I love shoes. Pumps, strappy sandals, sky-high stilettos, funky boots, cute flats – I love them all, and pride myself on my vast shoe collection. Before I had kids, one of my favorite parts of the day was getting dressed in the morning. Standing in my closet, gazing up at the rows and rows of boxes, I had only one question: Which pair should I wear today? “Me! Me” the three inch, pointy toe, solid red with snakeskin accent heels would call, “Remember you have that meeting at work today! I’ll be fabulous!” I imagined the other shoes smiling regretfully at the pair that was selected, like a famous actress nominated for the Oscar and loses but still must appear debonair with all of the cameras pointed at her. Don’t worry, I would assure the others, you’ll have your day too.
Only one pair of shoes ever challenged my identity and took my fashion sense by the shoulders and shook it to death; the ugly “Earth” shoes I purchased during my first pregnancy to ease my aching back. I knew that my sense of style couldn’t possibly be maintained while wearing these shoes, but the comfort and support of my new Mary-Janes (black, of course, as I still have some ounce of pride) quickly trumped any other pair in my closet. “What have you traded us for? Simply awful!” the heels and boots protested.
After Lily was born, there was no vital necessity to wear any of my fabulous yet ridiculous heels. Why dress up when your entire day consists of nursing/rocking/changing an infant and there is no need to step foot outside the house? No longer having the time or energy in the morning to put a cute outfit together, I took the easy way out. I continued to pick those Mary-Janes long after the necessity of wearing them had passed. Like many changes and sacrifices I had made, not having time to spend on myself became an everyday occurrence. My pumps and sandals were an inconsequential part of the person I had been long ago; a person who, it seemed at times, would be lost in the world of motherhood forever.
Eventually, I learned how to gain more of a balance in my life, and felt as though I was getting to know myself again. I was, of course, the same person I’d always been, but with changes and tweaks and new experiences under my belt. Around Lily’s first birthday, I timidly reintroduced myself to my neglected heels. “We’re dusty! Where have you been?” they groaned. “I’m sorry. I had a baby, and you are no good for going on long walks with a jogging stroller or running errands,” I tried to explain.
I logically understand that your choice of footwear does not directly relate to the type of person you are, and that placing so much emphasis on what you wear seems silly and materialistic. But at the end of the day (or the beginning of the day, in my case), the single element of shoes makes me feel like myself; not necessarily who I was before I had kids or this new person I’ve become, but me. A woman who relishes in slipping into a pair of hot pink suede platform pumps, turquoise snakeskin boots or brown peep toes with gold piping, but also a mom who is utterly and completely obsessed with her daughters. Motherhood has been fully integrated into my identity, which will always include fabulous shoes.
I first watched this video before I was even pregnant, and found its hilarity and ridiculousness completely entertaining. While the video is about shoes, it really has nothing to do with motherhood, but when I was writing this entry, the catch-phrase popped into my mind and I knew that it had to be my title. Found it most appropriate to attach the link!