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24th Sep 2015

8 items of clothing that only mothers will know

Sophie White

When you get a baby, there’s a whole new world of garments and gadgets.

I always love starting a new activity that requires an entire new wardrobe, my favourite part of starting a new fitness fad is always the ‘essential’ gear that needs to be sourced prior to actually doing any work, and this pretty much sums up my nesting phase. I loved shopping for all the baby bump supports and maternity dresses. Everything from the intriguing nursing bras that can release a boob in a moment’s notice to the paper knickers recommended by the hospital (who apparently have never heard of Penneys) thrilled me. Browsing Mothercare was so much easier when the baby was still inside me and not running around trying to hide under the skirts of random shoppers and scratching sleeping babies in their prams. As the actual work of having a baby got underway, the sheen of the nursing bra immediately wore off and the very definition of ‘clean’ clothes completely changes.

8 items of clothing that only mothers will know

1. The leggings that are essentially grafted to your body at this stage

Mine are so worn away at the crotch at this point that from time to time The Man gets the wrong idea and thinks that they are intended as an alluring, erotic garment. Yikes.

2. The nursing bra

I am so challenged in the boob department that invariably my maternity pads would migrate out of the bra of their own accord. This lead to the bra being permanently drenched in precious breast milk, a substance so hard won in my case that I took to wringing the bra out over a cup in an attempt to salvage the milk. No dignity was salvaged during these attempts sadly.

3. The maternity jeans

On the one hand after six months you’re sick of the sight of them and, on the other hand, you never want to part with them. Waistbands are such a distant memory that the thought of ever wearing them again fills you with dread and rightly so.

4. The back-to-pre-baby-weight skinny jeans

The reintroduction to waistbands is a cruel process. My child is nearly two, and I still treat myself to elasticated pants at least six times a week. After much declining of biscuits and vague attempts at jogging, eventually (nine months or so later) I was back in my pre-baby skinny jeans. When I presented myself to The Man triumphantly saying “I fit back in my old jeans!” and doing a little victory wiggle, he kind of shielded his eyes and said; “What exactly constitutes fitting?” indicating the unsightly belly-overhang that was obscuring the waistband. They were so tight the waistband had been subsumed by my belly rolls.

5. The milk/sweat-soaked tee shirt that lines the cot

Did everyone use a smelly old tee-shirt wrapped around a lukewarm hot-water bottle to eventually con their child into sleeping in their own bed or is this just me? Either way the joke was on me when The Child appeared to prefer hot-water bottle mumma over flesh and blood mumma. They always win somehow…

6. The GIANT knickers

When I was pregnant, I bought size 20 knickers that covered the va-jay-jay, went over the whole bump and could be tucked up under the sorry boob-flaps that were formerly my breasts. I have been unable to part with them since; they’re just too comfortable.

7. The stained top that will have to do

Is it poo? Is it chocolate brownie? Best not to think too much about it. Pre-kids dry cleaning involved delivering your clothes to a shop and collecting them a day later pristine and ready to go. Now, you know that move where you scrape a stain with your fingernail or the pink plastic toddler spoon? That’s dry cleaning.

8. Poo pants

Their pants! Your pants! Everybody has poo pants when there’s a baby around!