Dirty Moms.

by heirtoblair on February 20, 2012

520175509 224x300 Dirty Moms.

Hi. I'm wearing old jeans & an oversized sports shirt but my hair is clean & I'm wearing a bra.

This past week, Curvy Girls Guide posted a guest piece on “Why I’m Not a ‘Dirty Mom’.”  You know, the moms that roll up in sweatpants & three-day hair under a baseball cap on the regular because there’s nobody to impress in the carpool lane.  To sum it up, there was this gal that wrote a piece about how we females should dump the frump & put on some eyeliner to show ourselves & society some respect.

I read this piece in yoga pants stuffed into my beloved UGG boots with second-day hair & no make-up.


Then there were the comments (because everyone knows the most entertaining part of blogging is the comments), ranging from “ROCK ON!” to “YOU SELF-IMPORTANT BITCH, I AM TRAINING MY CHILDREN TO BE FUTURE WORLD LEADERS SO STEP OFF MY NON-COVERGIRL NUTS.”   I know it’s the kiss of death in blogging to sit on the fence, but I admit that on this topic?  I’m straddling the fence & hoping I don’t get a camel toe from it.

ccaf2e6a362211e19896123138142014 7 300x300 Dirty Moms.

...but sometimes I look like this.

I’m a total crap-shoot as a mom when it comes to fashion.  I either look cute or I look like a dog& there’s really not too much in-between.  I could blame my workload but I’m going to be honest – my physical appearance is usually a good indicator of my mental health.  If I look pretty, it means it’s a good day & I’m feeling self-confident & in control. My to-do list is being checked off, dinner is planned, & the kid’s face is scrubbed.  If I’m in yoga pants, it’s probably because they were the first thing on top of the laundry pile that I managed to recognize.  But sometimes, even when all I want are Doug’s tshirts & to never see a bottle of shampoo again, I put on jeans & a flannel & a little blush.  It’s not much, but it does make me feel human & doesn’t send me into a spiral of shame when I run into a neighbor at Target.

So I smell what K.C. Wells is steppin’ in.  Putting effort into myself tells me & society that “hey! I care about myself!  I’m more than a momma in a carpool lane!”  I think it’s important to put my best & freshest face forward on the regular & at the risk of feminist backlash, I think it’s nice for my husband to see me in more than a ponytail when he loves my hair down & curly.

On the other hand, she should have used a different word than “dirty.”  Getting primped isn’t something I necessarily enjoy.  I like getting my hair cut & I desire to be pretty, but I have never had the patience for a hairstyle that takes more than 5 minutes or a make-up routine that requires sponges & brushes.  But I’m not “dirty.”  I shower on the regular & I shave my legs & visit the dentist every six months.  I would simply rather be chasing Harrison outside than curling my hair & I’ll always choose reading a book over painting my nails.  That doesn’t make me a better mom, nor does it make me dirty.  It just makes me…me.

So sometimes I’m a walking commercial for Ann Taylor & sometimes I look like I’m headed to the gym when in truth, I haven’t had a gym membership since 2007.

But I promise if you hug me, I don’t smell.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

pemora February 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

i see what you are saying and i am glad to see another interpretation of that post. i also agree with one comment, which stated that it is more about self-esteem rather than looks. THAT would have been an interesting blog post. what is the self-esteem of mommies? and what can be done to make sure that it is at its healthiest/highest? would love to see a mommy tackle that one….


Kristin February 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

Love this, BA. Not only could I not agree with you more, I’m right there with you on that fence. Although whether I’m wearing yoga pants and a hoodie or a perfectly coordinated outfit from ATL is debatable. ;)


Devon February 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

I don’t think this applies just to moms. As a childless woman in her 20s, I also struggle with deciding between yoga pants & dirty hair or getting dresses & pretty to run to Target on a pretty regular basis. I agree with you that it has a lot to do with where I am mentally that day. I just got divorced late last year & some days I’m still sad. Some days dirty hair & yoga pants & wallowing in my misery just seem way more appealing. Some days I tell myself that getting dressed & doing my makeup will make me feel better. & some days it definitely does.


heirtoblair February 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

You are SO RIGHT, Devon. This applies to women in general & the age-old argument of beauty & what makes us pretty & how we feel about it on the inside.


