Thoughts on mom bloggers

Tuesday, 8 May 2012
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Outfit: Isabel Marant Broderie Anglaise top (similar here), Uniqlo jeans (available here), Hermes Cape Cod GM watch (available here) and Repetto flats (similar here).


I read a newspaper article (click here to read) about mom bloggers recently highlighting stay at home mothers who still take pride in their attire despite the lack of funds and a change of lifestyle. I was shocked at the ensuing comments left by posters, most of which were judgmental and spiteful. Conversely, I've been having many discussions with a friend mine who longs to get back into shape after 3 kids. Constant changing of the body shape during each of the pregnancies and the sheer exhaustion have a way of wearing a person down regardless of how positive one normally is.

The way I see it and I'm not talking about narcissism here, if you know you look good, you walk taller and feel better immediately. I remember dealing with a shop assistant at the local dry cleaner once. He was polite and friendly BUT his nails were dirty. He wore a crumpled shirt which was half tucked in and I don't think he even owned a comb. His appearance spoke volumes to me. Since he couldn't care less about himself, I don't think I could trust him to dry clean my jacket properly. I never went back after that.

What are your thoughts on this? Where do you draw the line or maintain a delicate balance between motherhood and looking good? Or is this a non issue?

48 comments:

  1. The Hermes watch and leopard print flats are to die for!!!

    Totally agree with you about making an effort - in the case of the dry cleaner for basic hygiene reasons alone!!! Not surprised you never went back there lol x

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  2. hey m! though i'm not a mom, i understand what you're talking about. i have a number of bloggy mothers on my blog roll and they look exemplary! some have 2 or more children. they keep me on my toes. when i start to slack, i think about them. as far as appearances, i wouldn't trust my jacket to that cleaners either. if the owner allows his employees to look that way, you can imagine how they will treat your precious items. great post!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  3. I have no children and therefore no experience to have an opinion about it. However it is important to me to treat his appearance (especially when working in contact with people). This is off topic but those shoes are divine.

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  4. First of all loving that top! Would love to see this article. I have four kids and I agree when you dress up and wear make-up you walk taller and feel better about yourself. Probably even more important than when you're working as you're not making money and getting praise for your work.

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  5. I'm not a mother yet, but I commend those who still try to make an effort despite being busy w/ their kids and the like. Lovely outfit!

    xxTheresa

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  6. Oh i read that first thing, did it get ugly? It always does. I'd be terrified to appear in a newspaper nowadays, the whole open comments doody is a minefield

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  7. I missed the article - where was it?
    I think it's always important to be dressed and groomed to compliment everyone you see during the day and not least for your own self esteem. Somehow common pride in one's appearance has turned into a weapon with which some people - mothers - are often attacked, for being 'selfish'. It takes very little time to make that bit of effort and soon it becomes part of a daily routine. It's beyond me how anyone could view this effort as anything but positive. I know my kids appreciate it when I feel and look good!

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    1. I'm sorry, CC & Anon. For some reason, I thought the link would be obvious. I've just updated the post with the URL again. I love your comment. Great advice there. I'm grateful that the moms at Lil L's school are always so encouraging and kind. I've heard horror stories elsewhere but it was a shock reading the rather spiteful comments on the article.

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  8. I didn't see the article and don't totally understand how it got unpleasant! However as the mother of two sons with only 1 year and 4 months between them, I found it really difficult to look good while they were little. I was always clean and tidy but there really was no time to plan outfits and particularly accessories. It got better once they went to nursery school, but I would never criticise mothers who have to let themselves 'go' for a while. I had a friend who was a model before she had twins - she was unrecognisable afterwards for several years ! My advice is to do the best you can and don't worry about it. In time you will have more time to look stylish again.

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    1. I know what you mean. I was so sleep deprived and exhausted for the first 2 years of motherhood that I couldn't really think about anything other than family and work. This is such a practical and thoughtful advice. I find it hard to understand fellow mothers who criticize others when support and a little kindness would be far more helpful.

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  9. I think it's cool that mom bloggers can stay in shape and take care of themselves while...well, being a mom! Kudos to them..

