First, a warning - any moms reading this with babies who are not sleeping through the night and/or are still nursing, stop reading immediately and go relax already. Underline! I remember that time all too well, and minutes spent pulling yourself together (assuming you can - nursing-friendly outfits are a whole 'nuther ball of wax) are precious moments you could be spending asleep or catching up on "The Economist" ("
For those of us beyond those sleep-free, will-to-live-free (kidding) (sort of) newborn days:
Short Answer: it usually takes me 20-30 minutes to get ready in the mornings, depending on what I'm up to that day, and I generally look at it & throwing an outfit together as a pleasure. Most days I get up before the wee CEO to do so, though if I don't, it doesn't take me longer to quickly throw on my "Mom-o-Flage" than it would my gym clothes.
Concessions to PC reality include hair-washing & styling every other day (admittedly, despite some dry shampoo experimentation, day 2 is generally Ponytail of Defeat time) and a shortened, 5-minutes-max makeup routine. I'm also in sensible flats now instead of my lawyer-ly heels. Machine washable clothing is generally a much higher priority now.
That doesn't mean I'm any more together / fancier / a better mother / wife / friend / watcher-of-Bravo TV than anyone in Lululemon.
That doesn't mean my choice to dress up a bit is somehow a better one than Lululemon - if that's your style, great. It's just the better choice *for me*.
That doesn't mean I'm sitting in secret judgment next to you at the playground on the days when I've managed to throw on my favorite maxi dress and you're in yoga pants.
Not not not. Been there, yoga pant'd that myself. Let me explain:
Long Answer: The (privileged first) world is, to wildly overgeneralize, divided into two sorts of people:
- those who see food as fuel versus those who see it as a thing to be enjoyed;
- those who read because it's a class or job requirement vs. those who can't imagine life without it;
- those who dress because society demands they cover the relevant bits vs. those who find the beauty in putting together the outfit.
(I imagine there are also kinds like "those who like camping because they actually enjoy being uncomfortable outdoors", but since I don't happen to fit in that category we're skipping it here.)
I fall into the latter category for the first three, clearly. And so when it comes to getting thrown together, I take a joy in it that is personal - yes, I still do post-baby - for a few reasons.
When a baby comes along, the joy is all-encompassing. I use that phrase intentionally, because for a time it very much takes over the whole of your being, physically and emotionally.
There comes a time, however, when it's nice to remember the You you once were and continue to be, separate and apart from baby. At long last, Baby sleeps a little more at night, and you begin to remember that you once had dreams and interests outside of Baby too.
This is an area in which my parenting Venn Diagram overlaps with that French parenting book, I suppose. If you'll excuse the fuzzy Oprah-style moment here, I like that as much as me is happily enveloped in my wee CEO, there is some of me that is for the pure joy of ME too.
And it is for me, truly, as opposed to my husband or friends here. First, the Anonymous Husband seems to evaluate my wardrobe inquiries based on the following highly scientific, entirely chivalrous, and not-at-all-crass method: "How does this make her ass look?" It doesn't really lend itself to the sort of noodling over which sailor shirt to wear to wear process I enjoy. Ahem.
As for my friends here in aggressively casual Austin, they're such an easygoing lot (hello!), but I suspect I'd get much further here with the prevailing "REI had a one night stand with American Apparel" look than what actually suits me.
In my limited free time, should I be curing cancer or solving Spain's debt crisis instead of poring over style blogs? Sure, though I fear neither the Spaniards nor medical science would benefit from my dubious math skills.
That being said, I think the pursuit of Pretty for its own sake - please see title of this blog - can be a good and healthy thing. Call it my style, call it my naptime brain candy - it is part of me, and it is no more of a burden for me than is picking up a good book.
In my stay-at-home-mom day, often the opposite of glamorous, what harm is my feeling pulled together appearance wise? In a day when so much is devoted to keeping my Master P loved and safe, is it ok to take those few moments just for me?
To answer the question you didn't quite ask: it may be selfish, it may be a waste of time, but . . . well, not to me, it isn't. And so I'll continue to wake up those 30 minutes early sometimes, but not always, and throw on what I hope is a presentable outfit, not out of a feeling of competition but . . . because. For. Me.
How about you? Do you enjoy the process too, or is it yet another thing on the to-do list?