Fashionable mother and child


I’m A Mom And I’ll Wear What I Want

Nov 26, 2019

When I became a mom, I knew things would change. Bringing a baby into the world and being a parent is no small thing. What I never thought, though, and what I never worried about, was losing myself. Completely changing everything about myself to fit what I felt the standards of parenthood were.

I went months after my daughter was born not taking care of myself.

As silly as it may sound, my hair, makeup and clothing were a real part of my every day — and who I was. I don’t mean I was self-absorbed, but it was a routine for me.

I went from having neatly brushed (or brushed at all) and straightened hair with pre-planned outfits, to wearing the same jogging pants four days in a row, eyebrows that desperately needed to be plucked and a messy bun on top of my head. Of course, this was normal at first — I had a newborn and I was waking up every few hours and running on little to no sleep — but then I continued to neglect myself.

More from Sabrina: I’m Not A Teenager With A Baby — I’m A Mother

The way you present yourself is a part of your identity, whether it’s high or low on your list of priorities. For me, it was the very last thing I was thinking about, if I thought about it at all. Every waking moment was spent worrying about anything but me. I went months after my daughter was born not taking care of myself.

I used to enjoy putting some effort into the way I look. But when I started to think about it, I had no idea how to dress, act or do my makeup now that I was a parent. It seemed like such a small thing, and maybe even selfish at the time, but the one thing I heard throughout my pregnancy was that I needed to continue self-care, especially after my daughter was born. That isn’t just showering regularly and eating healthy, but putting myself in a position to feel beautiful and confident. But I didn’t.

... I turned 16 only a month after having my daughter. I didn’t want to present myself in a way that made people think I was an immature teenager ...

It wasn’t until a friend of my boyfriend’s family nudged me that I got pushed in the right direction. She stopped by with a gift bag, and told me how important it was that I care for myself — for my daughter and for me. She gave me clothing, makeup, jewelry and a gift card to the movie theatre with a reminder to take time for myself because I deserved to have even a fraction of the effort I put into taking care of my daughter.

But when it came to rediscovering myself, now as a parent, I felt like I didn’t know anything. Was I supposed to dress a certain way as a mom? Did I have to keep my makeup simple? Is there a way I should look to show I’m a good mom? What the heck are mom jeans?

More than that, I turned 16 only a month after having my daughter. I didn’t want to present myself in a way that made people think I was an immature teenager, but I also didn’t want my identity to be solely about being a parent. The gift I received was a foot in the right direction, but I had a lot of work to do. Part of it was figuring out my mom style, but mostly I needed to gain the confidence to not give a damn about what people thought.

A parent's POV on their child's style: I’m A Dad And I’m Uncomfortable With How Short My Daughter’s Shorts Are Getting

My search history started to consist of questions like: “what do moms wear?”, "what is inappropriate for moms to wear?” and again, “what are mom jeans?” I had no idea what to do. And I got tired of it. But that's when the shift happened — why does being a mom mean I have to look a certain way? It doesn’t.

There's no right way to parent, there's no right way to dress.

What I choose to wear has no relation to what kind of parent I am. Being a mom isn’t about looking like this idealized version I had in my mind (which looked a lot like those moms in commercials who always smile while seemingly taking too long to wipe up spilled milk with paper towel). It seems obvious now, but it took me a while after having my daughter to figure that out. I can wear my makeup how I want, do my hair the way I want, dress the way I want — that's my mom style.

It's not about being self-involved or too into your looks, it’s about realizing other people's opinions about how I present myself have nothing to do with my parenting. There's no right way to parent, there's no right way to dress.

It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, enough to feel good about yourself. Putting yourself on your own list of priorities. I may be a mom first, but that's not all I am. I don't need to fit into any "standards" — and nor do you. Don’t ever be afraid to be your own person.

Article Author Sabrina Boileau
Sabrina Boileau

Sabrina Boileau is 19, a student, and the proud mother of a beautiful three-year-old girl, Charlie. She is currently studying fitness and nutrition. When she is not studying or hopelessly trying to match socks, she is a freelance beginner writer. Sabrina hopes to one day become a published author.

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