I used to watch TLC's show "What Not to Wear" and be perplexed by these beautiful women with ill-fitting, grossly- out-of-style clothes, raggedy hair and soft shapes. They must have never been stylish, ambitious or lived in a bustling metropolis, I so condescendingly thought.
And then I became a mom.
I should confess it took me years to be able to put together an outfit. I was a tomboy for most of my childhood, constantly rocking a backwards baseball hat. My sense of style was in direct contrast to my sister's innate sense of what looked great. Thankfully, my mom helped put me on the right track. Then, it was in college, in New York City, that I developed a sense of fashion; a style all of my own. I came back home for Thanksgiving my freshman year at NYU and my mom asked if my sister picked out my outfit. When I said it was me, she beamed. Still, I was fortunate enough to have a mom who provided me with all my favorite dresses, pants, etc. I was also fortunate enough to remain practically the same size since high school.
And then I became a mom.
I'm now in a weird place where I've put aside all of my maternity clothes, even though some of them are so comfortable. Psychologically I thought it was important that I wasn't wearing them when I went to business meetings and on pitches, or even out to dinner. Many of my non-maternity clothes fit -- but not right. Part of me isn't ready to discard these items and embrace my new body.
I am a firm believer in the directive happy mom, happy baby. That if you take good care of yourself, you'll be a better caregiver to your child. This is much easier said than done, especially if you're not a multi-millionaire and if you're starting your own business. Who watches the baby when I go to the gym? If I go when she's at daycare, shouldn't I be working instead? And how do I go more than once a week, which is what is necessary for both fitness and overall mental health. Should I be spending hundreds of dollars on new, stylish clothes when we're funding our own business? When is there even time to go shopping? How do you have time to put together an outfit when your daughter is whining and wants to be held? Most days when I'm at home, it's hard to even wear matching socks. Why would I want to get something nice that will likely be covered with snot? What about manicures and pedicures? When is there time for them?
Between the poorly-fitting, out-of-season clothes, the makeup-free face (I haven't quite unpacked that yet), the knotty hair and the chipped nail polish, I look like a "What Not to Wear" contestant. Or, at least, that's how I feel.
These things may seem trivial, but they're incredibly essential. Stacy London will tell you that. They build confidence. They impact a client's opinion. If this person can't even take care of herself, how will she manage projects for our company? Knowing isn't half the battle though. There's only doing, like Yoda says.
Maisie, on the otherhand, looks fabulous. Her nails are trimmed. Her outfits are complete. Her hair done. Her socks, when she's wearing them, match.
Perhaps I'll start sending her to meetings instead. She'll be golden if the only words required are "ma" "dah" and "up." And if it's not a lunch event.