I always said that I wasn’t going to be one of those moms who took the dress code and interpreted it in the most casual way.
I didn’t want to feel like I’d given up on myself as a person separate from my kids.
I didn’t want to be able to blame lack of sleep.
But today I’m barely meeting the minimum levels of professional. I’m in black jeans, flat boots and a sweater.
I had a whole 8 hours and 15 minutes of sleep last night. And I spent a good 10 minutes lying in bed trying to think of what I wanted to wear.
And the answer was “my pajamas”.
It’s not because I wanted to have a lazy day with my daughter. Sure, that would have been better than going to work.
I just wanted a day for me.
On the bus this morning, I saw a mom who epitomizes what I have always been afraid I’d become. She wore white runners. Jeans that were too short. A hoodie. And her hair was messily piled into a claw.
But this morning I got it. You can give it your all at work. You can give it your all with your kids. And once they go to bed, if you have any energy left you have to give it your all tidying up and preparing for the next day.
You can only do that for so long before the voice in your head cries “but what about me?” And usually when you hear it, you have no time to do anything significant. And you promise yourself that one day, soon, you’ll put the kid to bed and clean the bathroom. Then you’ll pour yourself a glass of wine and fill a bubble bath.
But until then you put on the boots that don’t make your knees hurt. And the pants with the waistband that doesn’t dig. And the sweater that feels like a blanket. And hope that is enough to quiet the voice in your head.