Listen, I get it. Life with kids is messy and the furthest thing from glamorous. Mothers spend their days sitting on floors, wiping butts, managing collateral damage from blowout diapers… I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for five and a half years. Like I said, I get it.
But moms, we’ve taken this comfort and practicality thing too far. Sure, it’s “comfortable” to wear pajama pants all day. Sure, it might be more “practical” to choose your husband’s raggedy college tee over a button-down blouse. But I’ll tell you the honest truth no one wants to admit: we look like slobs.
When we walk around in public with pajama pants, stained sweatshirts, slippers, dog-chewed sneakers, “crazy hair / don’t care,” and makeup-free undereye circles, we’re just screaming “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!”
But is that really true?
I doubt it. If it were, our culture (and women in particular) wouldn’t be obsessed with diets and exercise and fashion magazines. We do care about our appearance deep down, because we understand that people judge us based on it, but lots of moms just choose to let themselves go. We get lazy. We assume we get a free pass because we’re caring for little kids.
But we don’t. There’s no free pass. If you look like a slob, you look like a slob with a screaming toddler slung on your hip or not.
And we know this. We know we’re being judged.
So what message are we trying to convey with our appearance, then?
I’ve given up.
I’m not a priority in my own life.
No one’s looking at me anyway.
How utterly depressing. Motherhood is not a death sentence for a woman’s physical appearance. There’s nothing that prevents us from waking before our kids to get a few extra minutes to make ourselves presentable for the day. It wouldn’t really be wildly restrictive to wear jeans instead of ratty old exercise-wear that everyone knows darn well you aren’t sporting because you’re headed to the gym.
It’s time we make ourselves a priority again, for our own sake and for our kids’. I could nearly scream when I read about moms protesting school administrators’ requests that they arrive at drop-off in daytime clothing (not pajamas). How incredibly reasonable! It’s embarrassing that our children’s principals have to remind us to GET DRESSED! If we expect our kids to get to school looking ready for the day, why the hell should we show up in what we rolled around in last night?
Why is it that we feel justified in setting an example for our kids when it comes to other social behaviors–having good table manners, saying please and thank you, holding the door for the person behind us–but not when it comes to the way we look. Wouldn’t you feel ashamed to send your child to school in her pajamas, hair unbrushed, sleepy-eyed? So why do you get to show up that way?
You don’t. Get dressed.