As new parents, we worry about making mistakes with our little delicate newborns. I made a few mistakes, but they had nothing to do with our new arrival; instead, the things I screwed up were all things that had nothing to with baby and everything to do with me. If I could tell my pregnant self one thing, it would be to remember that your body will be ever-changing, so don't give up on it.
I was frustrated when I started back at work after baby and none of my work pants fit. I could squeeze into my jeans, but the unforgiving fabrics of professional attire wouldn't budge an inch, so I bought two new pairs of pants to get me through (or, to my chagrin, to start my new wardrobe of sizes a wee-bit bigger than before). But after being back on the job for just two weeks, I lost those final pounds...and then some. I was breastfeeding, so my body was burning the midnight oil when it came to calories. Plus, when I returned to work, I was more active and less sedentary, even with a desk job. Thankfully, I had purchased only those two pairs of pants, so I hadn't spent a ton of money. Now, they're too big—and for a while, even my old clothes hung loose. Lately I've begun slowly weaning my son, so I only nurse in the evening and sometimes in the morning. The "bonus" pounds I lost have come back and I feel like I'm almost back to my old self.
Here are the three "mistakes" I made after my baby was first born:
1. Getting Rid of My Old Clothes
It's summer now, so I really regret throwing out nearly all of my summer clothes last year when I thought, "I'll never fit into these again!" I would recommend keeping your old clothes for at least a year, even if you're not fitting into them yet. I'll also be keeping those pants that became too big in preparation for my future post-pregnancy body. I'm learning that, even after almost a year post-birth, my body is still changing and rearranging!
2. Not Taking Care of My Skin
After the birth of my son, my skin changed dramatically. I had always had oily skin, but one day when he was about 3 months old, I woke up and my skin was dry. Beyond dry. It was uncomfortable; still itchy and flaky after numerous coats of my old moisturizer. I finally broke down and bought cleanser and moisturizer for dry skin. It felt strange to go out and buy moisturizer because I'd never had dry skin before. But I'm glad I caved. My skin felt so much better! Lo and behold, a few weeks ago, my former skin came back. One day, my face had the sheen of a grease slick and it was back to my roots as an oily girl. Maybe it had to do with hormones, or breastfeeding less—who knows? The point is that even your skin will throw you for a loop, even months after baby arrives. Thankfully, I had kept all of my prior skin care products (mostly because they were expensive!), but I had almost thrown them out on several occasions.
3. Throwing Out My Pre-Pregnancy Bras
I'm a small-chested girl (and proud of it!), so when my breasts swelled beyond my wildest expectations, I may have gone a little overboard and parted with my prior bras. The phrase "I'll never fit into this again!" reared it's ugly head again, and out those bras went. Warning: When you stop nursing, your gals deflate. If you're losing baby weight on top of that, well...let's just say when you call "helloooo!" to them in their cavernous homes in a bra that's too big, you get plenty of echo in response. Of course, every woman is different. But my tip: Hang on to your old bras for a year (or until you're done nursing) just in case.
Our bodies are amazing things, constantly adapting to our new roles. Don't stress, and for Pete's sake, don't discard everything you own on the whim of your changing body. Just enjoy the ride! Your wallet will thank you later.