maternity wear

Red door_0363

At the Mom 2.0 Conference last spring, one of the panel discussions featured Liz Lange, creator of smart, wearable maternity pieces available at both your local Target store and, if you have budget, your local maternity boutique (where the prices points are obviously different).  Back when I was pregnant with my oldest, expecting a baby and looking chic while doing it was a bit of an oxymoron.  Along came Liz Lange, who saw a market for women who didn’t want to sacrifice style just because they were temporarily sacrificing their waistlines.  Because of the prevailing opinion, however, she got some serious pushback from people who didn’t catch her vision.  “Pregnant women don’t care what they look like!” she was told when she first began reaching out and trying to pitch her idea.  “What!?” she thought, appalled.  “Who says they don’t?”

And so, in spite of having to navigate a sea of naysayers, including friends who maintained that fashion-forward pregnancy clothing would never take off, she persisted.  And the rest is maternity-wear history.

What I loved was hearing her tell her story:  how, even in the face of constant rejection, door after door being shut in her face, she blithely kept going.  “I always believed things would work out,” she said with a big smile.  “I’m just that way,” she added by way of explanation.  “I’m an optimist.  My favorite movie is Pollyanna,” she laughed.

In the months since the conference, I’ve thought a lot about her remarks.  I’ve considered the fact that her success hung not on her luck as much as her optimism.  And I began to wonder:  could this be true?  Could life sometimes be designed to work out??

I’ve been testing the idea out, flirting with the possibility that maybe, though I’m often cozier with doubt, I might be just as fit to be an optimist as Liz Lange is.  I mean–why not?  Recently, I told myself, about a potentially fraught situation, “This is going to work out fine,” and what do you know?–it did.  That’s not to say there weren’t bumps.  (After all, the bumps are what prompt us to remind ourselves that it can all work out.)  Moreover, perhaps we ought to distinguish between something meant to work out “fine” and something meant to work out “perfect,” the former describing an outcome for which we can feel grateful, and the latter describing an outcome already so laden with unexamined (and perhaps unmanaged) expectations that it’s not realistic.

If any of this rings true, by all means weigh in.  If you’re an optimist, tell me (do!) about a time when you knew deep inside that things would work out, and they did.  If, like me, you are slowly converting to Optimism, tell me about the steps you’re taking and how they keep you planted firmly in a positive frame of mind.

My one step:  I allow myself to smile, and to think, “This is all going to be okay somehow.”  It’s a great parenting tool, I’m finding.  It allows me to do what I consider the work of mothering with greater confidence.  Thus, if a door seems like it’s shut, so to speak, I do a quick inventory and find that I’ve got all kinds of keys, one of which is sure to work.

It’s also a great tool for being more at ease in my own life.  For that, as much as anything, I’m grateful for the remarks of Liz Lange.

BTW:  At the bottom of her web page, these words invite consideration.

(This was a gratitude post, not a sponsored one–just so you knew what you were looking at.)



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