Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Mama, Mama, Where Did Your Style Go?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Mama, Mama, Where Did Your Style Go?

I used to make an effort. I'm not claiming that I ever rivalled the Kardashians' for time or expense invested (nor would I cite them as aspirational in their endeavours) but there was a time when I was never to be seen without meticulously applied eyeliner, my hair coiffured to that perfect hybrid of natural wave and voluminous body without the pervasive pesky frizz and clothes that were stylish without being too overtly fashionable (more power to those who do but I fear I lack both the taste and confidence to pull off mixed animal prints, frills or neon shades.)

Vaguely assembled

I was put together. I had my own style.

I then had children.

I vaguely remember returning to some level of effort after I welcomed my first into the world but the swampy feeling I associated with breast feeding somewhat diminished my sense of style. I was totally unprepared for the giant, swollen orbs that had replaced their "aspirin on an ironing board" predecessors and which left me choosing accessibility over, well, anything else. My body did not feel like my own and my clothes didn't sit the way they once had. I felt like an imposter in my own form.

When the orbs departed, 8 months later, and my pre- baby body starting re-emerging like a phoenix from the ashes the old wardrobe was back in circulation and the eyeliner remained bold and "on fleek" (did I use that right?!)

Bold Eyeliner

Then baby two came along.

He was a good baby and I cannot blame him personally as he did everything that babies should do but the fact is, I was outnumbered most of the time, had gained more weight than the first time around and found cobbling together enough minutes to shower was difficult enough without attempting to dry, never mind style the barnet afterwards.

My mane was left to dry naturally, resembling less beachy wave and more Einstein in the humidity, my face found itself routinely exposed in its natural state and anything that was "dry clean only" was gradually retreated to the back of the closet to be replaced by lycra based active wear; reassuring in its low maintenance and easy laundering.

Comfortable, machine washable and tumbler friendly. How can you go wrong?

Comfort over style became the silent mantra as anything "nice" began to feel a bit pointless and restrictive. Foundation and the hairdryer (ok, hairbrush) were only brandished on working days or "special occasions" and I was so out of the habit of applying eyeliner that I feared losing my sight as my caffeine- induced tremulous hand made its way menacingly towards my exposed eyeball for the first time in a long time, while my "mum bun" mocked me from its superior position atop my head.

Now you might be expecting me to tell you that now the offspring are a little bit older and can occupy themselves for a whole 30seconds at one time, I might have changed my ways; that I now invest the time to look as good as I possibly can whenever I possibly can, well I don't. In all honesty, on those days when I work from home I can often be found doing the nursery run unwashed, hair still in its overnight state and active wear lurking somewhere underneath an oversized puffa coat. My reluctance to look into a mirror means I often discover remnants of toothpaste at the corner of my mouth on my return. I realise that I will wake one morning in my 70s when my face can no longer be described as lightly touched by laughter lines and is more akin to a crevasse filled, craggy mountain landscape and I will rue the day I stopped making the most of my youthful form. Perhaps then I shall wear neon.

Neon really brings out the yellow in your eyes

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