This is the picture that woke me up to the sad state of affairs in my chest region.
I had worked out in a torrential downpour and my son had taken a picture of me, which is also why I'm blurry and look like I have no eyebrows. Much to my dismay there is about a foot of space between my chin and my boobs. My rack had fallen back. My breast friends were feeling low. My Cha-Chas were no longer dancing.
A week later, on the spur of the moment, I googled bra fittings and found a place nearby but you never really know if something is good on google, so I sent a private message to my friend @ShopWithRobin asking if she knew someplace my girls could get lifted. Sure enough, she gave me the name of the same place I had googled. I was off.
Here's what I learned when getting fitted for a bra.
1) It's not the cup size you need to worry about, it's the band size. The band is what offers most of the support.
2) You do not have to get naked to get measured. This is something I was worried about but had mentally prepared for so the moment I got into the change room with the woman who was measuring me, I started to strip down. Fortunately she stopped me before it became really embarrassing. They can measure through your t-shirt.
3) There is a proper way to get into a bra. You should lean forward so your girls fit into the cups nicely with everything pushed forward.
4) Once you have the bra on, whoever is helping you will make adjustments to the band and straps to get the perfect fit.
5) Be prepared to try on a few different styles to get the perfect fit.
6) Even if you are buying two of the exact same bra, try them both on just to be sure. I bought the same style in beige and black and the black bra was more snug.
7) Be prepared to have your clothes look WAY BETTER on you.
The difference between how my boobs looked before and how they look now isn't even comparable. If you've wanted to go for a bra fitting but shied away, take my uplifting advice and do it. You'll thank me for the mammaries.
p.s. If you need a bra fitting, you may also need this.
I went away on the May long weekend with my family—it was four days of frolicking and fun. Over 150 pictures were taken and there are photos of my kids, photos of my husband, photos of scenery, but there are no photos of me and my kids together.
This past weekend I went on an overnight trip with my boys—I took over 500 pictures (which seems like overkill but I've learned it's better to snap away and delete afterwards) and, again, I have none of me and my two boys—the three of us. When it's just you with your kids it makes it even more difficult to get a picture together.
I know I'm not the only mom in this photo-less predicament, we are typically the ones behind the camera documenting lives. Family photos create memories but also, as someone whose mom has passed away, I know how comforting it is for me when I look at photos I have of her and me together. It brings back the memories of those moments because memories fade, the pictures help keep them alive.
So I'm asking you...all of you—moms, dads, partners, even kids—if you see a mom behind the camera taking pictures, offer to take one of her with her children—even if she hasn't asked you. If we all work together, we can help bring moms in front of the camera and be a part of family photos that will be looked back on for a lifetime.
Take the Mom Photo Pledge
I read a story about a 12-year-old boy, Joel Morales, who had been taunted and bullied by classmates and, despite moving schools, the bullying continued. Last week he hung himself in his family's apartment.
My older son is not too far away from twelve. I can't imagine what Joel's family is going through—what this boy went through that brought him to the point he felt he had no other choice but to kill himself.
Yesterday, after school, I showed my boys the story and then I talked to them about it. It's not a conversation I expected to have at such a young age, to me they are still babies. But I also know there are more and more stories like this one about Joel and burying my head in the sand isn't an option.
So we talked. We talked about how bad this little boy must have felt to kill himself. We talked about how they can come to me or their dad and discuss anything without any judgment. We talked about how Joel's friends thought he was happy and how it's important to tell someone when they're feeling sad. We talked about bullies. And while I didn't tell them I tried to commit suicide when I was a teenager, I did ask them to try to imagine what this world would be like if I had. But they're still too young to comprehend how it means they wouldn't be here. These two beautiful boys who I love to the depths of my soul wouldn't even exist.
Joel's story has stayed with me. I think about his mother. I think about his pain and those last moments when this sweet child felt his life wasn't going to get any better. I think about who isn't going to exist because he's gone.
And then I cry. Because it's not just Joel, there are children out there going through the same thing right now. On the outside they look happy but on the inside they feel they can't go on.
It could be yours.
So even though they are young and still our babies, even though it is difficult and awkward, start the conversation.
It's not the answer to everything but by talking to them, the door has been opened.
Now I need to figure out how to make sure it will never be shut.