Monday, March 28, 2011
Sometimes I think one of the hardest things about being a mom is resisting the siren call of stereotypical mom clothes. And by stereotypical mom clothes, I mean clothing that doesn't take too much effort, clothing that celebrates comfort over style and function over form, and clothing that, if I am truly honest with myself, I would not have been caught dead wearing prior to giving birth.
I'm not trying to be a smart-ass: it really is hard.
We moms are tired and rushed a lot of the time. Time and money are tight, but our bodies? Not so much (not mine anyway). And I think that drinking in the silky skin and shiny hair of our children - our beautiful children - goes a long way towards satisfying our inherent need to feel the presence of beauty in our lives.
And that's not necessarily a good thing.
Ease and practicality might not sound like the worst things in the world but the problem is, if you continually let them start to dictate your wardrobe choices, your fashion confidence starts to erode.
Once you start to become unsure about your ability to pull off fun and stylish clothing, you become less and less apt to wear it and enjoy the boost of confidence it provides. It becomes a vicious cycle and before you know it you're telling yourself that you don't care about what you wear or looking good anymore anyway: you're a mom now.
I don't pretend to be the most fashionable person in the world, but I have established a mental list of clothing items that I consider to be beyond the pale. If ever I find myself softening my strict no-go stance on these items, it indicates to me that a strong dose of retail therapy is in order.
In keeping with my firm belief that we moms have to stick together, I'd like to share my list with you:
1. Crocs. Straight up: they are evil and hideous and have no place on the feet of anyone between the ages of 12 and 65. I don't care if they're comfortable and easy to clean and practical: so are flip flops. I will never, ever wear Crocs and you shouldn't either. Seriously, trust me on this one.
2. Clothing with your children's picture on it. I know it's easy to get wrapped up in how gorgeous our kids are but don't, just don't. If you must broadcast their beauty, give fashion a fighting chance and opt for the World's Greatest Mom mug as opposed to the sweat shirt.
3. And speaking of sweat shirts...I'm not big on 'em at all. Ditto for sweat pants. With the exception of the cute yoga pants that have been all the rage the last few years, I don't think any clothes designed for wear in the gym should be worn outside the gym. Sweat suits might spell comfort for some people but to me they just say, "I've given up."
4. Your husband's clothes. I'm sure some young ingenues can roll out of their sexy beds and into their sexy boyfriend's clothing and look all sexy as hell, but chances are you can't. Once you're past a certain age, rumpled and baggy isn't a fashion statement it's just dumpy. Remember those photos of Katie Holmes wearing Tom's jeans? She's like 5'10 and 100 pounds and she looked like she was wearing a potato sack. If Katie can't pull it off, neither can you.
5. Pants with pleats in the front. They are dorky. You know this: I know you know this. But one day when you're feeling self-conscious about your tummy, you're going to find a pair of pleated pants which are a nice color and reasonably priced and butt flattering and you're gonna to think: I should just get these - they aren't so bad. But they are. Pleated pants are the banana peel on the slippery slope towards full-on mom jeans: do not allow them to throw you off balance.
That's my list. How about yours? Which clothes do you consider strictly in the mom zone?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I am out of sorts.
So much so, in fact, that I have been unable to write. I have no coherent thoughts. Lately, my brain has been a jumble of mashed randomness. Or, completely blank.
This emptiness can sometimes be a welcome reprieve for me, but it's been going on too long. So I thought I would write about just that: my out-of-sorts-ness.
It seems this may not have been such a good idea, however, because it has taken me 11 minutes just to write this little bit. And that's not even counting the several minutes during which the cursor blinked on my screen, urgently, expectantly, right after I wrote that first sentence:
I am out of sorts.
And then, I had nothing.
Hubby once told me: "Your highs are really high, and your lows are really low."
It's true.I don't really do "medium."
This is both a blessing and a curse, 'cause when I'm happy...woo-hoo! But when I'm not, well...it's not good.
I struggle with this, because I'm never really sure what's "normal."
Is it "normal" to have as many mood swings as I do?
Is it "normal" to be giddy one minute and overwhelmed the next?
Is it "normal" to feel lost for no reason at all?
Am I normal?
There are days when I think it's just physical: I need to get back in the gym. I need to take my vitamins. I need to eat right. I need to be on a routine.
Then there are days I think it's more than that: Maybe I'm just an overly sensitive person. I over-think everything. I get wrapped up inside my own head. I dream. I plan. I stress. I worry.
It's normal to be in a "funk", no?
I am intense, and usually, I have little tolerance for those who walk around unmoved, blase.
But sometimes I am jealous of those people.
It must be so much easier...walking around with quiet simplicity in their heads. They must not struggle, as I so often do, with the everythings and nothings of Life. Do they ever feel indefinably out of sorts?
I have a Jack Kerouac quote in a drawer on my bedside table:"...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop..."
I am sure I am mad, and certainly desirous of everything at the same time. I'd rather have a mad, loud existence than a quiet, simple one.
But sometimes I think perhaps sanity and nonchalance are a much easier way to live.