Some are born mothers, some achieve motherhood, and some have motherhood thrust upon them.

I am of the latter category. Yes, I had a cabbage patch doll or two growing up, but I was normally more interested in playing with Legos than tending to a fake baby.  I had two younger sisters, one of whom was my playmate, the other of whom thoroughly annoyed me with her babyhood through her first decade of life.  I was hired as a sitter on occasion, likely due to my older sister’s reputation as a “mother hen,” bringing crafts and all kinds of fun to the event. But even though I was still so close to childhood, I had no idea how to entertain these children a half-generation younger than me, and did not excel at it. I vaguely remember not changing a poopy diaper for the duration of a stay and eating a whole box of Nutrigrain bars that the mom had set out for her toddler while he napped. I cringe as I remember.  I was not asked back.

Fast forward about 15 years, married, finishing grad school. Lots of friends having kids, but I wasn’t the friend to ask to hold the newborn or get down on the floor to play.  I probably talked over  cries while I visited.  More likely, I made one or two of them cry with an overbearing “Helllll-Ow!.” I do not-a speak-a your language kid. “Do I want kids?” “Yes, a bunch,” was my answer, “but I will still want to work.”

Now I have my own much-desired baby. He is the joy of my life.  He has made me into a mother and made me love him.  Not the easy way. Not by the-being-cute-sleepy-newborn-meeting-milestones-cuddly-meltiness way, but the other way.  The screaming-so-hard-the-first-six-months-of-life-I-thought-he-was-possessed way. The stiff-as-a-board-back-arching-won’t-be-soothed-something-is-wrong-with- this-kid-way.  The around-the-clock-hourly-nursing-no-sleep-for-ten-months-way. The no-crib-no-bassinet-no-rock-and-play-no-swing-hold-me-upright-for-every -sleep way.  The physically-taxing-delivery-body-never-the-same way.  The so-unbelievably-difficult-daycare-wouldn’t-take-him-made-me- question-my-ability-to-be-his-mother way.

My dad used to say love is a verb, not a noun, and this baby made me LOVE him, whether I wanted to or not.  He demanded love in action. Every. Second. Of. The. Day.  And sure, “All babies are high needs,” but some are more high needs.  And some mothers are born, and it may come naturally for them, and I know and love these women. Some mothers are self-made with the arrival of their bundle of joy. But for others, motherhood is forged. Forged like steel in the fire by that tiny babe in their arms.

Through a year of sleepless nights, inconsolable colic, undiagnosed medical problems and the emotional turmoil that goes with it, my own physical pain, confusion and at times distress, my baby made me love him. Then he made me love him MORE. And in the process he made me a mother. I wasn’t born a mother, I did not achieve motherhood over the course of the past year, but, boy, was it thrust upon me in the most challenging-scary-amazing-fulfilling-how-did-I-exist-without-you way. And I am so grateful that it happened that way.

Was motherhood your calling all along, or was it your answer to the cries as they came? I want to hear your story in the comments!

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Rockin’ the Diaper Bag: Mom Style Beyond the Yoga Pants

Little Snooch and I rarely have occasion to go out of the house, so you are likely to find me most days in my favorite yoga pants and a tee shirt.  What makes this the uniform of most moms at home and on the go? For one, it’s all about comfort, bending, lifting, nursing, co-sleeping, playing and diaper changes make the stretch a necessity.  Then there is the ease of care. Athletic wear is wash-and-wear, no-iron, stain fighting, so it doesn’t add any extra hassle to your sleep-deprived, Itsy-Bitsy Spider-wracked brain.  And of course modesty, not to short and not to sheer… These are all great reasons to wear yoga pants forever and ever. But what about when you want to add a little hip to your look, to not scream “I don’t have time or energy to think about what I throw on in the morning (or afternoon)”, to have a certain je ne sais quoi, or even just a little pulled together, stylish look, even if it is just for the grocery store or coffee. My answer to this condondrum is, drumroll please, THE MAXI SKIRT!

Here are my reasons why the Duggar look is a do for moms in all capacities:

1) It meets the yoga-pantesque comfort standards. In fact, I dare say it surpasses yoga-pant standards in terms of comfort. It is like having a security blanket wrapped around your bottom half at all times, and yet it is so liberating! No material between your thighs (hence no reason to be self-conscious of your thighsJ) Enough room to contort your body to deep beneath the 3rd row of seats to reach a Sophie that fell on the floor.  Cozy, yet cool and breathable! The other beauty is that, unlike a maxi dress, it acts like pants in that you can pull up the top to nurse at your convenience, or do a quick change when just your top is soiled. Need I say more?

2) It is infinitely cuter! Yes, yoga pants can be cute, but beyond black, it may be difficult to imagine your legs tightly clad in patterned or bright hues.  With maxi skirts, however, pattern and color is integral to the style and so easy to wear. Stripes? Yes! Tribal Prints? Yes! Floral Patterns? Saturated Hues? Chevron? Yes, Yes and Yes!!!! Just add a solid tank or tee (or patterned! ) some flats or sandals and you looked utterly pulled together.

3) It is an easy-to-care for, affordable look! Many maxi skirts are literally wash and wear. For easiest care look for skirts made of cotton or poly-cotton blends..  Be there wrinkles, a few minutes of playtime will have them released without a worry. Additionally, these skirts come in many price points, from $12 at places like Charlotte Russe, to much more at higher end department stores.  But you don’t have to spend a lot to get the look.  With forgiving flowiness and stretch, and the trend of any-pattern-goes, there is no need to spend extra for tailoring details or fit that may be lost in the overall look. However, if you are so inclined, you can shop the look at your favorite flag-ship store as well!

4) It can be worn for all occasions.  In this regard, the maxi skirt trumps the yoga pant.  The maxi skirt can be dressed up with a flowy blouse and nice shoes and accessories, or dressed down, with a plain tee. It is perfect for family get-togethers, running errands, church events, being around home and  even date night if you happen to be so lucky. For any and all occasion, the maxi skirt  is super-versatile which is one of my favorite features about it!

5) Finally, it is just as modest, if not more so, as the yoga pant.  Length and volume keep you covered when doing all sorts of maneuvering. Even though modest, it is not stuffy, and can make a mom feel, gasp, cute again! This among all the others is the reason why the maxi skirt, or variations of, has been a standard of the feminine wardrobe for most of time.

I have listed here why moms may love maxi skirts, but it suffices to say that anyone can reap the benefits of this versatile piece, and I highly recommend that every wardrobe include at least one!

So, here is my maxi skirt of the day….I will post more pics of my other fave long length skirts as I wear them!

Tell me, what makes your favorite mom fashion moment?