Mamas, have you seen Free People's latest catalog? It's overflowing with gorgeous. The theme is Girls on Bikes, and one of the shots is of this lovely lady: a cool mom with a backpack full of flowers and a bald little bub on the front.
Last May J. Crew featured Arizona Muse and her son Nikko in their May catalog, and now we have Free People giving moms a little love. Not to mention the incredible styling of the folks at Hatch, and the fact that there are enough inspirational mom fashion bloggers to spend all of your hours online….it seems, dear Mamas, that being a mom is, well…kinda cool these days.
Not that it really matters, necessarily. I think the title of "cool mom" applies to any mom who simply does her best and loves the shit outta her kids. But doesn't it feel good that this anti-mom culture we live in (the one that brought us both mom jeans and mommy wars) is starting to recognize that we are, in fact, awesome?
When I was first pregnant with Raines (over 5 years ago now), I was scared to death of becoming a mom. I wasn't scared by the act of mothering, which, when you think about it, should be daunting: no sleep, poop filled diapers, tantrums and oh I don't know the fact that a tiny human being is totally and completely dependent on you. Instead, I was terrified that I was going to turn into one of "those moms", the sexless mom who spends her time in mom jeans and bad shoes, being overly competitive with her friends and ranting on internet forums. I know you know her, at least in theory. She's our symbol of modern motherhood.
But here's the funny thing: I've never actually met her.
In Denver, after Raines was born, I started a mom's group with one of my friends. It grew pretty large, and we had the opportunity to meet a ton of moms. There were stay-at-home moms, moms who worked part-time, full-time, and moms who worked insane amounts of hours and only showed up to the occasional girl's night out. I found many moms who shared my parenting style, and other moms who thought I was nuts (and sometimes the feeling was mutual). But here's the thing: none of these moms were judgemental. If I had a dollar every time I heard someone say, "It's so hard…everyone is so different!" Most of the angst aired was directed inward: we were all so much harder, it seemed, on ourselves.
I'll acknowledge that this is only one tiny data point. And I've also had moms give me dirty looks, make snide remarks, and shock me by their judgemental responses in internet forums. But in most cases, those instances were usually due to one of the following:
1. I was being overly-sensitive and misconstrued an otherwise innocent comment (or look).
2. A good mom was having a bad day (and probably misconstrued something I said or did).
3. They are assholes.
But here's the thing: the mean/snide/judgemental comments weren't always coming from MOMS, these comments were coming from ASSHOLES who happen to be moms.
That's a big difference. Why do we, as moms, have to sustain the damage caused by the "mommy war" label, when the simple truth is that assholes are everywhere? In all walks of life? It's not motherhood that makes people hateful. It's hate that makes people hateful. (Haters gotta hate amiright?)
Motherhood has been, in every way, trying. I suffered through two years without sleep after Raines was born, and did it all over again with Pax. I spent many nights in tears – either because nursing wasn't working, or feeding wasn't working, or sleeping wasn't working, or time-outs weren't working or positive discipline wasn't working, or I because knew that I had been at my worst that day. I searched to find new outlets for my sense of self: one where my self-esteem wasn't directly tied to the height of my heels or the flatness of my stomach. I have been forced, through the mirror that is our children, to confront, head-on, the worst parts of my personality. On a daily basis. Sometimes minute-by-minute. Motherhood is humbling to say the least.
But here's the thing about being humbled: You learn so much from it. And there is no doubt that I am a much better person because I am a mother. With each kid, I feel like I've gotten wiser, and have come closer to finding my center. (Not that I don't have a Dynasty-worthy rager now and again, or that my husband has never come home to find me sobbing, "I'm so alooooone" on the bathroom floor. That's life, right?)
But having kids, in general, makes us better people. Whenever I meet a mother of four (or more!!) I'm often left in awe of her genius. These mamas have reached an enlightened buddha state that I can only dream of.
So whether or not you throw on your designer sunglasses, and pedal your gorgeously dressed baby around some cobble-stoned street…if you are a mom, trying your best, learning all that you can, and loving your kids to pieces….I'll bet that you are also pretty. darn. cool. And if our culture is finally waking up to the fact that moms rock? Bring it, baby. Cause we can all use a little dose of mom-friendly inspiration now and again.
(That Free People sweater-jacket looks perfect for throwing over a spit-up stained tee, doesn't it? More like this, Free People. MORE LIKE THIS.)
Oh my god, you had me LOLing at “sobbing ‘I’m so aloooooone!’ on the bathroom floor.” I’ve so been there, and even the memory of misery loves company! So glad I’m not actually alone! Wonderful post. Thank you!
I really thought you were going to announce your third pregnancy after that one.
