You know, I still don’t feel like Kristin. I don’t know who I am sometimes. How long does an identity crisis last after you’ve had a baby? How long does it take to transition and feel comfortable as both the women you were/are, and the mother you’ve become? When does it stop feeling weird that you aren’t doing the things you used to do?
I still get alerts on my phone telling me that it’s time for BodyVive at the gym. Or Aqua Scuplt. Or group training. I haven’t been to any of those classes for over a year. When I manage to get to the gym at all, my time is dictated by how long Gibson will remain calm in the onsite day care. And instead of enjoying my work out and getting super sweaty, I’m thinking about how much my arms will hurt the next day trying to pick the baby up.
And I haven’t danced in well over a year either. I used to go to practice weekly. Now I watch videos of famous belly dancers on YouTube, and remember when that used to be my aspiration. It’s more than just the dancing. It’s an excuse to put on way more makeup than you would ever consider on a normal day and a costume that you’d never wear to the grocery store to buy Cheerios. There are lots of mothers who are also belly dancers. But how do they do it?
In trying to blend what used to be my life and what currently is my life, I bought some sequin leggings. I rationalized the purchase by telling myself that they would be good to wear when I’m vending my Jamberry products at belly dance events. Flashy, but not so distracting you can’t concentrate on what’s on my table. And I have my sister’s wedding coming up… in VEGAS! If there’s ever a place to wear sequins, it has to be Vegas, right?
All of my girlfriends online were very supportive. But certain family members haven’t been. They said the leggings were ugly when they saw them online. They said they were ugly when they arrived at our house. And I haven’t brought myself to try them on yet because of time constraints and of course, I want to be alone when I wear them to avoid hearing the U word again.
The real problem is that I let myself absorb that. Ugly. The leggings are ugly. Wearing the leggings would make you ugly. Liking and purchasing the leggings makes me ugly.
My body is different. Will always be different. And I’m working hard to embrace that. I’ll never be in my 20s again. I’ll be 33 years old in a month. And even though the opinions of others shouldn’t matter so damn much, sometimes it gets in your head. No one else is responsible for how I feel about myself. I can’t let their opinion overrule my own. But damn, dog.
I’m glad I bought the leggings. I’m tired of waiting around for someone to approve of me. I approve of me. Even if my belly now sticks to the top of my thighs. Even if my boobs look like two deflated balloons. Even though I’m utterly and completely covered in stretch marks everywhere you can’t see. So I’m going to buy a flashy sequin tank top to go with my flashy sequin leggings and not give two good goddamns what anyone thinks about it. I’m here. You see me. And I don’t care either way what you think. Even if you’re a member of my family.
I used to be glamorous on occasion. But there’s no time for elaborate glamour. I can’t even get to the salon for a haircut and eyebrow wax. So I’ll have to sneak it into my everyday life. And if that means drinking margaritas with my ladies and wearing sequin leggings- then that’s what is going to happen.