Let me begin by saying: I have no idea where to start – so I will go about it in a random way. This is about Stitch Fix (eventually) and my new mom life. Sorry if it’s a little lengthy. I know I should split the post, but I am having a tough time with that as the two topics are related in my brain.
I LOVE shopping. It’s fun to me. I enjoy going to the mall and walking around, even window shopping. I love the experience of going there alone as well as with others. I like the term “retail therapy” a lot. I find there can be a lot pressure to buy something or maybe even some judging if you buy an item those with you find over-priced. However, when you are with true friends the experience of it – trying on things, laughing at shared dislikes, finding THAT item you’ve been hunting for, or even just sipping your coffee while walking around and chatting is what I love about it. I have had some very deep and meaningful conversations with family and friends while doing this mindless activity. So when you say you hate the mall and the crowds, sure, I get that – but I have had some of the best times in those stores with those I love. I just chalk it up to you haven’t been with the right people! (hehehe) But I have to say the past few months have been brand new to me.
You see, I had a baby boy in August, he is now 3 months old. I had one amazing friend since we moved here 4 years ago, we met at work. My hubby and I came from a large church surrounded by several great friends. And then moved because of my job and suddenly became friendless.
How do adults make friends??? We do not do the bar scene… We don’t really have any hobbies we are decent enough at to find others who like the hobbies too (running -gag me, leisurely biking-not many folks around here know what that is; they prefer to extreme road bike on windy shoulder-less roads with super tight spandex on- no thanks!) And we were the kidless couple at church so it was tough to find new kidless couples to be friends with.
AnyWHO – being pregnant suddenly opened up this whole new world to me I never really knew existed.. I went out to lunch with a coworker and we saw a LARGE group of pregnant women and some new moms with little babies. read – like 20 of them. (I was 7 months preggo and VERY ALONE in this new stage of my life). Both of our entire families live in the state we left. So I went my entire pregnancy without them besides a few random visits here and there.
So what would any rational woman in my position do? Probably not do what I did. I swallowed my fear and walked over before I could talk myself out of it. I introduced myself timidly and really only spoke to the 2-3 girls closest to me. (It felt like junior high all over again- I believe my opening line was – :Hi, I’m L. I noticed everyone is pregnant like me. Can we be friends?- No I am not joking.). I asked what they were all doing/where were they from? A new mom’s group in the area was beginning. I tried not to jump for joy and hug them. Almost cried (preggo hormones are crazy). God knew I needed them in my life and plopped me at Panera on a VERY HOT June day with NO SEATS inside, so my coworker and I ended up sitting and sweating outside (People – being pregnant in the summer is NO JOKE – the AC is your best friend). But it was the only reason I saw these ladies at all. If someone had graciously given up their seat inside for us, I would have never met this bunch of women. Thank you Jesus for all the rude people at lunch inside Panera that day.
I got to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy with these ladies. We were going through very similar things at the same time. June – August ended up giving me some of the very sweetest, most loving friends that I had no idea were absent from my life. I no longer felt so alone. I actually now looked forward to the huge life change this baby boy was going to throw my way. I could text or call them and cry about how my maternity shirts weren’t fitting and they would understand. I had a reason to leave the house in the summer.
Baby Boy Arrives: we had an incredible experience (Details to come in 2nd post – it’s a whole story by itself). These women were there; they brought food. Such a simple thing; but a new mom and dad not having to make dinner, is one of the best gifts of all. Seeing another adult face. Asking if the baby is normal and not getting a funny look. No judgement. No drama. The first outing together with baby was a Panera lunch and he was 2 weeks old. I felt very out of sorts (and had mastitis). They cooed over the baby, said I looked fab (even if you know you have dark circles the size of moon craters on your face) and it was what I needed to hear. I no longer feared leaving the house with the baby by myself.
The summer went by in a heartbeat once baby boy came. Suddenly, it was fall. The first few weeks of baby’s life were a roller coaster of all new things. But slowly – all these new mom friends were also having their little bundles! One by one our hang outs were being transformed from bumps to babies. It was so incredible. Babies brought us together. The moms with older babies were there filled with love and advice. I love knowing I can ask LITERALLY ANY question; and it will be met with honesty, humor, and love. My heart could burst.
