Is This Temporary, or Did I Just Permanently Mom-out?

Updated on December 29, 2013
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
22 answers

I used to look at well put- together woman and think, "great shoes, great ensemble, what a sharp looking woman." Now when I see well put- together woman I think, "how can you wear those shoes all day? How can you handle that restrictive jacket, or manage your self in that short slim fit skirt? Who are you trying to impress? How is it that you are willing to be uncomfortable all day to impress the people around you?" Mind you, I used to be one of these woman. I alway wore heals shopping. Always!
I have three kids and nurse a baby. I have to wear clothing that I can nurse in. My wardrobe is shabby right now. I don't lack the money to fix that, but I do lack the time. when I shop for clothes I shop like a man. I go to find pants, jeans, a dress, whatever it may be I'm lacking. I usually have less than two hours to accomplish my shopping and come away with the best items I can find in that hour or two of shopping and I manage to do this perhaps quarterly. In other words, I'm spending about 6-8 hours a year on my wardrobe. I used to spend about 6-8 hours a month shopping for clothes in my 20's.
yesterday my SIL wore an adorable outfit she bought from White House/ Black market. I suppose she wanted to show off her new diamond earrings. She looked great. But she has two little kids, and we were just hanging out at our SIL's house all day with family. The outfit was form fitting tailored, and non stretch.
I just cannot see myself doing this ever again unless I only have to wear the outfit for a few hours.
So what about you guys. Did your savvy style come back when your kids were older or does this comfortable wardrobe thing you adopt out of necessity become addicting. Will I ever be stylish again?

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answers from Seattle on

MY idea of dressing up is putting on a clean pair of jeans. I've never been part of the "fashion of the week" club. I've never seen the point of buying something, wearing it once, then throwing it away. I go for comfort over fashion every time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think if you want to look and dress nice because you want to that's one thing, but if it's because you are afraid of what other's might think, then that's a problem. I always wear what's comfortable. It could be stretch pants, capri's or jeans with a casual shirt or something nicer, or a sun dress that is easy to wear. Sometimes I think, gee, I want to look really "in" but then think, really, who cares? My husband can't keep his hands off me no matter what I wear, my kids love me and I have good friends. So I don't think it matters if I'm "fashionable" or not, it's just frankly not a priority for me, but being comfortable is.

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answers from Boston on

The desire to step up your appearance a bit will come back to you when you're past the grind of having small kids who literally hang off of you and suck the life out of you. Until then, you're in survival mode and for some of us, that doesn't include tailored suits and heels.

My youngest is 7 and I have put more effort into my appearance for the past couple of years. I don't look great every day and have some work at home days when I have to change out of the sweatpants I slept in to pick my kids up from school, but I do have the kind of wardrobe that I can be proud to wear into the office or, in a case like this week, can actually put together 3 different dressy outfits complete with shoes and accessories for 3 different events.

I have never really been a recreational shopper and shop "like a man" as well. The words "let's go shopping!" have never come out of my mouth - it's a mission, not a past time. I know what I need, where I'm going to go, what I'm looking for and can hone in on the best cut, color, and fabric like a pro. It's very liberating, actually. I know my stores and sizes well enough now that I can even do some shopping online (and I'm hard to fit off the rack so that's a minor miracle). Nothing wrong with having more important things to do with your time than try on outfit after outfit! And you can still look good even if you shop more efficiently.

Which reminds me...I have to order my 60% off pants color, cut and size are waiting for me at my favorite store's website!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think if you want to be, you can. Friend of ours is always impeccable and I envy her. But I had to laugh when she took a half-eaten cracker and wiped her hand against her tailored jeans like any mom would.

Perhaps one thing you can do if this is your goal is to get rid of all the frumpy things you really ought not to wear anymore. And then replace them. If I find that a store has 1. a good return policy and 2. what size I am at that store, I will go online to their sales. I got some wrap dresses from Old Navy on clearance. A pair of cute flats and a hair clip and I'm out the door in 5 minutes. I can trade a nasty old sweatshirt for a fitted fleece jacket. I don't do that every day, but I find that if I have nicer things available, it is just as easy to pull on jeans that fit well as it is those old yoga pants with the paint stain on them. It might take me 2 days to actually finalize my cart, but I try to shop for myself now and then so I have things for me.

