A woman wearing white high-waisted wide leg trousers, a ruffled ivory crop top and sky-high heels saunters into the cafe to meet her equally glamorous friends.
Another woman, standing at the counter ordering a latte to go, looks at her wistfully with half envy, half longing. She looks down at her own black leggings (pilled from overwear), stained powder blue button-down shirt, flip-flops and thinks to herself: “No way does she have kids.” She gets her coffee and quickly skulks out of the cafe for fear of anyone seeing her.
Can you guess which woman is me?
Once upon an untouched uterus I would have identified with the first lady. But somehow, growing a human inside me and the resulting process of having to raise said human has erased the part of my brain that allows me to dress for anything other than convenience.
In my closet full of clothes, I reach for the same sweatpants, elastic jersey dresses, long cardigans, stretched out tanks and tees.
The floral and animal prints beg to be worn; somewhere in the distance the sequins and embellished pieces cry for attention; blazers and skirts hang there forlorn as if they were being punished for treason.
I ignore them all. They were not made to withstand the moods of a toddler.
Through experience – and frantically using powerful stain removing products on beloved pieces – I have deduced that very few clothing and accessory items are safe when it comes to young kids.
Consider the following:
Big dangly earrings/necklaces = Toys for your baby to grab and chew as they don’t realize it’s actually attached to your body. Ouch!
Sunglasses = Will get pulled off your face, only bonus is that it doubles as an easy way to play peek-a-boo.
High heels = Ever tried to chase a determined toddler?
Clutches = You can only carry one thing in your hand and it may not be nice to choose holding a clutch over your child. Plus, like a clutch can fit the millions of things you need for your baby!
Black clothing = This seems like a safe color choice but when your kid is feeling sleepy/tired/clingy/affectionate they have a wonderful habit of rubbing their cute little faces on you leaving dried saliva/snot marks on your black clothing.
White clothing = I applaud any mother who dares to wear light hued attire with a child in tow.
So what does this leave for moms? Not much, I’m afraid.
“Mom style” has been equated to moms dressing sloppily and giving up on taking care of themselves. That is not true. Sometimes we have to choose to dress like crap for a period of time if we want any hope of preserving our nice things.
I’ve suddenly become my son’s human tissue paper where he wipes every little thing on me, except I’m not disposable. I would rather my toddler take his steamed peas and rub it on my gray t-shirt than my tailored sequin pants. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t want any freaking peas on me but such is my life at the moment.
And that’s all it is – just a moment.
Instead of getting flak for “letting myself go” I choose to view my casual mom style as a sign I’m doing a good job. I’m putting my son’s needs first during these formative years while knowing it won’t last forever. I don’t have the desire to put on makeup every morning or coordinate my outfits because I would rather get dressed quickly and make the most of my day.
While on mom duty I know I’ll get dirty, have to play on the floor, be able to run around, sweat, scream, laugh and cry – I’d rather be able to do that while being carefree and living it up in leggings than worry the sleeves of my bohemian blouse will land in a poopy diaper.
Of course, it’s important to find a balance. I do make the time to pamper myself and dress up occasionally when I know I need a mental and physical break from mom life.
That’s when I can put on my white high-waisted wide leg trousers, a ruffled ivory crop top, sky-high heels and be that woman sauntering into the cafe to meet her equally glamorous friends.