They Call Me Mama
One of the proudest and privileged names we could be given, but let’s be honest (you know me, I am all about keeping it real over here), it also presents so many questions and challenges we may never thought we would face.
If you have read my blogs, follow me on social media, or have listened to the podcast, you will know that my work is all about helping Mums to feel like themselves again outside of motherhood.
Because it was a challenge I faced and really didn’t know where to turn for support, but also felt like it wasn’t really spoken about.
The reality is that there are many parts to this disconnection that we experience. And today we are looking at just one of those: How what we wear can hugely impact us feeling like ourselves.
How we dress often makes up part of our identity doesn’t it, so when our identity shifts to that of being a Mum, it is no wonder that this can present itself as a challenge, yet often, I think if we are being honest, we don’t actually give this enough focus.
So that is exactly why Sarah from Style solutions by Sarah is sharing her own journey of her lost and found style mojo, as well as sharing some fantastic tips that we could all put into place immediately, which will not only increase our confidence but also help us in feeling like ourselves again.
You can find Sarah on Instagram or find out more about her work here
The Story Of My Lost And Found Style Mojo
I can actually remember the exact moment when I realised my style mojo was missing. I was sitting in a café with my kids, then four and one. It was a rainy, windy day. Two ladies entered the café to grab a takeaway. They were dressed smartly and professionally: Trench coats, heels, laptop cases and groomed hair. I felt a pang. I’d been a city girl before having kids. Their outfits reminded me of the old me – the one who had dressed in chic jackets, tailored trousers and skirts and heels. It had been a uniform of sorts that I had felt confident and comfortable in. Now I had adopted another uniform – jeans, sweatshirt, slightly scruffy trainers, all practical for being a mum but I didn’t feel confident or comfortable. In fact I realised at that moment I felt really unhappy. A part of myself was missing: The stylish part! It wasn’t that I wanted to swap places, not at all. I enjoyed being a Mum, it was rewarding and enjoyable in a different way and I didn’t miss the long commute.
No. It was just that I was wondering where that woman had gone? The one who enjoyed clothes, putting outfits together, shopping, experimenting with new looks and keeping up with trends. It was a fun part of myself which had disappeared since prioritising my family.
I hadn’t really thought about clothes until then. As long as they were comfy enough for soft play or the park I hadn’t given what I wore a second thought. I almost felt guilty for feeling this way. Wasn’t it all a bit trivial to be feeling sad about? Except it wasn’t, I came to realise that clothes and my style were linked to my confidence and happiness with myself, with my mental health.
Acknowledging that I had lost some part of myself, my style mojo, was the first step. I started to think about how I could get it back. My body had changed since having children. My hips were wider, my breasts smaller and I had a rounded tummy. The tailored clothes I had once worn no longer fitted. Also, I realised I wasn’t ‘feeling them’. It wasn’t just my body that had changed. I had too – my likes and dislikes. I wanted my style mojo back but an updated one!
I started to make some small changes. I had a declutter. The work clothes were put away out of sight. I didn’t know if I would need them again but I didn’t need to see them everyday hanging in the wardrobe. I got rid of everything that was damaged, stained, out of shape or didn’t fit.
I upgraded all my basics so that my t-shirts and sweatshirts were better quality and brighter, more interesting. I had never really liked jeans and the fashion at the time was for skinny jeans which did nothing for my bottom heavy figure. Out they went! In their place I bought things that were a twist on the old me – I’d always liked skirts and dresses so I got a denim skirt and a shirt dress and some cargo trousers instead of jeans.
I decided to add a little something to my outfit everyday that was ‘me’. For example, I wore a favourite ring, bracelet or scarf. I bought myself a bright and cheerful cross body bag. The nappy bag still had to come everywhere but no reason why I couldn’t have ‘my bag’ as well to carry car keys and my purse! I also popped on a bit of lippy everyday. Soft play here I come!
Gradually I noticed I was feeling happier, my mojo was returning. When my daughter started preschool and my son napped I treated myself to a browse of a fashion magazine and a coffee. A habit I’d enjoyed pre-children. The ironing could wait!
So I am wondering if any of this sounds familiar to you? I need to tell you that if it does please don’t ignore your feelings or brush them away as unimportant. Becoming a mum is a huge lifestyle change and its natural that we put our desires and priorities lower down the list. But for the sake of your family, yourself, your mental health it’s important to look after you too. If clothes and style were important to you before then you can absolutely find your mojo again !
I suppose I didn’t realise that our personal style is fluid and changes with us as we encounter life’s milestones, obstacles and challenges such as becoming a mum, losing a job, getting older. I have a big birthday next year and I’m sure I will have another wobble about my style but I know I’ll deal with it and readjust. There may be shopping involved!
Always remember to take care of you because happy mum = happy baby, toddler, tween, teenager (well don’t quote me on that last one)!!
Some practical tips to get your style mojo back
- Re-assess your body shape what has changed? Get a bra fitting. Wearing a correct sized bra will mean clothes will hang better and you will be more comfortable. Jo Jo Maman Bebe and Marks and Spencer offer this service.
- Have a wardrobe declutter. Put your work clothes into storage or anything that doesn’t fit that you don’t want to part with just yet. Get rid of anything else that doesn’t fit your shape now or you just are not feeling right now!
- Upgrade your basics and form a little capsule wardrobe to make getting dressed easier. Some good jeans in a style you like, some nice trainers, some good quality t-shirts, sweatshirts and jacket. If you loved skirts and dresses before, get a skirt or dress that will work for your lifestyle now such as a denim skirt, or shirt dress (also good for breastfeeding)
- Inject a bit of ‘you’ into your outfit – wear something you love that glam cocktail ring, that charm bracelet.
- Wear some colour or print, it will lift your spirits! Invest in some coloured tops or colourful accessories. What about those animal print pumps? wear a brighter lip colour
- Share your feelings with your friends. You aren’t alone and they aren’t trivial. Share your style tips with each other!