By Jessica T
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manag... (More)
About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manager at Google, Inc. (Please note: The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and not those of Google.) My husband grew up in Los Angeles and is a novelist and professor at San Jose State University. Our daughter attends the Menlo Park public schools, and I was a member of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation board for three years. I am now a board member for the Center for Literary Arts at SJSU. I struggled with secondary infertility for five years and recently conceived and delivered fraternal twins - a healthy baby girl and boy in May 2013. I've worked (and pursued my graduate degree) since my elder daughter was twelve weeks old. I supported my husband throughout his graduate education, and now I'm the primary breadwinner for our family. I have coped with the pressures and angst of what that means for many years. I am lucky to have a husband with a flexible schedule; he shoulders the lion's share of housework, cooking, and childcare in our home. I'm looking forward to engaging with men and women who can relate to the challenges of modern day life in Silicon Valley. (Hide)
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Freedom and disgust: my first outing to Old Navy
Uploaded: Nov 4, 2013
Seven weeks after the twins were born, I ventured out alone for the first time. I was behind the wheel of my perky, bumper-sticker laden Mazda, no longer pregnant and fragile. In the cd player was a new mix from a friend. I sported my sunglasses with the windows open. The sun shone, and I felt free and 19 again and all that was missing from my teenage years was a nicotine buzz.
Eager to shed the 50 pounds I gained with the twins, I was heading quickly to Old Navy to get a cheap swimsuit so I could dive back into the pool. I had no more than 45 minutes to find something that fit before my husband would be burdened by crying, hungry babies in need of a nurse. I loaded a dressing room with every style of bikini and one piece they carried in a number of sizes. I wasn't completely unrealistic; I didn't reach for extra small, but I was disturbed to realize the following:
1) It might take more than 45 minutes to find anything at all that I could wear in public.
2) My bikini days were over. For good. (Indeed I was not 19, but nearly double that age...)
3) My breasts couldn't even fit in a small top (despite the fact that they barely filled an extra small pre-pregnancy). They had ballooned to a medium and they hurt.
4) The fluorescent lighting revealed that I had cellulite on the front of my thighs (in addition, of course, to the back) something I had previously thought not possible.
The ride home was quite a bit less celebratory. I did find a suit in a strange white and turquoise pattern that made me look like an out-of-shape pin-up model. And I tried to shrug off the fact that I no longer recognized the body I lived in. I wouldn't be out of my maternity clothes for a while, and to estimate when I might fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes was none other than cruel and unusual punishment.
I pulled into my driveway to the sound of anxious babies crying. My vanity dissolved, and I disappeared back into mommy oblivion.
Have you had a similar experience? How has your self-image and body image changed since becoming a mother?
What is it worth to you?
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