Mood-boosting outfit #1: after the baby

mood boosting outfit

By Terri Cluckie

These trousers were the gift to myself for after my baby was born. I haven’t had them on since he was two days old. That day I last wore them I had no make-up on so the dark circles under my eyes looked especially dark, my hair was up in a shitty bun and the white t-shirt I had on was full of holes and did the worst job of covering up the fact that my nursing bra gave me cone boobs because it is made entirely of one layer of cotton fabric (no padding whatsoever). I was not looking or feeling good that day, especially because my precious newborn was hating life and would not stop crying and given the fact that we had only met two days previous, both my partner and myself had no idea what to do with him so the screaming continued for most of the day.

But anyway.

Fast forward three weeks and life has settled a little. I still have no time for anything but every night just before he finally sleeps I take a few seconds to think about what I’m going to wear the next day because it makes me feel really good. I’ve never been so experimental in what I wear than I have been the past few weeks and I think it’s because I’m putting a lot of effort into the little things that make me feel good during a time when I don’t always feel so good.

Today I decided to wear my special trousers with a crop top I bought from Topshop almost three years ago but had yet to wear. I planned on wearing a red lip too but screaming baby = no time for precision = no red lip.

Make-up aside, I was really pleased with this outfit. So pleased I decided I needed to get out the house just to make sure at least one person I don’t know witnessed its greatness. That and I needed to go to the shop for fish for tea.

P.S. How good is Stranger Things? Is anybody else watching it? (stupid question).

[Image: It’s me]

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On being 36 weeks pregnant

Eight months pregnant

By Terri Cluckie

The past few days I’ve been really uncomfortable at night time. I can’t get comfortable on the couch when I lie on my side or my back, and there is only so long one can sit perched like there is a ruler running down one’s back. Sleeping has been a little on and off. Whenever I need to turn over I can feel the baby like “right there”, as I keep telling G, like he (the baby) is forever lying at the front of my stomach and in between my legs. It’s the strangest and most awkward position for him to be in. I can feel his weight on either my stomach or my bladder pretty much constantly unless I’m walking – but when I walk for too long I get tired. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I do however have a “glow”. But whether that’s because of the Mac blusher I’ve been wearing on the inner corners of my eyes and cheeks or the baby I’m not so sure. I’ll take either because it makes me happy. I still get a fright when I look in the mirror because from up top (AKA my usual point of view) my bump is pretty small. I find myself wondering if people are aware that I’m pregnant. I’m definitely clearly pregnant. I just moved my mirror from my Mum’s house to our house so now I have a view of myself from the front, from the side, whichever way I like. My stomach is huge. My baby looks massive. As far as I’m aware I haven’t put on any weight though and I pretty much look the same. For this I am very grateful because being pregnant takes its toll on your body, regardless of how much you change and I can only imagine how upsetting it is to feel/be bloated and nauseous all of the time.

I’m also grateful for the fact that I haven’t had to work during the majority of my pregnancy. I realise it’s a luxury/ privilege so I won’t dwell on the fact, but I do understand how lucky I am to have been able to rest up and enjoy my pregnancy as much as I can. I have nothing but admiration for mothers who work throughout their pregnancy. I get tired after doing the dishes, Lord knows what kind of effect a full day’s work must have on the body and mind when 8 months pregnant and carrying a bowling ball between your legs.

I have four weeks left to go (maybe) but I’m convinced he’s going to arrive any day now. With any slight twinge I brace myself for the full impact of labour, the smallest drop of fluid down there and I’m sure my waters have broken. I used to think I would give birth exactly one week late, but now I’m sure he is going to arrive a few weeks early. Our hospital bags wait for us in the living room so I feel more prepared for when the day comes.

I’m nervous about what my body is going to look like after I’ve had the baby so I’m trying to bat that curve ball as far away as possible before the time comes. When I want to feel good about myself a new outfit always helps so as my way of pre-boosting my post-birth body confidence I’ve bought a new pair of trousers especially for coming home in. I’ve wanted them for a long time and managed to snag them when they came back in stock. In fact, I featured them in my post back in April about having no money but mentally spending anyway. They’re the slouchy navy Topshop trousers with polka dots. I swear they’re very cool. I saw them on an Instagram post so have based the concept of my look on that photograph. I’m convinced they’ll relieve any kind of baby blues I might experience in the next few weeks. Ha. The power of blissful ignorance.

[Image: Me at 35 weeks pregnant]

Hallucinations of a completely skint human being

By Terri Cluckie

I’ve clearly been high this week because my search history includes net-a-porter.com, theoutnet.com and alexanderwang.com and my bookmarks bar looks like something out of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet.

Up until recently I have accepted the fact that my current financial situation just can’t justify buying new maternity bras or food so I have been hibernating in an attempt to not spend the money that doesn’t live in my purse anyway. It’s proving to be difficult. You know how they say, “when you don’t have the money you always see something you want to buy in the shops”? That has been my week in a nutshell with no thanks to the internet. I’ve even found promise on New Look’s website. I mean REALLY.

I couldn’t afford the bigger box of Rennie’s from Superdrug the other day but I can definitely afford a pair of Alexander Wang Amelia flats AND one of his bags. I’ve chosen to go with a mini version of the bag though because I’ve not forgotten I’m on a budget.

