being a mom
I Just Threw Out A Nursing Bra Which Is Good Because My ‘Baby’ Is Nine-Years-Old
My mom doesn’t like to throw things away. She isn’t Hoarders-bound, but growing up in Latvia during WWII has probably caused her to be a bit reluctant to discard things she no longer has use for, because she sees it as wasteful. I can appreciate this. But what I can’t appreciate is the fact I just the other day threw out some skanky old threadbare nursing bra that I was wearing on occasion just because it was comfortable. And this bra wasn’t nine-years-old, the age of my younger kid, it was purchased when I was breastfeeding her brother, who is 11. Yes, the bra was expensive when I purchased it, because nursing bras do cost more than normal bras, but when it fully hit me that my favorite throw-on, schlubbing-around-the-house-and-doing-laundry bra was indeed a BRA USED FOR BREASTFEEDING it freaked me out, and into the trash it went.
It wasn’t a pretty bra. It was white at some point. It was worn and had some loose threads and I dried it in the dryer and it wasn’t like some majestic gorgeous undergarment. It was the type of bra I would never let my spouse see me in. I kept it because it was comfortable, and because I feel guilty on occasion when I throw things away. Because it feels wasteful. And because things are expensive. But a nursing bra! When I’m not nursing and haven’t been for seven years! When I no longer even have a uterus so there won’t be any babies in my future!
I bet you have something like this in your dresser. I don’t know what it is, a pair of jeans you will never fit into again, a pair of panties that have seen you through far too many menstrual cycles, a t-shirt with bleach stains on it. Why do we keep these things? What do they mean to us, because they sure as hell aren’t adding some magical bonus to our wardrobe or making us feel sexy or attractive or making an outfit when we get dressed for the day.
I think I kept my bra because it was comfy. And because I think a small part of me felt sad I would never use it for its intended purpose, because I’m not having any more kids. I think I held on to it for some many years because I liked throwing it on and it’s because it’s something my mom would have kept too. But if I wore this 60 dollar bra through nursing two kids and on occasion for the last seven years on and off when I was too lazy or too tired to put on a normal bra I think I got my monies worth.
I’m not going to go out into the rain and rummage through my garbage can to get it back, either.
I can buy a new bra! I have some money! I can buy a bra that is cotton with no underwire and probably even in some cute print that will be just as cozy as my old skanky breastfeeding bra. But it won’t have memories in it.
And I know how stupid that sounds. Trust me.
My new throw-on-shlubbing-around-the-house bra still won’t be something I want my spouse to see me in. And it also won’t be what I wore when feeding my babies, and what I wore while nursing through mastitis, and cracked nipples, and kids with fevers, and teething kids, and tiny little newborn kids who smelled like milk-fed kittens, their downy heads nestled against me as I nursed them by moonlight when the rest of my house was filled with sleeping people. We were the only two people who existed in the whole world – exhausted and old me, this new little human who was on this earth for less of a time than the butter in my refrigerator.
My kids are older and they are getting older and we are all getting older every single moment of every single day. I just won’t be wearing a skanky old nursing bra while doing it.