Perhaps you and I are similar.
Let’s see if any of this sounds familiar—you once rocked heels fiercer than Beyoncé and could swap a demure, daytime walk for a sassy nighttime strut in a snap. You had your choice of several snazzy purses, which you matched to your accessory stash like a pro.
Yes, lady, you had swagger.
And then there is now. Where is this place, now, exactly? It’s the one filled with flats and flops.
It is the land of motherhood, where patent red heels don’t jive with stroller pushing and sandbox digging, kiddie pools, and family meals out (no, not to the fancy steak house with white linens and an expertly curated wine list ) to Boston Pizza, where a dish called Bugs ‘n’ Cheese appears on the menu.
Does this sound like you? It definitely resonates over here.
Generally, the closest I come to heels is seeing them click clacking across the TV screen on Cityline’s Fashion Fridays.
But we—we, as in mothers—could still wear them. It’s not as though with the arrival of kids, poof went the heels off to Kansas or somewhere.
I could be wearing them now (though that would be more than a little ridiculous, as I am sitting alone in my home office writing while the dog groans beside me).
But I could if I wanted to.
Truth is, I’ve lost my footing.
I know this, because on a recent night out with friends, I sported heels and even before indulging in copious amounts of red wine, I was already teetering. The pub is a 10-minute walk from my home, but instead of busting out a cool, runway walk, I looked more like a clumsy 10-year-old playing dress up in her mother’s shoes.
I was wobbly and lacking confidence—a complete ankle-burning novice.
But this isn’t about heels. Not really. Though, I suspect you already knew that, didn’t you?
Shoes are just the humble symbol of something greater—this is about misplacing our pre-motherhood mojo and the fabulous, crumb-free style we once owned, like Katy-friggen-Perry owns the stage.
It is about the women we were before kids and carpools and Saturday mornings spent pushing our adorable crumpets on swing sets.
You know—that girl.
What I learned from my night out is that wearing impractical footwear isn’t like riding a bike—you just can’t hop back on any old time you want. I learned that I miss garments that have a bit of sparkle to them and no tiny fingerprint smears whatsoever. I miss the effort required when playing a little dress up.
And I learned that the girl I was pre-child still very much exists (she’s just been tucked away for a while).
Can you relate?
If you find yourself nodding along to the 10-point list below, then I suspect you can.
1. Shirts that demand buttoning up require too much effort.
2. Carrying a regular purse makes you feel like an imposter.
3. You live for stretch. Anything stretch—pants, shirts, skirts, you name it, as long as you don’t have to suck anything in—makes the cut.
4. You grab a T-shirt in the morning and see an unidentified splotch on the shoulder and think, 'Oh good! It’s clean enough!’ before doing a quick sniff test.
5. Except for a post-baby bra, you can’t remember the last time you bought anything form fitting.
6. You can’t recall the last time you checked your butt in the mirror to see how it looks in your jeans (because you seriously can’t remember the last time you wore butt-flattering jeans).
7. When you visit the hair salon, you use the terms "fuss-free," "easy," and "wash and go," but stress that you do not, under any circumstance, want mom hair.
8. When you ‘style’ your hair in the morning, what you really mean is you busted out the blow dryer.
9. You haven’t a clue where the closest dry cleaner is because, really, why would you? That is the beauty of stretch! It’s not just comfortable, but it’s also maintenance-free!
10. When you go clothing shopping, you come back with three cute outfits that are to-die-for . . . and they are all for your child.
I’ve been guilty of all of these and more. Don’t you sometimes want your former self back? Maybe just a little?
Well, here’s the thing—I think she’s still kicking around there somewhere.
Yes, somewhere buried beneath the Buzz Lightyear action figures and dump trucks, broken crayons and colouring books, that girl is still there (and I bet if you went looking for her, you might just dig up a really great pair of heels in the process).
Isn't it time we freed that girl? I think so. I really do.
Read more posts by Tanya Enberg. Try these! Five Reasons to Leave the Kids Behind on Your Next Trip; Dear Husband, You Are My Bicycle; and When a Guy at the Gym Turns Creepy.