So, anyone else read the Boston Globe article attacking the “suburban mom uniform”? If you didn’t read it, I can give you the gist — author Patricia bemoans suburban moms who don’t prioritize fashion and don’t take the time to get themselves dolled up for school drop-off, and she gives tips for improvement.
I respect a tiny piece of what the author is trying to say: Moms, take some time for yourselves, and feel good in what you’re wearing. I even appreciate her first tip to “find a pair of jeans that flatter you.” Lord knows my body will never be the same after pregnancy. Things shift, things shrink, things grow. Clothes do not fit the way they used to. And I know what it is to put on a pair of jeans that feels great versus and a pair that just doesn’t anymore. Every mom deserves to give herself at least one pair of jeans that makes her feel like a million bucks because they fit just right.
But the rest of this article? No. Just no. So not OK. For soooo many reasons. First of all, the title. Why the dis on the suburban mom? Being a recent city-to-suburb mom myself, I can honestly say city moms and suburban moms dress in basically the same way. Why the need for another mom war? Why the need to pit city versus suburbs? I just don’t get it.
The author deplores the workout gear, leggings, and fleece that have become staples in the mom circuit. She encourages moms to instead wear blazers and silk shirts, among other things — I am not exaggerating. She says, “A great silk shirt is nearly priceless” and encourages you to wear it “even if you are staying home to do laundry.”
Show of hands — who can get through a day without a stain on their clothing? I don’t know about you, but my clothes tend to be magnets for hummus-smeared hands, snotty noses, and sunscreen residue. Also, when am I supposed find time to dry clean these shirts? Do I wear a silk shirt to the dry cleaners as well?
Much to the author’s chagrin, I’m sure, my clothing choices are based on what is clean, comfortable, and somewhat matches. I want to know that I am wearing shoes that will allow me to play with my toddler on the playground, and clothes that will let me sit on the floor with her without exposing any lady bits. I want to wear clothes that can get dirty with markers, sand, or bubble residue with no concern.
And, by the way, why the focus on moms? Why not call out the dads, too? I can’t picture an article urging dads to break out their three-piece suits for “dads and donuts” at the library. That just sounds ridiculous. Just like the recent New York Times article that decried ”mom hair,” it is the women who are objectified, once again. Moms are expected to be perfect in every realm.
It saddens me that a fellow mom wrote this article. The tips in the article could potentially be helpful for getting ready for date night or dressing for the office. But, not for everyday, getting-through-the-day, “mom uniform” clothing choices. I guess this author has certain luxuries that not every mother has, and, clearly, has different priorities.
This article so distinctly reeks of mom shaming. So to the mom who is wearing yoga pants and a V-neck to playgroup, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for getting yourself and your child dressed this morning. I am proud that you navigated a toddler tantrum during breakfast because his banana broke. I am proud that you read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” to him five times because he wanted you to, and you enjoyed the lap cuddles. And, if you wear the same thing tomorrow, guess what? I won’t care. Because we are in this journey together.