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Why I will never be a fashionable mom

Erin Stewart writes that she's never been a fashionista, but life with a toddler has made her already low bar for looking good sink even further.
Erin Stewart writes that she's never been a fashionista, but life with a toddler has made her already low bar for looking good sink even further.

I hit a new low recently while getting dressed when I put on my bra and my youngest daughter remarked, “Oooh, you’re going somewhere fancy.”

Yes, it’s true: putting on a bra (or actual pants, for that matter) has become a signal in my house that mama’s getting all gussied up for something big. The standard is low, my friends, and falling everyday.

Now, I’ve never been a fashionista. Case in point: I resisted the skinny jean craze for so long that my bootcut jeans are now back in style and I am officially a trendsetter. But life with a toddler has made my already low bar for fashion sink even further. Here are some tell-tale signs that my fashion/beauty regiment is on the decline:

1. I bought new sweatpants recently and decided to buy the black ones instead of grey because they can pass off easier as “going out” pants.

2. The fact that I use phrases like “going out” pants.

3. When I put on jeans, I expect a red carpet and a reporter to ask me “Who are you wearing?!”

4. And don’t even get me started on how much of a celebrity I am when I wear heels on Sunday.

5. It is routine procedure to do a “chocolate or poop” smell test at least once a day on a suspicious spot on my shirt.

6. When I actually do my hair and makeup, my kids say things like, “Whoa, Mommy, you look weird.”

7. I panic when my go-to sweatshirts and lounge pants are in the wash. Not just in the hamper because then I can just take them back out, I mean actually in the wash and I might actually have to wear skinny jeans because they are the only things without chocolate or poop on them.

Now, I know not all women are like me. There are some moms out there who never miss a fashion beat while raising little ones. These women fascinate me. For example, the mom who wears adorable ankle boots with skinny jeans and a kicky fedora to the park with her kids.

When I see this mom, I have a lot of questions:

Has she been wearing that all day? Like, does she wear the fedora while cleaning toilets? Is there some magazine photo shoot that I was not informed about? (Because if so, I need to run home and put on my black sweatpants!) If these are her “play-at-the-park clothes,” what does she wear to run errands?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with looking amazing at the park. Truth be told, I wish I could pull it off.

But I can’t. I’m just not that kind of mom, and that’s just fine with me. There will be plenty of time for dressing cute when I don’t have a little one at home all day with me. When that day comes, I may actually take the time to pick out clothes because they won’t be covered in food/bodily fluids by 10 in the morning. I may wear cute shoes because I’m not walking through muddy parks, and I may do my hair because I won’t have a little one dumping out all my makeup or drinking toilet water while I do it.

Until then, I’m perfectly happy being the mom in the sweats who may or may not put a bra on every day. Because guess what? My toddler doesn’t care how I’m dressed or if I know how to contour my face (or even what that phrase really means. Spoiler alert: I have no idea). All he cares about is that my pants are stretchy enough that I can sit on the ground and play trucks. He needs my shoes to be sturdy enough to get me to the park so we can swing together. He needs me to be able to get dirty in the yard or during lunchtime and not care.

The fact is, at the stage of motherhood I’m in right now, I can’t afford to waste time worrying about spots and stains on fancy clothes. The clothes and the makeup will wait for me, but these days getting down and dirty with my little guy won’t.