Confession time. And I’m not even ashamed to say it, which goes to show how far I’ve fallen, but my kids dress so much better than I do. This is a photo that depicts the majority of my wardrobe now:
You’ll notice that there are various colors, lengths, and degrees of fade to these yoga pants and leggings. They aren’t even the fashionable yoga pants from Lululemon or Athleta that cost as much as a semester credit hour of the college education we’re saving up for – they’re straight from the C9 collection of the Target house of fashion. These well-loved pants are then paired with a steady line-up of the same t-shirt/tank top in an array of colors because if you find something that works you must buy all the colors in it.
Here are a few examples of how my kids have dressed the last few weeks as I’ve begun to slowly roll out their adorable (in my opinion anyway) fall fashions:
Listen, I have never been a fashion plate. But prior to staying home and having two kids I did look somewhat presentable on a regular basis. From time to time (like once every 3 months) I actually got compliments on my Target-based fashions and would beam with pride that I done did good. Now my compliments aren’t really compliments, they’re more or less observations that I’ve made some minimal effort to not look like complete crap. Things like “oh! You showered!” or “Why are you dressed up today?” (dressed up = wearing jeans)
Makeup? Psshht. When you’re spending the majority of your day within your own home the effort it takes to put on makeup that looks like you didn’t put any effort into it is one of those things that falls to the wayside pretty quickly. Sephora used to be a place I visited once a month and I relished earning my VIB card. Now I’ve had the same bottle of foundation for a year, which I’m sure is not sanitary but it has literally lasted that long without needing to be replaced. The only thing that I’ve had to repeatedly buy is concealer because otherwise the severity of my dark, under-eye circles makes me like a little like Crypt Keeper.
After having Olivia I did try for awhile. And by awhile I mean 3-4 weeks max. I wore jeans when I went out with the kids. My hair was down and had actually seen a blowdryer that morning. There was makeup on my face and boots on my feet. Then my mogwais transformed into sleep terrorist gremlins and I began the slow and steady decline into the warm, welcoming comfort of yoga pants, ponytails, and tunic tops that provided quick and easy access to Olivia’s primary food source. As many parents of young children know, you have to take function over fashion because there’s really no point unless you want to have nice things completely ruined. My children are always sticky and crumb covered and rather than use the enormous stockpile of Bounty paper products we’ve amassed, choose to use my clothing as a convenience and absorbent napkin. I’ve also followed suit because sometimes it’s a Herculean effort to pick myself up off the floor AGAIN to get another wipe and cotton is the fabric of our life and all.
To compare, my kids’ fashion, is on point. Or fleek. Or lit. Or whatever it is the cool kids are saying nowadays. I’ve poured my time and effort into making sure that even though Mommy looks like a sad, sweatpanted shadow of her former self, my kids will roll up to the grocery store at 6:15am looking glamorous AF. I’ve become the plain, Olan Mills background to their picture-day ready outfits. I almost fainted in the middle of a Baby Gap yesterday because I couldn’t handle the cuteness. This dress?? Polka dots and a faux Peter Pan collar? And 40% off?? Baby Gap employee, please bring over the defibrillator. CLEAR! Relax, Joe. I didn’t buy it. I’ll wait and bide my time until there’s an even bigger sale and brag about how much money I saved on a dress she’ll realistically wear one time. Because while I do get my shop on, I’m all about those coups, ’bout those coups no retail.
To say I’m slightly addicted to purchasing more clothes than my children could potentially wear in a given season is an understatement. It’s a combination of clothes being so adorable when they’re tiny and also being very cheap. $4 for this shirt? Plus a 20% off coupon?? Let’s put 15 in my cart. Okay, I should really put some back. But if I only put 1 back then I’m only saving $3.20 so it’s more economical in the long run for me to keep this shirt. Plus if I get to $50 it’s free shipping! Oh the money I am saving my family! I may embellish from time to time for humor’s sake, but that snippet is a glimpse into my mind and the sort of justifications that go on in my head while I’m shopping for kid’s clothes. Just the words “Old Navy: 50% of kid/baby sale” is enough to throw me into an online shopping vortex from which I barely make it out alive.
And let’s not minimize the importance of accessorizing. The other day I left a new pack of bows on the counter. Joe rolled his eyes “Doesn’t Olivia have enough bows?” Why does he even ask such foolish things? We. Need. All. The Bows. Always. COME ON! I’m especially convinced they’re more of a necessity than a fashion statement after a bow-less Olivia was referred to as a “cute fella” by a well-intentioned passerby. Burn in hell, kind stranger.
While my kids continue to grow more fashionable with each passing sale, I’ve stopped looking in the mirror at myself because when we’re out I believe that no one is looking at me anyway. They’re looking at the well-dressed, screeching banshees I have under my care. That smudge of food on my cheek from breakfast? Who knows how long it’s been there because I haven’t looked in the mirror since 5:30a.m. when I gave myself a feeble, uninspired pep talk of MEEEEEHHHHHHH. Over time I’ve convinced myself that hey, I don’t look too shabby without makeup. Note: this is not true. A kind Instagram filter and sunglasses may fool you into thinking otherwise, but it ain’t pretty. I’ve gotten so bad that I even forgot that I got a haircut. Last week I dropped AJR off at preschool and the teacher spoke but all I heard was “haircut”. I assumed she was referring to AJR because on most occasions his strong cow-lick wins the brush battle but today I had miraculously tamed the cockatoo that resides on his head. She then corrected me and said “No, YOU! You got your haircut, right?” I touched my hair and the memory from three days prior came flooding back me. Why yes, yes I did get my haircut. I walked into the salon and said to the stylist “do whatever you want. Just make sure it’s pony-tail length.” and proceeded to fall asleep as she washed my hair.
85% of the time I am not that put together, fashionable mom, so I live vicariously through my
Barbies Dolls children. This stage of parenthood doesn’t really allow me the opportunity to dress how I want to, so yoga pants and the occasional pair of jeans reign supreme as the ruler of my fair wardrobe. That being said, I really really love the other 15% of the time when I have a night out and there’s more than 10 minutes to get ready without someone scaling my legs like Mt Everest. The times where I can wear my nice jeans and a white top without fear of it being stained unless I spill a glass of wine on myself. The times where I spike my nursing bra to the ground and grab something with underwire that picks up my sad, state of boob-y affairs and let’s me pretend I am Lynn of the pre-baby chest once again. Then, once my transformation is complete, I get to stroll down the stairs as AJR looks up in wonder and says “Mommy, you look like a princess!” and I yell “DON’T TOUCH ME!” and give a Real Housewives air kiss as I skip out the door, mom uniform in the laundry.