I have too much to do, so I'll get straight to the point. You know how when you have heavy duty work to do - like painting, gardening, potty training, you put on your "work clothes?" And then you take a shower and put on something less grubby? The tricky thing about being a mom is that you're always at work. I wake up in the morning, look at my limited wardrobe, and instead of maybe that red blouse with the buttons down the front, I always pick old pants and tee shirts. I consider for a brief moment - something that looks less grubby, something that might even make me NOT look like a crazy drifter - but there's just no point. The second I put those clothes on, I'm heading downstairs and on the clock, where I'm constantly on the floor, getting spewed with all forms of liquids and solids and sometimes worse. Even if I had nice day-to-day clothes, I couldn't wear them because they'd get destroyed. I get to put on a skirt on Sundays, but I have to take into account the fact that I'll be wrestling the kids, so I haven't worn any jewelry in.... I can't even tell you the last time I wore any.
I think about the phrase "letting yourself go" when I look in the mirror, but I have to tell myself that I'm showered and my kids are getting some seriously fine parenting. I put on makeup the other day for Halloween and couldn't figure out what to do with the eyeliner. I was never very good at it, but it seriously took me 20 minutes. To draw 2 lines. On my face. And did you know makeup has expiration dates? I just found out! I don't have a single bit of eye makeup purchased in this decade. Wait, except for mascara. I got that going for me. But I haven't gotten a haircut (besides the husband chopping off a chunk in the backyard a few weeks ago) or color in over a year and I don't even want to because it'll just be another year until I'll have time to do it again and there's a good chance at least one of the kids will need braces, so that's at least $200 a year saved, right? Go me!
I can't decide if I'm venting or convincing myself there is a higher reason behind not-so-slowly turning into a cliche. But this is what goes through my mind when I get ready in the morning: Work clothes or I'm-Still-A-Woman clothes?
And every day, I make a conscious decision. Every single day, I choose the t-shirt. My energy and money might shift back to me someday - but by then my kids will all have 17 college degrees, a few Nobel prizes, at least one Van Cliburn prize and can buy me a stylist who lives in my closet and makes me look fabulous every day.
I can wait.