Recently, I read an article on Babble.com on the debate of ‘dirty’ moms vs. ‘primped’ moms. I have to admit, if I had to label myself with either of those titles, I would be the former. However, in reality, I am not ‘dirty’ in the sense that I’m unclean–although I will admit that there have been occasions when I haven’t managed to get in the shower for a few days.
I consider myself what I’m going to call a ‘pajama’ mom. And apparently, I’m not alone in this. Even before I had my son, even before I was pregnant, I’ve been the type of person who comes home and gets in her pajamas–even if I was already wearing something comfortable. I really can’t say why. I tend to be a couch potato–not necessarily watching telly all the time, but I like to sit, relax, get comfy. And pajamas are the best way to get comfy. Background story is that I had a C-section. After I got released from the hospital, even some of the yoga trousers I wore almost religiously during pregnancy felt tight around my sore tummy. I tried on some normal jeans that were a size larger than my pre-pregnancy ones, and although they fit, the structure around my tummy felt horrible. Not tight, just WRONG. So I kept on wearing yoga trousers and pajama bottoms whenever I could. I switch it up more now, but I still wear the comfy things on a day-to-day basis. I keep my hair tied back (because my boy LOVES hair and will grab it if he can), my glasses on, and my outfit as comfortable and breastfeeding friendly as possible. That’s it. Make-up–only if I’m going into town, and only if I can manage it. It’s not the top priority.
The thing that people really need to keep and mind, and what is an interesting part of this dirty vs. pimped debate, is that mothers are really sensitive. Myself totally included. Some of us are insecure, whether it’s because we’re first-time moms, or just because that’s our nature. In general though, most of us are just immediately on the defensive because once you have a kid, people come out of the woodwork to give their opinions on what you’re doing. People are always coming to us with advice. But its an odd thing–there are times we WANT advice and times we DON’T. We DON’T want to hear that you think what we’re doing is wrong. That should be a given with most people–something that would register as ‘rude’. But it doesn’t. People will tell you that you’re feeding your child wrong. That your baby is small. That your baby is really big for his age. Sure, many things are said with all good thoughts and intentions behind them. Then again, some people are trying to be rude. They’re trying to get at you. Luckily, I’ve only come across the former. I’ve known people who’ve been on the receiving end of some extremely rude comments. For example, a friend from high school on a social networking site was criticised openly for having 3 children and not being in a relationship with any of their respective fathers. She’s a good mother. She takes care of her kids, has a job, and makes a home for them. But that gets tossed aside once some people hear that she’s not with a man. Number 1, why is it anyone’s business so long as her kids are happy and well cared for? Number 2, it’s not a blame game. Some relationships don’t work out.
It’s a bit ridiculous that someone has to almost justify why they’re not all dressed up to take their kid to baby massage or to the supermarket. And oppositely, why some women are sneered at for having their hair done or make-up perfect–as if they were being selfish. It’s a double-edged sword, moms. And seemingly, we’re judged by a lot of people. Whether it’s being looked down on for wearing trackie-bottoms while walking your baby through the park, or for not having your kid in cloth nappies, or for breastfeeding in public–some people think they have the right to say rude things to you, or simply judge your parenting.
The trick is not to care.