I wore a lot of tanks from Target for nursing. And then just put a button down shirt or sweater over top.

I have no desire to be a model or to not wear my sneakers while chasing kids. I like my funny tshirts and themed socks. But sometimes I will pull out the wrap dress, just because (and just because might be "my jeans never got into the dryer after the dog puked on the rug and the kid got gum in her hair and what do you mean you need the car and you need gas money?").

I'm sure you'll find your balance.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Well put together doesn't have to be uncomfortable and comfortable doesn't have to be shabby. While my style has changed I still love to dress up but wear comfortable shoes while shopping or running errands.

I just feel better and more confident when I'm proud of the way I look. Jeans, sandals or boots and a cute top check all the boxes for me on a regular old day!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You can be comfortable, but still look stylish. Having kids is not a reason to wear shabby clothes. Get a sitter and go shopping. Nice jeans, nice blouse, decent shoes, some makeup, hair done and off you go with your kids looking good, but comfortable.

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answers from San Francisco on

I have learned how to be still be stylish without sacrificing comfort.
Sure, most days I wear yoga pants and tees/sweatshirts, but I have reworked my wardrobe over the years for the better.
I have a few very basic pieces, but they are well made and flattering. A few tailored (not tight) black skirts, a nice pair of black dress slacks (again tailored, but not tight) a charcoal gray stretchy skirt and a few pairs of high quality black leggings go a LONG way with an assortment of pretty blouses and sweaters, scarves and earrings. I have some high heel boots and shoes but they are all comfortable (the thicker heel works fine for me, no kitten heels!) I also have a couple of go to dresses, classic styles, not trendy, not too tight, that I can dress up or down.
Oh and I just bought myself a black sequin top for the holidays! It goes with everything, and after all it's kind of fun having a little sparkle in the closet.
I know when you're dealing with leaky boobs and spit up it feels like you'll never be a "girl" again, but really you will. There are plenty of cute, fashionable clothes out there that feel good too, you just have to look around (or look around online.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Even long before kids I was never one to give up comfort to look good. So I don't have it to go back to. I won't even wear heals for a nice out or a wedding, I only wear flats. I never wore things that were too tight, making me uncomfortable and unable to move around and do things.
I always make sure to look put together and nice when I leave the house. Even if I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt I make sure my hair is not just thrown in a pony tail type deal unless I do it on purpose because it's hot or wind or something. I always put on some nice earrings, maybe a nice necklace, throw on a belt perhaps. I own a lot of casual and comfortable shoes so I'm not always in sneakers. All my sneakers are fun designs so when I am wearing them they aren't something boring.
I have been nursing for almost 13 years solid through 3 kids. I extended nursed each one. I just make sure my top can be lifted from the bottom enough to access one breast at a time. I won't buy a top if I can't nurse in it. I even test it while in the changing room to make sure it lifts enough. I have some very pretty tops that I can nurse in.
You don't have to give up being stylish to be comfortable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I wish you lived close by.

I have lots of friends that do not have the time and just do not enjoy shopping. I have been known to meet them at a store and have a rack of clothing, boxes of shoes and put them in a dressing room and let them try on all sorts of clothing that is not only stylish but also actually wearable for their lifestyle.

You are correct it does take up a lot of time to shop.
Best if you can plan a time when you can either leave your child/children with a care giver or have someone tag along to watch your child or children.

Over the years when I have been so busy, I have learned to write down the companies , designers and styles that I like and always fit me.

I know the Cold Creek Jeans that fit me. The Target sizes that the tops fit, Anne Klein shoes will always fit..

IF I cannot make it to the store, I can go online and order items. If they do not look good, I actually mail them back..

A couple of pair of nice pants, a few cute tops or a blouses and a sweater or a Jacket can look sharp with some cute flats. I keep these pieces of clothing and shoes or special events or when I have an appointment. They are separate from my everyday clothing.

Once I feel like I have worn these enough, I start wearing them for my everyday errands, picking up our daughter, running errands.. etc.. I can then get rid of some of the shabbier things. And really do either donate them or put them in a Garage Sale pile.

I also love dresses, so I try to have a dress or skirt for each season.

Another hint is that I wore and still wear an apron almost all day in the house to protect my clothing from stains. It is a huge help in protecting my clothing from stains. Spills, leaning over counters, appliances, the sinks, carrying kids.. etc.. It is amazing how it has saved me from some major spills and splashes.

