Back in the UK, before I had children and waaaay before I became The Shape of a Mother, I read one of those terrible spam emails. It was one of the ones with a tragic story and an insistence that the reader made life changes so that the tragic story was not about them next time. For some reason, this one actually got through my cynical defenses and struck a chord with me. It urged me not to save my best jewelry, perfume and undies for special occasions, and to make every day a special occasion by wearing them every day. I decided there and then to find a perfume that suited me, put in my earrings and wear only matching underwear from that day forwards.
I kept it up for years. I wore earrings, spritzed my pulse-points with Chanel Coco Mademoiselle every day and bought 4 new bras, each with 2 pairs of matching knickers. It made a difference to my mood, strangely enough. I felt more like I was taking care of myself, and felt more inclined to smile and stand up straight. I was surprised at the change it made, and wondered why I had not done it sooner.
When we moved to NZ I kept it up til I got pregnant and my nice undies stopped fitting. After the birth of my first child, I made a considerable effort to lose my baby weight within 1 year and got back into the nice undies and perfume, and I bought studs for my ears due to grabby baby-hands.
Then came the second baby and I didn’t quite lose all the weight. Then I ran out of Chanel and kept forgetting to ask people to bring me some when they came through duty-free. Then came the new house and the third new baby and I lost sight of myself for a while.
Now Tareka and I have decided that Hakopa is probably going to be our last child, he is about to turn 1 tomorrow and we have finished breastfeeding. I have lost about half the baby-weight, but have a long way to go til I can fit all my nice undies again. I may well not ever fit them again thanks to breastfeeding gifting me D-cup boobs which haven’t shrunk back to my pre-baby B-C cup size. I have no more Chanel, but plenty of nice moisturizers and face cream and a jewelry box full of trinkets.
I am back in matching, non-maternity undies (not my fancy pants yet, but nice sets nonetheless) and I do my hair every day. I have a little beauty routine about once a week and I am using the treadmill more and more.
Bring on your tragic spam emails, I’m ready to show the world who I am again.