You know the Drake White song Makin Me Look Good Again? Well the first line is "Worn and haggard, weathered and torn..." That's how I feel most of the time. In fact, often times when my husband calls me during the day to say hello and ask how I'm doing, I sing that very line to him over the phone in my best Drake White voice. The song is about how the guy in the relationship (Drake, I assume) is the one who is worn and haggard and how the girl in his life is always "making him look good again."
The opposite is true in my relationship. My husband leaves the house looking like a solid million dollars every morning and I sit in car line at my daughters preschool realizing I slept in my bra and there are boogers on my sleeve (which are not my own). But over the past four years I've learned that's ok. It's part of his job to look good. He sells real estate, so he has to dress for success if he expects people to want to list their home with him. I, on the other hand, wipe boogers with my sleeve and catch vomit in my bare hands.
Does your job pee on you? Mine does.
My version of dressing for success is completely different. And it's taken me a while to figure out exactly what that looks like and how to be completely comfortable with it. My former career in advertising required me to look put together - cute dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, accessories. I lived in heels. Now, my kids use those same heels to play dress up. But when I "retired" and decided to become a stay at home mom, I quickly realized I had nothing to wear every day. I spent my first Mother's Day wandering around Nordstrom with my mom trying on stacks of t-shirts and jeans and shorts and slip on sneakers. I needed a whole new wardrobe identity and I was totally lost.
I had a stigma in my own mind of the stay at home mom I didn't want to become: the one who wears athletic wear every day even though she's not going anywhere near a gym. And then I became a stay at home mom and I wanted to punch my former self in the face for ever thinking that. Here's the real reason we love athleisure: because kids move. All day. So we move all day. I often say "these kids are my cardio." And both of mine are fast. See my Instagram stories for proof. They run actual laps throughout my house at various times of the day. And when we're out in public, there's no telling where they'll sprint off to.
I once found Belle climbing the book shelf at Barnes & Noble. She got four shelves up in the time it took me to read two sentences of a children's book description. So most of the time I wear sneakers. And what goes better with sneakers than yoga pants or leggings? And then I need a zip hoodie because it's cold where I live and layers are key. You need to be able to shed a layer at a moments notice because someone pees on you, spills on you, etc. or when you're all of a sudden sweating because #hormones or because you just had to break into a sprint unexpectedly.
While I do very little yoga in my yoga pants, I do climb on playgrounds, and run up and down the three staircases in my home a bazillion times a day. The other day I climbed one of those staircase 13 times in the span of a few hours. THIRTEEN TIMES. You do Russian deadlifts? Awesome. I pick up a 28lb toddler who says "uppa uppa" all day long and a 40lb. 4 year old whose "legs are sooooo tired!"
The problem with these looks is that they don't make me feel like I have my shit together. They make me want to sing like Drake White about being worn and haggard. But then I remember it's not about me. It's about the job. It's about dressing for success in THIS job, not my old one. It's about the mom uniform that lets me run, climb, shed layers, clean up messes, etc. not because I want to look like a yoga class imposter, but because I want to keep up and get shit done and not worry about booger sleeves and pee and puddle stomping and impromptu finger painting.
Face paint, hats, and babies as accessories are also part of my expertly curated mom look.
So, to all the moms out there just trying to keep up, wipe noses and enjoy a little function over fashion, I feel you. But also remember this: all is not lost. That old you isn't gone forever. She just wears her heels a bit less and uses more dry shampoo than she ever thought possible.