I had grand plans to have a very organized and minimal wardrobe once the baby came. I envisioned that I would shed most of the baby weight and be back in my regular clothing by January. I expected that my active and healthy lifestyle before baby would give me an advantage in recovery.
Things turned out a little different from my vision.
At 12 months postpartum I am getting close to my pre-baby weight. I still can’t fit into most of my old clothes. Besides compensating for breastfeeding, my body is still putting it self back together. My hips and lower back click when I work out. I wake up stiff. I still have a lot of work to do strengthening my abs and legs.
I didn’t expect this, but I am totally okay with this reality. I am focused on making my body strong again. If that means I eventually fit into my old clothes – fantastic. And if not – I’ll purge them and move on.
Currently, I have an enormous amount of clothes in play. I have a full maternity wardrobe, all of my old clothes plus the few items I have purchased post-baby to get me through the transition period.
To deal with all these clothes and my sanity, I have made some simple rules.
1) In my closet, I only hang up the clothes that fit me NOW.
I keep two baskets on the closet floor. One for clothes that are too big (maternity) and one for items that should be donated. On my closet shelf, I keep a “wear soon” box for some of my favorite items I like to wear ASAP. I also keep my workout gear that doesn’t fit me now. I find that workout gear is the most forgiving. I can usually go down a size first in these items since they are stretchy.
2) I go through my clothes every time I do laundry to make sure each piece still fits. This is critical to keep myself tidy and organized.
One part of my postpartum vision was correct. I have found that my current, smaller wardrobe has really agreed with me. I just wish it was full of pieces I loved. In December, when I go through that big ol’ Tupperware of regular clothes I will be highly selective of what clothes I keep. I want to keep going with this smaller wardrobe approach. I just have to wait until my body is ready.
3) Ignore the shoes for now.
I installed this amazing shelves in the back of my closet for all my shoes. Unfortunately only 20% fit me now. My feet seem slightly wider now and with my body changes I have no desire to wear heals. I want to feel balanced and sturdy. I’m not ready to go through my shoes yet. I have an emotional attachment to many of them. Maybe I’ll do that in December as well. For now, I rotate between a small selection of flats that feel good.