Lynn February 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m right there with you. What I’m wearing is definitely a barometer of my mood! But I struggle with the cute side – for some reason I can’t figure out how to look nice in a way that’s practical for a mom with a busy toddler and beyond my standard jeans-and-a-solid-color-long-sleeve-tee uniform. I keep thinking that a change of seasons will inspire me. Is that ridiculous?


Beth February 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

I didn’t read the piece, however, I never wear nail polish because it gets all chipped up within an hour. Raising kids is a messy job. I think that there is a time and place for everything and that women are good at adapting to their environment and the task at hand. Date nights are fabulous for getting all dressed up and pretty, as are are girls night out. I’ve tried wearing a dress during the day while caring for my boys, and I have to say, I’m happy that style went out with the ’50′s. It might work for some moms, but for me, I always end up changing after about an hour.


Genevieve February 20, 2012 at 10:29 am

I think there is a happy medium here. My typical attire is either sporty or casual, but I always try to do it in a “cute” way — and I’m ALWAYS showered. I don’t do full makeup anymore, but usually a quick powder foundation, mascara and lip gloss. That takes less than 1 minute and I feel a zillion times better when I do it. And yoga pants? I wear them plenty, but I try to pair them with my “cute” workout shoes (pink Nike Frees) and a more fitted hoodie, like the ones from Old Navy. Same comfort level as pajamas if you ask me, but a cute ponytail and light makeup (aka 3 whole minutes of prep) can make all the difference. Don’t feel like you have to coordinate a fancy outfit or curl your hair to look great — there really are cute looks that get it done in minutes, and give you a serious confidence boost as the same time.

xo G

PS: If you go for a sporty outfit, people tend to think you are heading to the gym, so it actually makes you look like Super Mom. Score.


Mara February 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

Im an ‘old’ mom since I have teenagers. I’ve been there, seen that, and I can tell you that on the whole if you find a way to showere and wear clean clothes, you just feel better. I’m not talking about primping yourself like a Stepford wife, but rather being pleased with what you see in the mirror, and feeling energized for the day. Probably dirty was the wrong word, but it did get us thinking.


Wendy February 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

I spend 40 hours a week looking halfway decent and professional. Sometimes I dont’ feel like dressing up to go to the grocery store.


Sherry Carr-Smith February 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Wendy~This is exactly what I thought when I read the original post and Blair’s. I have to look professional every day for work. I’m going to wear yoga pants and sneakers on the weekends for the grocery store.


Courtney Anne February 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Amen, high fives and boob hugs to both of y’all! Exactly what I thought too! I have to fix my hair and wear a full face of make up 40+ hours during the week so yeah on weekends I look like shit most of the time. Yoga pants, henleys & toms over here. DH sees me all gussied up 5 days a week…those other 2 he can just DEAL.

Oh & my 2 year old tells me “Mama Pretty” when I’ve just blow-dried my hair at night and am getting into bed. So that’s all the self-esteem boost I need. He thinks I’m prettiest with no makeup, BIG blow-dried hair & a nightgown.


Karri February 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

I am never dirty. I promise that I shower daily. Unless I am sick, I alway wear eye makeup. But on the days I don’t leave the house (typically thurs and fri) and spend the day cleaning, sewing, crafting, blogging, and catching up on my dvr’d shows, hell if I am going to pretty myself up in skinny jeans or a skirt. I have clean hair, but it’s yoga pants and a hoodie for this mama.


Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments February 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

LOVE LOVE LOVE your hair! I’m all about the yoga pants on the weekend (I wuld wear them all week if I could get away with it at work…) but to be honest I almost never leave the house without make-up. I’m talking 2 minutes of make-up but 2 minutes I have a hard time giving up before going out.


Molly @ Little Stories Everywhere February 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

I couldn’t agree more. Here’s the trouble with making declarations such as being a “dirty mom” it’s just not that black and white. As you said, your mood, plans, activity level, etc. all play a part into your daily appearance. There are days that I don’t leave the house. My 2 year old and 8 month old couldn’t care less if I have on eyeliner.
It bugs me when people make very grey things black and white…


Amanda February 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

Haha! Always make me laugh out loud at your posts. :) I agree, it depends on my mental health on what I look like each day. Or whether the sun is shining. More likely than not, if there is no sun, I never make it out of my pajamas whether I go anywhere that day or not. :/ It’s easier in the winter, because I just put my fashionable red peacoat on and it covers up the fact that I neglected a bra and kept my nightshirt on to run errands in.

