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Love and Hate

The ups, downs and overall delights of parenthood
Mar 2, 2011
08:21 AM

I Love the At-Home-Mom Uniform

With all of the things I have to think about, at least what I'm going to wear, most days, takes zero brainpower. I dress like a mom!

I Love the At-Home-Mom Uniform

Because I wear nearly the exact same thing every day, I've decided to compare myself to no less than Albert Einstein. Legend has it the genius was so busy thinking important thoughts that he had a closet full of identical shirts and slacks. That way he wouldn't have to waste brain cells on that decision while cooking up the Theory of Relativity! Just like me, you know – except I'm more likely to be cooking up mac and cheese.

So what is a mom's uniform? For new moms, I thought I would provide some instruction, as we head into spring shopping season.

At-Home-Mom Uniform, Part 1: Tops

Head over to one of the discount department stores where everything is always on sale. Go to the cubbyhole display where they stack the generic short-sleeved tops. There are lots of choices: U- or V-neck, stripes or solid and small, medium or large. Hold the shirt up to your torso to find the right size (with kids, fitting rooms are a destination of the past). For variety, buy one in each of the six colors. Better yet, buy an even dozen and do laundry less often. They're so cheap that if they get stained with baby spit-up (or worse!), you can just throw them away.

At-Home-Mom Uniform, Part 2: Bottoms

Full-length, shapeless jeans are the second part of the uniform. Every now and then you can mix them up with knee-length khaki shorts or capris. (I know capris look goofy, but they look goofy on everyone, so that's OK.)

… I really don't have a problem with my mom look. It's comfortable and simple. And I've saved a lot of money not having to worry about fashion for all these years. But a shocking thing happened to me last year. I lost 10 pounds – and it hasn't found me yet. It wasn't terribly difficult to do. My children brought home the stomach flu two or three times and voila! Fat seems afraid of me now!

It would be a wholly good thing if I hadn't donated my skinny clothes to the Salvation Army long ago. Yes: I've had to buy some new mom jeans.

But the real scary time is when I have to get dressed up. I have been wearing slacks to church for years. Virtual jeans, they are cotton pants in the most basic required colors – black, dark blue, beige and khaki. Mix-and-match them with a slightly-better-than-bland shirt and I'm all set! But now, those slacks are falling off of me, which doesn't seem terribly appropriate for church.

Last Sunday I grabbed an old pair of nice slacks out of the back of the closet and put them on. Even my husband could tell how old they were! Pleated monstrosities with a big baggy rear-end that seemed to have come out of a 1980s Bobby Brown music video! Being a practical mom, I wore them anyway, but wondered if anyone noticed my lower-half's excessively baggy likeness to Sheila E. I don't think I'll be wearing them again.

Now I have two choices. Do I break down and buy some new dress pants, though shopping for clothes just isn't my idea of a good time? Or should I enjoy myself and eat my way back into my chunkier, mom wardrobe?

I'll have chew on that one …

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