We are all familiar with the stereotype of the frumpy, frazzled housewife. The darkness of her undereye circles is eclipsed only by the slimming black of her yoga pants (I don’t know a single stay-at-home mom that does yoga). None of us wore yoga pants on a day-to-day basis before motherhood. Indeed, many of us spent a great deal of time selecting outfits and accessories and applying makeup. Kids realign our priorities. Instead of wielding a kohl pencil, ours is now the Crayola variety. Mirror time is replaced by tummy time. And who wants to put on a sexy blouse if it’s destined to be splattered by some manner of food puree?
I was recently at a playdate with a group of moms. Fabulous, witty ladies, all. We began discussing how everyone seems to get dressed to the nines for MOPS meetings and functions. It got me to thinking about why we tend to dress up so much when we’re going to be around a group of women that uniquely understand us and our beautification challenges. If there is any group of women that would understand yoga pants and a baggy sweatshirt, it’s mothers of preschoolers. Why, then, do we all seem to make an effort to whip out the mascara wand and a flattering pair of jeans when we get together? I’ve already answered my question: Because these women uniquely understand us. Wow–you fed your kids, got them dressed and to the meeting, and still look incredible? That’s awesome. Show up to a lunch date with some single girlfriends looking the same way, and you will not be appreciated for your effort.
My children are finally getting old enough that I don’t have to worry about them tearing out earrings, ripping off my necklace, or getting food on my shirt, so I’m trying to make more of an effort to look nice lately. “Looking nice,” by the way, means no clothing with elastic waistbands and hair that has actually seen a hairbrush during the course of the day. One reason is I’m trying to date my husband again. Another is my children look to me and learn from my example. I feel humbled when I put on lip gloss, put my hair up, wear a nice sweater, and my eldest says, “Mom, you look so pretty.” Lastly, I am making more of an effort in my appearance because I feel better and more self-confident when I know I look respectably presentable. And I’m worth it.