Posts Tagged ‘ social norms ’

Forget the Mom Jeans, Let’s Talk Mom Hair

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

33 weeks/7 months

It’s a trend that’s stuck around longer than pogs, scrunchies, patterned pants, or Justin Bieber’s pre-pubescent innocence. It’s stood the test of time through each decade.

It’s the mom-cut.

Does the very word make visions of Kate Gosselin’s reserve mullet immediately dance in your head? McGruff and his crime fighting nephew Scruff need to take a bite out of the crime that is the mullet. Reverse or traditional.

The mom-cut, despite its negative connotation ain’t all a bad thing. It can go really right or really wrong in my book.

When I’m feeling particularly deep thoughts, my soul wrastles with the question: what is it about having a baby that makes many a mom shed her locks?

I’ve done it. My sister just did it. And my sister-in-law is about to do it. The shedding of motherly hair is a thing. I’ve found that many a mom dramatically cuts her locks within the first year of having a baby.

I’m neither pro nor con. Just an observer and a perpetrator, but I have a few theories about the phenomenon.

First, I vaguely remember people telling me my hair would fall out after having a baby.

I do not remember however, anyone telling me I’d feel like a Yeti shedding every inch of hair my head had managed to grow in the past twenty-seven years of life. If I washed, brushed, touched, moved, sneezed, or thought about my hair it fell out.

It drove me nuts crazy to regularly find strands of hair smooshed into my newly acquired nursing cleavage in all its leaking milk glory. It covered every inch of my bathroom floor and clogged up my drains.  The final straw was finding my hair in my daughter’s diaper. I do not want to know how it found its way there.

That postpartum hair is a force to be reckoned with. It’s everywhere. Basically, “hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband, cause yo hair is attacking errbody out here.”

I said to my hair, “Enough hair. Off of my head!”

And so I chopped.

Other hair cutting theories include practicality. Short hair can be easier. New babies or more babies usually means less time for primpin’ and primin’ and off with the hairs moms go. I get that. I tried that.

Maybe moms do it to counterbalance the gallons of milk that are now the ol’ chest. Boobs and loads of hair can be too much business and weight for some ladies to handle.

Perhaps it’s slightly symbolic. Motherhood is an amazingly crazy life change, and an easy outward reflection of that inward change is a new do. It’s as if the new cut sings Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” to each passerby as it bounces weightlessly off of a mother’s shoulders.

It’s a tricky one, to cut that hair or not. I admit, I experienced a brief bout of choppage regret as my short haired dreams went a little more Hilary Clinton circa 1994 instead of a more modern-day Michelle Williams chic. (No disrespect to the former First Lady, she’s just 40 years my senior, not exactly my target hair age group).

Please let it be known that neither short hair or long hair is superior. I’ve been a short hair wearer most of my life. I’m even coming to terms with the fact that long hair and I may never be friends; but I have made my husband swear not to let me cut my hair after this pregnancy on an “I need a change!” hormonal whim.

I fully endorse the shorties, but I think making the decision in the light of day, not during the sleepless delirium of a midnight feeding where the hundredth fallen hair grazing my arm makes me bawl in hysterics is probably the best choice. For this postpartum go round, I’m thinking I’ll work the topknot, or don a beanie or sombrero. If nothing else I can claim the current beauty trend to forgo hair washing for a week.

After my hormonal choppage regret rage simmered down, my hair grew on me (see what I did there?).  I realized, it’s just hair. Grow it out again, lady. Leave it short. Do whatever makes you and your tendrils of hair happy. To thine own hair self be true.

As one who has lived to tell the tale of the mom-cut rite of passage, I’ve often wondered if other mothers have felt the same siren call of the scissors as they whisper promises of ease, change, and fulfillment in one cut. Did you do the do? The mom-do? Any regrets?

Image: My chopped locks and the edible cheeks of my 6-month old daughter

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The Bikini and the Belly

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The other night while perusing some literature, People Magazine, really academic stuff, I came across a spread of celebs baring their pregnant bellies in bikinis.

Let’s talk about the bikini and the belly. I know, I know, it seems like torture when the holiday that honors both the noun and the verb “stuffing” is right around the corner, but with plenty of people experiencing snow this week, and my home state of Arizona reaching a bone chilling 63 degrees, I thought we could dream about Kokomo. Don’t worry, we’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow.

Why is it that at times, women, myself included, feel the need to hide their pregnant body? It’s as if they think a mere glimpse of their shocking condition would scandalize others. Listen, teaching high school while pregnant, which I’ve done, will scandalize anyone enough to realize no matter how many muumuus and mom maternity jeans a lady wears, she’s not fooling those hot and bothered teenagers from knowing she’s done the deed.

They know where babies come from and they have a lot of questions or a lot of things to say when they think you’re not listening about you’re being knocked up. Being a pregnant teacher solidified for me that we’re over the days of hiding the bump from the masses. But are the masses ready for the bikini and the belly?

Please divulge, do you feel bold enough to bear all of your pregnant belly glory poolside? Did I miss the memo that all the ladies be doing it and nobody cares if your stretch marks be showing or your lady business be a little less than manicured? Is every pregnant lady confidently strutting her stuff on the beach while SISQO’s assault on the English language, the thong song blares from the boom box slung over her shoulder?

