You know you have crossed some kind of personal line in the sand when you find yourself having a quiet but serious argument with yourself about just how far from home you are comfortable going while still dressed in your pyjamas.
To the letterbox? Sure thing.
To put the rubbish out in the bins on the street under cover of darkness? No problem.
To retrieve your handbag from your parked car down the street? Well, the neighbours are friends, right?
To the corner shop on an emergency milk mission? Would you? Or is this where the line is drawn?
For those currently living in lockdown, pairing your PJs with a face mask somehow legitimises the entire ensemble. These are unprecedented times. Who can blame you if you aren’t dressed? It’s not as if you have anywhere to go.
For me, I am pretty comfortable in my PJs most times of the day but I do (mostly) stop myself from conducting interactions with non-family members – mostly out of fear that once I cross this line, I will never come back.
And while I might draw the line at pyjamas at the school gate, I can definitely be accused of committing crimes against fashion in other heinous ways since becoming a parent:
1. Ugg boots
Let’s be honest. Ugg boots are slippers with a nice firm sole. Uggs are fine to wear out and about when you’re a nine-year-old girl being shepherded to dance class in your leotard and tracksuit. But when you’re an actual grown-up woman, nothing says you’ve let your fashion game go quite like a pair of sad and slightly stained Uggs on your feet.
2. Going braless
Once upon a time, it wasn’t a crime against humanity for me to leave the house without wearing a bra every now and then. Three kids later, much has changed. No matter how tempted, no matter how ‘Earth Mother’ I convince myself I am, or how quick the trip, I always, always regret the decision to exit the homestead unencumbered by essential underwear.
3. Accidental see-through clothing
You thought you were wearing your respectable t-shirt that still holds its shape very nicely despite multiple washes. You were wrong. Turns out you are wearing the threadbare tee replete with holes that your baby loves to twist up and suck on. Shame you only made this startling discovery as you were waiting in a crowded café for your takeaway coffee.
4. Pre-baby swimmers
No matter how good you feel about ‘bouncing back’ to your pre-baby body, your body has changed. Different body parts sit differently; some bits are bigger and some bits are smaller. There is a certain rite of passage of motherhood that requires you to take a look at yourself clad only in lycra in a badly lit change room. So don’t fight it – grieve it if you need to! And then accept that you still have an amazing body – it grew and birthed a baby! – it’s just different now.
5. Optimistic dressing
You know the story where you find something you used to love in the back of the wardrobe? You put it on and ignore all the signals that it is now all kinds of wrong. It’s too short, it’s too tight, it’s too bright. Whatever it once was, it is no longer. But you choose to wear it anyway because not having been worn for two years, it feels ‘new’ again. And it’s not until you’re wheeling a trolley through the supermarket that, oh dear, you realise you have become that mother – the one who still thinks she’s still 19 in her head. But if that’s the worst crime you can commit while raising a family and working and trying to put a nice meal on the table, (and occasionally in lunch boxes) then, guilty as charged.
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