And I have a plan. I have cleared out my room of all my junk to sell at a local carboot sale on Sunday so that I can afford my new lifestyle. With all the money I’m going to make from it I have wishlisted my way through Topshop and the entirety of Marni shoes available on theoutnet.com for when my ship comes in and my swanky new house needs some sweet, sweet merchandise to fill its shelves.

In case you are interested, here are some of the items I’ve “pre-bought”… in my head:

1. Alexander Wang Amelia flats: I’ve wanted these since they graced the runway in September therefore by the laws of the universe it’s only fair I own them now.

Alexander Wang Amelia flats
Alexander Wang Amelia flats

2. Marni Embellished Leather Loafers: They don’t even have these in my size and I’m still convinced I can buy them.
Marni Embellished Leather Loafers
Marni Embellished Leather Loafers

3. Alexander Wang Mini Rockie: Don’t tell me this bag is overpriced ok? Nobody believes you.
Alexander Wang Mini Rockie
Alexander Wang Mini Rockie

4. Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers: A more realistic wish yet still so far out of reach for someone who currently relies on their mum to keep the milk stocked in the fridge.
Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers
Topshop Spot Pleat Trousers

24 and pregnant: Figuring it out

Mean-Girls-Gym-Teacher

On the fears of motherhood and what comes next.

By Terri Cluckie

When I was in high school it seemed teen pregnancy was rife. Like literally everywhere so we had to do all we could to protect ourselves against this disease because it could bite us all and then our lives would be over. We were constantly prepared for what not to do through fear of what might happen, but not for what do to if it actually did happen – at any stage in life.

Now that I’m 24 and five months pregnant, it seems the tables have turned. Somewhere in the seven years that I left high school, teen pregnancy has all but disappeared and somehow we’re all waiting til we’re in our 30s to have babies – or so the articles I’ve been reading keep telling me. The thing is though I know this isn’t true because I myself know seven women, all different ages and at different stages in life, who have either just had a baby or are pregnant right now.

When I search online for advice on pregnancy and careers, all the wonder women who are featured are older than I am, have already had a start in their careers, are killing it, and even though they struggled, are apparently definitely making it work. I love these stories; they are inspirational but they also make me scared and feel slightly under-accomplished (get over yourself, Terri).

But really, what happens when you fall pregnant and you don’t have your life sorted out already? And how many people are laughing at me for saying that? If Girls and Sex and the City has taught me anything it’s that actually nobody has it figured out, period, but that doesn’t always stop the mind from spinning.

Let me share with you my story. Up until a few months ago I was living in New Zealand as a writer for a publishing company. I am now unemployed and living with my mum back in my hometown in Scotland (my inner comedian actually loves this story). So right now I’m trying to figure out how one adjusts their life when they’ve had to leave one and start another. How do you get your “career” back on track when, 1) You have a tiny life growing inside of you and, 2) Are you sure you even have a ‘career’ in the first place? These are questions I ask myself on a daily basis and it’s a roller coaster because some days my mind thinks, ‘WHY? WHAT? HOW?’ and then other days it’s, ‘Terri, you will find your way. It’s only been two months. You really need to relax.’ But I can’t relax because that’s not what I do.

I’m not afraid to be a mother, I’m not afraid of how much my life is going to turn upside down in a mere four months. I can’t wait to meet my son and each day my stomach grows, it fills me with pride and real happiness. I’m so excited to have a baby with someone I love. What terrifies me is the thought that my son might not have a happy life (a burden that will follow me to my grave now) and the thought of losing myself in the midst of motherhood. These are scary things to me. I’m only 24 and I barely know myself, how am I meant to raise a tiny guy so that he has the best life possible while simultaneously figuring things out for myself?

It would seem I’m also terrified of already screwing up my chance at a non-existent career which is ridiculous because other than write I really don’t know what I want to do with myself anyway. And truthfully, if it weren’t for my baby I would still be stuck in a place that I was actually miserable in. So why is it then that pregnancy has me suddenly terrified of ruining something I didn’t have in the first place?

I could blame a million things but stopping reading articles that don’t relate to me would be a start. I’m usually good at switching off to things I don’t like but when something is playing on your mind that can be difficult – like birthing videos. Why are they always on your YouTube suggestions when you least need them?

Life is full of adjustments and unexpected turns and only time will tell. Maybe not much will change; maybe everything will change. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to have an extra best friend to take with me.

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I haven’t figured it all out yet but these are a few sources that get me through the day whenever I’m experiencing a trough on the roller coaster:

1. Jessica Grose – she is a writer of many things, but I mainly read her work at Slate.com where she writes about women’s issues and being a parent. Her articles helped me a lot when I first found out I was pregnant, particularly this one: The Case for Having Kids in Your 20s.
2. Jessica is also the editor-in-chief of Lenny Letter which is another goldmine of information about women from all walks of life, mothers or not. I always find it provides me with guidance even when I’m not looking for it.
3. Tamira Jarrel – a beauty blogger who also happens to be a Mum of two. She doesn’t necessarily talk about being a mother but for me it’s nice to know someone around my age can be successful on their own terms while juggling motherhood.
4. The Pool – a website for women that covers everything. Check out their candid Parenting Honestly section. It’s pretty brilliant.

[Photo credits: www.bustle.com and Google Images]