Becoming a mother certainly brings with it a change in lifestyle – to put it mildly. Try these essentials to ease the sometimes troublesome transition. By Afia R Fitriati.
Shortly after my pregnancy became public knowledge (among my circle of friends anyways), a friend made a comment on my Facebook wall:
‘Congratulations, now your life will change forever.’
Change? Forever? Really?
Several months and many sleepless nights later, I finally realised that my friend was right. Having a child has changed everything in my life. It changes the way I look at things, the way I think, and even my wardrobe choices. When I examined the contents of my wardrobe, it occurred to me that in the past couple of years since I had my baby, I’ve developed a certain list of fashion rules and must-have fashion items, although somewhat unintentionally. This list, as trivial as it may seem, has been useful in my everyday endeavour to juggle multiple tasks as a mum and a white-collar worker.
I wish someone had told me these rules a long time ago when I was still expecting, because a wardrobe malfunction with a cranky baby in tow can turn into mayhem – trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way! So to all you new mums, here’s my gift to celebrate the arrival of your new bundle of joy: A mum-tested, kid-friendly fashion guide in descending order, from head to toe.
1. ‘Stay put’ hijabs
In the first few months after the birth of my son, the only hijabs I wore were slip-ons. Sometimes they didn’t match the rest of my outfit, but who cares about fashion when your daily life revolves around bathing, feeding, burping and changing a baby?
Now that my baby has grown and become a toddler, I pay more attention to my hijabs because, after all, they are the crown of every outfit. Even still, practicality is very important to me. For that reason, my everyday hijabs are usually made of voile, jersey and cotton materials. Why? Number one, they’re non-slippery and sit well on my head, even when I don’t wear inner hijabs. Number two, they absorb perspiration well (God knows how much work a mum does, right?). Number three, they can handle the pulling and snagging that your child and her or his toys will sooner or later inflict upon you.
2. Nursing-friendly tops
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, make sure that you have a good selection of shirts and dresses with buttons or zippers on the front side. In other words: nursing-friendly. Luckily, chic nursing-friendly tops are quite easy to find these days. Casa Elana is one Islamic fashion brand that specialises in these staple pieces.
3. Extra-large tote
Make sure that your handbag is large enough to store your regular stash as well as baby stuff such as tissue, baby wipes, baby powder, small toys, etcetera. Even if you have a separate bag for your little one, having these things ready in your own bag is a prudent emergency precaution.
And don’t be shy with the colour of your arm candy. Carrying a bold-coloured bag can perk up your mood or, at the very least, take some attention off your tired eyes. I have a fabulous friend, also a mum, who sports a sunny yellow handbag. My personal favourite is a tote in shocking orange, which I pair with a…
4. Bag organiser
Having one of these babies really saves my life – or at least my penchant for sporting nice- lookin’ arm candy, even in the realm of multitasking motherhood. The reason is simple: I can stash all the essentials that I mentioned in number three above into the bag organiser, so when the mood strikes me to change my handbag, all I need to do is move the bag organiser to another bag, and I won’t miss or lose a thing. How smart is that?
5. Flat shoes or wedges
At least until your child can walk with firm steps, it is better to kiss your collection of high heels goodbye. If you really have to wear heels, opt for wedges or other chunky-heeled types of shoes that won’t easily tire your legs. Remember that you’ll have to carry a significant amount of weight on a daily basis and spend countless amounts of time chasing after a very active creature, so give your feet a bit of slack by wearing flat, comfy shoes or sandals.
As my friend correctly predicted, the arrival of a little one will change your life forever. You’ll have less sleep, get used to spit stains and – in spite of it all – experience the greatest joy of your life. Just have fun with it while it lasts, because one day you’ll turn around and wonder how quickly your baby grew up. And trust me, until that day comes around, you’ll thank me on the bag organiser tip.