Thursday, February 10, 2011
She's got the look. Or not.
My phone beeped as I walked out of the shopping centre. “She just asked to have a nap, and fell asleep in 2 mins flat!” I could hear his shocked tone through the message; after all, this is our two-year-old daughter who never naps during the day and certainly never asks to go to sleep. I responded as I unlocked my car and climbed in.
“Now that you’ve escaped a cranky toddler, be prepared for a cranky wife. On my way home. Empty handed. Yep.”
Earlier that day, the stars had aligned. Steve was home, with no plans other than to spend the afternoon with Abbey. More importantly, I had money, having been fortunate enough to win a gift voucher from a blogging competition. So, I went shopping.
It's been a long time since I’ve had the time and money to go on a shopping spree. Child-free time is spent on more important things, like working or sleeping or, um, reading, and being on one income means any shopping trips are kept for more necessary things, like clothes and shoes for our little growing machine.
Armed with my voucher and headed to Melbourne’s biggest shopping spot, Chadstone, I was excited. Super excited. I thought of all the things I’d buy: pants, skirts, tops, a dress to wear to an upcoming event, even a pair of shoes. (Money can go a long way in my imagination.) My wardrobe was in serious need of updating, and this was just what I needed.
By the time I arrived, those stars had moved. They were all out of whack. I wondered if I might be the only woman to walk through an enormous department store in Chadstone, armed with guilt-free money, and not find a single thing to wear.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I found a few things I wanted to buy. First, I saw a beautiful pair of boots, but they were way out of my budget (yes, even my guilt-free voucher budget), and long boots never, ever fit my skinny legs anyway. Then I headed to the homewares section and found plenty of things I’d like to buy, and ditto in the book department.
But I was meant to be spending money on myself, not the house.
I arrived home, grumpy and disappointed, and looked at myself in the mirror. Jeans, t-shirt, ballet flats. Accessories: wedding rings, watch. Makeup: nil.
I was dressed for being a mum, not a pro-shopper.
Change the shoes to thongs or Converse All-Stars (yes, ballet flats are my version of dressing up), and this is what I wear day in, day out. The key to my wardrobe is comfort, the perfect ingredient for running around after a toddler.
Remove the shoes and you have my work attire. Working from home doesn’t require much effort in the aesthetics department, and wearing jeans – as opposed to pyjama pants – feels like being dressed up some days.
Really, shopping for clothes felt pointless and extravagant. I could buy more jeans, t-shirts, tracksuit pants and flat shoes, but I already have those bases covered. I could, of course, look at skirts and lovely dresses and heels, but what's the point? Where will I go wearing such things? Who will see me?
My practicalities are frustrating me. This is supposed to be guilt-free money, yet here I am feeling guilty and unable to be frivolous.
What should a SAHM / WAHM wear, anyway?
Posted at 12:14 PM