    Love the leopard flats btw :)

    161cm.com

    joanne♥choi

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  10. OMG. I don't even know where to begin. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you 100%. It doesn't matter what other people think of you. YOU, we, women, people- they live for THEMSELVES. When I comb my hair into a pontyail, and dress cute even if I'm going to drop off daughter #1 at school, then I'm doing that for myself. I'm married, and quite frankly i have a wonderful marriage. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I dress ALWAYS for myself. So what, I like to look cute, I like to look presentable. I love fashion. always loved fashion, and always ALWAYS wish that I studied it/pursued it. It's a mindless hobby for me, something I feel passionate about, something I enjoy. I also, recently started blogging about my passions, and I did them for a reason, because its an outlet to express my individuality- and no matter what anyone deems me as, they can NEVER take that away from me. I love my life, and my girls, and I spend every waking hour with them, it's kind of hard to go out and do the OTHER things you like to do. I'm SO lucky I get to be able to stay home with my girls, I would NEVER have it any other way. That was a CHOICE for me. Commenters who say that what are they trying to do, who cares what they look like, they are just a sahm? Excuse, me but a bum on the streets is a PERSON too. Just because someone seems like they don't have the most...how should i say this "happening" life, doesn't mean they don't care about their appearance, and their appearance shouldn't matter. They have feelings and a life too. Just because you pop out babies, doesn't mean you have to let yourself go, because what is the point. That doesn't make a person vain. These people are so ignorant, and judgmental it makes me so sad. How about if someone told THEM, something they have intrest in- it doesn't really matter, because WHO CARES? I'd love to hear what they have to say. *fuming*!
    www.thehautecookie.com

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  11. Marlene, I can't wait to read this article!
    Nothing makes me feel like a human than dressing up in my regular clothes and putting some makeup on my face. Even these days where I am usually covered in baby spit and at the mercy of a wee one's schedule.

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    1. I know what you mean. Ahh...the early days. I recall not a day went passed without some sort of spit/puke you-name-it was on my clothes.

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  12. I'm not a mother yet myself, but I think that it's complete BS to think that women should or shouldn't dress a certain way at any point in their lives. Mothers deserve to look and feel wonderful - just like anyone! Just as you said: if you look and feel good, it changes everything! Your confidence, posture, etc. This is why I tend to be overdressed all the time - it makes ME feel good, and that's what matters right??

    xxx,
    Alexandra

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  13. Well, I am a firm believer that you can be a mother but never let the world knows your maternal side by your looks, because who you are as a woman is different stature than that of a mother. So yes, dress the way you want to dress and be as pretty and sexy as your heart desires, as this will never take the motherhood away from you. Enjoy and respect yourself as a woman, as woman creates motherhood and life, and life will transform to new generation in the world. Not the other way around.

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  14. I just read the article. I'm rather shocked at some of the comments elluding to mothers should not be blogging or worrying about dressing nicely as they should be looking after their kids. How rude! The funny thing is, who are we to pass judgement on any other person, especially others we don't know and frankly their lives don't affect ours in the slighest.

    I say good on the mums for taking a little time for themselves, whether it be to dress nice, to blog or whatever else they feel like doing with the smiggen on their time they actually get to themselves.

    I'm a mother, so I think I can say that mum's need a little personal time to themselves and a form of expression. The desire to feel nice doesn't alter because you have a child. Also being a mum doesn't mean that your life is over and everyone and everything else is more important than you. Mums need (and deserve) to be happy to.

    ~ Mandi
    www.findmeamuse.com

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  15. Okay what shall I start first here. Let me mention that a pair of leopard print shoes is my favorite..hehe. I like this pairing and how the shoes help brighten up the outfit.

    To me, as long as a child is taken care of and loved (not neglect him or her in order to do makeup and pamper oneself to the point where a child is starved to death) then there is nothing wrong when mama wanting to pamper herself regardless of being a single mom or a working mom. I can't tell you enough how many times I have experienced a feeling of exhaustion/frustration/anger/fear/desperation from losing my balances and myself to motherhood. I totally believe that "in order to raise a happy child, you have to be a happy mother". It makes a huge difference when mothers are happy and confident because she will pass some amazing positive energy and attitude to her child. Motherhood is a work around the clock and mothers work harder than anyone else in this world, she deserves to be happy.

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  16. My philosophy, you can wear what you want at home but when you are out of the house, no matter what errands you are running, be presentable! You don't have to wear like a supermodel but at least be neat and tidy. Looking good means you care for yourself and it reflects how you care for your family and home.

    nvie

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  17. I'm currently on a year-long maternity leave from work and typically dress for comfort when I'm home - shorts / tee shirt. But I will always strive to look nice and pulled together when we go out of the house. I don't always wear makeup but I am groomed and presentable :)

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  18. I like what has been said above by many posters, especially by SBL. There are so many facets to a person, a woman. One facet is motherhood, another facet (for working mums like me) is a job/career. For others, it's our sports, hobbies, interests. Keeping all those aspects nutured is so important for ourselves, our identity, our sense of who we are and to make us well rounded, healthy individuals. And yes, well rounded healthy individuals ultimately make for better role models and better parents.
    So, is it stretching it too far to say dressing well is our spiritual duty to ourselves?? Hee hee...

