By Michal Goldfein
When thinking about motherhood, some beautiful images come to mind. My kids’ laughter when having a pillow fight, snuggling at bedtime and reading a book, or having a game night. As a mom of four, however, I can assure you that my life has many less-than-picture-perfect-for-Instagram moments.
In particular, it is hard for many mothers, me included, to carve out “me time.” Another area that becomes difficult for a woman after becoming a mom is how to feel confident, put together, and beautiful in one’s skin. After having kids, our bodies don’t automatically bounce back to what they were prepregnancy. There’s some pressure, whether from ourselves or social media, that we must be back to “normal” after six weeks.
This brings me back to when I had my two kids 11 months apart. I distinctly recall people asking me if I was pregnant six months after having my second daughter. There was a pit in my stomach that I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough. This brings me to the question: is there a way for fashion to actually be a tool in helping a woman to regain self-confidence?
Before answering this question, I feel the need to bring up another fashion/motherhood conundrum. The trendiest fashionista, after giving birth, usually has a difficult time figuring out what to wear every day. Often, there is a sense of not having time or being too tired to even put together an outfit in the mornings. It’s common for a mom to feel guilty for taking any precious moments away from the attention she gives her child. Another thought may be: Why bother wasting time figuring out what will look good, when, at some point, that great outfit could — cue baby’s spit-up or sticky cookie-dough catastrophe — be ruined in a moment’s time?
After delineating these two prominent struggles, I admit I feel a sense of helplessness. Ever the optimist, I am resolute in my attempt to address these struggles and propose some solutions. Firstly, if I could go back to myself 13 years ago, I would say, “Be kind to yourself!” To those feeling this negative pressure, from a fashion standpoint I would say that you can use clothes to empower yourself! Wear a pretty necklace, swipe on that lipstick, do whatever it is you do that reflects the beauty that lies within.
Speaking to the issue of wanting to be both practical in the way we dress as mothers and the desire to sport fashionable outfits, thankfully there is an abundance of options on the market. Companies have become aware that moms want clothing that is easy to clean, easy to move in, and beautiful to those who wear them. Wren and Ivory offers many options for wrap dresses that are great for nursing moms, and also come at reasonable price points. Maternity stores carry great products that can be worn after pregnancy; for example, Pink Blush maternity has fabulous nursing dresses that women can feel beautiful in. Button-front dresses and amazing jersey dress options from companies such as JCPenney make dressing put-together so much easier. Take a simple striped dress, elevate it with gold flats and a pretty gold necklace, and you’re good to go. Tunics are another great option for camouflaging that middle torso area, and there are some great silhouettes available at ModCloth. Pairing them with a pencil or straight skirt can be very flattering.
No matter her size, a woman should always feel confident in her own skin. Let your fashion be an expression of who you are. Remember, don’t let society dictate how you should feel. If you want to wear that hoodie with a flared skirt and leggings, go for it, girl! And give your children some extra kisses, too.
Michal Goldfein is a fashion influencer and content creator on Instagram and posts daily modest fashion inspiration @TheFashionDetour. You can listen to her modest fashion podcast on Apple podcast and on Jtriberadio.com. E-mail your fashion questions to Michal at Thefashiondetour@gmail.com.