Fast forward to now: God has blessed me abundantly with these women. And in a few days I return to work. My heart aches and cringes. I am thankful. I am thankful for my hubby, my baby, my job (the reason we came down here in the first place). I am thankful for my new friends. But you see, once I go back to work I won’t see these beautiful women and their babies as much. I got more time than most. I am thankful for each extra week of leave I was able to stay home with my little squish. (He’s 3 months old and 16 lbs. not so little I guess!). But I am anxious about it. This new routine and the burden of working and balancing this new mom life. I don’t know how I am going to do it. I am anxious I will feel alone again and distanced from my new mom friends. I will only be able to see them weeknights or weekends and let’s face it, I’ll be dead tired during the week so…weekends.
I am trying so hard to be Thankful. Thankful and grateful I have them at all. But I know I will mourn seeing them daily and weekly. With Thanksgiving coming in a few days I feel that this thankfulness will hopefully outweigh the sadness and anxiety I know is creeping at the edge of my thoughts. Perfect love casts out fear – so please pray I allow this to happen. Ack! It’s so much harder than I realized it would be. Partly, the reason I created this blog post is to let it out. If I don’t I will burst. Even if you stopped reading, I wrote it. It’s real. It’s me and where I am now. I am afraid I will not be able be the mom I want to be, and the teacher I will expected to be when I return on Monday. It is not easy, it is not 9-5, and it does not stay at school. I do not know how I am going to cope. I am going to miss staying at home with squish and texting “hey want to go get coffee?” and getting a “yes” for a reply. No more shopping outings during the week for hours on end just walking and talking even if we don’t buy a thing. It’s not about buying “stuff” it’s about spending time with the friends I am there with. And I won’t be able to do it as much. Growing up is hard.
Stitch Fix: (if you scrolled to here – it’s ok I forgive you – I baited you)
Back to shopping for the moment – gotta breathe out some of the intense feels from the paragraph above – I love shopping in the mall with friends but a friend on facebook was always reviewing her stitch fix packages and I loved seeing her photos and all. Yes, I stalked all of the posts and pinned some of the pictures to my board on pinterest. So, I decided after much deliberation to give it a try. I did one before I was pregnant, then 1 while pregnant.
Details: You fill out your style profile, you tell your price point and if you want or need certain things, and your stylist sends you a box of 5 items picked just for you. There’s a style card to show how they suggest wearing the items too (I need this to see what else in my closet would be able to go with this new item or to give me ideas about what I already own). There is a $20 styling fee but it comes off your total order if you keep one thing. You get 25% off the entire order if you keep it all and the styling fee also comes off. Pretty nice deal if you ask me! (I promise it all relates!! I tried separating the post!) As much as I love the experience of shopping with my friends and pushing my baby squish in his stroller around the mall – having a box of picked items sent to my doorstep is HIGHLY enjoyable. If you want to try it please use my referral link; My Stitch Fix Referral Link
You see, life with a newborn is quite different. You need to get yourself ready, get the baby ready, feed and change the baby, pack the diaper bag, the stroller, the baby carrier, extra outfits, etc. You have to load all of it in the car. You have to unload it all upon destination arrival. (Now the baby is hungry, again). Read: it’s exhausting and takes a lot of extra time than it used to. Oh and being out in public means you have to put on real clothes (and post baby, guess what they don’t fit the same). Here comes the stitch fix connection! Thanks for hanging with me – Seeing as many of my clothes are not fitting so great I decided I was pretty close to my pre-baby size to try it again, making sure my stylist knew to leave some room for changes.
Why I love it: I can have my pj’s on, covered in baby drool or spit up, my hair could still be in bedhead mode, and he could be screaming his head off in just a diaper – and no one knows. I can open the stitch fix box in the house. I never have to leave the house. The whole leaving the house process with the baby makes easy trips a thing of the past.
Hello newfound love of my mom life! This box seriously makes me giddy. What did my stylist pick for me!???? I have had previous stitch fixes and haven’t been overly impressed. I kept maybe 1 or two items. 2 dresses. I even did the pregnancy one- 2 shirts. There is incentive to keep 1 item because that $20 fee comes out of your pocket even if you don’t keep anything (bummer right?). So if I like a shirt and it’s $48, I know it’ll be $28 if I keep it vs. losing that $20 fee and not having anything to show for it (ps: $28 is like Target range ladies). I always hope they’ll be at least 1 thing! So far there has been! And below is my most recent Stitch Fix. And spoiler: I kept it all. So I not only got $20 off but for keeping all 5 items you get an additional 25% off the entire purchase. Hello savings!
