In last week’s post I talked about how important it is to prioritize “me time” as a mom. I believe self-care is critical to survival, even more so when you have the added responsibility of children. Self-care is not selfish, but just like everything in life there’s a flip side. Say I want to take a Saturday morning yoga class, or treat myself to a hot stone massage as part of my wellness routine. These little luxuries (which were taken for granted pre-baby) are not always easy to achieve. If I’m gone for an hour or two who’s watching my daughter? Fortunately my husband is very hands-on and doesn’t mind hanging with our little one if I need some quiet time. On a Saturday morning he could easily say (as I know some men do) sorry I worked all week long and I’m tired so it’s my time to rest. But instead he steps up. And this is where gratitude enters the picture…
…I’m a cool mom.” A quote made famous by the cult classic Mean Girls, and immortalized on tee shirts everywhere. I totally get the sentiment, but I don’t think I need the shirt because my wardrobe says it all. I wore this outfit just recently for a lunch date with girlfriends, then breezed over to pick up my daughter from preschool. I’m not at all shy about showing up at her beatnik, suburban preschool dressed to the nines. And even if the other moms think I’m weird I don’t care. My sense of style hasn’t changed just because I’m a mom. And for me that is seriously important. Women sacrifice so much to be mothers, and I can tell you firsthand it’s easy to lose yourself, especially in the early years. Babies and young children are inevitably needy, and because they’re helpless, their needs come before yours. I’m not particularly self-sacrificing, but I love my daughter more than anything on earth, hence I would do anything for her. So it’s a strange and uncomfortable paradox. Somewhere in there I must retain my sense of self. It’s not an easy task, and I believe that loss of autonomy was a major contributing factor to my mental breakdown.
In the early days of my breakdown, when my mental state first started spiraling out of control, I called my uncle. He’s a clinical psychologist and knows me very well, so I was desperate to get his take. I couldn’t understand why my anxiety suddenly shot through the roof. I’d suffered from low-level anxiety nearly my whole life but always knew how to manage it. This was different. This was can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t stop shaking, full-on fight or flight. His immediate assessment was childhood trauma. He spent time with me as kid and witnessed the house I grew up in and felt I’d been suffering PTSD for years but never really dealt with it. After having a child of my own and not being able to dedicate as much time to self-care and coping mechanisms, I reached a breaking point and everything started spilling out.
2019 isn’t over yet but it will easily go down as the worst year of my life. Earlier this year, in March, I had a severe mental breakdown. The incident was so bad that I was ultimately hospitalized and wound up on anti-depressants for the first time in my life. It all started with panic attacks that kept building in frequency and intensity. The panic became so prevalent that I eventually stopped sleeping. The insomnia was so severe that even a cocktail of Xanax and Ambien only granted me a few hours a night, if I was lucky. And the lack of sleep fueled my anxiety to epic proportions. I stopped eating. The mere thought of food turned my stomach, and my weight dropped into the 90’s. I was a shell of my former self and everyone around me could see it…
Truth: I absolutely loooove this casual maxi dress. It’s lightweight and perfect for everyday wear. The silhouette is super simple and the length easily allows for flats, which means it’s a frequent “go to” on my off days. Plus the price can’t be beat – it was a lucky Target find courtesy of Who What Wear. Honestly, I have to run past the WWW section at Target whenever I go shop for diapers and baby food. Otherwise I’d be buying stuff every time because the clothes are so cute and affordable. This dress is an older purchase, but I linked up some current Who What Wear finds below!
I first discovered ASTR some years back while shopping in store at Nordstrom. I’d never heard of them prior to that, but found the clothes to be super cute and affordable. I’ve been hooked ever since. The brand is LA based but they don’t have any brick and mortar stores. Fortunately Nordstrom stocks a ton of styles both in store and online. I found this particular dress while I was out shopping with my mom – and it was the only one left. As soon as I tried it on I fell in love. It’s definitely more appropriate for a dressy occasion. Some maxis are easily dressed down, but this is a sleek and sexy evening dress. I wore it for a dinner party with some neighbors, and even used their cute midcentury house to shoot the look!
This next look is not exactly a dress – it’s more like a maxi skirt with a crop top. However, when the top and bottom match (or complement one another), it’s often referred to as a two-piece dress. This outfit didn’t come as a set, but I knew the items would pair well. Dusty blue with white is a classic color combo, and I love the contrasting textures. I wanted to showcase this variation on a traditional maxi dress because the “two-piece dress” is very in right now. It’s a great option for a vacation getaway, or in my case, something as simple as brunch with friends. I love that dressing up is part of my job – and there’s nothing wrong with dressing up for everyday events no matter who you are and what you do!