REALLY?? LOL I'm feeling…done. Actually, I'm feeling OLD, but isn't that kinda the same thing?
Shana Draugelis, Ain't No Mom Jeans
Get a signature like this:
You crack me up! And you’re spot on.
You crack me up!! 🙂
Proof that being a mom and fashion goes together.
Fantastic post!Uplifting & so true. We said & encouraging. You are an inspiration.
Love this post. Thanks! 🙂
Mothers…..yeah, we rock.
beautiful, inspiring post. thank-you! Amen!
Love… but as a mom of four I have to say, I don’t know if there is a zen like enlightened state 😉
Love you Girlfriend! I’m glad I wasn’t pointed out as the unfortunately dressed Mom you met. LOL. Can you believe these kiddos are FIVE!!!! WTF!
Miss you, love you! Amazing post, as usual.
Thank you for this!
Love this! Thank you!
Awesomness! I love your writing so much! I wish i had a friend like you in real life. I feel so lonely sometimes…
You & Beck definitely deserve credit for how welcoming and amazing UBD was! I definitely met some not-so-friendly moms before being lucky enough to meet you ladies. But you’re right – those women were probably jerks before becoming moms. Great post!
I agree with every single word you wrote. And I also hear the line “It’s so hard, everybody is different” all the time. My ante-natal group consisted of 8 completely different women from different backgrounds but everyone was always extremely supportive. I was the Mum that chose to bottle feed and never ever have I heard any criticism or pity (meant in a bad way) from them. Just understanding. I would never survive without them. I hope I have such support with No. 2 (we are thinking about it:).
Another post to show that you are a great gift to us Mommies out there. Thank you so much! You rock!
I thought it was leaning that way too!! Glad I’m not the only one. Great post, Shana. Thank you! 🙂
Love this post! This blog gives a lot more than focused fashion advice and that’s why it’s so special. 🙂 Thanks!
Hi there! And check out Chanel’s new campaign (I’ve posted about it on my blog: http://herestonewbeginnings.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/momdom-by-chanel/
You nailed it!!
LOVE! Well said!
Love, love, love!
You couldn’t be more right.
Thanks for this. We also live in a world where I sometimes feel motherhood/having all your shit together is portrayed as easy. I’m always grateful to moms who acknowledge how hard it really is. I know every day, as I wheel a combined 65 pounds of boys in my Phil and Ted’s to school in my work clothes (cuz I gotta run to work right after) with papers, blankets, teddys, other assorted kid detritus hanging out, that I pray fervently to God to help me keep my temper in check, my patience in high gear, and my babies safe all day. God bless the internet for bringing us blogs like this, I say!!!!
Let me first say that I have never, ever, commented on a blog post, even though I am a daily reader of several. But this post you put up, in a word, is brilliant, and I felt compelled to let you know.
The entire paragraph you wrote that started with “Motherhood has been, in every way, trying” fits me to a T. It is so much of what I have felt, and still feel, and yet have not been able to fully articulate. For that, I thank you. I have printed that paragraph out and posted it at my desk to remind me that I am not alone in these feelings, that I am normal, and that although growth as a person is hard, it is so worth it!
As the pioneer mom in my circle of “single professional” friends, I feel like I have to prove my worth as an important contributor to society every time I hear another woman verbally recoil at the idea of motherhood. THANK YOU for saying that moms are awesome (cause we really are); sometimes I need to hear/ read that to remember it. It’s pretty rad when we see moms supporting other moms. Thank you for this freaking great blog, your ideas, and your mad style.
I wish I had read this 10 minutes ago before I posted on my family blog about how awful a mother I was this morning. Now that the kids are napping sweetly and I have a minute to breathe I can see that some days are hard but it is all worth it (and it isn’t just me failing miserably). Thanks for the positive inspiration!
This is great. I have to say that at first I was reading this thinking, “Oh, I know a very judgmental mom….” and then I got to the part about some people just being assholes. I think you’re right–this person is just judgmental. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a mom. I’ve also learned that jealousy/inadequacy is often at the root of her comments, so I just ignore them at this point.
Thank you for such a great, eye-opening post!
As an infertile woman, I can tell you that being a mom IS cool (and, yes, expected) in our society. (Think of all the celebrity “bump” watches and what percent of your adult conversations are about your children.) Ladies, if you think being a mom is hard and isolating, please don’t lose sight of how hard and isolating childlessness is for your infertile friends. You really have it pretty good, all things considered.
You’re not alone in feeling this way.
Shana do you know what brand puffer jacket your sister is wearing in the last post? I still cannot find a flattering one!:(
This is awesome! I totally agree with everything you just wrote! I’ve been a follower of your blog for awhile now but I’ve never commented. I think you’re awesome!