Welcome, Mamma Crew!  Today is Mamma Thursdays when it’s all about us!  The mammas!

Call me frivolous if you want, but I enjoyed my identity as a professional woman.  No, not because I measured my self-worth from it, but because I have always enjoyed dressing like a professional.  It came really easy for me to look sharp. My favorite professional style was always, first anything from Ann Taylor and second The Limited.  It’s just what floats my boat. I know how to look good! I know how to look like a professional woman and feel confident in my uniform. But, it would be ridiculous to try and maintain that style as a full-time homeschool mom and budding entrepreneur.  I can’t spend an hour in the morning putting myself together nor would my clothing stand to the rigors of a busy mom. Unfortunately, I don’t have a mom uniform. I suck at the casual dress thing. I have attempted several looks and frankly have never been confident in any of them.  I think it’s partly because I can’t wear the things that I understand.  

First, shoes, I love shoes.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that I own a couple of hundred pairs, some several decades old, but still beautiful.  Emmi, my girlie girl, is praying she will grow into a size 8 so she can inherit them. I found it doubtful since she is probably going to be 7 inches shorter than I am.  But, we can all dream, right? Why don’t I wear them anymore? Well, dress shoes are hardly practical at this point not least of all because I have plantar fasciitis. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes which causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after waking but doesn’t get better without shoes that have good support.  Now until my recent knee surgeries, I will tell you about that disaster later, I was in love with Vionic sandals, that’s V-I-O-N-I-C shoes.  They are comfortable shoes with supportive arch support technology to relieve aching feet and pain from plantar fasciitis.  There is no question that their shoes have grown increasingly stylish and are hitting the current trends more closely. So if I sound like a commercial, it’s because I genuinely like them. But after my knee accident, I fell, both literally and metaphorically in love with OFOOS, that’s O-F-O-O-S.  They are decent looking shoes, better looking sporty sandals, that make you feel like you are walking on clouds. I absolutely adore them. Unfortunately, they make me feel like I am moving closer and closer to wearing granny shoes. It’s not a good feeling, but what am I going to do about it after having knee surgery on both legs?

And, as a result of my accident and resulting in knee surgeries, I have gained 40 lbs. I don’t even want to go there. Well, at least not yet. I’m sure I will share my weight loss journey with you but for now, we’ll focus on the trauma of having to dress what was an M body in XL clothing.  Now here, I didn’t quite know what to do because for a few years all I wanted to wear was a dress. I couldn’t tolerate anything grazing my stomach so shorts were out of the running. But in the last year, I have found sized shorts for curvy women. No matter how much weight I lose, I always have a big butt.  It’s just the way it is. Now that I’ve put on all this weight, I turned to Lane Bryant. I like their denim shorts but really nothing else. Most of the blouses feel like shapeless circus tents. I prefer Torrid for my tops. They seem to go for a younger, more shapely look. Although my favorite is the Loft, they feel very pricey for a mom of three tween girls.  Fashion dollars have to go elsewhere so typically a combination of Lane Bryant and Torrid. But, wearing them in a way that I look good still eludes me.

My hair is also a problem.  It’s wild and curly! In other words, perpetually messy.  It wasn’t a problem in California, where I would blowout it out twice a week and look like the professional that I was. And it wasn’t a problem in Michigan’s dry winters.  But now that I split my time between Florida and Puerto Rico, it seems like an exercise in futility to attempt to straighten it. I’m not sure which of the two places is more humid, but do know that if I try blowing out my hair, I will invariably end up looking like dust bunnies are inhabiting my head.  So, no blowout! I have tried short hair, long hair, and everything in between. Nothing that makes me feel good. Is it just that I long for what I can’t have — straight, easy hair?

My problem, I think, is that I just can’t seem to create an informal sense of style for myself that doesn’t make me feel disheveled or old.  Often times I end up looking frumpy just because I don’t want to think about how to put myself together. It takes too much time. Do you know what I mean?  I need a mommy uniform that I don’t have to think about but will feel comfortable and stylish in. So as I am facing the beginning of this academic year for the girls, the end of 2019.  I have a few goals in mind to help me fight the battle of the frump using the friendly retailers I like. So what am I going to do?

