I should be packing right now, but as many of you can relate, procrastination seems like a better alternative. I dislike packing and I hate unpacking even more. My aversion to packing has nothing to do with having to pack for my son. His stuff is easy. I made a packing list for him a few years ago and I make minor updates as he gets older. It’s MY list that I can’t quite master. My biggest trouble with packing is that I never know what to wear. Sure, I can always check online for the weather at my destination, so I don’t have to worry about whether I’ll be too hot or too cold. My main concern lies with fashion. And it’s not because I want to appear as if I share a closet with Kate Moss. I just don’t want to look like a frumpy mom.
I’m stuck again, this time, I’m knee-deep in a fashion rut!
Let’s admit it, we all have comfy clothes stashed up in our closets and like to break them out on rainy days…or any day that you don’t have to face the public. You know what I’m talking about: sweats, PJ’s, lose jeans, snuggly T-shirts, etc. Well, you see, that’s the trouble with being a stay-at-home mom. I spend a lot of time at home with my not-yet judgmental 3-year old – away from public eyes. I call it the “hobo” mommy style. My uniform consists mostly of plain white and black Ts and jeans that are unintentionally ripped at the knees (courtesy of squatting up and down to clean up after my kid). My son often asks me why I don’t just buy new pants. Sadly, I do buy new jeans every once in a while but they just don’t last through my rigorous mommy activities.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to care a lot about fashion. I loved fashion magazines, I subscribed to most, and found shopping therapeutic. I loved clothes and shoes. I remember the good ol’ days when my girlfriends used to ask me for fashion advice and complimented me on my style. Although, I never wore a lot of make-up, I enjoyed buying make up. I knew all the brands and what looked good on me. I was good at getting dressed up for events. On top of everything, I was obsessed with skin care. I tried lots of products, inexpensive to very expensive…La Mer, anyone? I had a nightly skincare routine that could take up to an hour. I would swear by whatever I was using. All this stopped when I became a mom.
My focus shifted to my son. Life was no longer only about me anymore. The combination of having a sleepless infant and feeling like everything I was doing as a mother was wrong really transformed me into a hobo mom. My initial hobo stage was the worst. I continued to wear my maternity clothes and didn’t even care that my stretchy elastic pants/shorts kept falling off. I knew this wasn’t a good look for me, but it didn’t matter. At that time, I considered myself lucky if I got to shower that day.
Once I felt more settled at my new job as a mother, I packed away my frumpy maternity clothes. I replaced them with a plain T-shirt and jean uniform. I let all my fashion magazine subscriptions expire because I could no longer relate to the contents. Clothes shopping is no longer therapeutic, it’s stressful. I hardly like anything I try on because most of the time I end up picturing how these pretty tops would look with my son’s food and coloring mess. At 3, he can’t help making my clothes his creative canvas, but it’s not the look I’m aiming for.
These days, I barely know how to put on make up and look decent. My daily skincare steps are reduced down to washing my face in the shower and using Olay Regenerist cream (it may not be La Mer but it works pretty good). I rarely get asked for fashion tips or receive any compliments on how cute I look. I traded high-heels for Tom’s canvas shoes and flip flops (thanks to pregnancy that turned my already plump feet into giant elephant feet – went from size 8 to 11, no joke!). My feet shrunk down sizably after I gave birth but not enough to fit in my old shoes. Heartbreakingly, I had to get rid of over 50 pairs of shoes.
It’s time for me to return to packing. I’m now questioning myself if and when I should really try to get out of this fashion rut. I’m gonna comb through my closet to find shirts that appear fancier than T-shirts and jeans with no holes. And if I can’t find anything that meets the criteria, at least, I can find comfort in knowing that I can hide my boring tops under a jacket because I’m heading to San Francisco, where it’s foggy and cold in the summer!