Have you ever noticed that undergarments say a lot about where you are in life? Don’t believe me? What are you wearing right now? Comfy underpants for that chase-the-kids-around kind of day? Ones that won’t show panty lines because you are in a pant suit for a big presentation at the head of the conference room? Or maybe none at all? I won’t judge – I’ve gone that route a few times. In my case, it is usually the voice in my head screaming, “Yes, it’s because I forgot to do the laundry…again…!”
But back to our undergarments…and what they say about where we are in life. Ready?
Training underpants. Our earliest official underpants are padded with a thick cotton material that parents of potty-training toddlers would like a lot more if they were more absorbent. But sadly…they are not. I mean really, if my toddler can stand there in these underpants in the middle of the room peeing in a cascading waterfall down her leg, what good is that extra padding anyway?
Bribery underpants. I’m not sure what else to call them. They are fun colors and covered in cartoon characters. They are designed to be fun for kids to wear. They are designed for kids to want to wear them. And parents know this and use it as a bargaining chip. “Come on, honey. If you can keep your training pants dry for the whoooole day, tomorrow you can wear your Dora underpants! At some point, this works – not because our kids want to wear these underpants that badly, but because they decide it is the right time for them. Or maybe they take mercy on us. Whatever the case, they make the decision to do it, because they are the ones who are in control of potty training…and unbeknownst to us…always were.
Transition underpants. The characters are gone. Our kids are maturing. If you have girls, at some point in this transition, the undergarments include a bra – ack! I can’t comment on this right now, because I am not yet ready to admit that one day I will have to address this. I will get back to you in several years on this one.
Lacy and racy underthings. This phase lasts for a while. Let’s just call them the roaring 20s, shall we? And 30s for that matter. You are in this phase right up until you hit the next phase, which by the way is a no-brainer for following this one.
Pregnancy underpants. There is nothing lacy and racy about this phase. These underpants are so big you could use them as shopping bags (although I wouldn’t recommend it). My husband was folding laundry once and held up a pair of my prego underpants (see, now that I know I am never having more kids, I can talk about my prego underpants) and said, “WOW!” and not like he used to say it in the previous underthings stage. Nope, not like that at all.
Post-pregnancy underthings. From talking with other moms, my sense is that women – like the sinking Titanic – break into two separate sections after pregnancy. Some fall into the all-cotton-all-the-time section and some fall back into the lacy-and-racy section. At this point, however, most moms add in a new category of underthings. We’ll call them slimming garments. Let’s just say that many a high school reunion and fancy date night for moms have been brought to you by the magic of Spanx.
Everything else. I’m not really sure what comes next to be honest. I’d like to think the future includes awesomely comfy and sporty underpants so I can go hiking, white water rafting, and running in an effort to fend off the rapidly approaching big 4-0. And failing that, if I am blessed enough to live to see my children grow up, I will be sporting the next phase of undergarments...the ones purchased at the grocery store. Because that’s life… illustrated by undergarments.
See, I told you it was true.
Shannon Hembree is a SAHM for a kindergartner and twin toddlers. She is also the co-founder of www.mamasagainstdrama.com. You can follow her on Twitter at Shannon1Hembree and Mamas Against Drama @mamasagnstdrama.
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