Every now and then, you find something that makes you go “huh?”
In my reading list I came across a blog post from a (presumably) younger-than-I mother of toddlers that looked interesting. It was about shoes. Hey, my ears perked up, what can I say? We all know me and my ever so slight shoe obsession.
But I was disappointed. Based on the intro, I was expecting an empowering post about how it is possible to wear cool shoes while being a parent of little ones. Or maybe how, sure you wear your practical shoes most of the time, but when date night comes around, look out, Mama’s got a new pair o’ shoes!
I was wrong.
Instead, it was the writer’s acceptance that, because she is now a wife and mother of little ones, her days of wearing “cute” clothes and “fun” shoes are over. She doesn’t want cleavage showing in her mommy photos and was going to donate all of her “cute” clothes. While I can understand not wanting to flash butt crack every time you bend over to pick up a binky, I’m not sure I understand the logic that says, “I am now a mother, I must therefore turn off my sexy.”
This must be the same logic the 20-something hair dresser used on my first visit to the salon. Somehow her fuzzy logic translated “red, long, layered, no blow dryer needed, not ‘mom’ hair” into “40 year old mother type. Auto Cut Mode Engaged: Cue Ubiquitous Soccer Mom Cut.” Needless to say, I found a new hair dresser and the guy is fabulous (imagine that word in a fancy font, sparkling with glitter and flashing like old-school Vegas, he’s that awesome).
My ex-hair dresser made the same leap of logic that this young mother has apparently made: motherhood equals putting aside “sexy.”
One hopes that being sexy had at least a little something to do with becoming a mother in the first place, y’know. And while I’m not advocating wearing Louboutins to the playground, I’d certainly be slipping them on for a hot date night out while Grandma’s got the kids.
I love shoes, more specifically, I love high heels. And I get a lot of comments on them – quite often from women who feel the need to tell me why they cannot wear heels. I have nothing against flats, or practical shoes. By all means, if you are gardening, wear sturdy, grungy shoes. In fact, I think Crocs are ideal for that, or if you’re a nurse in an ER, or any time when the ability to hose out your footwear is a bonus. And yeah, if you’re spending your day chasing little bundles of joy around, you’re probably better off in comfortable shoes and easy to wear and care for clothes.
But where in the Mom Code is it written that motherhood means completely giving up the cute stuff?
When I look good, I feel good about myself. And dammit, all women deserve to feel good about themselves. Setting all of that aside for Mommy Mode and then bemoaning how hard it is to recapture your mojo seem just a little counter intuitive to me. It’s a concept I learned from my own mother. Somewhere in my files is a pic of her “out to there” pregnant with me, rocking a bright yellow mini dress and skinny heels that are at least three inches high.
She taught me that the effort I put into myself impacted how I felt about myself, and she was right. If I felt like a dowdy frump, and dressed like a dowdy frump, everyone saw a dowdy frump and I reinforced that image in my mind. If instead, I dressed in flattering clothing that made me feel good about myself, that translated into others seeing me in a more positive light – a much healthier cycle, I’d say.
The old logic still holds, clothing does, indeed, make the man – or in this case, the mom.