As a mom who has, along with modern medicine, declared not to have anymore children, I’m in what I refer to as the “Kate Gosselin Phase.”
A few years ago, the reality show mom transformed from a frumpy new mom of newborns and toddlers into a slim, spray-tanned mom in miniskirts with elementary-age children. The popularity of her TV show and tabloid antics have faded but her metamorphosis is representative of many post-toddler moms.
It’s not that mothers of infants and toddlers don’t care what they look like, it’s that they don’t have the luxury of doing anything about it. After I had put the time and energy needed to feed and groom my young boys, it was all I could do to chase my coffee with M&Ms and put my hair in a ponytail. Taking a shower was no small feat. I’ve had to choose between a loofa and a razor one too many times.
I’m just now getting to the point where my children are able to stay alive without my constant care. I can look in the mirror for more than 60 seconds without worrying that I’ve relied too heavily on plastic baby-proofing mechanisms. Recently, I had the opportunity to take a good look in the mirror, and I recognized it was time for bangs, a facial and makeup that actually had color in it. I also realized I didn’t own a nail file.
Some moms have more of a Kate Gosselin complex than I do. I’m all for plastic surgery, spray tans, hair color and the like. However, I would like to argue the “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” mentality. Here’s the deal: I don’t want to see it and those who do, probably shouldn’t be looking.
Years ago when I was working in the church, a mom in the choir (first soprano, front row) always wore a tight, low cut shirt and a bra that wasn’t doing her any favors. She was single-handedly responsible for the purchase of choir robes, which cost thousands of dollars.
The Apostle Paul gave women strict, specific instructions about what to wear in church. He wasn’t a fan of braided hair or jewelry. Christians are a little more passive aggressive these days.
On youth trips, we have a one-piece swimsuit rule. The teen girls complain about this heavily-enforced mandate. For the most part, it is reinforced at home because the majority of moms with teens have passed the Kate Gosselin phase and buried their own bikini for good.
I’ve been observing moms lately, and I think the Gosselin phase lasts about three years. There eventually comes a time when a miniskirt isn’t worth constantly battling gravity and leg veins. Yes, I recognize there are women who look great in anything at every age because they workout, eat right, blah, blah, blah...but I don’t associate with such women.
At the beach this past May, my son told me I looked “fancy” in my swimsuit. I took it as a compliment of the highest order. I’m hoping I can survive this Kate Gosselin phase with a little class.
Last month, I turned 34, and I am just beginning to embrace the post-toddler freedom to reclaim a little girlhood. In the next couple of years, if you spot me shopping in the Junior’s department with a spray tan, don’t judge me. It’s just a phase.