What is fashion to a stay at home mom?
Can fashion have a place when you are your toddler's napkin?
I've always had a secret love affair with fashion. I started to read gofugyourself.com before it became hot. I used to follow a photographer blogger in NY who would bicycle around the city and photograph fashionably dressed people - this before he became well known and a fan of many. I read fashion magazines. I watched the way people wore clothing as they lived their daily lives.
In high school I dreamed of being able to afford designer clothes. I wanted to wear clothing that was finely tailored and couture. I wanted to be a muse. I wanted the body that designers draped with sensuous fabrics creating art out of cloth.
My parents could not afford to pay for such passions and I promised myself after law school I would wear Armani suits tailored perfectly for my body with matching stilettos and matching purses.
Law school never happened. I spent three years trying to get in and then met my husband, got married, had a baby and decided I wasn't interested in law school any longer.
Even if I could afford designer clothing, I would continue to buy practical cotton shirts that wash easily and cost less than $20. I am my child's paper towel. It doesn't matter how many times I attempt to wipe Sadie's face with a napkin, the minute I put the napkin down Sadie will come and rub her face on my shirt. I walk around in public with stains on my clothing. Usually I change my outfit before going out in public but Sadie manages to cover me in something the minute we step out of the house. Recently it was dirt that she picked up while walking to the car and smeared on my shirt when I put her in the carseat.
Wearing clothes with stains is a new habit for me. One of my biggest pet peeves is a stain on my shirt. I absolutely abhor looking down and seeing any type of imperfection on my clothes. I used to freak if I found a stain on my shirt and run to the bathroom and spend ten minutes trying to rub it out with soap and water. Anxiety followed me throughout the day, my hands nervously picking at the stain until I ripped the shirt off in a frenzy the minute I got into the house.
I used to wear makeup all the time. I would spend an hour every morning swirling make up on my face until a shinier, perkier version of myself stared back at me. I used to spend hours staring at my pores and extracting whatever all in the name of beauty. I used to look at myself in the mirror, familiarize myself with the curves I carried and clothed. After I became pregnant I stopped seeing myself. I was revolted by my pregnancy. My body, my sensual sexual body became a symbol of purity and innocence. I no longer could see myself as a sexual being. I was a mother, creator, a walking goddess. I did not feel human when pregnant.
After delivery I was left with a crooked C-section scar, angry purple stretch marks and a sagging stomach. To my amazement 16 months later my body almost looks like it did pre-pregnancy. It is a wonder how the body returns to its original state; other than a few faint stretch marks and my stomach slightly sagging from the crooked smile I have on my belly.
My body is starting to feel deprived in the clothes I wear. My body longs for clothes that are beautiful. I read Vogue, W, look at clothes online and I crave. I crave so badly it hurts. I want to wear silk and chiffon and walk down the street in heels with my purse swinging and my body moving and my clothes swaying. Instead I walk with a toddler on my hip, my shorts and t-shirt covered in stains and my 2 year old sandals falling apart.
I wear makeup for special occasions and in truth I have forgotten how to wear it. I have forgotten the lines of my face. I have forgotten the shape of my eyes, the curves of my lips, the feel of my skin. I have forgotten myself. My child has forced me to forget to love myself.
Clothes, purses, shoes - fashion - is more than just a way to stimulate the economy. They are the very tools a woman uses to empower herself. They are gifts used to remind yourself that you can and must love yourself.
I bought a new pair of boots Friday, the first pair of boots I've bought myself in years and I felt like I was walking on clouds. I put them on today and stomped around the house. I felt sexier than I had in a long time. There is nothing better than the feel of new boots whispering promises and adventures. I clunked around the house and felt like a sexy sheriff as the zipper on my boots clinked with each step. I wanted to turn to Logan and purr at him, "hand ups, you're under arrest!"
Clothes are an expression of our inner selves.
From this perspective my inner world is a sloppy, gushy mom mess.
As I continue to take on new projects and attempt to keep myself motivated and invigorated I have to admit that the "groundhog day" lifestyle of mommy hood challenges me to find fulfillment day in and day out.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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