  1. I’m going to build a wardrobe of style workhorses that I can rely on day in and day out. Pieces that look great on me, and work with each other. Of course, this means denim!  Denim shorts and denim skirts are practical staples when driving 4 kiddos around, homeschooling, taking care of a home, and trying to start a business. Wearing a t-shirt doesn’t come naturally for me because I find them so boring.  So, I’m going to try to dress up practical by adding a vest, blazer or maybe some bling. There’s nothing wrong with a statement bling necklace to make a plain t-shirt shine, right?!  I’m also going to try adding a scarf, wear it billowy and loose or tie a chic short scarf above the neckline. Why not? I mean, after all, these are things I would have done for a nice dress or a suit.  Now I’m going to do those things for my casual clothes. See how that goes.
  2. I think with a wardrobe made out of workhorses, accessories have to be key—after all, it’s the little things that make a classic outfit from good to “how does she always look so great, right?” Wardrobe add-ons like shoes, scarves, jewelry, and outerwear are where you get to express your style, your taste. Or at least, once again, it was when I was wearing professional clothes. I was a master of doing it for my professional outfits so it’s a matter of doing it for my new casual style — I think.  I wish I could pull out a nice denim jacket or blazer, but I would fry in Puerto Rico and simply don’t spend that much time Florida right now during the winter.  But, I will do that when I can. Yup, I like jackets!
  3. Shoes, well, I do I need to stay with my OOFOS for now.  Since I need to stay with these comfy shoes, for now, I’m going to accessorize them with shoe clips of feather, crystal, ribbons, and anything else that helps me turn a practical shoe into something fashionable or at least cute.  The key is to pretty up the shoes. I found some good stuff on Amazon, but it was pricey. I’m going to look into better options and let you guys know what I find later.  
  4. I will stop fighting with my hair every morning.  I will not spend needless time lamenting my hair or wishing I had easy hair.  I won’t let the grays invade my hair and will brighten my curls with some highlights.  I will commit to three easy hairstyles that enhance my curls rather than fight them, you know, I would go for: the slick back ponytail, the messy bun, and crazy Mufasa mane. I like that one. Well, I like it when it’s not windy. When possible, Iwill accessorize my hairstyles.  Most importantly, I will accept my curly, wild hair!
  5. Makeup — I like makeup, I know some people don’t, but I do — so makeup will become basic and fresh.  Something that helps me look rosy or sun-kissed. I will not overthink it. Because all I need is to look awake to feel good about myself. I love Prescriptives! It’s a good makeup line even if it’s on the pricey side.  I think this will be my one splurge. Although they’re making it easier and easier not to spend a lot of money on them since they keep no longer making products. I just recently found out that they will no longer be selling Blush.
  6. And you know what? I will accept my shape.  I was born with a big butt and curves. Thanks to pregnancy, now I more boobs.  Curvy is good because curvy is me. And, I have no reason not to love my body. In fact, I have a lot of reasons to love my body.  It’s a survivor, lined by all the battles scars it has fought and won, I won’t worry about losing the war. We have been through a lot, this body and I, so I am going to appreciate it and show it some love.
  7. Finally, and most importantly, I will not focus on my weight or wait to look better until I lose it.  I will focus on looking and feeling in a way that helps me feel good about myself. The weight loss will come in time as I resume my normal activity level.  

I will trust that I will find that uniform or second skin, as a stay at home mom, homeschool mom, and entrepreneur. Why do I need that uniform?  I don’t know. But I do. It makes my life easy. And because I do need it and refuse to feel bad about it. So, feeling good about myself makes me happy and when I’m happy I’m better at everything that I do.  Too often as mothers, we put ourselves at the end of the family line. The reality is that when we don’t feel good as individuals, as women, we are not setting a good example for daughters. Being a mother is part of being an individual, of being a woman, it is not something separate that requires special kind of prioritizing.  All the parts together make the whole. And ladies, we make a great whole.

If you share an imperfect journey to motherhood, please subscribe to our blog (www.oldermomsblog.com) or podcast (https://apple.co/34m7mUi). Till next time…  Toodles….