2017-04-02 / Family

Love your leggings: It's no stretch


My husband and I are now in the ecstatically delightful throes of expecting baby number three. 

We’re full-on prepping our kiddos for two new additions to come this summer – one an actual construction remodel made of knee walls and sheet rock and a whole lotta insulation, and one that, well, won’t let us get a full eight-hours’ night winks for several months.

Who are we kidding? I don’t get eight hours’ sleep now.

As the proverbial dictum goes, third time’s the charm.

As a mother, I think – nay, I know – that my first and second tots are absolute charmers already.
But when it comes to maternal comfort gear, this third go-round will finally be a charm, for me.

Because I’ll finally have come to my senses and discovered leggings for the first time despite past pregnancy rodeos and high regard for lazy weekend mornings. Somehow, I’ve never worn leggings.

I’m not quite sure how it all took so long. The leggings craze, among both the pregnant and non-pregnant circuit, has exploded.

Patterned bottoms with eye-catching designs sold via parties where Tupperware once reigned have stretched in popularity worldwide in all their elasticized glory. 

I just honestly didn’t pay much noticed until necessity won recently.

I was sitting bleacherside weeks ago in somewhat stuffy air by a giant indoor pool, uncomfortable as any burgeoning-bellied woman could be. I tugged at my makeshift maternity pants, i.e. regular dungarees snuggly tightened around my waist where I’d added a belly band – a black, tube-top-like stretchy material that covers over unbuttoned pants so that pregnant women feel no restriction by the stomach.

But restriction was all I could feel, coupled with uneasy discomfort as I sat on those hard bleachers.
As I glanced up to cheer our five-year-old swimming mini-laps on his final day of lessons, I was learning my own lesson as I spied a mom walking mini-laps of her own around the pool. She was unmistakably nine months’ pregnant, but looked unbelievably comfortable in shiny leggings with a long, flowy top.

I leaned in closely to my husband and whispered, ‘I really need leggings.’

He whispered back, ‘Sure, just reach out to your nearest leggings consultant!’

The leggings resurgence had become so huge that even my own husband knew about them.

And here I was, midway through my pregnancy, knowing full well my active kids – and my weight gain – weren’t slowing down any time soon, and what was I wearing? Makeshift maternity pants.
What was I thinking? Blame pregnancy brain, I guess.

The following week, I stocked up. My legs, hips, and ever-growing stomach have never thanked me as much as they do now.

I can even feel occasional flutter kicks of extra-real estate appreciation from within. 

And my new leggings – they come with pockets. Pockets! 

So why the delay to jump on the comfort bandwagon? Perhaps I’ve never been interested in attracting attention to my growing hips. Perhaps I’ve long-associated leggings with ‘80s workout videos.

But I’ve got long shirts, and my position as creative director requires I sit behind a desk most of the day anyway, legs tucked underneath.

So I have to wonder, is it really a stretch to love my leggings so?

So many things in a pregnant mama’s life are already constricted: Time, budgets, restrictions on caffeine consumption, patience with trying to neatly fold fitted sheets.

And so here’s this opportunity for unhindered comfort, by welcome contrast.

I can give my legs, hips, and rapidly ballooning stomach this serene abundance of contentment by loving my leggings. 

Ain’t no shame in that.

Now onto tackle my next project: How to apply toenail polish this summer without being able to see what I’m doing.

— Michelle Cote is the creative director of the Journal Tribune and a nationally-syndicated columnist. She enjoys cooking, baking, and living room dance-offs with her husband, two boys and a dog. She can be contacted at mcote@journaltribune.com.

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