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Why I’m Not a “Dirty Mom”

by Be Heard on February 15, 2012

in Parenting

Sometimes I miss the good old days: the days of chic, swank, jaunty, fashionable, smart, dressed-to-the-nines moms.

Lately, I have seen a lot of Facebook updates, Twitter updates and blog posts from dirty moms. No, no, no, minds out of the gutter, people! Not that kind of dirty.

There is a legion of moms out there who don’t shower, don’t wear makeup, don’t comb their hair… and then leave the house. They go out in public that way, usually wearing pajama pants and slouchy baseball hats. I see them at school drop-off, I see them at Kroger, I see them at the library, and I see them at the gas station. I see these women everywhere. And every time it happens, I find myself wondering why.

You see, I’m a girly girl. I play with makeup like a pig wallows in mud. I love winter so I can wear cute boots and leather jackets; summer is great for showing off my Birkenstocks and freshly painted toes. I would rather buy lipstick than just about anything else, except maybe books. My heart bursts with joy when I find just the right shade of eyeliner. I should own stock in L’Oréal Paris because I buy Feria hair color at least once a month.

Listen, I have two kids, so I get it. Being a mom is hard, and moms don’t have a lot of time to devote to themselves. Some moms work outside of the home and then do all the housework after hours. Other moms devote all their time to their children and are exhausted by the end of the day. There are moms who do the work of two parents and only have half the time. All moms do a crazy amount of juggling, day in and day out, to help their families run smoothly. We’re all busy in different ways, but, in my own life, that doesn’t trump my desire to bathe.

I was raised to always look my best, especially when I was leaving the house. My mom would always remind me that I never knew who I would run into out in the world. I distinctly remember as a teenager being told that perhaps I didn’t have enough lipstick on just before I walked out the door. Whose mom says that? But I’m glad she did. She instilled in me a respect for myself that works from the inside out.

I’m proud of my life and proud of who I am, and I want my appearance to reflect how I feel. So I get up before my kids every morning so I can shower, shave my legs, apply makeup, get dressed, and put on jewelry. I never leave the house without looking my best because I want people to see me at my best. Does that make me a better person than the mom that doesn’t shower for three days? Absolutely not. But I feel better when I look good, and that’s enough for me.

Even if I’m not leaving the house for some reason on any given day, I still shower, do my hair, and get dressed. I feel happier and more productive when I’m not working in pajamas or sweats. With a touch of lip gloss or some sparkly earrings, I have an extra spring in my step, I hold my head higher, and I can focus on the task at hand.

The same goes for my kids. They don’t go out somewhere with stained clothes, grubby faces, or ratty hair. Well, they don’t go out that way with me. (Cough, cough. DADDY.) Appearance aside, my kids need to know the importance of personal hygiene. I don’t want them growing up and thinking that brushing their teeth, taking baths, and washing their hands is optional. Preschool germs are bad enough; we don’t need to tempt fate around here by neglecting to wash up.

Whether we like it or not, our society tends to judge things by the way they look. We like cute puppies, fluffy bunnies, fuzzy ducklings, and pretty people. I don’t agree with it, but let’s face it: it happens. There is a reason that people always say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I want to put my best face forward every day – literally. I don’t think that makes me a snob or a phony or an anti-feminist. It means that I am proud of who I am and what I have achieved.

So, I’m sorry, dirty moms, but I can’t join your group. I’m going to continue to get fully snazzed-up to take my kids to school or go to the grocery store. Every morning, I’m going to get up at least thirty minutes before my kids do so I can shower, zhush my hair, do my makeup, and enjoy a few minutes of alone time before the insanity of the day begins. Zappos.com will always be one of my favorite websites to browse, and I’ll blow whatever extra cash I have at Ulta. But please don’t judge me for primping. I don’t take good care of myself to impress others; I take good care of myself because I deserve it. We all deserve it.

image credit cartam

IMG_3366 K. C. Wells lives with her husband and two kids in Lexington, KY, though they are planning a move to the Hoosier state soon.  She is a former French teacher and a current stay-at-home-mom.  In her “spare” time, she likes to spend time with her family, read, watch old movies, go to Disney World, and buy makeup.

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Marie March 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

I for one applaud all moms for doing all that we do. While I do get the need to feel taken care of, I also know that this means different things for different people. For instance, some moms agree with the author and need to be dressed to the nines to feel like they have taken care of themselves. Others (like me) prefer yoga pants and workout gear, and have never considered themselves a “girlie girl”. A demanding schedule makes it hard for me to find time for the gym. Running errands in workout clothes just works for me (and yes I shower at least once daily usually more). Again no right or wrong, just different. When will we as moms stop judging each other and start realizing that we are all in this together??? Each mom is making it through another day just as tired as the next. We each have our own way of keeping our energy up and smiles on our faces. We are all beautiful in our own way. So yes, you will see me at the grocery store and at school drop off in gym clothes, and when you do I hope that you will smile and say hi just as I would to each of you.

Michelle March 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

All I know is that I pretty much dress the same as I did before having kids. I definitely do not wear the mom “uniform” of workout clothes and bright sneakers. I wear jeans, tees, dresses, jackets, ballet flats, boots, etc. The stuff I always wore on casual days pre-kids. Honestly, I am far more comfy in jeans than in workout clothes. They also don’t fit my style at all. Very blah.

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