I’ve always been more on the bashful side when it comes to showcasing the nudie bump, not a picture exists (got to keep my future political career (ha) squeaky clean) but their bikini bumps made me question my previous choice. Sometimes the stars get it dastardly wrong, like this album of their painted bellies confirms, but in bikini v. belly, I think they got it right.

When I saw their bellies, tall, small, huge, it just seemed right. Logistically, it just makes sense. The last thing a lady wants when carrying around a sweet little space heater in her stomach is to wear more clothing. In fact, bikinis should be allowed as maternity street wear. Especially for those mamas doing el numero tres trimester in the summer. There’s a special place in heaven for them.

The pregnant bod is beautiful. It’s amazing. Daring to bare it in a itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini is a pregnancy must this go round. “You ain’t fat, you’re beautiful,” as the cinematic masterpiece Corrina Corrina teaches. Never are these wise words more applicable than during pregnancy. Celebs should not be the only ones showcasing their pregnant bods at the beach.

Girl, turn around! Stick it out! Even white boys got to shout, baby got belly!

Just kidding. But seriously.

Photo: Beautiful pregnant woman underwater blue pool relaxed, via Shutterstock

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The Great Baby Shower Debate

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Dear Internets,

Am I the world’s “greediest gus” if I have a baby shower for our second child, not to mention the same gender child as my first? While I know there are valid reasons to have a baby shower for a second child, I am working under the assumption that generally society allows for one baby shower before your days of gratuitous amounts of pink on pink on pink, fetus shaped cookies, overly on-theme parties are over.

But maybe not?

Let’s discuss.

First, let’s get a few plausible reasons for multiple showers out of the way so as not to offend…any more than I purposefully intend. They include but are not limited to; a second child but different gender, the mother has never had a shower, the mother is in need of baby items, or you are a highfaluting celebrity and your shower will be off-DA-chain bonkers and no one will begrudge your invite.

I do not fall into any of the above categories.

Hypothetically speaking, if you receive an invite for a second-baby shower, do you judge that freeloading son-of-a-gun as a presents grubber? Personally, I’d feel like a greedy mc-greederson having another shower. We don’t need anything. But I’d also like to go on record and say, I never say no to presents. If you buy it, I will accept it.

In general, I’m not a fan of baby showers. I like to give people gifts (my heart isn’t all black), but I hate feeling like a fool during the devil’s invention, aka baby shower games. No one can keep their dignity while shoving their face into a mock, poop-tastic, blowout diaper. Also, The Price is Right baby shower game? It always makes me feel like an idiot that I can’t price things I buy regularly. Sorry Bob Barker but it’s not fair when Target, Walmart, Costco etc., all vary so greatly! Oh the stress.

But is it so wrong to shower the mom even though she doesn’t need anything? It is always nice to be thoughtful and giving, and I wholeheartedly approve of celebrating moms and babies.

There are a few solutions to this quandary that I’ve heard amongst my pregnant posse.

I hear tales of women who receive full-on showers for their 3rd and 4th children. Ambitious? Annoying? Ridiculous? You be the judge.

I’ve also heard of “diaper” showers for subsequent babies and while I like the idea in theory (them things is always pricey and necessary), there is only so much baby-themed paraphernalia you can sculpt out of diapers before it just gets cheesy. I joke.

My sister is having her third child next month and her friends insisted they have a little gathering and bring her a bunch of freezer meals to prep for the new baby. Angels. All of them. Another blogger recently posted about a similar meal sharing idea from the company Meal Train.

I also like the idea of a ladies “night” where just you and a gaggle of your best girlfriends brunch, dine or whine, pre or post baby.

Another girlfriend informed me of what I think might be the best solution to the baby shower etiquette question. Enter the sip n’ see, y’all. Apparently it’s a southern tradition that is thrown after the baby is born. The food is light, the drinks are “tell me what you’re sippin’ on” refreshing, and the baby is the main event. No baby registries, just some good ol’ fashioned baby ogling.

I like this sip n’ see for a number of reasons. First there’s no pressure on the guest or hostess for gifts or Pinterest-worthy parties. Second, the star gets to be there. Moms love to show off their babes. And they should! Plus, a new mom, especially a new mom with kids, needs people to tell her how beautiful her baby is, what a wonderful job she’s doing, and a meal she didn’t prepare herself. This all can be accomplished with a sip n’ see.

And third, for the more cautious worrier like myself, a post-birth shower eliminates a possibly difficult situation if something does go wrong. In fact, traditional Jewish custom dictates that baby showers are not thrown and the nursery is not decorated until after the baby is born. It is seen as a way not to tempt fate and honor the sacred and precarious road of pregnancy and birth.

With these options in front of you (or more that I’m unaware of, please share?), fill me in on the social mores. How do you feel about the second-baby shower? If we were BFFs would you deem it socially acceptable to throw me a full-on shower or would you say, “I love you but that’s just too Scrooge McDuck swimming in his vault of gold” greedy? Is the diaper shower route a good option or is the sip n’ see the best way to be thoughtful while allowing the new mom the attention she deserves?

Talk amongst yourselves.

A pregnant lady who is totally not asking for a friend but for herself and her second fetus

Image: Ladies at a baby shower via bikeriderlondon/

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