Hoping to see you this week at Blissdom. I met you last year with Maggie Whitley when I came to see her and brought my daughter, Maggie. You two are the only ones that I’ve ever met that will be there!!! And it’s my first Blissdom. (I promise that I will shower each day and wear regular clothes though.) See you soon!


Momma Maven February 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

Being a mom is a dichotomy in all ways, there is no need to pick a side of the fence. If you want ,or shall I say have the time and energy to glam it up a bit one day and then the next you wake up to a puking baby, sit watching Shrek all day, and maybe brush your teeth by 5 pm… its OK. What matters is that you accept yourself regardless. And piss on society… if they don’t understand or they judge you, then they are either A: 16 year old high school girl who has soooo much to learn and will figure it out one day B: 25 year old single guy who uses you as an example in his next convo about how he’s staying single forever or C: Another mom with zero self esteem who gets her jollies by proclaiming why she is such a better mom than you for xyz. Because a REAL mom, one who’s been there and done that understands when you hit the grocery store in sweat pants and shoots you a look of sympathy and mom-sisterhood and she also goes ‘damn girl, rock it’ with envy when she sees you in wedges and a skirt at 7 am at the soccer game. Real motherhood encompasses it all, you gotta have the balance.


Erin February 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

I see the correlation you make between dressing well or not and feeling good or not, but I have to say I literally wind up in yoga pants and 3-day hair because I am just so busy as a Mom. My husband is a doctoral student working full-time, my son has an autism spectrum disorder, and we have a 9-month-old. The moments to get good lookin’ sometimes just don’t come. Sometimes I feel bad about it, but honestly, I find I feel empowered in my dedication to my kids and the momentum of what is going on while I wear those yoga pants (and hello, they are more comfy while I crawl all over the floor with my little ones) that I don’t actually feel bad about myself. I do have moments where those days of yoga pants and dirty hair have gone on too long, and I want time to be me– but that is not exclusive to dressing well and clean hair. I just need those little moments to focus on my work-from-home career, my dreams, my passions. So that’s how I feel about that. :)


Kami February 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

Dude – I’m so a dirty Mom :P I think my husband would be happier if I was anyway!

Anyways, I am right there with you. I can now take a shower in 2.5 seconds throw my hair up, brush on some mascara, and head to the park with my boy. But I’m ALL for pajama days!!


Caitlin MidAtlantic February 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

There are plenty of days I don’t shower… but I never blame being a mom for my 2nd day hair! I just didn’t feel like it that day!


Amanda February 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I totally have a case of the blahs lately. I have a lot going on and I have noticed I have been throwing on sweat pants and generally not caring too much about how I look, although I must shower and wash my hair every single day! I think I’m with you on my appearance being a reflection on my mood. That being said, I think I am definitely going to put on a little make up today and maybe a cute outfit and hopefully get out of this funk!


Andrea February 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I think there has to be balance, like you said. I know if I am thinking more about looking put together than I am focused on my kids, I get snappy and stressed. I feel like if I don’t get out of the house it was a waste wearing clothes. I do go through my lounge-y clothes every once in a while, though, and make sure it is all cute stuff, no rips or stains and looks decent. I love stuff that is as comfy as PJ’s but more socially acceptable. Like leggings and a tunic sweatshirt with my uggs, totally my carpool lane jam.


Sonya February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

You look adorable in your jeans and sweatshirt!!


Meredith @ La Buena Vida February 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

There are so many different facets to this whole debate, but really I think it’s just like any other issue that us moms debate on–I don’t understand why as women, we (collectively) seem to always think we know what the best way for someone ELSE to do things is. If one woman feels good about herself when she’s taking time to get dressed every day, great. Do it. But don’t assume that all women do (or should) feel the same.

For me, it’s an issue of priorities…sometimes I know that the only 40 minute block of time I’ll have to workout all day is right before I have to be somewhere. I then have to make a decision about whether I’d rather (a) exercise for 20 minutes and spend 20 minutes getting ready, (b) exercise for 40 minutes and end up going out in my workout clothes, or (c) not exercise then, and hope I’ll be able to squeeze it in later. Right now in my life, I feel better if I’m working out than I do if I get dressed in a cute outfit…so I’m ALWAYS going to pick option B, even if that means I look “dirty” to everyone else. Oh well.


