I know I cannot be the only mom who has felt guilt over taking the time to style my hair or make up, as if these activities lessen my commitment to motherhood, or are a sign that I have fallen victim to the unreasonable standards the media holds women up to. The mom-culture I am exposed to on a daily basis glorifies the “hot mess mom.” I often feel like if I show up to a mom-gathering in something other than leggings I will be regarded suspiciously, my priorities silently questioned. While there is deep value in loving ourselves as we are, there is a strong narrative in our society expecting women to give themselves up to motherhood so completely they lose any sense of style or grace they may have been praised for and enjoyed pre-motherhood.
I can love myself and love mascara. I can be a devoted mother and take an extra long shower. I have come through the crucible of childbirth, and it has transformed me into a more confident, more bad ass woman than I ever hoped to be. I give myself permission to reflect this in my personal style. The transition from maiden to mother is one of turning our inward gaze at ourselves outward to our children; perhaps one way to lessen the shock and loss of self of that transition is to make time to gaze at our selves each day.