Mr Baffled and I went to a wedding recently. A wedding, as we all know, is a joyous affair and a fabulous occasion which allows for getting dressed up in your Sunday best. So there I am: a beautiful dress that makes me feel like a million dollars? Check. Gorgeous evening clutch bag (as opposed to the across-the-body variety containing boxes of raisons and a small car)? Check. Glamorous makeup and hair blow dried like you just stepped out of a salon? Check. The little Button-Pusher at home with Grandparents? Check. We’re good to go for a day of romantic vows, heartfelt and funny speeches, delicious food, gallons of champagne and lots and lots of dancing. We arrived at the venue and out I stepped from the car, only to be immediately reminded that said fabulous outfit had required some fabulous high heels, and this is where the problem began. After a quick scour of the memory banks, I realised that the last time I wore these particular shoes was to the last wedding I attended: 10 months ago. Ten months. Nearly a year. It’s almost a year since I last put my feet into a pair of heels and attempted to walk like a human being. On both occasions, the balls of my feet, my ankles and my calves quickly pointed out, through the medium of pain, that I am just not used to wearing heels any more. And this particular pair are not even that high! Pregnancy and parenthood require comfort at all times and for me, flats are the only option. A wardrobe full of beautiful heeled shoes have barely been looked at, let alone worn over the last 3 years. I take my hat off to any mum who wears heels while running around after a toddler. Honestly I don’t know how Victoria Beckham does it!
Before the Bride arrived fashionably late and the ceremony had even begun, I was shuffling from foot to foot attempting to ease the discomfort that was starting to niggle. I mentally reprimanded myself for not bringing flip-flops with me for use on the dance floor or journey home. And then I realised that I no longer have calf muscles: I have mum muscles. Muscles that have been subtly altered by virtue of slightly modified use once you become a mum. My feet are now so used to being in flats, that my ankles and legs no longer have the strength to walk, or stand, for any length of time if the flats are replaced by heels. The mum muscles in my legs won’t allow it.
Had other parts of me changed since becoming a mum to B-P?
My arms and shoulders had toned up from lifting and carrying a 98th percentile baby: good mum muscles. My lower back had decided to pretty much stop working from lifting and carrying a 98th percentile baby: bad mum muscles. My face which once hid my true age thanks to good genes (thanks Mum!) now presents a tired, stressed and prematurely ageing person to the world: very bad mum muscles. My brain* is now filled with strategies for how to get B-P to eat vegetables, and Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank Engine, where once there were (relatively) well considered thoughts and (some) knowledge of a grown up world: extremely bad mum muscle!
Pre B-P, I never wore heels on a daily basis, but I did love them for an evening out and a special occasion. For now though, I love my flats and thankfully have discovered a fabulous blog called En Brogue which is all about style and comfort, and a source of great inspiration for flat shoe wearers. However I’m going to have to retrain the mum muscles: I have another wedding to go to in August and I’d like to get those heels out of the box again. And it would be SO good to do some house keeping on the desktop also known as ‘my mind’: clear out a bit of Peppa Pig and replace it with, well, anything else really that reminds me that I’m a fully functioning adult.
As for the recent wedding? I drank lots of champagne and danced the night away regardless. And prayed that my darling little Button-Pusher would be kind to a mummy with a hang over and sore feet the next day. And bless her cottons: she was!
* It’s now widely thought that the brain acts like a muscle: it grows and changes when you learn. Peppa Pig may have shrunk mine (as perhaps so did all that champagne at the wedding!), so me thinks it’s time for some serious brain training!