Hey guys! A while ago on Insta I posted about working on an OOTD style post over here, so let me start with these pictures to let you know what I look like most of the time when I am at home. Before anyone asks, no that is not my baby. I borrowed him from a very good friend of mine to get a baby fix that I could hand back over (I call this a grandma style baby fix). I'll also tell you that my sweatshirt is very old and comfortable and I bought it from Hello Apparel years and years ago when Instagram shops were just becoming a thing.
When I started to form this blog post in my mind a few weeks ago I had the ambitious idea of documenting a week's worth of really good OOTDs, displaying a collection of office outfits, weekend outfits, and even a date night outfit or two. Unfortunately life is as it is and I not only didn't get a ton of great photos to show a well rounded collection, but I also was dealing with weather that was much cooler than usual for where I live and had to sort of throw together weird things that I wouldn't normally wear so that I could be comfortable throughout my day. Cooler than usual for me, is below 65 degrees through February, and while that might make me seem like a giant baby, I'd like to see anyone not from my hometown area come and deal with 120 degree weather in August and then call me a baby. Just kidding, I complain then too. I basically don't like to be cold, or hot, or experience any discomfort really.
Alright, getting back to this post, I wanted it to be a pretty honest representation of how I look most of the time. I say pretty honest because I don't really think that anyone needs to see what it looks like when I have that 3rd glass of wine and wake up realizing that I fell asleep with makeup on and look like a troll. Or what it looks like when I am running around in my bra frantically looking for a top while yelling at the kids to put on their shoes. That my friends, is better left to the imagination. I also wanted this post to be a way to show how I have managed to hold onto myself as a person through my own personal style, which is really much more of a story of re-finding myself. However as I said I didn't get enough photos for that, and if you follow me on Instagram you already see what I am wearing most of the time, so I am not really sure where this is headed anymore, but we can take the trip together.
I, like so many other mothers that I know, have felt losses of identity that come along with motherhood. I know that in my own experience, it felt like I went from being me, Alexis, to being Patience, Cash, and Charlie's mom, and it was a very lonely and isolating experience. Not actual motherhood mind you, that to me was fucking exhausting but also very amazing and wonderful (especially when sleeping for more than 45 minutes at a time finally started happening). What was lonely and hard was going from being the person that I had spent 27 years growing into and becoming to overnight becoming a person who solely exists to take care of two tiny blob people (what I call newborns), stays home all day every day, and living in a weird deflated version of my own body that felt foreign.
Obviously black leggings and oversized draped tops (which luckily were trendy at the time) were staples in my wardrobe. These were far cries from my standard wardrobe of structured high waist pants, wiggle dresses, and retroesque tops. I went from high heels and wedges through my pregnancy until my doctor suggested I stop, to flip flops (if you know me you know I prefer to only wear flops to the pool or pedicures), but if you look closely at the photo above you can see I was trying so hard to hold onto myself with those polka dots. God I love polka dots.
So call the whaaaaaambulance, what a slew of problems, right? Well at the same time as these little hits at my self esteem were happening I was isolated from my work (which at this point was most of my interactions with anyone outside my home), I had already been isolated from many of my friends (bless those who held on to me), and I was just sliding into a sadder and sadder home life while trying to hold on to any little parts of who I was as a person. And you know what, also, I am a Libra, an Enneagram Type 7, and an ESTP personality... putting together how I present myself to the world is fun for me, and really matters to me, maybe a little more than it should, but it is my me time!
When I returned to work I swore that I was going to show up super business like every single day, my hair was going to look perfect, my make up would be fleeky (I think this was a word that many years ago?), and I was basically going to be a bad ass business bitch that wore all black and crushed it every day and had people wondering how I did it all. Cut to... me having to unbutton my pants and roll down my spanks so I could get comfortable to pass out 20 minutes at a time on the sofa in my office. My plan was clearly not going to to work.
If now I was a mom, and it was going to show, why not just kind of have fun with it? 1st, I got all the giant sunglasses. The gianter the better. Concealer can only do so much and it looks much more cool and glamorous to have ridiculous bug eyes than let everyone see how bloodshot they actually are. I really miss the glasses that I have on in the collage above, but I am pretty sure that a few years after this Charlie ate them. Next, I just became ok with looser and stretchier clothing than I ever wore before. I am still personally, not a fan of leggings as pants, but can I tell you about how much I love the Old Navy Pixie Pant for work?Because I do! After that I just started to embrace color (although I do still love the all black aesthetic from time to time), separates, and accessories... which sometimes can even be toys for kids to play with when you want to have an adult conversation (please don't give your babies things they can choke on because of this). As time went on I was able to pepper some of my favorite prints and patterns back into my wardrobe. Then lastly I just essentially got addicted to shopping online for cheap to mid-priced shoes that are fairly sensible but total outfit makers.
At the same time as I was relearning how to dress my body and be confident and find my own new personal style, I was getting back to being physically active and reshaping my body closer to what I was used to, I was put on a very strict health plan to get some things under control, I was somehow able to to make more mom friends and have people to talk to, and as the kids got older I was finally getting some sleep (I am telling you guys, this is the most important thing). Things weren't fine and dandy at home but I felt like I was drowning less and less, and was able to grow into this new self that had felt so alien at first with a self respect and confidence that I didn't know that I had. Then I pretty much immediately got pregnant again and had to start all over, but that time I had a new sense of self and tools that helped me hold onto it, and that was the difference that helped me completely change my life.
Listen, I don't think clothes can change the world or a person's life, but I do think that confidence can. I think that for me, taking the time to feel like I look good or like "myself" can put me in a good mood. It gives me time in the morning to sort of zone out and just focus on color and texture for a few minutes rather than my mile long to do list. I think that showing my kids that I am a person that deserves to feel good about herself is a good example to set for them, and I know that a good pair of jeans, polka dots, leopard print, and rainbows make me happy.