Monday, July 28, 2008

A Stay At Home Mom’s Wardrobe

For me, the decision to be a stay-at-home mom was clear. Knowing that working a minimum of 45 hours per week without job sharing or part time options would be difficult, I sadly resigned from an enjoyable job. This choice enabled me to share many precious moments that I would have missed, as it would for any mother. However, I’ll never forget how hard it was for me to live with my choice on a day to day basis. There were countless days that I would have jumped at the chance to have gotten dressed, left her with a sitter, and resumed my life as I knew it. I’d even dream about doing so-at those times when I could actually sleep. I missed the camaraderie and having someplace to go every day. I missed having business goals, results, and my own paycheck. And I really missed going out to lunch with other adults. All of my friends were at work, and with mostly elderly neighbors, I had no neighborhood connections, on top of not having siblings, cousins or in-laws nearby. My days consisted of feeding, changing and quieting a very fussy infant; motherhood wasn’t as I imagined. Had I disliked working to begin with, it would have been different, but my work was my life. However, fate arranged it for me to start a whole different direction. That said, today’s column is going to focus on a stay-at-home-mom’s wardrobe, or, better yet, the mindset transition from a working wardrobe.

Since I had the luxury on not needing to leave the house to attend to other children, I became used to wearing loose pants and t-shirts until the baby fat came off. Even back to my pre-maternity size, I still strived for comfort, so hubby’s old shirts fit the bill-and made nursing easier. As much as I feared becoming a household drudge, I also saw no need to wear nice clothes when staying inside all day. A walk down the street or to the park relied heavily on comfy running/tennis shoes-especially because foot size tends to increase with pregnancy-and regular shorts. I started saving t-shirts for home and used occasions of going out, such as grocery shopping, to wear tops that were a bit more attractive while still informal. When my daughter started preschool, I was encouraged to see that other stay at home moms didn’t let motherhood get the best of their fashion style. Now, they weren’t decked out in dry-clean-needing silks, but no one was frumpy, either. For the most part, moms used preschool time to run chores or keep appointments, so their classic clothes were not only getting some wear, they served as an ego-booster. It’s good for woman to feel like she looks good, even if the only ones who sees her are strangers.

As time went on, I altered some of my former work attire for casual wear, and it became quite pleasant to not be concerned about shopping, feeling like I could travel to the beat of my own drummer. All stay-at-home-moms can. Don’t like jeans? Wear casual pants. Like skirts? Wear them to the drug store, the vets, or church. Do you like to live in tailored blouses? Go ahead; why not? And as for sweat suits, sweat pants and oversized sweaters are concerned, yes I have them, but I don’t live in them-just like with our working sisters, there’s at-home and going-out choices. It's great to not be cemented into any particular look or wardrobe style.

The primary requirements for a stay at home mom’s wardrobe are: ability to be easily laundered (kids make a lot of messes), practicality (will you be able to wear it to a casual dinner as easily as to Gymboreee?), comfort (when you’re sleep deprived and cranky, anything uncomfortable will make your day even more miserable), and whether you feel attractive in it. When you spend much of your life at home, you need your morale boosted in as many ways as possible. So go for whatever calls out to you; no one is judging you and there’s no such thing as a dress code!

And remember that Supermoms can do almost anything, but not all at the same time!

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