Hey Stay At Home Mom (or Dad), can we talk?
You, sitting there in your yoga pants or ratty cargo shorts, in a sports bra and a shirt with mysterious stains. You ladies who live in the “mom uniform” of unwashed hair, yoga pants, and a sports bra day in and day out, can we talk?
Go take a shower, wash your damn hair, exfoliate your face, and put on mascara.
I get it, we have mommy wars about everything, and at this point it’s weird bragging from some sects to talk about how long it’s been since you showered. In fact, one famous “mommy blogger/writer/tweeter” has made her career about how hard it is to be her and have children and do basic things, like dress herself and feed them. While she’s sometimes funny, after awhile she’s just depressing and nasty.
Yeah, I said it. I don’t like her. I think her children will one day read her stuff and be heartbroken and have serious issues. I cannot fathom why she recently got divorced, or why if basic life things like showering, eating and dressing are so difficult, why she had any children much less several. It’s one thing to show solidarity with moms who are in the weeds, to say “hey, it’s real, I’ve been here too, you aren’t a failure”. It’s another thing to glorify it and make it the norm, though.
(And I know I know, don’t judge. Fair point. But this lady is just glorifying being damaged, and damaging yourself further, and having no self respect. It’s not cool.)
Not showering is not normal. Never putting on makeup, if you wore makeup before kids, is not normal. Regularly wearing clothing that you wouldn’t mind getting ruined out in public all the time is not normal. Not caring about yourself and your appearance and your hygiene is not, in fact, normal. It’s a sign you’re out of balance, or that you’re depressed.
So can we please stop acting like the “Mommy frump” is normal and okay, instead of a sign that we’re having a bad week?
I didn’t realize, personally, how bad I was doing after my daughter was born, until I looked at my makeup bag when she was around 5 months old, and I realized I was so out of practice that I was actually afraid of putting on makeup.
I didn’t feel like myself, I wasn’t doing things *I* did to care for myself in my life before mommyhood, and that, I realized, was part of my problem.
I love makeup. I’m good at makeup. To go out for tacos with friends usually takes me about 20 minutes on my face, and this amount of product(s):
I like makeup. My husband courted, won, and married a woman who takes care of her hair and skin, and wears makeup. And he likes it, a lot. Your thing might not be makeup. You don’t NEED a small collection of NARS and Urban Decay to take care of yourself. It might be a nice french braid and a swipe of lip gloss, if that. It might just be being really clean and having painted nails.
Whatever your thing is, you do you. But DO IT. Don’t completely stop taking care of yourself, that’s not okay. You’re still a person, you’re still you. Being a mom adds, to who you are, it doesn’t take away.
I get it, bad weeks happen. Bad months happen. PPD is real, and it’s a fucking bitch, and if you have a breastfeeding child under 4ish months old, none of this applies to you, because the 4th trimester is just about survival of you and the tiny helpless thing you made.
But after that?
Whatever you did before you had kids, whatever you did when you started dating your spouse, you should start doing again. Even if you don’t do it as often. If you wore funky blue sparkles mascara and eyeshadow more days than not, you should at least be making the effort a few days a week. If you ran, you should go run. If you baked three days a week because that was your zen, for god’s sake, let Disney babysit the kiddos for an hour and make banana bread.
And take a shower. Showers are wonderful. You should shower every fucking day, even if it’s a quicky and you get ten minutes less sleep. If you have room, do some stretches in the hot water. If you can’t get in a full yoga practice, you can take five minutes in the shower and center yourself. Maybe even go crazy and put on deodorant and body lotion afterwards. And a bra that isn’t just a band that holds everything down.
You will feel better, you will be more relaxed, you will be a better wife and mom, and feel like less of a failure, if you can start to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of everyone around you. You are important, you should be cared for as well.
The reality is that if you struggle with this, it still isn’t going to happen every day. And that’s okay. But efforts should be made. For your sake, for your family’s sake, for the sake of your marriage. Living in the frump, instead of making efforts to look like a reasonable presentable human being at least half the time, is not normal. It’s not okay. I don’t know how or why we’ve made it okay. We don’t feel better about ourselves with gross hair and yoga pants on, and what are we modeling for our kiddos, what kind of message are we sending our spouse?
Frump, 1,000%, has it’s place. Messy hair, old pants, a tee shirt that’s half holes but who cares because you love it and you’re just gonna sit on the couch and marathon something that isn’t PG on netflix? This is important. Bring it. Bloat pants for when you’re PMSing? Yes please. Friends who stand in sympathetic solidarity with you when you message them and go “It’s Wednesday and I haven’t washed my hair since Saturday”? We all need them. Life happens, and when you have tiny humans sometimes it’s just herding cats.
However, this whole mommy culture, and that one horrific semi-famous mom, who says that this is normal eight days a week? It isn’t. And the glorious comfort of not giving a fuck loses some of it’s allure and therapeutic properties when you LIVE like that. There has to be a balance. And daily showering.
You have to take care of yourself, and give a shit about yourself, and that includes your appearance. At least most days.