Wednesday, 29 February 2012

OMG, I have nothing to wear!

Well, that's a phrase rarely used by me these days.  As a SAHM, there is a plentiful supply of tatty t-shirts, jeans and trainers.  Of course, this is one of the most sensible uniforms for chasing after a toddler, but it does become a uniform that's hard to shed.

This post was inspired jointly by a conversation this weekend about the change in weather causing clothing dilemmas and's post on losing her fashionable ways as a by-product of living on one primary income.  I often see women who seem so put together walking around with their children.  Sometimes this brings out envy in me and other times I wonder why they do it.  I know that for me, trainers are the most sensible footwear for legging it after my little one before he gets inside the lift by himself, or for pushing a pushchair up a big hill.  As much as heels make me feel more feminine, I can't sacrifice comfort in this way.  My curiosity also extends to the discipline of their children - what are they up to while these women straighten their hair or pour themselves into tiny jeans? - and where do I get one of these patient kids?

This weekend I came to the conclusion that these are women who probably knew how to put an outfit together before they had children.  The realisation for me was that I have never had enough interest in clothes and my appearance to be able to perform miracles in the precious few minutes I have in the morning.  I could blame the grunge era for allowing me to be super lazy and wear comfy clothes during my formative fashion years.  The students of today are smarter than I was working in a London office.  I think I am still looking for a job where I could get away with wearing these every day.

My big realisation on Saturday was that I don't really care about fashion  I don't even care what I look like that much....especially when I'm happy.  This came to me clearly when thinking about the following image in the mirror:
  • Hair in ponytail
  • Old t-shirt - fits, but slightly out of shape
  • Jeans with obvious faded knees 
  • Battered trainers
Imagine this is you in the mirror.  Imagine the sun is shining and you have just been in the garden playing with your toddler, rolling on the grass and laughing your head off.  This outfit fits.  Maybe you can imagine yourself smiling after having a fun time in your practical clothes.

Now, imagine you are going out for a rare evening - just you and your husband/partner.  What sort of face are you pulling now?  What does your significant other think?  Does he care what you're wearing, or just looking forward to the chance to spend some time with you?  Are you more worried about how other people will judge you?  Whoever coined 'Yummy Mummy' doesn't know the pressure they have added to our already tough lives (I also doubt they have children themselves!).

It is only Wednesday but the last four days I have tried my best to change my thinking about my lack of new boots, jeans that fit, overdue haircut, and stop it impacting on my day's mood.  Try and ask yourself about where fashion fits in your priorities: Do I care? Does my little one care?  Does Husband care?  Am I just worried about others caring? Would new boots really make me happy or would I just love more time by myself to be 'me'?

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