Ok, let me start off by saying that the advice I am about to give comes not from me, but from every high school guidance counselor working in the field. What is the advice I’m going to impart on you oh, wise reader?
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
Wait… what? I’m a stay at home mom… how in God’s name do I dress for a job that entails temper tantrums, being puked on, peed on and every other kind of “on?” Well, I never thought there was much of a dress code for this job either until I had my second child. That moment, when I got home from the hospital and… “stuff” got real, I realized that I needed to really start dressing for the job I wanted.
But what is the job I wanted, didn’t I already have it when I quit my old one to become a stay at home mom?
Well, not quite. I was a mother, I mothered those children in the home. But that’s not the job I really wanted. The job I really wanted was to be a power mom.
What is a power mom you might ask? Some of you might hear that term and think jogging stroller and protein bars, matching outfits with your kids and family bands. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about YOU feeling powerful, not simply trying to make the world think you are. Let it be said too that if jogging strollers and any of the above, make you feel powerful than props to you, you’ve made it! But I never was a jogger even though I would love to be and my singing voice is not that wonderful either. I remember standing in my stained yoga pants, hair growing out in all directions, sore nippled and thought, I feel like a weak woman and weakness is something that can be smelt by children from a mile away.
I was not going to be a weak mother, I was going to be a power mom.
Now it may have been that I was watching “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy at the time. But I remember thinking that, like Samson, my power lied in my hair. So away to Super Cuts I went and told the stylist. “I want one side of my head shaved.” She was taken aback and admitted that it was the first time she had ever had that request. But she did it and when that chair swiveled around and I saw myself in the mirror, I knew I had finally started dressing for the job I wanted. I was becoming a power mom. That woman in the mirror with the shaved head could be patient and wouldn’t care what others thought about her parenting choices. The woman in the mirror could breastfeed or bottle feed in public without any reservations. Power mom, like honey badger, don’t care!
Other things followed, I began to wear shirts that showed off my tattoos instead of hiding them. In fact, I found myself just caring more about how I looked and even though I felt a little vain and guilty about spending some more time in front of the mirror than I was used to, I felt more confident with my children and parenting in public.
Confidence with mothering is a hard thing to get sometimes and I’ll take being a little more high maintenance, if it means I feel better about myself and how I am getting through the day.
So here I am eating crow pie, reader, because I used to look at women who looked put together and think, she’s not focusing enough on her children if she looks like that. But now I know. I know that we are all trying to dress for success which needs to include liking what we see in the mirror. So I found my power in half a shaved head, some sleeveless shirts and a tube of mascara.