I read an article recently in which a young mother had grown tired of the way she looked as a stay-at-home mom. Her former self as a working professional had paid a lot of attention to her personal appearance and made sure she always looked her best.  As a mother, her personal best had deteriorated from “Hell Ya” to “Haggard”.  She’d fallen into that familiar habit of motherhood attire:  yoga pants, no makeup and unkempt hair in a ponytail, if attended to at all.  She realized something had to change when she caught sight of her reflection in a store window and mistook herself for a street person.

Now, if she did in fact look like a street person, then yeah, maybe a shower and a new pair of shoes are in order. But I’m pretty sure she was not sitting on a piece of cardboard, begging for money with tattered shoes and yellowing teeth. I’m pretty sure she looked like 90% of young moms and all she needed was a good day at the spa (which she would spend texting the babysitter or her husband about the kids anyway).

But then she went on to write how she turned herself around a little, made sure to shower daily, put on real clothes, a little make-up and took a brush to her hair. It took barely any extra time and she felt so much better about herself and urged all moms to try it because we deserved it.

I think that’s that last thing a ragged, sleep-deprived mom wants to hear. I felt sorry for her. And if I’d read that post back when my kids were young, I would not have been jumping on that bandwagon too quickly.  My three kids are teenagers now and I am back in the paid workforce but I do recall the long stretches of my street person lookalike days.  So what?  My kids didn’t notice and they were the ones for whom I’d forsaken my ‘Hell Ya’ look in the first place.  I am still to this day, however, deeply offended when my husband or any another man comments on a woman – a mother – suggesting, “Oh, she’s really let herself go.” Well, duh! She only has two hands and both of them are full.

It’s a phase of motherhood and I wouldn’t dare make any mother feel guilty for her motherhood dress code. Yes, I’m back to work but I don’t feel bad about my showerless, yoga pants days. They made me a better mom.

And by the way, you should have seen what my husband looked like after a single day alone with all three of our kids. Boy! Had he let himself go!

14 Responses to Letting myself go …

  • Yup. I hear ya. The last thing young moms need is another thing on their to-do-list. I must say, though, that I always showered in the morning. I can’t wake up unless I shower. The thought of dressing up and looking pretty was not on my radar.

  • For some women it is just a phase. I found it was just too depressing not to get done up..but I would never harangue another mother about it!

  • I totally agree with you, Astra. As a school crossing guard, I’ve seen moms come to the crossing in their p.j.’s, looking tired and like they have had the worst night. Other moms come all made up. You never know what a mother is going through and none of us should presume to tell another how they should or shouldn’t look.

    • Thanks Anne, and god bless you for being a school crossing guard. They’ve pretty much been eliminated around here 🙁

  • True can’t really judge on surface of what mommies are going through. Good point.

  • I love to be comfy as can be when I’m home. Nowadays I’m not taking care of the kids, of course, as they each have their own nests. No, I’m taking care of my two dogs and luckily they don’t care what I look like as long as I keep them well fed and walk them on occasion. 🙂

  • I loved this! Yes I can relate, I had an infant, and two toddlers at one time..I recall getting gussied up with the least of my worries.

  • Now that my husband has retired, he has started to look like a homeless wino. He’s not even busy. I didn’t see that coming! He does not have both hands full in case you were wondering. Oh well, glad those mommie days are long past. Great post!

    • Yes, I’m glad they’re past too though they went by fast. I didn’t know there was the homeless wino phase ahead of me though!! Thanks for the heads up 😉

  • Lady, I threw on the yoga/sweatpants look when my kids were in college. Before then, it had been dress up clothes and make up. Nevertheless, methinks once you experience the pure joy of pinch-free clothing, pores that can breathe, and the reality that a good hair day is when you only have to cut out one knot from your hair, you never go back. 🙂

    • I think you should do whatever works and am envious of those who seem to ‘always have it together’. I just feel bad when a haggard mom is made to feel inferior because she didn’t primp herself for the world.

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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