I forgot one thing, though; I was a mess.
I did what I could, and thought I looked ok. The shirt I wanted to wear wasn't clean, the bra I needed wasn't clean. I didn't have time to take a full shower because J wouldn't really nap. I did my hair the best I could pulling it back.
And then I saw the pictures. I was a disaster. My hair was greasy, bags under my eyes, shirt was wrinkled, dirty blazer. Holy crap. Who let me out of the house looking like this?
I came home and was ashamed. I had no idea I was such a mess.
As J was napping, I saw a episode of What Not to Wear, where they were really a little out of touch to a mom, trying to get her to try new styles. The mom had two kids, one a little younger than J, and barely walking.
"You're still wearing maternity clothes? Seriously?"
"Well, it fits, and I don't really know what else to do."
"Well, you've really got to start putting more thought into what you're wearing."
"It's clean. And it fits."
"Well, and that's fine, but you need to find something that fits your lifestyle and that's functional."
Later on, in a dressing room when she's trying on clothes.
Sits down in the dressing room, "Ok, cool, so I can still function in this."
"So, if you can't sit on the floor in this, then it's not worth buying?"
"I have to be able to play with and be with my kids"
"Yeah, but not all the time, right?"
"No, they sleep eventually."
Now, I totally understand what the crew of WNTW is trying to do: they're trying to get her to spend a little bit of time on herself and teach her that the world doesn't have to revolve around sweatpants and tank tops. But here's the deal: She has a one-year old. And she's a stay-at-home-mom. SAHMs, you want to tell me what YOU wore today? Because I rocked the hell out of a pair of my husband's basketball shorts and a t-shirt that should never have seen the light of day.
What bothered me about the whole thing was here you have two people who don't have small children trying to be sympathetic, but really don't have a clue what it's like to chase a short person around all day. They want her to look put together, to have pride in what she looks like, to feel good about herself. That's a noble and commendable concept. Except for one thing. The mantra:
Look, it's clean and it fits.
Mom's live a dichotomy of self constantly. We are firstly, women. We are secondly, wives. We are finally, mommies. The problem is our husbands can fend for themselves in some ways: they won't starve if we don't make them food (or if they go hungry, it's their own fault.) They can tell us if they're tired, or angry, or not feeling well. Their needs are much simpler, and the fulfillment much less complicated. But being mommy to people that can't verbalize what they need, and often don't know themselves, is a draining challenge. There's always something to do: a need, a demand, a load of something, a meal, a problem that needs solving. The second you're done feeding the baby birds, you're trying to plan for the next hour when you'd really, really like to pee.
Finding a blazer that matches your jeans isn't always on the radar. Being a woman? My body has grown (and is currently growing) a human. I bleed every month (well, ok, used to.) I have boobs and the right plumbing: Yes, I'm officially female. Was there something else here?
I love looking nice for my husband. I like having clothes that fit, make me look (for a second, then you talk to me and the cover is blown) that I'm not a total disaster and that my husband takes good care of all of us. But, Moms, it's time to give ourselves a break, and realize that every day is not going to be a put-together day. Some days, it's more of a put-on-something day.
And that's ok.
It's ok to like to look nice. It's ok to like jewelry, cute clothes, fun shoes, and perfume. It's ok to like wine, trashy romance novels, chocolate, and long baths.
It's also ok not to have all of those things. Not having cute shoes doesn't mean failure. Where it becomes concern is when you're literally walking around half-dressed because you're so empty that you can't think straight. It becomes a concern when you're buying designer shoes, but no idea how you're paying the light bill. Anything else, cut yourself some slack.
So, Moms. Hopefully this weekend you can find some time, even 5 minutes, to drink a cup of coffee right after you've made it, take a shower and maybe even shave your legs, or just start reading a book you've wanted to read. Do it all, and wear some great sweatpants. I promise I won't call What Not to Wear.