You just need to learn to decide what your life style is and what wlil work for you.. You can make it happen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

lol, my youngest will be 9 soon, and I have totally MOmmed out, but then maybe I was never that fashionable anyways.

good luck to you, I guess it's all about priorities

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

Your taste does change with perspective. Don't criticize them, though. Maybe they are only trying to impress themselves, not outsiders. Maybe your SIL wants to feel sexy again. There is a place to feel all mom-my, but sometimes you do just want to feel like a woman. You don't necessarily want everyone to look at you with a knowing nod of "Yep, she's somebody's mother."

I, too, dress to nurse and pull my feet up under my butt, but lately I've been enjoying my sexy jeans and shirts. I never thought that I wouldn't want to be in high heels, but most days I'm just not feeling them. I like that I am having more and more days now of enjoying my shoes again.

One way to stay UP is not to let your mom options get too, too comfortable. It's like getting rid of ugly underwear so you're never caught off guard in them. If you just don't feel like wearing heels, then get some stylish flats. Get some jeans that are flattering for your new body.

Yes, it will come back to you, but you don't need to rush it, unless your kids are 25 years old. In the meantime, just have your moments of fabulousness and then go back to your mom stuff.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

What is stylish? I notice my tastes run to the funky but whatever. Find your style for you. Dress how you want to dress and don’t worry about the rest of us. Some people have to dress to the nines. Others prefer to look like they took a midnight stroll through the unlit aisles of a thrift store, assembling their ensembles from the reject bins. Just remember it takes all kinds.

In general in regards to my appearance I make the effort for me because I care that I look nice, put together, whatever you want to call it. I have fallen off the wagon a few times but when I dress badly day after day, I feel poorly. My one big issue is my hair. I never learned how to fix my hair because I was raised by men during my formative years. Bless YouTube and those fine ladies who post hair videos. Compound this lack of knowledge with the difficulty in finding the time to get it done and I’m sure there are times I could scare a zombie. Sigh. I have learned I can fix it one day and then it is good for a day or two before needing to be washed and redone. Still finding that one hour to fix my hair can be difficult but I try. If all else fails, my hair gets put up in a knot but my clothes look good and I have some makeup on. I find that balance. Clearly I am not to the nines but I haven’t given up entirely either.

With small kids and my own ideas of age appropriate and professional, I am not a fan of tight, clingy, cleavage baring clothing. Finding the time to find clothes and then finding the clothes is difficult. So about twice a year I take off a whole day and go shopping. I find that's a good use of two vacation days. My kids go to daycare as normal and I can shop in peace. I seek timeless pieces that I match with some disposable pieces. I try to find clothes at outlets because the better brands do hold up and wear better.

Figure out what you want to look like and go with that. Good luck.


answers from New Orleans on

Well I got fat after kids unfortunately so I am workin' on it!! But I really have to find comfortable things for the sake of my back and feet. I do try to throw on cute accessories, but I do hit the grocery store with my hair in a knot and minimal make-up quite often! It sounds to me like you miss your style some but are torn bc it just isn't really doable for you right now. I do wonder sometimes what some mamas are trying to prove, but then I figure I am just jealous bc I am not as skinny as I once was etc ;) you know what I try to always do is make sure my face looks fresh and not tired. I keep my eyebrows plucked and I highlight them with a great waterproof liquid brow liner. I use concealer under my eyes a sweep of mascara, a little blush and a little lip gloss. It is amazing how this tiny make up routine wakes up my face and makes me feel fresh and bright to face the day :) it isn't the style I once had, but it works!



answers from Sacramento on


Stylish doesn't have to mean restrictive or uncomfortable. I think our lives change and we have to change too. When you have 3 kids and a baby it doesn't make sense to wear a pencil skirt and a silk blouse.
Goodness... when my kids were smaller I was lucky to take a shower on any given day much less dress to the nines to go to the market. We let go of some of that when we have little people depending on us.
So... I don't know if your desire to be fashionable will come back. I have a feeling that it will, but until then just realize that the woman who is wearing those shoes all day doesn't live the life you do and that's ok.

