11 Reasons You Should Never Worry About "Dressing Like A Mom"

Ad failed to load

Don’t you hate it when the skirt of your sequined ball gown bunches? Ugh, that’s the worst. Or when the tail of your furry raccoon skin hat keeps bumping into your neck? Or when the front half of your two-person horse costume won’t slow down and you have to run around after them like a half-horse crazy person? The point is, clothes are hard. And once you have kids, it gets even more complicated because all of a sudden, you need to make sure you’re not breaking any of the rules about what moms should wear. The last thing anyone wants to see is a mom who doesn’t look like a Mom, right?

OK, you can probably tell I’m kidding. But buried deep down in these jokes about moms and clothes is a teensy, tiny nugget of simple truth: becoming a mom can affect how you look and how you feel about how you look...and what people expect of how you look and what you wear. Say whatever you want about society’s expectations of female appearances — I’m not here to police or judge how anyone may or may not feel about that — but I think most of us can agree that it’s just not realistic to be on top of your appearance one hundred percent of the time. The good news, though? There is not one “right” way for a mom to look. Granted, we probably all see the same stereotypes when it comes to commercials for cleaning products (seriously, does anyone actually wear pastels when eating spaghetti with a toddler?) but that doesn’t mean we have to match them, and here’s why:

Ad failed to load

Your Kids Don’t Care What You Look Like


At least not until they're teenagers, from what I've heard.

Let's Repeat That: Your Kids Don’t Care What You Look Like

In fact, I think my son loves me more when I'm wearing a hoodie with banana and marker smeared on it. It usually means we've been having fun that day (or, that I was having a REALLY GOOD time by myself while he napped). He also thinks it's hilarious when I put his tiny hats on my head. Clearly, style is not his thing.

People Who Love You Don’t Care What You Look Like


Granted, my husband's not quite as amused as our toddler when those tiny hats come out, or when I'm hanging out at home in clothes with food smears, but he doesn't judge me for it either.

Ad failed to load

Really, Anyone Who’s Not A Jerk Doesn’t Care What You Look Like

I can't think of any good reason why a stranger should care how you look, unless you're wearing a shirt with hate speech on it or something, and hopefully you'd never do that.

What Does "Looking Like A Mom" Even Mean?


Every person who's ever been born ever has had at least one mom, so how about we avoid even implying that it's possible to reduce "how a mom looks" to any narrow set of standards. It's cultural, it's social, it's personal, and it's just vague enough to make it totally impossible to conform to successfully. "Looking like a mom" is the kind of demand placed on women where we're supposed to both strive for it (because otherwise, slutty bad mom) and aggressively avoid it (because if successful, washed-up old lady). It means nothing, and hurts women everywhere.

Your Ability To Mother Isn’t Affected By How You Look

Exceptions are: super constricting corset, stilts or roller skates. Otherwise, you can still be awesome at it.

Ad failed to load

Because Normcore Is A Thing, So You If You Want To, You *Can* Claim Your Sitcom-Style To Be Trendy And Cutting Edge


Speaking of changing trends, I didn't see this one coming. If looking like that quintessential stereotype is your thing, then what a time to be alive!

“Looking Like A Mom” Is A Moving Target. Just Look Like You.

Who's really out there defining what moms are supposed to look like, anyways? The idealized image is always changing, so I feel like our time's better spent figuring out what makes us feel good.

There Will Be Days When You Need To Prioritize Function


I can't be the only one who has days where making it from my pajamas into actual jeans is worth a celebration.

Ad failed to load

You’re Going To Get Messy

This one's low on the list, but the last thing you need to be worrying when a tiny human needs you is how much it matters that there are smeared peas on your pants.

Because Looking Like A Mom Can Mean Looking Like Beyoncé, So.


If we want to get technical, it is true.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills