Do stay-at-home moms everywhere dress up, or just in my neighbourhood?

September 22, 2010

Today was a work at home day for me, and I had some time, so I did the mom thing.

For example, I walked my kids to school. I was in my workout gear, because I planned to work out right after I dropped them. My son asked if he could have his friend over after school, since today seemed to be the one day we had no afternoon or evening plans (swimming and soccer kick into high gear by next week). We saw his friend being dropped off (in the car, even though they only live two blocks farther than we do) so I went to talk to his mom. She too was in her grubbies, looking like she just threw some clothes on and ran out the door. I felt like an equal.

I finished work early so I could pick up the boys for their playdate after school. I brought them home and made them a healthy snack. Still lots of good mom stuff. Then after a couple hours, his mom came to pick him up, and I felt like I failed the mom test.

His mom was all dressed up — she was wearing an outfit nicer than what I would wear to the office. Her hair was coiffed, she had matching jewelry and accessories. And then there was me. I was wearing old jeans, a t-shirt, my hair was a mess, and it doesn’t help that she’s half a foot taller than me. I felt like a shlub (is that a real word?). To hear her tell it, she didn’t have any special reason to dress up, she just dresses like this on a regular basis. I’ve seen her on other occasions, and I think that is true.

So despite the fact that I was cooking dinner, and even cooking an extra entree for tomorrow’s dinner when I’ll be working late, despite entertaining another nine-year-old and giving them healthy snacks, I just can’t be one of the stay-at-home moms, even on the occasional day. Because I can’t, for the life of me, imagine why, if you were at home all day, and only taking care of your family and home that day, you would want to dress up. If I am not going to an office or meeting clients, I don’t always wear sweats and t-shirts, but I would never accessorize.

So is it just my overpriced neighbourhood where the moms dress up? It’s like some 1960s Mad Men flashback here. Do they dress up where you live? I guess there are some mom situations where I can never fit in. I just can’t accessorize.