Have a good day~



answers from Los Angeles on

This is temporary! You will get your fashion mojo back once you stop nursing and baby is sleeping through the night. Until then, enjoy your comfy nursing clothes.



answers from Honolulu on

I'm a nursing mother- with that being said when I'm getting ready to go out I have to make sure it's breastfeeding appropriate, I also wear flats. I don't even remember the last time I wore a regular bra!!

But when I go out w/o the kids... I get dressed up!! I dust the dust off my heels & rock my skinny jeans with a cute top on I even put on make up (which I have no time for!!) even if it's just dinner (no drinks) with my girls I get to treat myself have the 1 to 2 hours of adult time to let my hair down I'll take it.

This is your style for now, later when you're ready you'll also dust the dust off- your heels will wait :)



answers from New London on

I see plenty of women just lift their shirts to breast feed instead of buying specific shirts..Which is the direction I go in. But give yourself a didn't mom out. I have never been one of those super together ladies and never will...which I am 100 percent okay with.

Give me a cute pair of boots, skinny jeans, and a flattering shirt and I am good



answers from Wausau on

I'm a comfort-dress person even from before I had kids. I can still enjoy looking at someone else's ensemble even if it wouldn't suit me or isn't practical. I really like looking at flashy jewelry, even though I don't ever wear it.

The issue isn't really with clothing, but on what changed inside you that you feel the need to judge or mentally put-down others by what they are wearing. Does it make you feel better about yourself? I doubt it does for long.

Look inward and find peace with the current you, and stop worrying about what you used to be or what you'll be in the future.



answers from Portland on

I nannied and taught preschool for the 16 years before I became a mom. In my case, unless you count a couple hippie jumpers (which are worn with silk long underwear) the preference for pants/shorts is pretty permanent. I do most of my shopping at Goodwill because I like finding little 'treasures', as well as the variety-- but some go-to items, I'll buy multiples of from Land's End or Eddie Bauer.

That said, I did decide to have a piece of beautiful raspberry wool knit sewn into a custom fit jacket for me. (I am not doing the work myself as I don't have experience with radical alteration!) I wanted something I could wear to nicer events with a good pair of dark-wash jeans and some nicer shoes. Won't ever really wear higher heels again, love my Keen sneakers and hoodies, but I've learned that if I feel/look comfortable, keep myself looking relatively kempt-- I'm fine with it. I have some friends who dress up more, wear more fitted or fashionable stuff-- I will save that just for special occasions. Like, maybe if the Queen comes to visit. ;)



answers from Chicago on

Yesterday my brothers g-friend had on some shoes that just looked painful. In fact, there was nothing comfortable about her outfit. Her kids are in high school now.

I'm all about comfortable. I've always been this way. I hate jeans, love skirts, refuse to wear heals, etc.

I think I'm very stylish. It's all a matter about perspective :-).

You might want to check out the after Xmas sales. I recently discovered title-nine and --damn can't think of the name- and they have some great stretchy/ comfortable skirts and things with built in pockets --all comfortable but nice mom clothes. I love my skirts and hooded microfleece tops. Comfortable but I feel like I look great!


answers from Grand Forks on

I dress comfortably most of the time and I don't consider my clothes to be shabby. I like to wear a long sweater with tights, riding boots and a nice scarf, or stretch skinny jeans with a tunic top and boots. Even a pair of black yoga pants can be dressed up with a cute top, scarf and cute flats. I wear what is appropriate for the activity, and comfortable/casual is appropriate for most of my day to day activities as a mom.



answers from New York on

Interesting how people assumed that you were judging the people who looked good. I took it as just noticing that your sensibility had changed.

I know that I go through the same thing - I never liked really form fitting clothes unless I was out and about, but I did like to dress up much more than I do. I especially find that I don't dress the same way since I work from home much more. I finally have settled for ensuring I look neat and presentable, and am still working on that. I definitely went through a phase where I was pulling out the ratty sweats, and finally just threw stuff out so I couldn't access it! If you can handle online shopping it helps, but I am not good at it, but I have pledged that even if I don't look stylish, I won't look bad. I also don't believe you have to be form fitting to look stylish, and if you are bending and stretching and lifting kids, rather than sitting posed in one place, your thoughts on the subject definitely change.

Right now skinny leggings, boots, etc might be your friend, and aim for neat and your style will return. At least I hope it does - daughter is five and still trying to find my way.

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