Trying to be Someone I’m Not

In January about 16 of us bloggers went to New York City for a super fun photo shoot at The Bump. I struggled to come up with something to wear. Nothing I owned would represent me correctly as the hip professional mom who’s someone important at a brand transformation firm (hint: that’s not really me). I settled on a shirt and jeans, each from stores where I don’t normally shop (because of price). I bought some jewelry I’ll probably never wear again. I wore shoes that I absolutely never wear to work because they are so uncomfortable. Overall though, I was happy with my outfit and I will wear it again. On the day of the shoot, I could not believe the shoes some of the women working at The Bump were wearing. Did they wear these when walking to work in the city?? The heels were outrageous. And the clothes – it was 20 degrees outside and they were all wearing silk shirts. I figured these ladies had to be in their early 20s and there was no way any of them were actual moms. I had my arm around a beautiful girl and I assumed she was an intern pulled in for the photo. Turns out she was the managing editor or something crazy successful like that. AND she had just returned from maternity leave. With her SECOND kid.

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Here’s a look at the necklace I’ll probably never wear again. At least my sign is true to who I am – we really do eat together every night.

Fast forward to the party at The Bump earlier this month. My co-worker brought me these amazing blue heels that perfectly matched a new scarf I’d found on the clearance rack. I was excited that my footwear would finally fit in with the NYC girls, even if these shoes were something I’d never wear back home and would probably fall over in.

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And wouldn’t you know it, the NYC moms were all wearing boots for the party! Ha! Rather than feel sexy in the super high heels, I felt like a fraud. I don’t think in my day-to-day life I go out of my way to try to impress anyone (certainly not with my wardrobe!), but thinking back on this made me realize I’m just better off being true to myself. So here is a short list of who I really am!

I’m Jenn and I’m a mom who:

  • Never wears high heels, panty hose, or makeup. I’m not a member of the Girl Club.
  • Writes a blog which often centers on ways to keep your cool as a parent and I still lose it more often than I’d like.
  • Works hard but I don’t consider myself as successful as many other moms I know.
  • Isn’t that interested in climbing the corporate ladder or making a fortune.
  • Has no idea how to handle two fighting children.
  • Feeds my kids mac and cheese several times a week for lunch and dinner.
  • Changes into my PJs the second I walk in the door. I also wear a super unflattering ankle-length LL Bean robe around the house in the winter.
  • Prefers wearing jeans, t-shirts, sports bras, and fake Uggs all weekend (if I make it out of the house).
  • Prefers not making it out of the house on weekends.
  • Can’t remember the last time I mopped the kitchen floor.
  • Is sad I put the cat to sleep, but not that sad that I don’t have a cat anymore.
  • Hardly ever watches TV and never knows what shows or celebrities people are talking about.
  • Hides from my family.
  • Talks to my mom on the phone at least twice a day.
  • Would prefer to go to bed early than do most things.
  • Picks out my kids’ clothes everyday.
  • Eats chocolate syrup right out of the bottle as a midnight snack.
  • Is scared of zombie shows.
  • Is pretty sure there is no way in hell I could handle another kid.
  • Keeps score.
  • Hardly does any yoga anymore.
  • Just ate the last cupcake that I had promised to my husband.

There I said it. I feel so much better now.

Here's me in my PJs and ankle length blue bath robe. (We were sitting on the kitchen floor because the baby had the stomach bug and I didn't want her to ralph on my carpet)
Here’s me in my PJs and ankle length blue bath robe. (We were sitting on the kitchen floor because the baby had the stomach bug and I didn’t want her to ralph on my carpet)

22 thoughts on “Trying to be Someone I’m Not

  1. This is a great post Jenn! Love learning all these great things that make you WONDERFUL!
    It’s funny, though. One of the reasons that I love being a working mom (outside the home) is that I can get all “high fashion” for work and rock the pencil skirts, heels make up and jewelry that I love only to drop it all when I walk in the door in favor of sweats -or the “uniform” as my husband calls it.
    Confession-I also have the full length polar fleece ll bean robe-it was a gift from my husband for our first Christmas. **r-o-m-a-n-c-e**

  2. I’m totally in the minority…at 5′ 3″ I love my heels and wear some sort of heel almost every weekday. That said, I’m also guilty of changing into pj’s and a robe (light blue furry) and fleece lined slippers when I get home from work/carting kid around!

