The quintessential mommy work clothes, hair, and make up: My version anyway

Getting anywhere with kids needs a lot of preparation. I have long said good-bye to days when I could take my time getting dressed and get my hair (should I straighten or curl) and make up done (what shade of lipstick should I go with today). Back then, among the bigger decisions were such seemingly frivolous ones (in hindsight) as what handbag to pick for the day/evening (I was never into shoes). None of these decision making processes took a long time but long enough that when I think about them today, they make me feel like I was leading a very glamorous and pampered life.

pants - praise the lord meme

These days, I am usually in this new genre of apparel called athleisure or athletic wear pants that can be worn even when you aren’t working out. Makes me feel ready to take on the day 🙂 and if I ever do get into the mood to work out, having to change into athletic wear is one less excuse. In popular parlance, these kinds of pants are known as yoga pants and one wears them irrespective of one’s yogi status. In other words, doing yoga seems immaterial to one’s decision to wear yoga pants.

Pants meme

If I was to guess, I would say that the Canadian company Lululemon is responsible for making yoga wear hip. One could theoretically wear anything comfortable while doing yoga but wearing stretchy pants that accentuate certain parts of one’s anatomy seem to be the apparel flavor of the times. Given their much sought after aforementioned quality, these kinds of pants are extremely popular and whether or not they do anything for my behind, I love the style and comfort they provide.

pants - spandex - chan memYou want to know the real reason I wear them? They stretch. They have generous amounts of spandex in them. They don’t have nasty tight buttons or zippers that make my muffin top fill over the sides of my pants. I like how wearing spandex-filled athletic/leisure wear makes me feel all held in together. My words may not make sense but I know you can imagine that held together feeling. And yes, they are super comfortable and depending on what brand you buy, stylish too.

Anyway, so once I decide what yoga pant to wear, the process is followed by a top/tee that is favorable to breastfeeding. This is a little tricky. I only have a few nursing tops (and they do not go well with yoga pants so I have to choose wisely or pick a non-nursing but breastfeeding-friendly tee) and as much as I am comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in public, I really do not want to do it. It is not the most convenient thing to do given my size and even with a nursing cover. I have only breastfed in public a handful of times, the most memorable one being at the Seattle airport when J was a little shy of three months and where we were stranded for 12 hours (yep! 12 hours at the airport with an infant!!) and I would really like to avoid doing it if I can help it. Of course if E is really hungry and there is no time to rush back home, I will feed her, public or no public, cover or no cover. If my baby needs to eat, she needs to eat. Also, since I almost always carry my cover with me, feeding her is not an issue per se. I’d just rather feed her in the comfort of my home and Boppy.

My hair is my crowning glory. Was anyway. I am unaware of the use of the different hair products. I usually just use shampoo and conditioner. Oh I have bought my fair share of gels, oils, creams, mousses, and sprays but either don’t know how to use them effectively or forget that I even have them. Also unlike my American friends, I don’t believe in washing my hair everyday. Growing up in India, my sisters and I washed our hair once a week on Sundays. In the evening, our mother would oil our hair with coconut oil and neatly comb it. Once in 11th grade (or Junior College for my school Board in India), I stopped the oiling of hair because in my opinion, it made me too gauche, too old-fashioned, and ugly. I graduated to washing my hair twice a week, a practice that continued even after I moved to the US. I also observed that people in the US don’t oil their hair so in my determination to fit in, I was further discouraged to put oil in my hair. I did however, on occasion, give myself an hair oil massage knowing the benefits of doing so.

These days, other than the time B-aunty gave me awesome head massages with oil in the hair, I almost never bother with the oils. Washing my hair twice a week is a luxury now due to lack of a convenient time to take long showers and also because of the drought in California. At least I shower everyday and wash my hair once a week. That’s good enough till the kids are older and on more predictable schedules.

My hair takes a long time to grow so every time I cut it, I am filled with deep regret almost immediately after. The two times I was able to grow my hair really long and donate over 10 inches to Locks for Love, I felt better about getting that haircut but I still, nevertheless, regretted cutting my hair. This time, I just didn’t have the patience. I was getting tired of the hot temperatures we’ve been having here and my desperate searches for scrunchies and hair-ties which conveniently disappeared right when I needed them and the amount of time it took me to wash my hair. In addition, every time I tied my hair, which was all the time, the sheer weight of the hair, pulled my hair back, making it tighter in the front almost gradually creating a future bald spot. The pull of the hair in the front also left the greys adorning the front of my head vulnerable to an unsightly look. Some people look dignified and becoming in grey hair. I, on the other hand, just look old. Because Aaron has inherited some awesome hair genes,which won’t grey him at all, I also need to consider coloring my mane. Sigh!

Anyway, so I decided to chop my hair off yesterday. Checked in online at the Supercuts and showed the lady what style I wanted. She was shocked and kept asking me multiple times if I was sure I wanted my hair that short. Yep.

Long hair with highlights done in March 2015 (the last time I visited a salon)
Long hair with highlights done in March 2015 (the last time I visited a salon)
This is NOT me. This is what I showed the lady at Supercuts.
This is NOT me. This is what I showed the lady at Supercuts. My hair IS this short now, just doesn’t look as cute.

As for make-up these days, I use a moisturizer followed by a concealer for my dark circles and wrap this up with a MAC lipstick – one of the three, Taupe, Coffee in your Cream, or Mehr. Love these shades. Great for my beige Indian skintone.

People: The thing with living in sunny and warm California is that people are way more casually dressed than they were in Chicago. People are also nicer. It might be something in the weather. I feel more laid back, less worried about what others might think about what I am wearing or carrying (handbag). This could also stem from the fact that I am anonymous here. I don’t know more than two handfuls of people in the entire city, no students I might run into, or bosses to impress, or colleagues. The few people I know and have befriended here are really cool, down-to-earth, and friendly folks who don’t appear to be pretentious or particularly obsessed with their Burberry or Louis Vuitton or Tori Burch. I like that. I am like that too, as is Aaron. We are simple, everyday, low maintenance, middle/upper middle class people who like to live under our means and rather spend our money by contributing to our kids’ college funds, life experiences, or healthy organic eating. Some of the people I had befriended in Chicago and who had an inadvertent influence on a feeble-minded me expanded my material quotient and I went from complete ignorance to having a reasonably enviable knowledge of designer brands and even started coveting their possession. I am so glad I got out of that myopic way of life. I like the people I have met and befriended here. It is a good life for my family and me.

Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: Follow me: @thephdmama

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