All hail the tracksuit: A mama's love affair with 95% cotton, 5% elastane
You know what tickles what is left of my 35-year-old funny bone? Fashion tips for busy moms on morning TV shows.
There they are. The fashion editor and television presenter. About to declare to moms across the country how to dress fashionably for the school run. For your trip to the office after dropping your little one to crèche. For that day-into-night look. Because you deserve a night out too ladies. And, don’t forget, the make-up tips. Ten minutes and you can look like a cross between Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone. The only difference is, you may have a Minnie Mouse or Paw Patrol rucksack hanging on your arm instead of a Fendi handbag. Cue chuckle from the plush corner sofa where said editor and presenter are sitting. Doesn’t the overhead lighting make them look beautiful?
Meanwhile, back in the real world, I am hoping no-one rings my front door bell because it looks like my house has been burgled. There are clothes, nappies, toys, Tupperware containers, books, you name it, all over the place. My toddler is finally dressed. She demanded to have a bath at seven o’ clock in the morning. (I must say, I admire her sense of personal hygiene). And, as a token of her love and affection for me, she pooped in the bathtub.
Now, I had contemplated donning a pair of black skinny jeans with a fitted top to accentuate my waist. I could compliment my ensemble with a rather fetching pair of ankle boots. Tousled or straightened hair? Oh, my! The possibilities!
Nope. Throw on that tracksuit. I’m pretty sure it’s clean. Those socks match, I think. They’ll do nicely. Messy buns are fashionable, aren’t they? I’m ready to go!
A past life of ironed and tailored clothes
Once upon a time, I worked in the finance industry. I wore suits. Tailored dresses. Pin-striped shirts. High heels (well, sometimes, and not very high. I didn’t really like them). I wore make-up everyday (ok, most days. Some days, I may have been running late and went for the natural look).
I’ll admit, when I started looking after my daughter full time, I missed my old life. I missed taking time over my appearance in the morning. The indulgence of opening the wardrobe door and carefully selecting an outfit.
Time has heeled this hurt, and I have embraced a new love. A free, comfortable, less-restrictive apparel. One that moves with me to the rhythm of a drool-filled, paint-filled, regurgitated food-filled life.
Embrace the tracksuit
I still like to get dressed up and make an effort. Who doesn’t? I still love clothes and putting on make-up and having my hair done. But I really, really love my tracksuit. And, I am not ashamed! I love the soft touch of hugginess it gives me each weekday morning. It's fluffy embrace. If my tracksuit had a voice, it would whisper,
“Girl, let’s get shit done today. Forget those denims. They’ll only slow you down!”
Yes, tracksuit! Let’s get shit done! Baby girl and I gotta paint and go to the park. And how can I mow the lawn in a pair of designer culottes? Let’s move!
Even as I write, I am in my tracksuit. It’s impossible to write in fashionable clothes. They stop the flow of blood to the brain!
Try to worry less and do more
Jokes aside, the point I’m trying to make is, we all have days where we have to just throw on clothes and go. We might meet someone in the supermarket and apologise for our appearance because we feel we look a mess. Sometimes we feel like a mess inside. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are more than what we wear and what we look like.
Those paint stains on your jumper or your face show that you helped your child explore their creativity. The coffee you spilled on your shirt running to work because you had to drop your child off to be looked after show you are providing for your family.
You did good today. See the stains as badges.
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