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  19. I think it's nice for a woman to look after herself and look nice and care about fashion. When did that become a crime?

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  20. I think it is important for mothers/wive or women in general to look good or try to look good. As a wife/mom I try/make an effort to be presentable for myself first, my husband who deserve a presentable wife and for my demanding boys who wouldn't even allow me to tie my hair in pony tail! See, men in general are quite demanding in the sense the would like to look at nice things (at any age!), nice wife even nice mom.. after all husband and children are my life so why not make them happy while making ME happy! Just my 10 cents :)

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  21. i love repetto leopard print flats!!

    ok i don't have kids.. so i know realize this might sound slightly obnoxious.. but i think when people post spiteful and mean things like that.. they're more envious than anything else.. if you aren't jealous then why would you be catty? gezz just because other people take pride in themselves.. even after children does not make them a bad person!!!! on top of that.. i would think a mother who takes pride in herself.. would simultaneously instill the same amount of confidence in her children! and even beyond that.. dude.. just because i want to pop of 2.5 kids doesn't mean i don't want my husband to still be attracted to me!!! and yes yes i realize people can now argue.. uh your husband should love and cherish you because you popped out those 2.5 kids.. umm.. that may be true.. he should and will love me because i popped them out.. but that doesn't mean he'll be attracted to me.. bahahah!!!

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  22. I love staying in shape, making an effort and looking nice everyday - it makes me feel better. Who cares if all I do that day is the school run? Sometimes, I never make it out of my Yoga wear (at least they are nice Lululemon athletic gear with some style!) But most of the time I try to look put together. Another poster hit the nail on the head. I'm a busy wife and mom, but there's still room for me in there somewhere, and I don't want to lose her.

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  23. Sigh... yet more nasty comments about a SAHM who loves clothes/fashion, tries to look presentable and, gasp, blogs about it. One negative comment said "Who cares?". Well, obviously not the commenter but, really, I may not give a fig about things that commenter may care deeply about.

    What a person likes/does in their private life is for no one to approve of but themselves - granted said person is not doing anything illegal like child neglect or engaging in criminal activity. It's nobody's business but her's and her husband's and certainly not something that should be judged by others. It's a non issue for me.

    I, myself, love what I love and I make no apologies. SAHM bloggers who love fashion (like Marlene) make my world a little sunnier every day by knowing there are other women out there like me. Just because you have children, it does not mean you must become a selfless martyr who has to completely close the door on yourself.

    ITA with Lisa's comment. Envy plays a big part of the negativity.

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  24. I love the leopard flats! Those article commenters were way too concerned about nothing!

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  25. In my opinion taking care of your appearence is really important to have self-confidence, and it also make you feel pretty.

    That outfit is lovely by the way, it would be perfect for a walk in the city this summer.

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  26. Wow great comments you've got Marlene! I don't have kids but all I'll say is that the friends of mine who do, the ones who still make an effort to look good, are more fun to be around and are still the same person. I think their appearance is an outward indicator of the fact they've made the decision to still retain the person they were before children, shallow, clothes obsessed, fun loving or whatever, and decided not to be a mum only, to not let motherhood define them 100%. Motherhood is really tough, tiring job so why are mothers not allowed to feel good about themselves and have some outlet just for themlseves? We don't expect fathers to stop liking football and beer do we so why should women give up their non-child related interests? But what do I know, I don't have kids. Great post! x

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  27. Good Lord I've just read that article and all the comments. What a load of jealous bitches! How can they be so nasty? And accusing them all of being rich (as if that were a crime anyway) when they clearly say they don't buy clothes that cost more than £50 *ssshhh* don't tell them about your IM obsession ;o) Why is it seen as narcissistic and shallow to care how you look, I really don't understand that attitude. Just sour grapes. And it is the Daily Hate Mail of course....

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  28. Great post...the comments in that article are a little crazy. Actually I love reading the Daily Mail but reading the comments invariably will just p*ss me off! LOL

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  29. i agree! appearance is your first impression to others. why would i not want others to take me seriously? i believe that if i dress well, i will be in a better mood and more motivated. i hate the idea that just because women have children, they shouldn't be allowed to spend a bit of effort and time on their appearance.

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  30. Perhaps a bit controversial of a view but I think a lot of negatively towards "stylish" moms stems from something darker than just jealousy or worry for the wellbeing of the children.

    I think there is quite a lot of sexism and perhaps even classism involved. As if a woman once she has a child, especially a young child, must give up her personal identity as a person, as a WOMAN and become a mother first. I do not think that is healthy. I do not think you can be the best you can be for yourself and your family if you are nothing more than a babysitter and a feeding machine.

