Should I or shouldn't I?

I came across a blog the other day in one of those ‘mommy’ discussion groups. I should really stay away from those. I know who I am. I know that the way I parent is conducive to keeping me and mine working cohesively as a semi-functional family unit.

Yet…YET I go back to these sites where mothers discuss such things as the pros and cons of working versus staying home with kids, breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, running to crying infant versus letting him/her cry it out. I don’t know why. I don’t even care about these issues. I read them, and then I’m like, “Ok. Let’s go see the spoilers for next weeks’ episodes of General Hospital.”

But I read one woman’s rant last week, and as much as I’d love to copy and paste it so that you could see for yourselves what she wrote, I’m still not up to code on all of the blogger laws. Is it like university? If I copy and paste, is it like plagiarizing? Is it defamation of character? Do I have to give her credit before or after I malign her? So to avoid having my ass handed to me by the cyber police, I’m just going to paraphrase.

Woman basically said that mothers who like designer clothing and like to maintain an esthetically pleasing appearance are bad. Said woman even went on to say that she has an expensive ‘Coach’ bag that her husband gave her, but she keeps it in her closet instead of using it…You know I have 101 comments I’d LOVE to be making here, but there will be plenty of time for judgement, I promise…

…because the final comment of this woman’s post was that when mothers turn 30, they should start dressing their age and make their children their priority…

…ok…I’m not the only person whose hackles go up at this, right?

Thirty? Dressing my age? ‘Cause I’m a shittier mother if I don’t dress my age? Trust me lady, it’s not because I wear Ugg  boots  that I’m a shitty mother. I have plenty of other opportunities to mess my kids up.

I usually don’t respond to these discussion groups. But this time I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I was all like, “Listen you dumb bitch”…ok, no, I didn’t say that. I was very diplomatic, and very diplomatically told her that I happen to have an identity aside from being a mother and I’m not about to apologize for that. And furthermore, who is she to judge a mother’s worth  based on the label of that person’s handbag.
…I might have also hinted that I wanted her ‘Coach’ bag.
Is  that wrong?

Here’s the thing though. Now that I’ve read that, I’m sort of self-conscious. Today I went shopping with my 10 year old daughter. I like the same stores that she does. The ones that sell the short shorts, the  mini skirts,the babydoll tops, the jersey knit skirts.

This is sort of how I dress. I’m comfortable. Cute. Stylish. I’m pretty sure I’d notice if people were pointing and laughing. And it most certainly does not take away from my skills as a parent. Maybe if I had to bend over to pick something up my underwear would show, but it’s not like I’m dying to throw the ball around with  my kids, so we’re good.  
But today, as I was trying on clothing that I normally wouldn’t even think twice about, I was momentarily stuck by the realization that now…NOW I didn’t know if I should be wearing this. Was the skirt too short? Was the top too tight? Maybe I should opt for the flowered orange moomoo on the rack marked “For Mothers Over 30.”
I didn’t. In the end, my desire to prance around half-naked and show off my tanned body during the 8 weeks of summer that we have here in Winnipeg, won out. I left the store with a bag full of designer labels and, according to woman with the great ‘Coach’ bag, highly inappropriate outfits meant for woman NOT my age.
~this is me making highly innapropriate hand gestures to woman with the ‘Coach’ bag~
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15 Responses to Should I or shouldn't I?
  1. MamaOnDaGo
    July 25, 2010 | 3:28 am

    Being the vain person I am, I was just thinking about my style or lack of. For one thing, what does a 30ish mother dress like? I didn't get that how-to memo.

    Being a mother, I think we wear many hats. One of mine is the ME hat. Although my life is consumed by my kids, I still make it a priority to take care of myself. Bad mom?

    Seriously, as if our kids aren't going to be ashamed of us one day, I don't want to give them extra reasons.

    I dress in what I feel is appropriate for me & my lifestyle….not someone elses.

  2. Busy Working Mama
    July 25, 2010 | 6:14 am

    I'm with ya. Don't judge a book by it's cover. Although let me tell you the other month my 23 year old sister said "at your age you really can't wear a skirt that short." I'm 32!!! 32!!! And the skirt was maybe 2 inches above my knees. And I have awesome legs. She was always a brat.

  3. Laura @ The Things I Said I'd Never Do
    July 25, 2010 | 6:50 am

    If I met that woman in person I'd have a hard time not hitting her with my Coach bag then strutting away in my 4 inch heels.

