

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