Fall is quickly approaching and I love all things Fall fashion. I am always excited to see the trends, bold, beautiful colors, and to see someone in white after Labor Day (hehe)! As of late, I feel restricted. There are all these rules for how a mom should and should not dress. Don’t show up to school like this, too much cleavage, cover yourself, what would your kids think, blah, blah blah. I know I’ll get some flak for this and honestly I’m ready for it, I’m ready for healthy, productive conversation surrounding fashion, not what I should wear as a mom.
I am a creative! My creative juices flow, sometimes through writing, singing, drawing, and the way I dress! I am a curvier lady so I love to wear clothing that accentuate my curves. As I have this discussion with a few friends I discover that there is a belief that a mom should dress a certain way and if she doesn’t her parenting skills are called into question. I’m not sure how a crop top determines my parenting skills but hey I’m just a mom. I ask more questions because I’m curious as to what is “mom approved” apparel according to their rules. It’s safe to say that everyone has a version of what they think a mom should wear so I’m going to add my opinion. I personally think moms should wear “WHATEVER THEY WANT!”
I believe you set your own fashion rules and you wear what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Now should you show up to the school with your twerk shorts and cheeks hanging out, I don’t think so, but guess what that’s my opinion. I do believe in standards of dressing for work, school functions, date night, I also believe that your wardrobe should not be dictated by those not walking in your shoes, literally and figuratively. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself, why dim someone’s light because they are not wearing or being who you think they should be. If you don’t agree with what someone is wearing why not engage them in conversation?! I know you’re going to say Nik you can’t just tell people you don’t like what they have on. This is true, what I find though is that instead of helping to guide someone in a direction you think would be productive for them we often shame them. Did you consider that maybe that mom doesn’t know what conservative dress is, maybe she never learned the fingertip rule for wearing dresses and skirts (if you don’t know I’ll tell you the rule below.), maybe she never received any guidance regarding fashion and she is going with what she knows. Or maybe just maybe she is comfortable and is not desiring your opinion in what she is wearing
I’ve been there, I’ve been the judging mom who’s like why is she wearing pajamas with her hair wrapped up to school, I’ve also run into moms who have on this attire because they are maximizing their time, just got off work, went home to shower and get kids ready for school, drop them off at school and return home to go to bed. Now would I wear pajamas to my child’s school no, but that’s me and my business. I’m asking my fellow moms to consider not judging another mom’s outfit, but instead get to know her and her style, who knows the influence you might have on not just her fashion but her life.
I’ve pinned a few looks I’m thinking of trying this Fall. Will they be considered mom fashion? I don’t know but I am going to attempt to rock them and see how each feels on me. I suggest you find your own fashionable lane and play there. What are some of your go to mom outfits? We all have them, share your pics below.
(Fingertip rule: shorts, skirts, dresses must fall below their fingertips when your arms are at your sides)
Most recently I took my car to a mechanic for routine maintenance, tune-up, and this is where the nightmare begins. Now I know some will say why didn’t you take it to the dealership, but let’s face it if the repair isn’t under warranty you could be looking at greater out of pocket cost. I’ve used this mechanic in the past, he has a great reputation and he’s affordable, his communication skills could definitely use some work, but hey I’m paying for a service. A two hour job turned into my car being at the repair shop for 2 ½ weeks. There was an accident that occurred during the repairs which required them to do more repairs. This got me to thinking, this repair shop had been my only option for so long and I’d gone to them on a referral, now that I was questioning our relationship, what would I do if I needed to find another mechanic, how would I find one? Below please find tips on how to search for a mechanic. This is especially for the ladies.
- Ask for referrals from other women. 9 times out of 10 another woman will give you the details regarding their experience with a mechanic. Good or bad this will give you an opportunity to gather a list for investigation.
- Investigate! Although your sista friend may have recommended this person you never know if you will have the same experience. Go online and check for reviews, find out if they are certified by the Better Business Bureau, check their listed certification for the repair shop and their mechanics. Find out if they specialize in your brand of car.
- Take the shop for a test drive. An oil change can be a great way to experience a repair shop for the first time. Also check to find out if the shop does free diagnostic testing. Most of the shops I have been to recently offer this as a free service and will quote you for the repairs needed. If there is a fee associated with the diagnostic testing this is normally based on the brand of the car and can range from $50-150 (approximately)
- Ask about the shops warranty policy. What happens if they cause a repair issue (learned this lesson myself). Do they look for products that are warrantied? Do they offer a warranty if there is an issue with the vehicle after the repair within a timeframe? These are all questions that will save you money.
