I loved being pregnant. The morning sickness aside (that was debilitating, horrifying, hell on earth), being pregnant was one of the best times in my life. Then bubs came along...I was completely unprepared for everything that new motherhood entails. In hindsight, I think this is inevitable. Nothing can prepare you for such a sudden life changing weight of responsibility, unimaginable joy, dark isolation, sleep deprivation and the realisation that your life will never be truly about you again. It is like being hit with a tone of bricks. It is beautiful, magnificent, scary, suffocating, difficult and soul altering.
My son is 4 now and I can proudly say I kind of half know what I am doing, which took a good few years. I felt like a fraud for a while, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. Slowly though, it all started to make sense and I began to feel I was entitled to be called mummy. That process came with many changes, which I could write a whole book about (watch this space!) but being a stylist and fashion being a huge part of my identity, here are the ways motherhood changed my style because I believe the way we dress is a huge part of our identity and the arrival of a newborn can shake that up to the point you feel lost in the chaos.
This is obviously the main way motherhood changes things. I need to be comfortable. There is no option not to be. I don't like being a watcher with my son, I like to play. 9 times out of 10 I am the mum going down the slippery slide at the park while the others chat. I am the mum forgetting the snacks and running into Woolies while we are out and about. I am the mum kicking the footy, I am the mum with stains on her shirt. This is in part due to the fact I am super active and also a tomboy at heart but it is also due to the fact I don't do perfect. My house gets messy quickly. I eat a million miles an hour and spill my coffee on my shirt. I have to dress comfortably. I used to split these two sides of me - the stylist, career side and the gym junkie tomboy, quite strictly but now they blend together, cross over and are one and the same. It is sneakers, tights, jeans, flats and anything which doesn't mind getting a little dirty.
Giving Zero Fucks
I care less and less what people think of me. This is very liberating. There is something special about walking around with a little kid; the focus shifts, what becomes important is the experience you are providing for your child. You see the world through your child's eyes and your mental energy is drawn the present moment. This creates a beautiful consciousness and contentedness to the now. It takes all the attention away from ourself. At least that is how I feel when I spend quality time with my son. This way of viewing life offers up space to care less, to just be. So whether I dress more crazy or more daggy, more wild or more plain, it doesn't matter so much. I feel free to be myself.
I Enjoy Getting Dressed Up More
My social life certainly took a nose dive after becoming a mum. This still breaks my heart because I am naturally ultra sociable - I get my energy and happiness from being surrounded by people and I don't like staying in. Spending more time at home has been a huge challenge for me but I definitely appreciate going out more now. I love the process of getting dressed up and wearing my favourite pieces of clothing again which so often stay on their hangers. There is added enjoyment in playing around with my hair, makeup and accessories. I feel reconnected to who I am when I go through this process. It feels special, it brings me back to who I am and I find my creativity is reawakened now when I am getting dressed up for an event. I used to take this for granted or it felt sometimes like a chore but now I love every single minute of it.
I Wear Even More Black Now
I have always based my wardrobe around black. There is a saying "women who wear black lead colourful lives" and I like to agree because my wardrobe is one big middle finger to the rainbow. Black washes well. Black is stain proof. Black doesn't care if you mistreat it. Black is a mums best friend.
Gym Clothes Are My New Go-to
I love active wear. I invest much more in my gym clothes now because often I will be wearing them all day. I think nothing of buying new gym, tights, trainers and t-back tops because if I am going to live in active wear then I want to feel damn well good about it!
Sticking To The Classics
I shop much smarter now I am a mum. Gone are the days of random, spontaneous purchases. I think long and hard before I buy anything and I draw upon the classics more. This is probably due to getting older too. A big part of my job as a stylist is teaching clients how to build a cohesive, manageable wardrobe, how to look for quality over quantity and how to get the most out of the items on hand. I apply these concepts much more thoroughly than I used to now and I find such satisfaction from curating and carefully planning the items I keep and purchase. The classics play such an important role in my wardrobe now - the white shirt, the well cut denim, the white sneaker, the cult classic frames, the boyfriend blazer, the black tote. When the classics are working well, it doesn't take much to inject some individuality and fun, it frees up room for special statement pieces and it saves the excessive spending.
Becoming a mum was the best thing that ever happened to me and while me and my little guy have had it pretty damn tough (another story for another day) I would do it all over again just to experience this amazing privilege that is raising a little human. I have always been committed to not losing myself in this journey, to still being me and to making time and energy to be active, creative, passionate and a little wild. Getting dressed and enjoying fashion is one part of that for me and remains just as important, if not more so, as ever.