Do you ever think about how you've changed since you became a parent? I paused to consider this over my lovely Mother's Day brunch as I wiped bits of omelet and ketchup off my sleeve. Years earlier I had sworn that I wouldn't abandon all style and grooming as I jumped headlong into motherhood. I promised myself that I would still make an effort on my appearance. I know that's slightly vain but I wasn't talking about weekly mani-pedis and facials. Just keeping up with the basics. Of course, my idea of the basics has slipped to donning clothes without visible food stains and not cutting my own hair.
Years ago, before I left the house, I'd run through a checklist: Did my jewelry match my outfit? Flats or heels? Was my lip liner the right color? That came to a screeching halt, oh, right about the time I stopped sleeping. Once Teen Spirit entered the picture, I lost the will to accessorize unless it involved a pillow and blanket. I started to look like the old grey mare that'd been rode hard and put away wet.
By the time La Principessa waltzed into my life, I had traveled somewhat farther in my sartorial journey. At that point, I considered it optional to include shoes and underwear in every outfit. The only time I used eyeliner was if I couldn't find a pen in my purse. Did you know that you can create an elaborate decorative hem with a stapler? While I was touching up my shoes with a black Sharpie, I had almost given up hope of being presentable again. I knew I had to regain control over the situation when that same Sharpie was looking like the perfect tool to cover up my graying roots.
I'm making modest steps toward my old self. I keep it simple and I can manage --- lots of neutral slacks paired with brightly colored tops. Garanimals for mommies. Now I've got more black pants than Darth Vader. I can't promise that there are no food stains on my shirt. But if that splotch of ketchup comes from a Mother's Day kiss, I'll take it.