Person I have met at least three times: Hi?
Me: I’m Jill, I met you ______, and ______, and ______.
Person: Oh, I didn’t recognize you (choose two)
1. with/without those glasses
2.with that haircut
3. with that hair color
4. in a dress/not in a dress
This happens all the time. I change my look for so frequently that I find myself apologizing for my hair cut as a reflex when people don’t remember me. If people ever press me on why I change my look so often, I laughingly chalk it up to being a Gemini, but really, it’s just a form of creative expression. If you know me well enough to come over to my house, you know I change my furniture layout and wall colors as often as I change my hair. Since becoming a mom, I am finding that while I am confident in wanting to have style, I have anxiety about my constantly changing look, and find myself wondering if I need to find something that works and stick with it for a while.
What if my kid doesn’t recognize me after a cut/color and freaks out like my dog did when I went platinum? Is it important that I project a static image of Mom to him as part of a stable and reassuring childhood experience? My mom, while more fashionable than when I was a child, has maintained a very similar look my whole life, and I have to admit I find it reassuring. I have a very clear image of Mom, with a capital M. I feel that in becoming a mother I am stepping into an ancient archetype, and while I have some flexibility in how I define my embodiment of The Mother, I worry that Mother archetype by nature excludes a lot of the change and flux that have defined me thus far.
What if other parents shun me and my kid because they think I am high maintenance, too alternative, or attention seeking? As my son gets old enough to start to socialize I worry that my own status as a lifelong outsider will hinder his social life, and I wonder if finding a look and embracing it for the long term could help prevent that. A nagging voice tells me if I just become one type of mom or another, other parents could process that and be comfortable with whoever she is, more than they could ever trust an ever changing chameleon caregiver.
Even with all this anxiety, I feel like it is unlikely I am going to change my habit of regularly changing my look, but that doesn’t quell my anxiety about it. I would love to hear from you if you share any of these anxieties, or are a more experienced chameleon mom who can help assuage mine.