Cambria February 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Having not read the article yet, which means I probably shouldn’t comment, I’m insulted by this. I’m at home with my kids. Most days in jeans or yoga pants. My hair gets washed, and make-up is usually reserved for date night (never been my thing). BUT, I own a business and make a fair living. I take business calls and even travel at times for my business. Why must make-up and nice clothing dictate my worth in society?

It’s one thing to want to do it to feel pretty – and maybe this is where I, too, ride the fence. I get my hair done. I exercise regularly. I am healthy. And I don’t think a total dog. But I’m great with who I am, sans make-up and a pants suit.

I think it’s terrible to imply that mom’s don’t have worth, because if you’ve every been a mom – working, stay/work-at home – you know it’s the most important, powerful job there is. Bottom-line, being good with who you are is what is important.

OK, now I’ll go read the article. Thank you for sharing this :)


Stephanie February 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl. That is what I like. And that is what allows me to chase my toddler around the park or climb up the slide to help her get down if she gets scared. The last thing I’m worried about it whether the mom sporting slacks and pumps at the park is judging me. I like to look good and feel good too.


Erin February 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I’ve always been one for showering every day, through the newborn days and all, not because I’m some sort of supermom or devoted to looking fabulous… I just NEED a shower to feel not-grungy. It’s one of those things for me.

I’m a simple girl so most days a clean pair of jeans and a cute-ish top are enough for me. Makeup depends on how I feel. Keep the hair short and low-maintenance. My wardrobe might be boring, but it’s presentable!


Sara February 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I get this!! Somedays, like today, I even go to work without makeup. I put a bit of mascara on and still dress nice and my hair is presentable but I don’t feel the need to be dressed to the nines all the time. If I do it, then its because I want to! I understand her need for looking nice but at the same time, when I got home from work today, first thing I did was put my sweats on- it was just that kind of day.


Miranda February 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I think you look adorable in both of those photos!!


The Many Thoughts of a Reader February 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I think her article was very poorly done with a lot of i’mnot judging but she really is vibe thrown in. By her standards I’m a dirty mom.. but I’ve been a ‘dirty’ girl my whole life and no plans on changing. My husband and friends obviously appareciate my dirtiness.


Abigail February 21, 2012 at 12:54 am

I read the article and mostly felt sad for the author. I can’t imagine what it does to a young girl’s self esteem for her mother to tell her she doesn’t have enough lipstick on before she leaves the house. Well yes I guess I can imagine what it does, it makes a grown woman who holds her self worth in how good she does or doesn’t look.

That said, I think the perfect place to be on this issue IS on the fence, camel toe or not. Getting dolled up is nice and fun. There’s nothing wrong or “dirty” about being in comfy work out clothes either.

The only wrong here is judging another woman by her looks rather than her character. *That* is what shows a lack of self esteem, not how you’re dressed or how much lipstick you do or don’t have on.


Kelli G February 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

You hit the nail on the head when you said that she shouldn’t have used the word “dirty”. It’s a pretty pointy word to use to describe someone and I think most people would immediately go on the defensive hearing it. I also think that she makes a pretty big assumption that her definition of cleanliness = good self esteem. Sure I feel more energized when I choose jeans over yoga pants and the flat iron over the ponytail holder, but it has nothing to do with my self-esteem. So if anyone sees me at the grocery store in a tshirt with a spit-up stain and my hair pulled back, please know that I feel pretty darn good about myself. In fact, I feel the same way about myself when I’m all dolled up for a night on the town with my hubby as I do when I’m rockin’ 2 day hair and an old tshirt. But I usually don’t feel like spending the time to get dolled up to go to the grocery store to get milk for my 2 year old and diapers for my 6 month old twins — I’d rather spend the time with them (or, let’s be honest, I’m too tired to care!) :D


lisa February 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hey BA, this comment doesn’t belong on this post, but I don’t have time to go through your archives. I found a card that is perfect for your hibernating husband. I think you should get it for him :) http://clementinestore.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/i-want-to-hibernate-with-you


heirtoblair February 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm


On average, he is in bed by 8:30pm this winter. I believe he’s made remarkable steps of progress ;)


Liz February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Call me dirty, lazy, a slob, etc., but I don’t dress to impress when I’m not heading to work. Heck, I don’t even do it that often for work.
As an IT administrator, I find myself on the floor, under desks, installing servers and climbing in places that I would never dream of wearing nice clothes to. (And for some crazy reason I went to college for this.) Most of my work clothes are the cheap Old Navy variety because if I rip a pair of pants, I don’t feel so bad. I think I’ve worn a dress maybe 3 times in my 2.5 years at my current job. It’s just not conducive to the environment.
At home, I switch into lounge clothes as soon as possible and wash the make up off at the same time. Home is my place of comfort, and I don’t need to feel “cute” or “pretty” to enjoy cooking dinner or spending time with my family.


