In Defense of Mommy Style
Once upon a time I had really amazing purses and shoes. Lots of them. I’d make sure they coordinated perfectly with whatever outfit I had planned for that day.
Y’all, I had outfits. And they were planned. My current personal style can best be described as “HEY I’m dressed”.
I became a mother.
Now there are many amazing things about being a mother. But I miss walking out the door feeling pulled together. Feeling clean. With my hair done (not in a ponytail). With my nails painted (all of them, not just a few). With a full face of makeup (not just mascara and carmex).
Time is limited in the mornings. Do I iron a nice shirt for myself or do I explain for the 10th time why my toddler must wear shoes when we leave the house? Wear makeup or hunt for my son’s missing toy? Ten extra minutes in the shower or make a second cup of coffee? That one is no contest, friends. I am sure there are moms who can pull it all off without sacrificing anything. I am not that mom.
When I get the chance to dress up these days I am giddy with excitement. Ecstatic. Completely and unabashedly freaked out with enthusiasm. That’s after I’ve moved past the fear that I won’t get a sitter, the fear that I will get a sitter and will have to leave the kids, and the dread of having to clean my house for said sitter. Where oh where do I put these piles of folded laundry covering my dining room table? You mean there are drawers for them? Are you sure?
Of course the opportunities to don a pair of heels and leather pants (yes, I own some) are few and far between. In the meantime I have learned to embrace my mommy style. It may not be flashy and it’s often completely unplanned (as in, can I get this spot off this shirt I found on the floor of my closet and wear it again without anyone noticing) but it’s functional and that goes a long way with me.
The shoes. These days comfort is important. There’s 100% chance that I will be carrying a 30 lb two year old and a 45 lb five year old. For me it’s all about the flip flops. If they have rhinestones then I’m officially fancy. I also love tennis shoes. Not for tennis but I bet you knew that.
Coffee. If coffee doesn’t sound like an accessory then please consider the mom reading this while clutching her precious cup of joe. She knows it’s the one thing keeping her from crawling into her closet and hiding behind her rack of dusty high heels that haven’t been worn in 5 years. Coffee is more than an accessory. It’s a necessity. So, yes it belongs on this list. Now leave her alone until she’s drained that mug or she may beat you over the head with it.
The goofy face. Yes, this too is an accessory and a God-given talent that is required when you have small children. It can stop tears. Yours or theirs. It can elicit giggles. It is often the only way to capture a photo of your kids.
The t-shirts. Oh so many t-shirts or t-shirt equivalents. Loose-fitting. Nice thin fabric for layering. I haven’t breastfed anyone in a year and I still prefer a tank top under my shirts. Maybe I’m thinking someone will ask me to nurse their child for them and I’ll need to be ready? That poor baby would be disappointed.
The sunglasses. I dread a rainy day. Not because it will mess up my hair. Nothing can mess up a good ponytail. I dread the rain because it usually means a gray sky and there goes my excuse for sunglasses. With a pair of big shades I am suddenly a whole lot more Jackie O and a little less these-dark-circles-say-I’m-about-fall-asleep-at-any-minute.
The bag. With your first baby it’s all about the diaper bag. Big and overpriced. Then your baby becomes a toddler and a little voice in your head says you can transition back to a purse. That voice is a big fat liar.
Purses cannot accommodate all the things motherhood requires us to carry. Diapers. Wipes. (Although I swear I’m out of them whenever I need one.) Snacks. Cups of milk. Juice boxes for when the milk runs out and/or is refused for no apparent reason. Books. Coloring books. Crayons. (For melting in the heat on accident mostly.) A change of clothes for the kids. (Kidding. I wish I did that. My toddler goes pant-less if a diaper gets out of hand.)
So yeah, a purse doesn’t do the job. Enter tote bags. My current favorite is from Mom Life Must Haves. (There you can also find fun coffee cups and wine glasses. You get 10% off your order if you use the code WHOLECOOK.) It is sturdy and really cute. I rocked it while on our anniversary vacation to Cabo a few weeks ago. My husband made some joke about how I was away from the kids and still carrying my mom bag. He was right. And I loved it. Turns out it can carry beach towels, sunscreen, and lip gloss like a boss.
So I titled this post In Defense of Mommy Style. Now on to defending it. It’s simple. The tote bag has it right.
My hands are full. Very full. Full of diapers I’m forever changing. Full of clothes I’m forever washing. Full of chubby little hands I’m forever holding. My car is messy. My house is messy. My hair is rarely cut and rarely styled. Some days I have someone else’s snot smeared on my shorts. I no longer have the luxury of carefully planned coordinating outfits and accessories that serve no function other than looking good. But that’s okay. Are you a mama feeling frazzled? Say it with me. It’s okay.
My heart is full. Very full. Full of love for these amazing children who look up at me with joy every single day. Full of appreciation for a husband who works so hard to support our family. Full of gratitude for a God who has blessed me with this life, these people, every breath we take on this earth, and our rewards beyond this earth.
I look like a mom these days. I’m completely okay with it. There will be times when I dress up and look like a slightly older version of the person I used to be. But most often I’ll be a mom. A scattered, tired, very happy mom.
It could be worse. I could wear mom jeans.
Disclosure: I received that adorable tote for free in exchange for including it in a blog post. I was happy to because I love it! Opinions are all mine. Just ask my husband. I have lots of them.