Looking the part

April 19, 2011 by Carrie Cherry
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Mom Jeans, as seen on Saturday Night Live

  I look like a mom.

  And I hate it.

  I got my hair cut last week. It had finally grown out, but it was time for an update. Some layers might be nice, I told my new stylist. Let’s freshen up my look for spring! I was starting to look like an aging hippie with my long, straight locks.

  But when I looked in the mirror after it was over, all I could think was: I have a mom-do! I was devastated. I hurriedly pulled my hair up in a ponytail before anyone could see.

  I’m being ridiculous, right? I mean, I am a mom. What’s so wrong with looking like one?

  I refer you to the infamous Saturday Night Live skit on mom jeans.

  See what I mean?

  Being a mom is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s bigger and better than anything else I’ve ever done or ever will do. It has filled my heart with a love I never thought imaginable.

  But is it wrong to want to do it while maintaining some semblance of cool? I’ve vowed never to drive a minivan, no matter how many children I have. I try to make sure the waist on my jeans isn’t too high. I won’t wear sweatshirts with Disney characters. Fanny pack? Forget it. 

  It’s hard, though, to strike a balance. It seems like clothes are designed for either June Cleaver or Casey Anthony. There’s no middle ground. It’s also hard because moms are frazzled enough as it is. We work all day, we clean, we cook, we take care of the kids, we try to have relationships. Who has time to be trendy when sweatpants are so darn comfortable? Why get a manicure when it will just chip off washing dishes? It’s yet another thing to add to our to-do list.

  And then there’s the guilt. How dare we spend this time making ourselves look good when we could be reading a story to the kids or out shopping for organic produce? 

  But I think I know why we try so hard. In our effort to be all things to all people, we kind of lose ourselves. This is one way to cling to who we are. Like fellow Mommyhood blogger Karan wrote last week: Is it really all about them? Can’t we have this one thing?

  I say yes, we can. Just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we can’t be fashionable. It doesn’t mean we love our kids less because we refuse to wear mom jeans. I even think I saw an Oprah once where she said we’re better people when we take care of ourselves.

  So, excuse me while I go cover my head with a baseball cap until the helmet look passes.

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4 Responses to “Looking the part”

  1. CaraNo Gravatar says:

    Carrie, I am so there with you! I still walk past Buckle (my favorite pre-baby store) and look longingly at the tanks and skinny jeans. Not so forgiving to my post-baby bump. But at the same time, I am not ready to buy all of my clothes in the Alfred Dunner department at Macy’s. So I just haven’t bought any clothes since summer 08…

    My sister made me promise not to get a mom cut, ever (though I don’t think she meant never to cut my hair again, seemingly what has happened). I find the pony tail to be the perfect mom look. It keeps the hair out of the face when kiddos are trying to pull it, and keeps it long if you want a nice style when you head out with the chicas. Of course, the chicas now happen to be 4 and 5, but you know what I mean ;)

  2. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    I’m having a(nother) car crisis. I jumped out of the minivan as fast as I could, but into a car that is smaller than our life. Now, I’m back at it, with these specifications that cause auto dealer’s jaws to drop:

    * I need a third row seat that provides ample leg room.
    * When the third row seat is up, I need enough cargo room for 10-15 bags of groceries.
    * When the third row seat is down, I need enough room to hold an 80-pound golden retriever and a crated beagle.
    * I need a DVD player for the one week we travel 8 hours to the beach.
    * I need leather seats so I can clean them, but I need cloth interior for the dogs because their claws will tear up leather.
    * I need something small enough to parallel park.
    * I need something big enough for 4 people, 2 dogs, and at least 3 suitcases and 4 tote bags.
    * I need something that looks like a lady but can take a child-like beating.
    * I need Onstar services in case I get a flat tire, or worse.
    * I need XM Radio so that I can listen to CoffeeHouse 51, my favorite station.
    * It must be an automatic.
    * I really need something with 4-wheel drive because Charleston now gets snow comparable to Stowe, Vermont.
    * I need something with clean lines so I can see over the dash and hood…5’4″ has become a problem in today’s automobile.
    * Bucket seats are better than bench…I need to get between them in case someone gets carsick … again.
    * I’d like a sunroof for the rare days and evenings that my husband and I go on a date (in nice weather).
    * I need a low payment and a great warranty.
    * I need a short term loan or lease because I’m going to do this again in 2 years.

  3. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    …apparently I’ve asked for a 2010 Oldsmo-Buick-Benz.

  4. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and by the way, Car Dealer, I have no equity in my current car because it’s 14 months old.

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