So for this week’s it’s-about-me-this-week challenge, I decided to clean my underwear draw, and buy some new lingerie. My initial thought was, clearing out the old and bringing in the new might be just the thing to get the “love my body” process underway.
Since university—while living on spaghetti and adrenaline—I’ve always had a drawer full of beautiful, expensive lingerie. And this was before Victoria's Secret took the world by storm.
In my twenties, I swore that unless it had to do with period panties, I would NEVER, under any conditions, wear cotton undies.
I would hand wash the underwear, place it gently on a line to dry, fold it precisely and set it lovingly in the draw. There were always lavender bags scattered throughout to give a lovely fresh scent. It felt delicious every time I opened the draw.
When I first got married, it was incredibly fun to parade out the bra and panty sets. Sometimes in the morning, I would ask my husband, “Which set would you like to see on me tonight?” Knowing he would go to work and daydream about the underwear.
Within the first few months of getting pregnant, the little wisps of lace panties quickly stopped fitting properly. I’m too pragmatic to buy expensive maternity lacy underwear to keep up with my temporarily expanding body, so I bought a ten-pack of cotton pregnancy underwear.
After my first son was born, and I was back to my original weight, my body shape had changed. Most notably, my already tiny breasts became saggy-raisins (ugh!) Most of my beautiful bras no longer fit. Slowly and with much angst, I tossed the Italian lace sets in the garbage. I started buying more cotton underwear because it was more convenient to wash and wear with a baby.
Since baby two, my once pristine underwear draw is now a dumping place.
No gentle wash. No precise folding. No scented satchels. I take the underwear straight from the laundry hamper and dump it into the draw. Every time I open the draw, my guts clench because it’s such a mess.
Not to read too much into this, but I would say the underwear draw is a perfect metaphor for how I feel about myself and my body sexually.
I used to take care of myself and take pride in my appearance. Now feel I’m doing well by not walking out the door in a ratty pair of sweatpants.
I bit the bullet and went shopping for underwear…with my two babies.
Bad idea. Very bad idea indeed.
As my toddler lunged at every bra rack, I didn’t really have a chance to get a good look. Instead, I grabbed something that looked my size.
As I couldn’t try the underwear on at the store, I immediately tried it on when I arrived home. It was difficult looking at myself in the mirror. At first, I thought it was because I’m still a few pounds over my normal weight and look marshmallow soft.
But I realized while trying on the bra—while simultaneously picking crusty snot off my breast from where my newborn was breastfeeding, and listening as my toddler excitedly pointed out, “There’s mummy’s vulva!”—that I’ve got a weird asexual mommy vibe happening.
The bra didn’t fit well, and the panties were too tight and scratchy—or maybe the panties did fit well, but I’m now used to how cotton panties stretch.
So this week’s challenge was almost a bust. I did clean up my underwear draw, and it felt good to open it and not see the mess. Maybe this is the first step in the slow process of feeling sexual again.
I was so discouraged while trying on the underwear that I half-haphazardly tossed it into a nearby laundry basket (and promptly forgot about it).
Somehow, (even though my husband can’t find the milk in the fridge) he naturally found the underwear in the laundry basket. Excited as a kid at an ice cream truck, he asked, “Did you do that on purpose? Just so I could find it ‘by accident?” Men!
Sadly, I did not end up doing a fashion show for my husband. I was much too insecure.
Originally published on TrinaRead.com