CourtneyCP February 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

The original poster makes a giant leap between full-makeup-and-jewelry and doesn’t-shower-wears-PJs-in-public. There are a lot of us in the middle there who she’s writing off as dirty. In general, I believe in looking presentable every day. That means showered, clean clothes, groomed hair, foundation at least. I did it best I could on maternity leave and I have these past two months since I lost my job. That’s because of what several people said about dressing reflecting their mood, and I think it works the opposite way, too. I wanted to get up and make a minimal effort just to keep feeling like myself and stick to a basic routine.
But I don’t wear my work clothes if I’m spending the day with my son. I wear things that are good for giving horsey rides or wrestling on the floor. I dress up a bit to go to the mall because I know I will feel better about my appearance when I pass all those mirrors. And I’m in lounge pants and slippers by dinnertime no matter what I wore that day. And sometimes I go to the grocery store in my yoga pants because I am coming from yoga. I think there’s a big difference between dressing practically and dressing like you have completely given up — and if that’s the case, it’s probably reflecting on bigger things going on in your life than your lack of eye makeup.


Christina February 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

If the photo at the bottom of the article is her “fully snazzed up” then she might want to consider hiring a professional, because she’s not doing that good of a job considering what she’s promoting.

I would never leave the house in my pajamas, but I would stop for a coffee after the gym- in my pink floyd t shirt and workout pants and asics. And I wouldn’t think twice about it.

I see 17 year old girls wearing leggins as pants, slippers as shoes and muffin tops galore, so should anyone care to judge my eyeliner-less eyes at 9 am after I did 4 miles on an elliptical in 25 minute, that’s on them. I feel good inside and by NOT painting myself like a warrior of loreal, I can show it. True beauty comes from WITHIN and there’s no lipstick shade for that. So booyah,suck it and I hate the person that wrote this article.

The only reason why I’m a dirty mom is my mouth, and I’m fucking proud of it.


Kim February 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm

So well said! Sometimes I’m totally ‘on’ and am one smokin’ hot mama :) Other days . . . meh.


Amy February 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I just don’t even like the term “Dirty Mom.” Can’t we just say “Tired-and-frumpy-for-today Mom”. Although, I think the hubs would like it if I were dirtier. Ha!

BTW. You look super cute in your UNC sweatshirt, BA. I’d hit that. ;-)


Kitty @wivesunscripted.com February 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

What I find hilarious about the original author is that she has a short pixie cut of a hair do. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it takes about 5 seconds to blow dry and style. Whereas for me it takes practically 20 minutes for me to properly dry and style my hair. As a new mom I’m discovering that not washing your hair every day is ok. I can still give it some style with having “dirty hair”. Heck most up-dos hold better with dirty hair. So yeah I rock the dirty hair and I’m proud to.


Sue Robinson February 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

I read it and didn’t like it. I am hands down, according to her “A DIrty Mom”. However, I could give two shits about how I look most days, because I am fine the way I am. I have been like this my whole life and even though I do stare longingly at those I feel are put together much better than I am, I know if I cared enough I would too. I am comfy and confident in my sweats and jammies while at the park, school drop off or grocery shopping. I too do not smell, you can hug me too if you don’t believe me. ;)


Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) February 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

You know what is funny is that while I definitely have let my fashion sense go by the wayside in these years of raising young boys (3y/o and 7m/o), it has less to do with my self-esteem than the fact that I CAN. I put in my time at the office looking presentable and spending God knows how much money on business attire. Now? I can sit in my yoga pants and drink coffee or do the dishes in comfort. Now that the boys are a little older and I am coming out of my fog, I think it’s fun to try and fit back into the fashionable scene, but if I don’t feel like it, ok. Next?


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