My current phase of motherhood has me sleeping… well, never.
Okay, that’s not true. I sometimes sleep during the night for about an hour at a time. It’s usually my baby who is waking me up because he loves to eat. Snuggles and milk. But if my baby isn’t disrupting my sleep, my two older kids are doing it instead and the reasons are endless. My daughter fell out of bed or my son heard thunder. He wants to know what’s on the lunch menu for school the next day. She needs to tell me that she’d really, really love to play Candyland with me in the morning.
So there I go throughout the house all night long. From my pillow to the baby’s room for mealtime. Then back to my bed. From my pillow to my daughter’s bedside to tuck her back in and agree to one game of Candyland after breakfast. And then back to bed. From my pillow to my son’s bedside to say, “Look! It’s a clear night,” as I open the curtains. I do a lot of walking during the night, and sometimes I feel like I need a snack in the middle of it all, so I find myself in the kitchen too. Cinnamon applesauce goes down nicely at 3 AM.
By the time the sun rises and the coffee is brewed, I look like a living nightmare. (Living? I think you could call it that.) I drink a cup of coffee at breakfast and then fill my reusable Starbucks cup with more for the drive to my son’s school. In the afternoon, I reheat a cup in the microwave, but only if the baby is awake. The microwave’s slightest hum will wake him from his nap, and his sleep, in this sense, is greater than my need for coffee.
Night after night, week after week and month after month, this sleep deprivation thing is getting real. It’s negatively affecting my mood and eating habits, but strangely, it’s changing my mom style for the good. As crazy as it sounds, I kind of like my sleep deprived style! Based on the picture I’ve painted in your head, I’m guessing you’re asking, “Are you actually serious right now?” Understandable. Hear me out.
The reality is, I have three kids ranging in age from seven years to seven months. I work part-time from home, but I’m out and about regularly all week whether it’s grocery shopping, a work meet-up or a school function. Therefore, wearing my pajamas in public isn’t an option because I basically work out in those with my nighttime walking. And getting dressed up in something fancier than jeans, only to be drooled on by a teething baby, doesn’t make sense either. My style must be nice enough so people don’t have to avert their eyes when I walk by, but it also must be simple because the thought of making a complicated wardrobe decision in the morning makes me want to crawl back into bed.
The only way for me to feel good and comfortable with who I am and my appearance is to first fully embrace this work-from-home-sleep-deprived-mom-of-three phase and discover my personal style. Then, I need to totally own it. It’s like I finally decided to say to the 35-year old mom looking back at me in the mirror, “Look, you’ve never felt this tired in your entire life. You can choose to compare yourself to other moms and force yourself to love curling your hair and wearing heels… Or, you can figure out who you are in this season and be confident in that!” Yeah, I choose that.
So, I decided to simply be who I am, and this is how my mom style came to be…
To begin, I decided I’d stick to wearing two colors: gray and black. In order to not wear the same outfit everyday (every other day is totally okay), I’d get black jeans and gray jeans, a gray shirt and a black shirt. That gives me a few combos. Next, what better way to stretch the outfit combos out over an entire week (and to hide my hair that still needs to be washed), than accessorize with a cute hat? Some of us enhance our outfits with heels; some of us choose hats. With my pants, shirts and hats ready to go, I developed options to last me all week long.
I give you the Sleep Deprived Mom Outfit Menu (*all options based on The Hat)
The Morning Hat
It’s good for that just-rolled-out-of-bed look and for keeping warm during early winter mornings. Add your sunglasses at school drop-off and it’s anyone’s guess whether or not you took your makeup off the night before!
The Afternoon Hat
This option is great because you get to pull off a sporty look while still hiding your dirty hair. Did I take a long walk with my kids? Maybe I chose not to shower during the baby’s nap time because another round of Candyland seemed like more fun? It could be both! And both are acceptable.
The Not-Winter-Hat Winter Hat
The not-winter-hat… winter hat is essentially the same thing as The Morning Hat, but it doesn’t scream WINTER and it’s sole purpose isn’t warmth. Try wearing this one with something other than your all-day-every-day Nikes. (Coffee and sunglasses because remember I’m really tired.)
See what I mean? This simple, uncomplicated wardrobe is low stress.
Soon enough this phase in life with my babies needing me at all hours during the night will feel like a sweet memory. But for now it’s all I can do to feel alive during the day, and sometimes making the smallest decision – what to wear – seems more difficult than it ought to be. For me, I need to keep a few things simple in my life to make room for things that take more brain power like parenting and work. My wardrobe is one of those things I prefer to keep simple.
I like my sleep deprived style, and honestly, I think I feel better about myself most mornings because I’ve decided to embrace this phase and own my look. I’ve decided that I’m happier when I’m being true to who I am instead of comparing myself to other moms who might look “nicer.” There’s nothing wrong with being happy with the simple style I choose. In fact, it’s good for my kids to see their mom being herself and not getting down for who she isn’t. What’s one way you make life a little bit easier for yourself when you’re just.so.tired?
Hold that thought… I hear something.
Yep, the baby just woke up from his nap. On the bright side, I get to reheat my coffee now that I can turn the microwave on! Fuel for another couple hours.