    As for "classism" for a lack of better word perhaps, take a look at celebrity moms. They can go out party all night long, wear 4 inch heels, and spend hours or days away from their kids without much criticism. Somehow it's more okay for them but less for your average citizen?

    Anyway, from what I've seen in the blogosphere, the mothers are all very balanced between their attention to their kids, family, and more "frivilous" things like clothes. I wouldn't worry one bit!

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    1. Lindsay - You said what I wanted to say but you had more guts than I! I have always felt that sexism is a large part of the condemnation directed towards women who love clothes/fashion and are made to feel as if they have to justify why they want to look or dress pretty. It's hypocritical actually because beauty in a woman is hightly desirable. That is, until she is married and has children. Then she must put herself into the background quietly or she's vain/shallow and is not putting her children first.

      The fact that this blog entry even exists on Marlene's blog shows that we ARE made to feel a little guilty about it and subconsciously feel that we have to explain it - even amongst ourselves.

      I could never imagine this on a blog say......about football or golf.

      (climbs down off soapbox) Sorry Marlene! I'll shut up now.....

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    2. Oh wait... is that IM blouse current season? Love.

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    3. I love these comments! You're both right. It's insane that we even have to justify for trying to look our best.

      BTW, the top is from a few seasons ago but IM has introduced a similar top.

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  31. this outfit is perfect !!

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  32. balance, balance, balance is key. You don't want to lose yourself entirely. Even for just a few minutes of your day- something as simple as spritzing on perfume or putting powder on the face will work wonders. Those things are necessary to remind you that you are still YOU and not someone who swallowed up your old self and spat out an unkempt person after. You need the confidence in your life so always remember to love yourself even if just the tiniest bit :)

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  33. First, I love your leopard flats and that IM blouse is amazing! Second, I am not a mother yet but I certainly intend to continue taking care of myself and paying attention to what I wear after I have children. Fashion is such a fun hobby for me and my blog is a creative outlet. I don't see why that should be forbidden after I have a child. I also agree with Lindsay and Maria. No one would ever expect a man to stop wearing nice clothes or give up his favorite hobbies after becoming a father.

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  34. i know this is late for me to write my opinion but i just want to share since i'm a mother myself...
    i just read the link and sad to see those rude comments from others, i think everyone has the right to do what they feel to do so..
    motherhood is onething that we cannot replace or set aside but we all have the right to give a little time for ourselves. maybe some has more time to do like taking pictures, blogging etcc.. but it doesn't mean they're putting aside their role as a mother.
    i personally believe i have to look good not just for me but also for my son and for my husband. not only how i put my clothes on but also how i look good physically... this is the reason why i started blogging about how to maintain fit and feel good because there was once i felt so down and felt ugly. then i realized i shouldn't take for granted myself. giving my whole time and love for my baby is the top but giving myself a space is not bad :)

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  35. these flats are simply perfect!!
    xx claude//imaginetheswallows.blogspot.com

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  36. Hi

    I run www.thesuburbanstyle.com one of the blogs featured in the dreaded article. It is so great to see some support from other Mums. That's all we care about, not the middle aged men who commented on the article.

    I don't really care what other people look like, but I like to make the best of myself because it makes me feel better equipped to face the day ahead. My toddler is healthy, happy and well cared for. Stay at home mums get such a bum deal it's nice to see some positivity for once.

    Lots of love
    Lucy

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    1. Thank you for popping by, Lucy. Kudos to you for holding firm to your ideals. SAHMs are a case of damn if you do, damn if you don't. I think people often forget that there are pros and cons to every choice that we make (going out to work or stay at home with kids). We're all trying to do our best so instead of tearing each other down, why not support each other. Ultimately, we're after the same result.

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  37. Thank you for this post. While I'm years away from becoming a mom I think about this sort of thing a lot. It's sad in this day in age that women aren't supportive of other women. Who are any of us to judge someone else?

    I know it would be really hard for me to confine myself to a world without fashion or style- those things make me feel like myself and ultimately more productive. I think it's important for everyone to have that.

    I find it inspiring when I see moms blogging and doing an excellent job with their kids. It's something I deeply admire.

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    1. In New Zealand, we call it the Tall Poppy Syndrome. Gotta tear the person down if they're doing well. It's quite different in the US where rags to riches stories or those who have excelled are celebrated.

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  38. I have to say i'm in luv with the Repetto flats. amazzzzing!! xx Noémi

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    1. Thank you, Noémi. These leopard prints ones are really hard to come by so I was really thrilled when I found the flats on Yoox for a much reduced price. An added bonus.

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