  4. Mothers' Hideaway
    July 25, 2010 | 12:00 pm

    OMG I feel the same way. I believe that you should wear what makes you the most comfortable. Sure, I'm not saying go all hoochie, but I wouldn't want a 20 something mom to be all hoohcie. In fact, that's just because I'm jealous *hehe*

  5. MamaOnDaGo
    July 25, 2010 | 4:34 pm

    Did this thing eat my post?
    I'm not sure what to say about the woman & her "dress like a 30 yr old" ways. How do you even do that?

    Also, if her husband bought her a bag, don't let it sit around collecting dust. It's already paid for. Use it! Make the man feel good about buying his wife a gift.

  6. Jessica
    July 25, 2010 | 9:45 pm

    I am going to be completely honest with you… these women on these discussion boards that have the blinkies that are all "Cloth-diapering, breast-feeding, Co-Sleeping, Attachment-Parenting Yadda Yadda Yadda" drive me freaking crazy. (I know this is a little off subject… sorry!) You just know these are the women that have been dreaming about having babies since they were 6 years old. Just because a woman is that into being a mom DOES NOT make her a better mom than me. The same principal applies to how a mom dresses. (Although to be honest my mom still dresses like a teenager and she is in her 40's and that embarrasses me a little when I go out in public with her. ) The clothes you wear do not make the mother you are. (Unless you are starving your children so you can buy that Louis Vutton)

    Wow… I could actually go on and on about this topic but I'll shut up now!

    Thank you for visiting my blog by the way!

  7. sherri
    July 25, 2010 | 10:14 pm

    I don't think I've ever dressed like a "mother"…and yes I am mother. My kiddo is all grown, and she has made me a granny. And I know that I most certainly do NOT dress like a GRANNY LOL

    I'm a bandana wearing, little round glasses gal with my hair chopped all off (really, about 1 inch long)

    I say if it's your style, and you are most comfortable – then wear what is you. We are all unique!

    And afterall, isn't it all about comfort???

  8. scrappinheaven
    July 26, 2010 | 1:01 am

    You go girl! Be yourself and don't worry about what others think :) Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Glad you enjoyed the Old farmers advice…lol.

  9. Kimi Jo
    July 26, 2010 | 1:39 am

    Hey Sandra,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Kinda looks like we were cut from the same stone, except my stone was way chubbier and yours said the F word more. Seriously girl, I relate to you. (I'm singing in a Carol King kinda voice) "you gotta friend"……

  10. JennyJenJen
    July 26, 2010 | 5:08 pm

    uhmm in a word, FUUUUCKKKK HERRR. ok fine that was 2 words.

    You being YOU, and not losing yourself as the sacrificial lamb to motherhood is a good thing for your children- especially your daughter, who will (whether she likes it or not) model herself and her future mothering skills after yours. Taking good care of yourself (mentally and physically) is a good example you set for your children- One they will thank you for later. It makes you a better mother to be sane. And for fucks sake, if Coach or whatever labels you like makes you a little more sane, then buy the fucking Coach purse! :)

  11. freckleonthenose
    July 26, 2010 | 7:25 pm

    I haven't read that woman's post, but from what you say, it reeks of insecurity. Sounds like she doesn't feel like she deserves to pamper herself or feel good about herself. Or maybe someone's taught her that she shouldn't. Either way, it's sad!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  12. Julia
    July 27, 2010 | 11:15 am

    Your post (or her's, rather) scared the bejeezus out of me. I'm nearing thirty. I'll be 27 in about a week. I shop at Forever 21, in hopes that I can turn back time. But when I turn 30, I will not be a mother, yet. So, are the rules different for a single 30 year old??

    Any way, practical is not my middle name. I vow never to succumb to the boring practical thoughts/advice of a boring and practical person.

  13. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud
    July 27, 2010 | 11:12 pm

    My personal belief is that as long as I'm not dressing in a way that would portray a negative image to my children, it's okay. Do what you feel is best and don't worry about the opinions of others. :)
    Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud
    @TweetingMama

  14. Pamela
    July 30, 2010 | 10:53 pm

    I can't beleive that woman actually went out of her way to talk such nonsense. Who cares what we wear, as long as our kids are fed and dressed and well taken care of it's no one's business how we dress. And, by the way I was just scrolling through your posts – if I had your figure I'd be flaunting it too!

  15. Terra H.
    August 4, 2010 | 3:31 pm

    That woman wouldn't want to be seen with the likes of me then. In fact, I'm sure I offend many "perfect parenting" mothers out there. I make mistakes daily and often display those mistakes on my blog in the form of pictures. So be it, me and my kiddos are having fun.
    Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. I'm now a follower of yours. I like your style.

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