I was pushing the stroller past a wall of windows when I caught sight of my reflection. It was startling: I look like a mom. Not in the whole “Hey, look at that, I have a baby!” sense, but as in “Wow, when did I completely lose all sense of style and individuality?” There I was, hair all flyaway, no makeup, wearing a pale green v-neck with milk stains on the front, faded size 16 blue jeans (cuffed out of necessity rather than aesthetics), and white sneakers. Let me say this again: white sneakers.
Like everyone else who has not yet spent nine months straight in a uniform of sweats and oversized tee shirts, I had definite pre-baby ideas about what kind of mom I would be, and many of these ideas involved outfits. There would be the “going to the park” outfit (cute capris, butterfly-sleeve tee, headband), the “playgroup” outfit (v-neck shirt, dark-rinse jeans, strappy sandals), the fall “duck pond” outfit (knee-length boots, pencil skirt, soft brown sweater, possibly a hat of some sort). I would not succumb to the lure of schleppy, unflattering clothes. Not me.
I was cute. I had good hair. I fit into my shoes. I mean, seriously. What pregnancy god did I piss off to gain a shoe size and be forced to get rid of my entire shoe collection? Because if I find that god, I intend to have some words.
Now I don’t wear outfits; I have uniforms. There’s the hot day uniform (pants rolled to the knees, flip flops, one of Not So’s wifebeaters). There’s the not-hot day uniform (jeans, tee shirt, sneakers). And there’s the not leaving the house so who cares uniform (sweats). The not leaving the house uniform is especially convenient because it can transition seamlessly from waking to sleeping with only minimal adjustment.
I hate that I look like a mom, but being a mom? Pretty kick ass. I wake up every morning to a smiling baby who can’t wait until I open my eyes and spend a half hour snuggling and singing the “Good morning!” song. I get to watch him staring wide-eyed at the world and then looking to me to explain it. I get open-mouthed baby kisses and raspberries and snuggles and bouncy baby dances. It’s no contest, really.
But I still wish the uniforms were more flattering.
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