I tried to avoid it. I tried to outrun it. I fought tooth and nail with every ounce of my being to keep it away, to stay out of its grasp, but it just kept coming at me. Finally, I had to give in. I surrendered. I gave up.
I accepted the fact that I am the stereotypical mom.
Sure, once in a blue moon, I’ll buy some trendy jeans that are “in” this season. Or I’ll buy the new style of blouses that are all over Pinterest. I’ll don them for a week or two, and then slowly they’ll move farther and farther to the back of my dresser as my tunic tops and leggings find their way onto my mom bod once again. I try to be different, to be relevant, but at the end of the day, I’m a tired mom and I will take comfort over fashion-forward any day.
I attempt to visit new and different coffee shops in my neighborhood — the places with unique décor and fancy-schmancy original drinks, and the cafes that tout their ingredients as harvested from fields where the land is tilled with unicorn horns and the produce is watered with the dreams of children. I want to appreciate their individuality and their vibe. But more than that, I just want to stand in line with other haggard moms with toddlers in tow and order a grande vanilla latte from a mass production corporation. It tastes good, and there are no surprises, no questions, and no judgment — just hot coffee on a cold day.
It takes time and effort to stand out, to break the mold of what a mom is and should be, and frankly, I just don’t have the mental energy to be someone who goes against the grain. We drive around in a minivan, I wear UGG boots unironically, and yes, fall is absolutely the best season ever and I will fight you to the death if you disagree with me. And like that viral meme states, I will win because I have full range of motion in these awesome leggings.
I’m 33 years old, and I just don’t have it in me to try to be different. I don’t know if I’d even want to be different. Stereotypes about moms exist because they encompass what so many of us think and feel and believe. Do moms sometimes go days without taking a shower because we’re too damn tired to lift our arms above our head? Absolutely. Are those damn Lularoe leggings so popular because moms choose comfort over style since most of our wardrobe is stained with some type of snot anyway? Damn right. Do moms drink wine on a nightly basis to help us relax after the fourth night in a row of fighting our kids over homework? You betcha.
I’ve learned it’s okay to be a stereotype. It’s okay to be a caricature of what society believes moms are. It’s okay to be you, even if you pull up in the pickup line with a messy bun, yoga pants, and French fries falling out of the back when your kid climbs in. It’s okay if dry shampoo is your most used beauty product. It’s okay if your kids had mac and cheese for dinner again and if you just go to the gym for the free childcare. And it’s definitely okay if you have more fruit snack wrappers in your purse than you do dollar bills in your wallet.
Even if you’re not “different,” you’re still a strong, smart, beautiful woman who is raising capable and kind children. And that is a mom stereotype you should be proud of.
Carry on, Mama.