    1. Ha! That might be another reason I don’t wear heels. I am 5’10” and sometimes self conscious of my height. I should just OWN IT! 🙂

  3. Love this post. I had to get dressed up to go to the office yesterday, whereas I mostly work from home. Ten minutes after I put on newly dry-cleaned work pants, my infant wipes boogers on the pant leg and crawls away. No time to change so I wore baby boogers while running a meeting. So grateful I don’t have to dress up each day, and though I sometimes miss office interaction, I absolutely love wearing jeans, boots, and my favorite sweater pretty much every day from my home office.

  4. And I thought I was the only one who hated heels. I used to wear my sneakers in to work and change into work shoes at my desk. Although, you might be amazed at the number of days I “forgot” to change shoes. If you have a great scarf, who needs shoes to match? Thanks for being brave!

  5. I love these mommy truths that you have put out there.

    If there is one thing that I have learned in all of this is that inner confidence = outer beauty. Don’t let someone else’s standards of glamour, appearance, success, edge affect how you deal with yourself because if you do, you are filling someone else’s shoes and those shoes just don’t fit. If you are true to yourself, then you are being true to those who really matter. 🙂

  6. The fashionista ladies have always intimidated me and sometimes made me feel “less than” but I know so many now that are so supportive of who others are, like me who buys almost all my clothes for comfort over style. I struggle with being comfortable being me without compromise but I usually find myself winning in this fight more often lately. Thanks for being fearless and letting us really see you. And here’s to pjs the moment you get home!

    1. I am happy to work in an office with some fashion forward women that instead of making me feel bad about it are here to loan me clothes when I ask 🙂 Maybe I should just invest in cuter PJs? 🙂

  7. I loooooved this. After we finish ending the Mommy Wars, can we end the Fashion Wars? One of the reasons I work in a legal aid law firm instead of a posh private law firm is that I don’t have to wear panty hose! The last time I wore a skirt was to my son’s wedding in 2010, and before that, I don’t remember. It’s all about the COMFORT, right? So forget the high heels.

    As for the chocolate syrup…GUILTY! Have you ever tried caramel syrup out of the bottle? A nice change from the chocolate!

    Last but not least, I agree with nestling in your nest as much as possible. After all, we create these homes that we love, and then go to work and leave them each day. When the opportunity presents itself (weekend, snow day, sick day), I just love staying in my cozy home.

    1. I had to just stop buying the chocolate syrup, it was getting out of control. Maybe I’ll splurge for the caramel this weekend!

  8. I hear you! I definitely get a little jealous and self conscious around glamorous ladies. But I definitely feel most beautiful and confident when I am just being myself. Which is why I will never look good in pencil skirts or heels with ankle straps or chunky necklaces or tons of makeup, etc etc etc.

    1. What a wonderful way to say it – feel best about yourself when you’re being just that – yourself! Love it!

  9. Jenn, this is right up my alley! I can relate to all of this. (And thanks for the S/O!) I too have a long LL Bean (pink) bathrobe with my name embroidered on it and I am quite sure that it makes my husband cringe because it is totally gross after years and years of daily wear. And I couldn’t believe it when my coworkers had never heard of either eating spoonfuls of Hershey’s syrup or just tipping one’s head back and squeezing it into your mouth. (Who are these people??) This totally made me laugh and made me feel better, too. Especially since I constantly need to be reassured that it’s OK not to be perfectly packaged.

  10. Great post Jenn! Loved reading your list of all the true things about you. Don’t be too hard on yourself, I find myself sometimes feeling a pull to dress like other people do. At work, the lobbyists dress SO nice and it’s hard to not compare myself to them. I even went out and bought a work bag that I thought looked more fancy and mainstream and every time I brought it to work I felt like someone I wasn’t. So after a few days of that I switched back to my favorite brand of bag, Timbuk2, which is so much more my style and felt immediately better. Like you, I took that as a lesson to try and stay true to myself, instead of look/dress like others.

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