Fashion + Parenting
Hi everyone, Happy MLK Jr. Day. I am sitting here feeling extra grateful for one of the most influential leaders who paved the way for so many Americans to have equal rights in society. It is a battle we are still fighting today, but without leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. nothing in this world would change or evolve, and what would the world be like without those pioneers?
I wanted to come here to share a fun new post and feature I will have once per month with some other mom and lifestyle bloggers I have had the opportunity to meet through blogging and social media. Every month we will cover a topic that hopefully many other moms can relate to, have questions about, or just enjoy reading about, and we will each share a link on our blog to one another’s post. What makes this so wonderful and unique is that each of you, my regular readers, may discover a new view on a topic from one of them you didn’t realize you connect with and it gives us all an opportunity to connect with one another and see how different moms have coped with different life topics and adventures in parenting.
Today I want to discuss with you the topic of style and fashion. When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing that fluttered through my mind (besides the health of my baby) was “oh my gosh, will my clothes still fit me when all of this is over, and does this mean I pack up the designer heels and bags?” I honestly went through a slight panic because I had seen so many friends and peers who went through this entire style evolution after having kids. I also previously worked with children in my line of work, so I fully understood the physical aspect and how realistic clothing would be a factor in my daily parenting. When I had Rajan I felt like so much in my life had changed immediately, and my biggest fear in all of it was keeping my identity and having something to hold on to that felt like a piece of my old self since so very little felt like the old me any longer. For those first couple of weeks I lived in sweats and pajamas with milk and spit up coming out of every which way and I could truly feel my identity slipping away. I will never forget the first real day we decided to venture out with Rajan to run some errands, he was about two weeks old and we felt like we just needed a chance to emerge back into society. Besides doctor’s appointments and family visits we had not really gone out in public and I just needed to walk around and see what was happening in the world. I remember waking up that morning, completely exhausted, still physically not well from the swelling and physical changes of pregnancies, and I thought to myself ‘I am going to get dressed, like, really dressed today.’ And it was then that I had realized that I was still me, I still took pride in myself, and baby or not, I was not about to pack up the designer jeans, the shoes, or the cute clothes. I went to my closet and pulled out some of the jeans I had rocked early on in pregnancies so they fit my still recovering shape, and most importantly, I pulled out a pair of boots. Raj was born in the Fall and because I had experience so much swelling, shoes were pretty much a no-go from 7 months onward (nothing fit except salads, haha). Pulling on those boots felt so liberating and empowering, and as silly as it sounds, I felt like I had a piece of my old self back, even if that piece of me was in the form of shoes. I felt like me. (that photo of my outfit and our first outing right below, I had also had Starbucks for the first time in 9+ months, that felt like a dream)
One thing I have always loved about blogging is that it truly was the catalyst in helping remain true to a huge part of my identity: my style. To some that may sound so superficial, but for me it isn’t necessarily about the bags or shoes themselves, but more so about feeling a connection to something that is for me. Putting the effort and time and energy, even with how little of it there is in a day, to making myself feel important and beautiful. This doesn’t mean every day I am walking around in heels and ruffled dresses, to be honest most days I am in sneakers and work out clothes, but if even just once per week or once per month I get to dress up to take blog photos, go to a local event, or take a date night out with the husband, in those few hours where I am dolled up and wearing my best shoes I feel like a million bucks and it recharges my self-esteem, and recharges my soul. It reminds me that in the long days when I am chasing around a toddler, barely finding time to brush my hair, picking up Hot Wheels from 8am-8pm and barely even remembering to eat a meal, somewhere deep down I know I still have my identity and I still feel like I haven’t given up yet. For me, those few days per month in a dress and/or heels has saved me. It healed me when I started to lose myself, and I can honestly say that I don’t doubt how easy it is for us moms to get lost in all of the daily tasks. Those days can feel the most lonely, and so for me I love looking over at my shelf of heels and handbags and remembering that I am not alone, and I still am the same girl who can rock a red bottom at the drop of an event invitation. What has changed? Well, it is simple, if the little guy is coming along, I have zero issue rocking those floral and ruffled dresses with my favorite skater girl sneakers!
The main thing I have learned about my style since becoming a mom is that I want to wear what I feel good in. Of course comfort and mobility are key, especially with my busy little boy, but what is most important is how you feel in something. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to squeeze into old clothes right away, allow yourself some time and if the budget allows invest in a new pair of pants you feel great in and rock those for every outing, I promise no one will notice. The key is to wear whatever it is that makes you feel pretty and important, because remember that you do still matter and how you feel is still very important. Make some easy modifications if necessary, for example one thing I notice is that I wear less makeup than I ever did before. I would rather take the time to iron a pretty blouse than do a full eyeshadow look, and for some it may be the opposite. Whatever it is that you love and makes you feel good, whether it be makeup, hair, or outfit, spend your few minutes to get ready on that. Also, two things I always keep for myself in my car: a leather jacket and sneakers. If I am wearing leggings and get asked to meet my husband somewhere, I throw on the leather jacket over any outfit I can pretty much feel chic anywhere. If I walked out of the house in shoes that ended up making it tough to chase my little guy around, I throw on the sneakers without a second thought! Find what works for you and what feels good, and rock that! Also if you are anything like me and always loved wearing heels and fun accessories that are not easy to wear when with the kids, make it a point to schedule somewhere to go once every couple of months where you can get dressed up. For me it is blog photos and events, but it can be anything – a girls night out, date night, where it is make it a point to every so often give yourself a night to wear your favorite heels.
Here are links to 8 other blogger friends (who are also moms) to talk about how motherhood has affected each woman’s personal style.
Samantha (The Samantha Show) | Alyssa (Feathers and Stripes) | Lauren (Outfits and Outings) | Caitlin (Confessions of a Northern Belle) | Laura (Have Need Want) | Heather (My Life Well Loved) | April (April Go Lightly) | Angelle (Dashing Darlin’)