I grew up wearing a uniform not unlike the one above. Canvas LL Bean Tote Bag, plaid skirt, LL Bean shoes and a Navy Blue Blazer. Perhaps that is why I am so comfortable reverting back to a uniform in my middle age. The uniform is my comfort zone. Sometimes my husband asks why I don’t want to rebel, maybe wear a red t-shirt instead of one of my hundreds of black t-shirts. Quite simply, I am too tired. I like knowing what I am pulling out of my closet every day. And as ridiculous as they are I like my fancy sneakers. I carry a lot of baggage in my totes, and like most mothers, walk through a lot of heart break in my fancy shoes. I won’t lie — I am lucky to be able to afford nice clothes. And maybe my uniform makes me seem boring. Maybe I like the boring uniform because it helps disguise the wreckage inside.
I am in my forties. And if you are in your forties and haven’t spent the last half of a decade watching people fight cancer, die, and take care of sick loved ones than consider yourself lucky. I have seen all of the above and still consider myself lucky. But don’t for a second let the uniforms fool you. Behind the Tom Ford glasses many a mom are hiding tears of frustration, pain and anger. Wondering why they left their careers behind to raise kids who are leaving soon. Wondering how to battle their addictions, demons and lunatic families of origin.
Many a Veronica Beard sporting mama has her fare share of demons in her closet: extended families in the wrong burbs who are fighting drug addictions, gambling problems, abuse and more, kids who are bullying or being bullied on their Finstas, husbands who work through the night to pad the 401k and college savings plans. Sometimes I think the more pulled together the outfit, the more dysfunction is hiding underneath.
It’s the culture of carpool. Look perfect. Try to make the kids perfect. I’ve quit the perfect stuff. My kids aren’t perfect, I am a mess a lot of the time. I am looking at the better half of my life in the rear view mirror trying to figure out how the next half of my life will go.
I plan on peeking behind the uniform here. Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes it’s hilarious. Sometimes it requires a vacation. Sometimes it requires a chill pill (metaphorical hopefully–although there is definitely a sub-culture of stolen Adderal, Ambien and Xanax happening).
I am excited to explore. Join me.