Motherhood is in the genes

By Liz Hastings on June 02, 2011
Or rather, jeans. Forget about goofy ‘dad jeans’ – those high-waisted, baggy denims made unfashionable by Obama. I’m talking worn kneed, acid-washed relics.

Shopping for anything other than fresh produce and a bag of milk doesn’t happen very often for me. I have been politely nudged by a friend, however, who informed me it is time to spend more than $30 on a pair of jeans.

Denim is denim as far as I’m concerned and it should be noted I spend more than $30 on jeans. It is actually much closer to $40 or even $50 when I occasionally, ahem, buckle.

I’ve been told I need to allow my disintegrating mom-jeans to join a patchwork quilt and to say goodbye to worn knees from countless games of “ride ‘em cowgirl”.

But the options are slim....literally.

I think mom-jeans get an unfair rap but at least they sort of fit. I’m proud of how my body has changed because it’s a reminder of how lucky I am to have three amazingly wonderful and healthy daughters. (Wow, I almost got through that sentence without laughing.)

So, I took two of the three kids to a store specializing in denim as opposed to my usual clothes-shopping, which tends to happen in between the frozen food and baking aisles.
After pushing the stroller through the heavier-than-necessary denim front door, I explained I was looking for a fresh look and I wanted to spend less than $100.

We headed straight to the $99 display at the back, clearly marked with crepe paper star, gold and red lettering making it clear only circus freaks and mothers ever lowered themselves to shop from the “special project” rack.

We passed the platinum racks; this dressing room was small. It was designed for people trying on skinny jeans, with skinny legs and even skinnier strollers.

After trying on just two pair – remember I had two kids in tow and like most visits outside of our house we had already overstayed our welcome – I was sold on the first ones.

Entering my pin number on the transaction, I was a little unnerved to be spending $99 on something I would be wearing for family bike rides, school pick-ups, pizza lunches and grocery shopping. Still, I opted to proceed. I was excited about this new chapter in my now strangely fantastical wardrobe.

My new mom-jeans stretch, they’re flush with dark blue dye and several inches too long. Who has time for alterations? I’ll shrink these puppies to a more comfortable length for tandem bike rides and double-dutch skipping in no time.

The debut outing was the school pick-up where I sported the new jeans, with $99 price-tag hanging out of a rear accentuating pocket (an error of omission I’ll never admit to.) None of the “pick-up parents” noticed or perhaps they were too blue with envy to speak.

Returning home, I changed out of the jeans, folded them neatly on a lone shelf in the closet, hoisting them high on the pedestal they so richly deserved.
Then I checked my Facebook status, expecting the wall to have crumbled due to the volume of messages about my 2.0 strides, but there was no mention of the upgrade.

What about my jeans?

Does anyone understand how difficult it was to take the time, the children and part with the money to purchase these little gems? They don’t even need a belt! At least, I don’t think they do.

Have I made a terrible mistake? Am I trying to rewind the clock rather than embrace the jeans I’ve earned the privilege of wearing?

Moms, we’ve earned the right to be comfortable, out of style and frugal. Let’s accept (at least for now) as we fumble through rec centre change rooms, attempt to get a hair-cut annually, stay up late sewing costumes, cook favourite soups for school lunches, we’re on one of the best teams there are.

For every tantrum on the grocery store floor because you refused to purchase those coveted candies, may your jeans taper a little tighter, a merit badge to proudly sport around your ankle.

We need to stop worrying about what strangers and even best friends are saying about our jeans or the larger than life panties hiding underneath.

These women are groaning while attempting to sit upright as their skinny jeans cut off the blood flow from their thighs to their feet. Maybe there’s a hint of envy and a whisper of “you go girl.”

You’ve earned the right to wear those jeans while others wish they could. You are part of an elite club. Own it.

“She’s a Mom,” they wince as they try to inhale, wishing for one second they could trade pants with any one of us. “It’s in her jeans.”


Liz Hastings, pictured above with daughters Hanna, Ellie and Chloe, is a jean-lovin’ Waterloo-based blogger and mom, and a frequent contributor to ParentsCanada.


By Liz Hastings| June 02, 2011

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