creative with mix-matching my outfits… I loved to be what people say today, “ON POINT” with what I was wearing. It was a BIG deal to me to set a unique fashionable tone to my wardrobe each day. At one point in my college years, I spent some time really researching how to start your own clothing business. I wanted to eventually design clothes and sell them. I wanted young girls, teens, and women to know how to stay fashionable and modest at the same time. I was a teacher, so I thought, what better way to teach modesty than being in the school system.
Well… that dream began to fade once I got pregnant with my little spit-fire. Around 23 weeks, I started to put on the pounds… I MEAN PUT ON SOME POUNDS. My body started to change drastically and I didn’t like it one bit. I wanted to be this cute little pregnant woman with a great wardrobe… What was I thinking? Then, by 30 weeks, I was put on bedrest for extremely high blood pressure and excessive weight gain. Talk about a kick in the gut. I had to lay around ALL DAY LONG. In my mind, I thought I was going to have to give up fashion and live in my pajamas for the rest of my life.
After my sweet Charleigh arrived, I had to take it easy for another long period of time due to complications with healing from a c-section. I didn’t want to go anywhere anyways… I looked like Oger version of Pheona off Shrek (I am not exaggerating). I stayed in big and comfy clothes because I had to have something easy and accessible for my little piggy to be breastfed (literally like every five seconds). I actually put all of my time, money, and effort into making Charleigh the most fashionable little baby on the planet. I had completely given up on buying anything for myself or even trying to look half-way decent. I couldn’t find anything to wear anyways.
One day, I was cleaning out one of our closets and came across some old pictures… I looked through them over
and over again. At this point, I was so disgusted and proud of myself all at the same time (pregnancy hormones
take a long time to leave after birth). Disgusted because I looked like I had eaten 2 to 3 of my old body AND proud because that body provided a safe and healthy place for my baby girl to develop. It was after a couple of minutes of flip-flopping from the two emotions that I heard God say, “You are still my precious girl.” I had spent so much time on what the world viewed as fashionable and beautiful that I forgot to focus on what was most important. After some days of fighting with myself, I gave in. I started realizing that I was still a precious jewel who didn’t have to impress anyone but God. My greatest wardrobe and accessories had become a beautiful red-head on my hip and all the gross and sweet things that came with her… spit up, throw up, boogers, poop and all!!
I am here to tell you beautiful, caring, self-sacrificing (in all areas of life), loving, hardworking MOMMIES: You are worth it all. You are a rare gem. You are loved and adored by the most wonderful God. You matter a great deal.
“What you say and think you are; you will eventually become.” -My wise Mema has shared this with our family for as long as I can remember.
Don’t spend wasting time like I did worrying about what the world viewed as beautiful and perfect. You were created by a God who makes no mistakes. Wear those clothes with your head held high know just how beautiful you truly are. Don’t be ashamed of how your body has changed. Use your wardrobe as a way of expressing who you are on the inside.
Here are a few ways that I maintain my sense of style with very little to no effort:
1. I add a little flavor to whatever I choose to wear (T-shirt and jeans… Sweat shirt and yoga pants…etc.) I will add some red lipstick and a little bit of mascara and find a cute “bun on top of the head” how-to tutorial on Pinterest and go on my merry little way.
2. I invest in really good jeans. I know that my lower stomach isn’t where I want it to be, so when I go shopping, I may spend a little more on jeans that are compatible to that c-section pooch. I will just spend less on shirts so that I can spend more on jeans. “Invest wisely and wear liberally.”
3. I found this idea on pinterest a while back… On the days that I am feeling the most confident or I really like the outfit that I put together so effortlessly, I snap a picture of it and put it in my phone so that I can always refer back to it… If I need to change it up a bit, I always can… I just don’t want to forget about it!! Everyone likes to feel confident!
4. Flannels and booties are my go-to… You can dress them up or down.
5. I snap pictures of other women and their outfits online or sometimes out in town if I find their outfits unique and something that I would like to try for myself.
6. Who wants to fix their hair EVERY DAY…? I don’t! I have invested in several hats of all styles and accent them with my outfits… works EVERY TIME.
7. Biggest tip: BE YOU! IF YOU LIKE IT… WEAR IT! We weren’t created to be the same. If people look, LET THEM LOOK and see it as a compliment that they are taking the time to keep staring at you!!! We are our hardest critics… LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK!
Have fun with it!!! Charleigh and I have fashion shows all the time! Enjoy this life, ladies!