Her unkempt hair, too short for a ponytail, hides under a navy blue Yankees hat more often than not. Her go-to outfit is a loose pair of black yoga pants and an athletic shirt cut to flatter her curves instead of highlight them. Makeup is a luxury she rarely [more…] makes time for. This describes many stay-at-home and work-at-home moms in a self-care slump. It describes me. It’s no-muss no-fuss comfort. That is my mom-is-always-last outfit — my mom uniform. I’m juggling four businesses to make ends meet. I have two kids, one special needs. My time is for everyone else, not myself, and I wear that on the outside like a walking billboard almost every day.

The mom uniform

I can’t believe I’m posting this, but this is me, in my mom uniform. {sigh} I have 2 pairs of these pants and 2 different dry-fit shits. The hat and sandals are always the same.

In fact, the yoga pants and baseball cap have become such a wardrobe staple for me that I actually take selfies and feel special when I shower, put on “real” clothes, and paint my face. This may happen once or twice a week. Pitiful, I know. It’s not good for me… And it’s not good for my kids. It gives them the impression that I’m less worthy than everyone else. That’s most definitely not something I want to teach my kids. I’m definitely as worthy as anyone else, and so are my kids.

But, I’m in a slump. I’ve become “THAT mom.” I don’t wanna be “THAT” mom. But what do you do when you are stretched too thin? What do you do when there aren’t enough hours in the day to care for all the humans you are responsible for, much less look pretty? Common sense tells me pretty is just a luxury. I have to remind myself it’s truly something more.

Feeling pretty is a confidence boost, which is then a performance boost. Pretty makes you feel good, which then positively affects the moods of others. Pretty is self-worth worn on the outside, which shows others you are valuable and leads to opportunities and connections. As much as the feminist in me wants to scream that PRETTY DOESN’T MATTER, the grass-isn’t-always-greener realist in me has to acknowledge and accept that it does.

I have to shed my mom uniform for self-preservation, for my future, for my kids. I don’t need to promote that pretty matters, because it’s not about pretty. By taking the time and care to look pretty, I’m showing my children, and the world, that I matter… that I’m worthy. Because I am.