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The Mom Frump Slump

Does being a mom automatically equal frump status?

Here’s a phrase we’ve all heard used with a negative connotation in the mainstream media: “mom jeans”. Or how about this one: “Thank God I don’t have ‘mom’ butt yet. I still have a few years before it slides down to the backs of my knees”.

I think the kicker for me was a few weeks ago when I dropped my kids off at the YMCA childcare center, honestly thinking I had succeeded in putting on a cute workout outfit, when I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window and suddenly discovered that not only was my shirt on inside out (and backwards); but also, I had crusted over brownie crumbs (no doubt left by my children) covering both thighs. Apparently I didn’t even bother looking in the mirror before I left the house that day. Sadly, not an unusual occurrence anymore.

Fashion used to be a cornerstone of my personality. I’ve been to New York Fashion Week, I took fashion classes in college, heck I moved to NYC to pursue a career in the industry post-college. Friends regularly referred to me as trendy and stylish (Yes! Kids, are you listening? Mom used to be trendy and stylish!). What the hell happened?

Well if we’re keeping a tally, this is what happened: twin babies who are now 2.5-year-old toddlers. A marriage that withstood such an undertaking, but not without strains including countless late-night feedings, long work hours, changing jobs, and three moves since the birth of our kids. Also, let us not forget acid reflux, colic, torticollis, RSV, and more ailments than I can remember at this point (shall we add ‘mom brain’ to the list?).

As a stay-at-home-mom I sometimes come across other SAHMs who refer to yoga pants and tees as their “mom uniform”. Or friends who finally succumb to the temptation of buying the dreaded minivan because of its automatic sliding doors which allow them to stay, discreetly, in pajamas during school drop-off.

I have yet to discover a solution to this problem. Would spending an hour and a half each day straightening my hair and selecting an outfit that perfectly coordinates make me feel better? (And who am I trying to impress, anyway? Everyone else is in Lululemon…).

Can the words chic and mom-of-toddlers be used in the same sentence without significant shouldering of domestic responsibilities by a nanny or husband? Will I ever be able to wear silk again?

I’ve decided the cure to this slump might just be baby steps. A little perfume today, mascara and a blow-out tomorrow. Who knows, maybe even high heels next week (Ha! I kid, I kid).

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