Some of the items are pricey. So you have to be open to your stylist what you are willing and not willing to buy. I have chosen “the cheaper the better” on EVERY option in my style profile and still get a few expensive items. Think Gap, Banana Republic, Express, American Eagle prices. But the convenience of it coming to me, price per wear, and better quality clothing means I do not have to replace it every season (walmart and target clothes are notorious for not lasting me long)…and hey maybe having someone else pick things for me will make me wear more than my favorite color (teal). And I rarely find clearance or on sale items in my size when I need something (that post from my old navy find of long black yoga pants for $0.47 NEVER happens to me). Please excuse the tired mom in the photos. I can’t believe I am posting this…. be nice please!
Top- Market & Spruce: Crowley Mixed Media Knit Top
I like this! It’s fun and I have nothing like it in my closet. It’s very comfy and soft. And I like that it’s unique. I also know I will wear it! Just because it’s different or unique doesn’t mean you will wear it. Make sure you will wear it! KEEP
Jeans- Mavi: Freida Skinny Jean
OMG THEY FIT ME! PRE-BABY SIZE too! Do you know how AMAZING that feels!?!?!?! New mom WIN! They are the perfect length (being petite is tough) and I don’t have to cuff them! They are not baggy or too loose in the knees either! I would be insane to send these back. KEEP
Top- Papermoon: Marsha Mixed Material Top
At first, I frowned when I saw this. I am not one to pick up shirts like this with this kind of pattern. This was beyond comfortable and I like how it fit. I can wear it to work or around for errands. Versatility and function means I will wear it more! It’s loose like the plaid top which is unusual for me – I always feel swallowed up in loose tops. But these lovingly hide the post baby belly that I am still a little self conscious of. And surprisingly enough, I actually liked the pattern once I put it on. I pretty much only like stripes as far as patterns go! So again, something different! KEEP (The jeans are the same ones as posted above in all photos.)
Jacket – Blank NYC: Lettie Faux Leather and Knit Drape Jacket
I have been hunting for a black leather/moto jacket for some time now that doesn’t scream biker chick. I have a gorgeous brown one hubby gifted to me AGES ago from the Gap (like college). I have been wanting a black one because it goes with anything. This is so cool! It does zipper and has a unique bottom – which might drive a few of you crazy I know it’s not straight. The front and inner sleeves are knit and the outer sleeve and back are the faux leather. Because of it’s shape it fits my frame really nicely without making me look shorter or drowning me. When it’s zippered it has a neat cowl neckline. Again, I have not seen anything like this and love how it fits me. I can leave it open or zipper it. KEEP
Dress – Gilli: Gary Dress
For starters, if this doesn’t scream teacher dress I don’t know what will. It’s actually a great length for my petite frame and not 5″ below my knees. It is a low neckline but a cami (in any color-WOOHOO) can go under it. I know from the side I was a little unsure of it because of post baby shape but decided I loved the versatility of the dress and will overlook my insecurities at the moment because it’s such a basic I can wear for so many things. I can wear it in the winter with a cardigan and tights too. KEEP
So there you have it! My friends and stitch fix are why I love shopping. The adventure and experience of being out and about is something I still love to do. But with this new role of being a mom to a beautiful baby boy the chance to go out isn’t as readily available to me. And yes, I could easily search other stores online and ship things to my house – I know. But having someone pick the items, not knowing what they are, and having a 5 item limit makes it fun and the surprise of what is in the box takes it to a whole new level. I won’t do it often, like I said, it’s not always “affordable” but if you are going to spend it in the mall what’s the difference if it’s coming directly to you instead? Again, ease of arrival makes this SO appealing. My plan is for every new item I receive I will go through my things and take out 2 of the same type of item I do not wear to slowly revamp the wardrobe. I tend to hang on to things if they fit me, even if I can’t remember the last time I wore it. (I still have jeans from high school…yes they fit…sorry you can hate me. But because of this I have a hard time letting go of things. I can be sentimental about it too if the item was a gift from someone.)
Give it a try! Remember this is my 3rd one so the first 2 weren’t as amazing as this – they get better as your notes get better to your stylist. If you stalk my photos- my maternity photoshoot I am wearing the stitch fix dress I kept and I wore it to my baby shower in June. The teal embroidered top is from stitch fix (maternity photos). And the 1st baby shower in June from my friend the navy colorblock dress is stitch fix. I was able to wear the dresses and shirt during my pregnancy and they FIT now too after having the baby. Talk about versatility!
God Bless – L.
(I haven’t decided to share names just yet)…I don’t know why.