- Convenience. Personally I have one vehicle so it’s important for my repairs to get done in a timely manner so that my vehicle is returned as soon as possible. Also the availability of the shop, what time do they open, when do they close, are they opened on weekends? I’m a working mom I need a certain level of convenience to keep my life organized. (All moms need this!)
Regular car maintenance is a must, don’t just wait until you need a huge repair, getting regular maintenance on your vehicle will help cut cost in the long run. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification on those questions if needed. A car is a big investment and you need to be aware of how to take care of your investment.
What are some things you look for when searching for a services? How important are reviews or recommendations. I’m currently looking for a new mechanic I need to have a back-up.
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In last week’s episode of Black-ish (Season 5, Episode 10) The Johnson family was faced with what many families of color are faced with, the topic of colorism. What is colorism you might asked, well it is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with darker skin tone, typically among people of the same ethic or racial group (dictionary.com). Now you may wonder how can people of the same race be prejudice against each other, but trust it happens especially in African-American families where there can be a variety of shades, light, brown, honey, caramel, dark, black people come in all colors. While we are told to be proud of our brown skin we are the very same people who will tease, bully, harass each other about being too dark, too light. It’s a sad but true fact we can hate each other all because of the color of our skin, the thing that we fight against in so many other arenas we fight with each other with as well. Go on over to ABC.com and check out Black-ish which airs Tuesdays at 9pm, especially this most recent episode if you’d like to delve into the topic on colorism.
Recently in our home we had the topic of colorism come up, which makes the timing of this episode extra special. As with every night before bed I apply my facial cream to remove the residue of the day. As I was standing in the mirror Anissa asked if she could apply some. I explained to her that this was for mommy to remove her makeup and that her skin was gorgeous and she didn’t need the extra, I saw the disappointed look on her face and inquired as to why she looked sad. She explained to me that my cream was making my skin lighter and prettier and that her darker skin didn’t look like mine. GASP! Anissa is 6 years old and I never thought that one she didn’t think her skin was pretty (we always talk about how beautifully black girl magic she is) and I never thought that she thought I was trying to lighten my skin. Just to give you some background I am the lightest skinned member of the household, I just dyed my hair black and I get extremely pale in the winter, which attributes to my lighter tone. I get teased about this all the time, how can I go from tanned to light bright. It never really bothered me because I’m comfortable in my skin no matter what color it turns. But in this moment I felt uncomfortable, I would have given anything to have a tan and stand with Anissa in her honey glow. I explained to my sweet face girl that I was washing my face not getting lighter and that she was gorgeous that her tanned skin was something other people would pay for, then I showed her pictures of me in the summer (optimal tan) and then we looked at me in the mirror now. We both agree that I need a tan and then we pointed out the beautiful things we notice about each other.
In that moment I thought about other little girls and boys and the questions they might have about their skin color, about them being teased, and about them feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. How do we as a community address this issue? Why do we discriminate against each other? How can everyone begin to love the skin they’re in?
Well here are some tips (simple but it’s a start)
- As a family stop bullying, teasing, joking about skin tone. Although it may seem like it’s all fun and games we don’t know the real seed that’s being planted for someone to learn to not love themselves. As long as we allow this to go on we nurture the seed that allows some one to think one shade of skin is better than the other.
- When children have questions about skin tone and why they look different don’t brush it off, ADDRESS IT. We have got to start having conversations that teach our children to love themselves, this is a lesson that we should all want them to learn at home and not out in the world. If we start the conversations in our homes, then we at least give them the tools and preparation to handle these conversations out side of out homes.
- This is a big one for me so agree or disagree, but children should have toys in all shades, this more so falls in the category of baby dolls. Anissa has dolls of all shades and they are all beautiful to her. We as families have to set our own beauty standards and teach our children to do the same.
The tips I gave are something you can do right now to help your children learn to appreciate who they are. Whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, or purple, you are beautiful. Embrace that beauty, appreciate the beauty, then get to the business of letting the world see you walk in that beauty.
How will you handle the topic of colorism if it comes up in your home? Don’t wait start the conversation today.
To hear more about this topic tune into Episode 3 of The Parental Guidance Counselor Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe.