Perhaps she's wearing yoga pants and a tank top with her hair thrown up in a messy bun. Or, maybe she's wearing a t-shirt and jeans with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Or maybe she's wearing something else-but what does it matter? Stay-at-home moms don't have to follow an office dress code for a 9-5 job. Plus, if they have small children, they know that spit-up or food will eventually get on their clothes anyway. So, why shouldn't these ladies just throw on whatever they see first in the closet as they hastily prepare for the day?
We shouldn't do this because our clothes affect us. What we wear influences how we carry ourselves, how we look at ourselves, and how we feel. I remember how my husband came home from work one day, a few weeks after I gave birth to my son, and I burst into tears. "I feel like milk!" I cried. As a newly breastfeeding mom, my supply had not regulated, and as I spent copious amounts of time on the couch, I mostly wore leggings or shorts with nursing tanks. I smelled like milk, I felt exhausted, and I looked frazzled.
I didn't want to keep living like this, so I decided to make a change. I figured that I may not be able to control the process of breastfeeding, the housework, or any of the trials that come with a newborn, but I could control what I wore-because this would affect how I faced life. So, while my infant was happily sleeping one day, I tackled my closet. I began dressing intentionally and cultivating my personal sense of style.
I was affected tremendously as I clothed myself in this way. Even if the sink was overflowing with dishes, instead of being overwhelmed and discouraged, I was more easily able to feel confident, happy, and at peace. I realized that beauty in the home is important, and that I could (and should!) add to the positive atmosphere by wearing lovely outfits. I also found that working with my style became a good witness to others-in my home and in public-about the importance of self-expression, self-care, and beauty for all people, including moms.
In the early weeks of stay-at-home motherhood, women can feel like they're drowning. As children grow older, many of us feel more confident, and life is a lot more peaceful; yet, unpredictable events arise that keep us on our toes, and we fight to retain our sanity. Dressing myself in a way that reflected confidence, beauty, and fun became a tangible way for me to embrace stay-at-home motherhood with an upbeat attitude.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I discuss how I cultivated my personal style and reinvigorated my closet!