One of the (many, many, MANY) things I did not know about parenting before I had my daughter was how hard it is to put together an awesome outfit – and walk out of the door wearing it properly – when you have a young child. Before I had F, I could take my time picking out each day’s outfit. And while some days it was frustrating (“I have NOTHING to wear!”), most of the time it was fun to get creative with my clothes and accessories. I loved to shop, to try on a bunch of different things and take my time and maybe get a coffee while I leisurely strolled through the mall du jour. I planned outfits for special occasions (like a Flaming Lips concert or a wedding) well in advance. I stood in front of my closet and tried on different pairs of shoes until I found just the right one to compliment that day’s get-up.
AND THEN I GAVE BIRTH.
As I left my daughter’s summer camp this morning, I looked down at my shirt, then grabbed one of the side seams to make sure it wasn’t on inside-out. This was AFTER I’d dropped her off. See, nowadays? It is rare that I even have time to glance at myself in a full length mirror before we leave the house. I’m so used to it now, but for a long time after she was born, it was tough going. In retrospect, I can see the stages:
1) When she was a newborn, it was the “I don’t care what I look like, as long as it is clean(ish), fits this post-pregnancy body and my boobs aren’t leaking through my shirt” stage.
2) From 6 months – about a year, it was the “As long as it fits, matches, doesn’t have snot or food stains, and my boobs aren’t leaking through my shirt” stage.
3) And from around age one to the present, it’s been the “I’m doing my best, cut me some slack! As long as it fits, matches mostly, has no holes and isn’t stained and is relatively hip and fashionable, give or take a decade” stage.
Now that F is 5, I have been able to steal a few moments here and there to rip into Anthropologie and find a few things that make me happy. I also have learned how to incorporate clothes shopping into errand running (Thank you, Target) and I do shop a little online. But make no mistake; I consider it a good day if I get out of the house in the morning with everything zipped and buttoned properly. And I’ve had my moments: I’ve come to work in two different flip-flops (one black, one brown). I’ve unknowingly run errands in an inside-out shirt. And just last week, I walked from my car in the parking garage all the way into the building and up to the seventh floor with a silver dollar-sized hole in the seat of my pants before I noticed a breeze where no breeze should be. Thankfully, I could borrow an FM 94/9 hoodie from the prize closet to wrap around my waist. BUT STILL.
The bottom line, for me: thank goodness I work in radio and not TV. Because, moms who always look put together? HOW DO YOU DO IT? And, will you teach me? Let me be the Karate Kid to your Mr. Miyagi. This mama could use some tips.