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The Healing Power of Jeans

on April 20, 2013

We all have them.  You know, those jeans buried in the back of your closet that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of because you hope you will wear them again someday.  Well, yesterday this happened…  

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I decided I would risk the self-loathing and try on my pre-pregnancy jeans.  These are jeans that I haven’t worn since 2008.  FIVE YEARS.  Where does the time go?!  I was doubtful when I slipped the first leg in and thought, “this is not happening!”, but I pressed on and slipped the other leg in.  I took a deep breath, sucked in, and pulled them up.  To my surprise I was actually able to zip and button them!  I may not be able to sit in them and they might give me a slight muffin top, but they fit (I didn’t say I was ready to wear them out in public yet).

Here’s a little backstory.  My three boys are relatively close in age – 17 months between #1 and #2 and 16 months between #2 and #3, which means that for the past five years I have either been pregnant or nursing (not to mention holding on to a few extra pounds after each pregnancy).  My youngest son recently stopped nursing, so now I have my body back to myself for the first time in a very long time.  As much as I love being pregnant and nursing, it feels pretty damn good to take a break from being a “host” for a little while.

Back to the jeans… as silly as it may sound, these jeans immediately transported me to 5 years ago, living a carefree life in Brooklyn.  It was like being reunited with a long-lost friend.  After all, these jeans had ridden many subways with me, had walked many streets with me, had accompanied me to my favorite corner bar, had hung out with me and my friend in her backyard and overheard many conversations, and were even present when I found out I was pregnant for the first time.  These jeans and I go way back.

After just a few minutes spent in these jeans, their magical power seemed to spark something in me that I’d forgotten about.  ME!  They reminded me that I’m in still in there, buried underneath piles of maternity jeans, diapers, and dirty laundry.  These jeans reminded me that I almost completely lost myself.  See, as a mom I focus pretty much 100% of my time on my boys.  No lunch dates, pedicures, or shopping alone for me.  I’m not saying you should neglect yourself the way I do when you’re a mom, it’s just that I’ve never found a way to balance my kids and my own happiness.  The way I see it is that my kids make me happy, so… that’s balance, right?  I know it’s important for a mom to “hit the refresh button” and take time out for herself, but I have a hard time leaving my kids.  Rather than discuss why I’m such a weirdo, let’s just agree that I need to do more things for me, okay?  And thanks, old jeans, for reminding me of that!

Not only did these jeans help me rediscover myself, but I also realized that I look pretty good again.  As I mentioned, I never completely lost the baby weight in between each pregnancy, so being able to fit into these jeans was a major accomplishment for me.  As cliché as it sounds, it’s certainly true that feeling good about the way you look just makes you feel better all around (I’m sure that pedicure would make me feel even better).

Yesterday the sun seemed to shine a little brighter and my kids’ giggles were even more contagious thanks to the healing power of jeans.  I even had a little pep in my step the rest of the day.  Who knows, maybe these pre-pregnancy jeans will soon have a proper spot in my closet after becoming covered in baby puke, tears, and hugs – an initiation into the Mom Jeans Club.

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