First, with my whole heart THANK YOU to everyone for all the outpouring of support for my miscarriage. You guys have no idea how much your words meant to me.
So about the subject line. I have been studiously been dressing much more femininely and taking special care of my grooming. (The Ordinary is a really great, effective, and unbelievably inexpensive skincare line, if anyone is looking for good skincare.) I have my two toddler sons at home, and I have automatically gotten up either with them or earlier and gotten dressed like I used to before my stay-at-home days. I do my hair, choose an outfit, and do makeup. Some days are fancy and some are just t-shirt and shorts, and I dress to fit my mood. My own personal standard is that, however I choose to look that day, I make sure I look attractive and my best, casual in jeans and t shirt or a little more frilly in a sun dress. For all the stay-at-home moms, this is really a great way to get your head in the game. At first I did it all for my husband, but I realized I had missed this and really enjoy taking the time to be careful and expressive with what I wear and how I present myself. I used to do it all the time “before kids,” but I thought I had to have an excuse, a reason to dress and care for myself, and I had thought that staying at home meant no one would see me, so no one would care, and doing it for myself a wasnt enough of a reason. Wrong. I’ve enjoy it so much! I feel happier with myself! It’s also better for my family in so many ways. My boys don’t go to any daycare or preschools: they’re with me all the time and we just have tons of mom groups and play dates, so when I dress nicely it helps them see a more accurate idea of how people act “out there.” My husband has also said many things and acted very appreciative.
But here’s the issue. I feel great inside my own home, at the grocery store, doing errands, and interacting with strangers, but most of the other woman I’m acquainted with seem to react with a soft negative. Whenever I see other women, and other moms, it’s like a social contract that all of us must be in yoga pants, messy bun, yesterday’s t-shirt or too cool to care about how we care. We have kids! We don’t have time to look good! And just to be clear, I’m not hating on moms who struggle with getting dressed with little kids. Some days I cannot go to the bathroom until noon, much less put on makeup. But there are days when my kids let me have a few moments, and when that happens I make the most of it. And I get the distinct feeling that I’m breaking the girl code of frumpy stay at home moms, and it’s not going over well within the clique. Showing up to a play date with my hair styled and my face done (I’m not talking anything fancy, just powder and mascara), and jeans and a cute shirt is enough to get stares. Wearing a skirt or dress? That’s just extreme.
Sigh. My mom friends have been life savers, and I love that we all meet and build friendships in what would be an otherwise isolating life. Our mom groups are vital for us who stay at home. But it’s tough to break the girl code.