Why Getting Dressed Every Day Is Important, Especially for Moms

Why Getting Dressed Every Day Is Important, Especially for Moms

Spending the day in your pajamas can really do a number on your mood.

By: Nicole Fabian-Weber

One of the perks of being a mom who works from home is not having the insane morning dash of trying to get both myself and my kids ready simultaneously. There are some things I miss about having a full-time job where I commuted into the city (human contact, civilized lunches), but having to shower and coif myself into a presentable human while making pancakes and/or cutting the "green parts" off of strawberries is not among them. However -- and this is a big however -- I've recently realized that if I don't get dressed in the morning (and I mean actually dressed, not cute-yoga-pants dressed), I wind up having a horrible day.

Alright, so I might be a little hyperbolic in saying "horrible," but if I stay in my pajamas all day, it sets a truly bad tone. Same if I don't wash my face. Or brush my teeth. Or run a brush through my hair and maybe throw on some mascara and fill my eyebrows in. Most of the time the only people who see me are my husband, my kids, the babysitter, and anyone I encounter while running errands. But you know what? Doesn't matter. I've come to learn that if I look bad, I feel worse.

I didn't always feel this way. Before I had kids, I had a job where I worked from home one day a week. Did I get dressed that day? Nope! I was thrilled to loaf around in my pajama pants and ratty, pit-stained college t-shirt all day -- it had exactly zero effect on my mood. But in case you haven't heard, things change once you have kids. There's no time for me to sprawl out on the sofa at night and give myself a manicure. The days of taking a good half hour to dry my hair are but a distant memory. Sneaking out to get my eyebrows waxed and/or go shopping -- well, that doesn't happen. Those sorts of things need to be planned waaaaay in advance, if they're going to take place at all. And, the result? Well, I don't look nearly as put together (or well rested) as I did pre-children. To be completely blunt, I look like a mess much of the time these days. And, because of this, I need to get dressed. I find being a mess in skinny jeans and a sweater is much more bearable than being a mess in sweatpants and a ripped t-shirt.

I didn't realize just how true this theory was until a few days ago when I didn't bother to change out of my pajamas one morning. It was a particularly wild night with my 4-month-old son, who seems to be under the impression that he, my husband, and I should hang out every hour and a half on the dot starting at around 11 p.m. When I got out of bed to start my day, I was so out of it that I kept my jammies on. Then my 2-and-1/2-year-old daughter woke up. Then my son woke up. Then my daughter had approximately nine tantrums. Then I ran out of coffee. Then, then, then, then. It was one of those mornings where I couldn't find the time to go to the bathroom, let alone put clothes on.

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By the time the afternoon rolled around, things had settled down, but I still felt kind of ... ick. I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror and I looked terrible. Not terrible in the way that women often shame themselves for looking, terrible in the sense that I looked like had just emerged from a yearlong stay in the forest. My hair was in a half-bun type of thing that I clearly did without looking. I still had my glasses on. And I was in the breast-milk-stained pajamas from the previous night. Had I really not had five minutes to put something on? Surely, I did. After all, I wiped down my countertops and emptied the dishwasher. Also, I was holed up in my room working for a few hours. Why didn't I get dressed then? My closet was directly in front of me.

I didn't get dressed because I was exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed, and in a weird way, I didn't want to not be exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed. Instead of trying to get out of my bad mood, I wallowed. And by the time I was ready to be out of my bad mood, it was almost dinnertime.


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Now clearly, putting on a pair of proper pants in the morning isn't the magic antidote for all of life's problems. But, when you're a frazzled parent with practically no time to yourself, it helps. A lot. To me, getting dressed makes it feel like I've carved out the tiniest bit of time for myself. It shows that even though my life is so not about me these days, I haven't completely forgotten about myself.

In the years to come, I'll have more time to focus on myself and maybe getting dressed every day won't be such a priority to me anymore. But, until then, I'll be reaching for a pair of jeans and a top each morning -- even if I've no idea the last time they've been washed.

Do you get dressed every day?

Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama of a toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and many other websites. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.

Image ©iStock.com/lolostock

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