Being a mom is hard, you guys. Really hard. Being “on call” all day, every day is no joke. Your body is not your own, your time is not your own, and it’s a job that requires you to wear many hats at once — most days I feel like a doctor, chef, accountant, event planner, personal trainer, educator, and a maid, all in one.
But even that isn’t the hardest part. No, the hardest part is that being a mom is one of the only jobs in which you’re constantly under scrutiny, 24/7. Every word you say and action (or inaction) you take is being judged by your family, your friends, your colleagues, complete strangers on the Internet, and yes, even fellow moms.
And as writer Tara Wood recently pointed out in a now viral Facebook post, it isn’t only what you do or say that’s up for debate; it’s also what you wear.
Wood herself knows this all too well. The mother of seven doesn’t always act “like a mom” or dress “like a mom” — at least, according to her kids. So when she wore a crop top earlier this summer, Wood wasn’t too surprised when her 11-year-old daughter Mia had something to say.
“That’s not how regular Moms dress,” Mia immediately scolded her mother.
Look, as a former “God, why can’t my mom be normal?!” pre-teen myself, I get it; I understand. (To a point.)
However, Wood says she remained undeterred and carried on with her day by simply responding with three words: “No shit. Byyyyye!”
But that wasn’t the end of Wood’s story, nor was it the last time Mia would see the now infamous crop top. In fact, earlier this week, Wood decided to don the shirt once again for some back to school shopping — just to prove a point. According to Wood’s Facebook post, the outfit was a deliberate choice, a sort of “silent protest to her verbal outrage [because] no kid or society is going to tell me what’s appropriate ‘Mom wear.’”
When I read those words, I thought to myself, Hell. Yes.
However, it’s important to note that Wood’s “protest” wasn’t just for laughs. Speaking with Babble, Wood explains why her crop top decision was so important:
“I love clothes,” she says. “The right outfit can change your attitude and make you feel like you can run the world, and I like feeling pretty and feminine or bold and badass, depending on the day.”
But wearing what she likes, when she likes to is even bigger than that, she explains.
“[It’s] really important to me that my girls especially … know that their bodies are their own,” Wood shares. “That they can do amazing things. That they [can and] should love their bodies no matter the size or shape. I want my girls to see me being authentically me. Dressing in a way that I like and that makes me feel great.”
And in this body-centric culture of ours, where women are constantly judged by the shape of their thighs and the number on the scale, this isn’t just a great reminder for Wood’s children, but for us all.
“I hope girls and women will be brave and bold enough to live, speak, act, love, and even dress in a way that is authentically them, [and] to not bow to societal pressures or societal ‘norms,'” Wood shares.
Besides what’s “normal” or “mom-like” anyway? Hell, I’ve got pink hair and multiple piercings and tattoos myself. And while I may not look like all the other moms at playgroup, guess what? I’m still a great mom.
So remember: Whether you’re sporting a t-shirt or crop top, donning Doc Martens or rocking a sleeveless shirt and an arm full of tattoos, all that matters is that you feel good about yourself. Or, as Wood puts it, if you feel good about how you look, you should “wear that shit. Rock that shit. Know you’re the shit.”
Got it, moms? Okay, now go out there and make that your new motto.