Apr 23, 2013

Blood, Snot and Tears

When I was down in Atlanta this past weekend, I was visiting with Kingsley and her mom.  I casually remarked that I do not care about having expensive clothes anymore.  She looked at me rather incredulously, which is not altogether unwarranted.  I have always loved clothes.  New clothes.  Pretty ones.  Expensive ones.

This lack of interest in a new Milly or Trina Turk or Nanette Lepore dress exemplifies for me how I have changed since becoming a mother.  Sure, I like to look cute still- I haven't completely lost my mind.  However, function comes first now.  Also, it probably helps that I go out a lot less, so I can wear the same thing over and over and over.

This is who gets the expensive clothes now.

The thing is- I spend my days chasing after this bundle of cuteness.  Clothing budget?  It goes to Miss Priss. She looks darling in everything she puts on, naturally.

The primary requirements for myself?  Machine washable and inexpensive.  Miss Priss is precious, but, law, is she is a mess!  Her nose is always running, she is drooling with molars coming in, and she has an affinity for digging in any sort of dirt.

My daily uniform of Target and Old Navy.  I always thought being a Lululemon mom would be cool.  Now I think $80 dollar yoga pants are insanity- that's 4 smocked dresses at the consignment sale, folks!

The thing is, I never want to recoil from my daughter to save my silk blouse or pricey dress, as she hurtles towards me smeared with yogurt, or needs a cuddle and a kiss on her snotty face after a bloody scraped knee.

I still love to admire beautiful clothes, but my sweet girl and said snotty nose are far more fun to admire.

And as much as I love those all white interiors I see in shelter magazines, this is what my house looks like right now after Hurricane Toddler hit (can you tell I'm procrastinating cleaning right now?).  I don't think I could handle even white walls- they would have hand prints on them immediately!  Those of you with those beautiful, calming white-filled houses must have magic toddlers.  Please share your secrets!

I really don't mind though.  Nothing should be to precious to prevent play in my house right now.  That doesn't mean I have tossed my objets d'art or thrown out the good china.  They're just on high shelves.

I want my child to be able to come sit on the sofa with her daddy and read a book.  I want her to climb up into the big leather chair and bounce with glee clutching her favorite stuffed animal.  Push the furniture around and open the cabinets.  It brings me such joy to watch Miss Priss explore and play- I don't want to stop her because the sofa is too expensive to touch, or she might spit up on the rug.

There is so much stress and worry that comes with parenthood.  Plus it's gross sometimes a lot of the time.  Why would I want to add to that stress by worrying over a rogue goldfish that was crumbled into the couch?  Or a bloody knee that was rubbed into the rug?  Milk spilled onto the nursery curtains?  (This was all just this past week, by the way).  Clean it up, and move on.  I will have pristine, light colored,  high-end furnishings when children are grown.  Right now I want a warm, welcoming house, where no one is afraid to mess something up or feels the need to remove their shoes.

The other day I made an effort to get out of my exercise/play clothes rut.  I put on a nice hand-wash only oatmeal-colored sweater, black pants, and snakeskin loafers.  I was looking good.  Then I picked up DH, her diaper leaked, and I was covered in poop.  There was nothing to do but laugh.

I'm back to the Old Navy workout gear, and I've never felt as beautiful.  A laughing, dirty toddler embracing my $20 pant clad leg is more flattering to me than any designer dress ever could be.  I guess that is what the change is- your life is no longer your own.  However, it is such an indescribable joy to be a fundamental part of your child's life that you simply don't mind very much.

Even when you are covered in disgusting substances.


  1. Darling, I don't think Poop Brown is your color, but I'm glad to hear you're so amenable to shrug off the HOLY CRAP (literally) moments with perspective about what matters - being in the trenches, so to speak, with your gorgeous daughter :)

    (And Victoria's Secret makes my favorite yoga pants - 2 for $50)

  2. I couldn't agree more. I was a Kindergarten teacher in another life, so even my work clothes weren't fancy back then. But now? I can usually be found in sweats (sometimes with bleach stains) and an Old Navy v-neck t-shirt. Our home is so child friendly I don't even want to share photos of it. There's not a thing in it more valuable than the joyfulness of my boy.

    Great post!

  3. Love this post so much!! First: send me a link to these Old Navy pants? I'm child-free and pants like that are my weekend uniform!! {blame it on the dogs?}

    Second, we're big on the idea of homes being "lived in" too. I love shelter magazines and I want to have a beautiful home, but I don't want it to be "precious". Plus, leather looks better when it's nice and beat up and worn in, right? Gives everything some history :) No one likes to be at a house where they're afraid to put their feet up!

  4. Well spoken and I'm sure it speaks to a lot of us mothers of toddlers. I, too, prefer to run and jump and play with little man! I keep trying to buy something nice and then I get it and it goes back. I can't justify it if I am going to have to be careful with little man!

    Enjoy it!

  5. Well put...I used to always have special moments with my jcrew catalogs when they arrived...now I toss them in the recycle bin without so much as a glance, how times have changed...my time for fashion shall return, it's just not right now, glad to know I'm not the only one :)

  6. Oh yes, your priorities have definitely changed...she is precious and so fun dressing little girls! Isn't it the best reason to get to wear yoga pants?!

  7. Another great post! I am with you on spending money on my daughter's clothes. Mine just get spit up on all day and the only stores I enter are Target and grocery store. Like you I am happier this way.

  8. i could not agree MORE my friend!!!! funny how our priorities change when we become mothers...i consider it an accomplishment when i am out shopping and leave a store without buying something for caroline-HA.

    and p.s. even before i had a baby i thought lulu lemon pricing was NUTS!!!!

  9. Amen! Totally agree. Machine washable is my best friend. I don't even think twice now about wiping Mac's nose with my sleeve or wiping drool on my pants. It's all going to get filthy anyways!

  10. I'm the same way with clothes. I wear jeans and black shirt practically every day. But when it comes to dressing Babyface, I dress him in the cutest outfits, like his dinosaur sweater with matching pants.

    Our house is one part Antiques/Family Things to four parts Early Craigslist. So we try to keep the good stuff out of the toddler's way as much as possible.

  11. I am always fascinated by mothers of toddlers who still manage to wear a new silk Joie blouse to the park every day. My only requirement of my new mom wardrobe? machine washable. Bonus points if it hides sticky handprints and playground sludge.

  12. Oh man I hear you. I'm still working and dressing the part but my dry cleaning bill has gone through the roof. First it seemed like I couldn't get through a day without getting breast milk on my suit or pencil skirt and now I can barely get out the door in the morning with out a leaking sippy cup or diaper or pear covered hand! And the second I get home I sneak in the bedroom, ditch the silk and through on my yoga pants or jeans and an old tee shirt!

  13. You are such a fantastic, real person! I simply adore you and your messy, honest, fabulous self!!!

  14. You have an adorable little girl :)

    Vintage Inspired Girls

  15. love this. i could not agree more! and i like the "that could buy 4 smocked dresses at a consignment sale" thought. ;) right there with you girl!


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