I remember when my little Rockwell was almost one, I put a picture up on Instagram of the two of us playing at the park. Only a fellow mom would notice and call out the fact that I had a mini, mouth-sized drool stain on my shoulder. Yep, that’s a fashion tell if I’ve ever seen one. You’ve probably noticed them in yourself or seen them in someone walking by and given them a knowing nod. “Yeah, we’re moms. Yeah, we’ve got drool on our shoulders.”
In celebration of these badges of honor, I rounded up nine fashion tells that you’re a mom …
1. Drool on your shoulder
Drool happens, and as it happens more and more, you care less and less. Don’t see it? It’s on my left sleeve. Only a mom would know exactly what that mark is from.
2. Flats on your feet
How else can you run after your toddler?
3. Handprints on your skirt
Just today I put on a skirt to find two sticky spots at a very specific height. Huh, I wonder how those got there.
4. Little footprints on top of your shoes
Your feet aren’t a part of your body as much as they’re a tool for your little ones to get closer to you. A step-stool, if you will.
5. Anything with pockets (or more specifically, full pockets)
They are filled with Cheerios, Legos, chapstick, a binky, and numerous other things. They’re the Mary Poppins bag on the go.
6. Hair up
Sometimes it’s up because we’re sick of getting our hair pulled, or sometimes it’s because we’re weary of bodily fluids. It only took me one time getting poop in my hair for me to always tie my hair back before I change a diaper. A pixie cut might be a good option, too.
Over and over I would try to wear necklaces, and over and over my boys would use them as convenient handles to pull themselves closer to me. I would try every few months, thinking they might be growing out of that phase, just to have another broken necklace on my hands.
8. A full, big, heavy bag
Large bags might go in and out of style, but the “mom bag” is packed. Gone are the days of only lip gloss, your current book, and your wallet. Now you have to be prepared for anything. It’s a first aid kit, a makeup bag, a changing station, an entertainment center, a mini closet, and a cookie jar all in one.
9. Anything with stretch
My last 15 pounds of baby weight have made it hard to get into my old clothes. The pregnancy gain and losses, not to mention my fluctuating bra size, have me appreciating clothes that are forgiving and stretchy.
10. All white outfits — JUST KIDDING!
I was just making sure you were still reading! We can’t really wear all white, can we? Well you can, it just won’t stay that way for long.
At the beginning of motherhood, I was super self-conscious of these things. Embarrassed at not being as put-together and polished as I once was. Concerned about being judged by childless people who think I’m “that” mom. But now, as I become more and more comfortable with the title of mother, I don’t really care what people think. I’m a collection of my experiences. Each stain or scuff is a badge of honor. There’s a reason I have handprints on my skirt and footprints on my shoes, and I wouldn’t change them for anything.