Even before their arrival, your little people are costing you money. From meals that make their reappearance minutes later while praying to God, “why Lord!?”, doctor’s visits, nursery items and even your clothing. While you really can’t do much about the first two, unless you’re blessed to avoid morning sickness all together and your insurance is amazing, the other two are fairly easy to handle, especially the nursery. It can grow with your child (ex. Crib converting to daybed to full size bed) or be passed on to the next. But with maternity wear, it's slightly different. Unless you plan on being pregnant year to year, you really have no use for them after your little one arrives except maybe those first few weeks after giving birth and your body is still changing as it adjusts to post pregnancy life.
While I would love to go out and buy a whole new maternity wardrobe, the way my budget is set up, that’s just not happening. Besides I’d rather shop after the baby comes as a reward for hitting my goals on my quest to post baby weight loss. So in the meantime, I’ve been utilizing a few tricks (4 hacks really) to make the most of what I have and not breaking the bank when a purchase is necessary. As a former uniform wearer (I wore scrubs) surprisingly the transition really hasn’t been hard. Let’s take a look shall we?
1. Watch What You Eat
I know, I know. You probably don’t want to hear this, but ladies being pregnant is not the time to go H.A.M on all the food you’ve ever wanted yet deprived yourself from having. In fact watching what you eat should be even more of a priority during this time. Normal weight gain for the average woman is 25 to 30 lbs during pregnancy. A little more if you’re underweight and a little less if you’re deemed overweight. Now don’t get me wrong, go ahead and have that ice cream or piece of cake. Just don’t do it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. What you eat your baby “eats” as well. I’ll admit my first trimester was filled with more french fries and burgers than I have in year but I got my life together (and a little morning sickness), went back to the gym and got back on track. The results? I’m 22 weeks in and have only gained ELEVEN pounds! Sure I’ve added a little more padding in the thighs and my arms are little more soft than I would like for them to be, but this minor weight gain has allowed me to still comfortably fit into most of my everyday clothes. See number two.
Tom Kha soup. A spicy concotion made with mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro, kha root, lemongrass, green onion and shrimp in a coconut based broth.
This is a breakfast staple for me. Everyday I have a spinach omelet with some type of fruit on the side but no cheese though.
This was part of my lunch. But I also will eat this as a snack in a heartbeat. Its sourdough bread topped with avocado, pickled daikon, cucumber and carrots with a healthy dose of fresh radishes. Yum!
2. Assess The Clothes You Already Own
At one point in my job, we had casual Fridays so I had previously bought a few pieces of clothing for the occasion. But since I’m no longer about that scrub life, about half the clothes I had purchased during that time are still wearable today. Now the pants I can’t close anymore but rectified that problem with a rubber band looped through the buttonhole and around the button. Sure I could use a belly band but it just rides up after standing up and down throughout the day. I then moved all those clothes to one side of the closet so I knew exactly what I had to work with at any given time. Ya’ll I can even still wear some of my BLOUSES which is a surprise. Between the belly and the new boobage, I thought for sure I’d have to hang those up but I’m still rocking them strong. While I do repeat bottoms often, I manage to change it up by wearing different top styles, adding a vest or slight layering (tank top under an open blouse) or even switching the shoes from one outfit to the next. I’ll eventually incorporate some of my blazers as it gets cooler but in the meantime with this Texas weather still being disrespectful it will be awhile before that happens.
Top - Bought from Target for $13 or $14, Pants - I bought them a couple a years ago from the Gap, Shoes - Coach from Dillards for $40 4 or 5 years ago. I'm so freaking awkward in front of the camera.
3. The Other Friends With Benefits
Ummm….not those, the other ones. You know the friends who’ve just had babies or don’t plan on having anymore and for whatever reason still has maternity wear hanging in their closet (Thank you Carla!!!). Most of my friends are done having kids and closed up shop a few years ago. But thankfully there was still one who had a few things left to spare and that we were thankfully close to the same size. I was able to pick up a few dresses, a couple of tops and even a skirt thanks to her. Since she has a great sense of style, her clothes will fit in seamlessly with mine.
4. Shop Past Season
Ok, if all else fails and it still isn’t enough to get you through the next nine months, go do a little shopping. But shop with a plan AND a budget. As I mentioned earlier, it's still pretty warm here in Texas but the stores have already put out their fall and winter wear. So you what that means? Deep discounts on summer clothing!! Now once again because I’m not trying to break the bank, my places to shop have been Old Navy and Target. I’ve also made a couple of purchases from LuluRoe, which isn’t exactly cheap compared to what I’ve been spending but it's to support a fellow mom and her small business so no complaints! Besides the clothing is cute and can be worn post baby. Woohoo!! Anywho, my bargain finds have typically been less than $25 with most being in the $5-15 range for sleeveless dresses and tops and a couple of blouses. As the temperature drops, I’ll be able to layer each piece of clothing with either a sweater, blazer or cardigan and pair with my favorite boots and booties. If you’re heading into spring and summer, your options are a bit limited but still doable to a degree. You could buy thin long sleeve tees and blouses that will help deflect the cold temperatures which is often the case in offices when warmer weather is barely on the horizon.
Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience or one from hell. Hey, it's not always roses, let's be real. But in retrospect those nine months pale in comparison to the years we’ll spend being the mother of little people who morph into bigger people in what seems like a blink of an eye. So instead of spending tons of money on a temporary wardrobe, save your dollars for something a little more important, like a trip to Disney World.