Turning thirty-five scares me, but not as much as the cost of that dress!

Hi everyone!  It’s April from First Time Mom & Dad.  In case you do not know me, which I expect, I am a filterless southern belle turned filterless southern belle MOTHER with, SURPRISE – A parenting weblog.  Yes, I am one of the 4 Zillion mom bloggers on the Internet.  Trust me, if I knew there were that many moms already trying to peddle cute photos of their kids attached to advice and narcissistic stories, I would have considered a different genre… but whatevs… I’m a mom, I have a kid, and I love to write…

I am so stoked to be guest posting today for Chrissy! Besides the fact I love Chrissy long time, I love this weblog long time too!  So here goes…

I am fast approaching my 35th birthday with a ridiculous amount of apprehension.  It’s not so much turning 35, as it is turning 35 without a job, focus, style or sense of who the hell I am anymore.  I had my first child a year ago and am only now coming out of the haze that is post-partum mixed with becoming a mother.  Trust me, both will turn your life upside down then right side up so you can see the dysfunction and mess lying in front of you.

Now that the haze has lifted, I realize that I have actually been out of the social and fashion scene for two years now!  I got pregnant 8 days after my 33rd birthday and now here I am… turning 35 with a closet full of maternity clothes piled on top of my old pre-pregnancy clothes and not a damn thing fits me anymore. Yet, I still have this goal of showing up to my 35th birthday like a rock star!

This attempt at rock star status has been in full swing since New Years day.  I have created a mini goal for each month leading up to my birthday in May.  January’s goal was to create more “me” time… or to find the ME in MothEr. I did OK with that.  I go out on my own at least three to four times a week to shop, or unwind and managed to have a two lunches and a one girls night out a month.  Trust me that’s EPIC for me.

February was all about Dump the Frump. Throughout February I did my hair and makeup and dressed nicely regularly. I painted my nails (toes too!) and coordinated handbags.  I instantly began to feel renewed and sassy, even when everything around me looked winter grey and dismal.

March has been all about New Mommy Autonomy. I finally recognized that I no longer need the new mommy crutch. Even though my son is a year old now, I was still running around calling myself a ‘New Mother.’  Which clearly was not true, and imagine the look on the person’s face when they asked how old my ‘baby’ was.  My baby is a man-child now; there is nothing baby about him. I am a mother, but that is not my defining role and should not be the first thing I tell someone when we meet!

So, here I am on the cusp of April.  Closing in on my birthday… Shit!  The biggest transformation is still ahead of me, my new mid-thirties look and style. The goal for this month is, “All about April” – or ME!  This coming month I’m working on what image I want to portray.  Since I am no longer the 32-year-old ‘happy hour’ princess (nor can I wear those clothes), or the pregnant or post-partum frumpy chick (thank God I can no longer wear those clothes!), it’s time for a Mom to Fab makeover!

To find some inspiration for this final leg of my journey, I picked up my favorite magazine in the whole word… The Enquirer… KIDDING! Self Magazine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that glossy print Goddess! It is a perfect mix of my favorite things; food, fashion, fun workouts and quick tip sheets that I love to use to make false promises.

As I was flipping through the pages of my old friend, I came across a dress I loved! Most times Self publishes cute clothes I can afford, like a summer maxi from HM that only cost $30. So, I look over to the side for the info on the ‘Shift’ dress and see that it’s by Moschino with a price tag of $2,995.  I honestly did a double take!  WHAT THE FUCK??? THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! For a long t-shirt? (Or as my husband called it, a bloody tea towel!) Really?  To add insult to injury, the bracelet the model was wearing cost $600. For fuck’s sake! Thankfully she wasn’t wearing any shoes, because I am certain I would have dropped a load in my pants had this tiny outfit crossed the $4000 mark.

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I’m sorry, ok not really, but I have to ask, Does the dress give a happy ending? Does it clean itself?  Does it make you look three sizes smaller?  Is it made from a cotton that is so hard to find an entire village has to be employed to collect it from the caves of Neverland? Why is this short Shift dress $2,995????  I know I have been out of the social and fashion scenes for a couple of years, but what the hell has happened that we are now expected to pay 3k for a mini-dress?

We are still in a recession right?  Don’t get me wrong, I understand fashion coming at a price. Pre-baby I would pay a couple of hundred for a great pair of denim jeans or a few hundred for well tailored business suit, but never for a summer garden dress! I like to think before my days of becoming a mother I would still think that was crazy.

I admit, now that I am a mother I live on a strict budget so the value of money has COMPLETELY changed to me.  I can no longer, consciously, drop more than $50 on a great pair of jeans, and really that number is closer to $35.  Still, my financial situation aside, I just cannot ever imagine a day will come where I will justify that kind of a purchase when the world is still in the shits.  A donation of half the cost of that dress would feed 10 villages for a month! And possibly medicate the villages as well.

This whole in-and-out makeover that I have been undergoing these past few months has taught me that not only has my outward appearance and lifestyle changed, but also my outlook on life and the world in general. I still do not know for sure what I want to be when I grow up, but what I do know is I better figure it out and fast, because I am growing up quickly now that I am a mid-thirties mother.  I have no doubt I will ring in my 35th birthday like a rock star, but I can guarantee you even if I get a miracle financial boost between now and my birthday, I will NOT be wearing a $3,000 dress with $600 bracelet stumbling around in a $800 pair of stilettos, that life is not mine, THANK G!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!
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Comments

  1. I can relate to every word! I went through the same self-improvement project when my daughter turned one. I was working out, trying to look nice, trying to get out more. Then, I think I got busy and stop worrying about it. I hope you can stay on track and keep getting out of the house. I laughed at that $3,000 dress. I am the same way now. It’s funny how becoming a mother shifts your priorities from looking cute to thinking about how to feed all of the children in the world. I think it’s for the better, even if we might not be as stylish as we once were, at least we are still taking care of business, right?

  2. So I am having the same problem- but my 30th birthday party is next week. I am going to get a dress from renttherunway.com. Would definitely recommend that!!!

  3. $3000 for a dress with hearts on it?! NO! Don’t get me wrong, I love that dress and I love me some hearts, but its like a law of the universe that any clothing with hearts has to cost under $50. Have you tried Forever 21 and H&M? If you can get over the shame of being the only person in the store over the age of 23, there are some great finds in there.

  4. Great post April! The way all of you ladies talk about posting on my blog, you’d think I was The Bloggess or something. Thank you so much for being a dear and posting. XOXOXO

    Also, I would never spend more than $200 on a dress…OK, maybe like $300 if it’s a really important occasion that calls for a fancy dress (white maybe?)

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