When I learned that I was pregnant with my daughter, I was sporting a fire engine red faux hawk. It was a left of center, unusual hair style choice for a woman but it made me feel like me. It improved my self-confidence and helped me to adopt a no fucks given attitude. Once the two pink lines showed up, though, I immediately thought, “Well, guess it’s time to go back to blond.”
You see, I was under the false notion that mothers can’t have outrageous hairstyles. They have to stop wearing less than sensible clothing. They have to morph into a June Cleaver-esque version of themselves in order to be a proper mom. A good mom. A real mom.
I’m sad to say that this ridiculous idea stayed with me throughout the pregnancy and birth of my son as well. I began growing out my blond hair in order to look more like a TV mom. I sent my goth-ish shirts and purposefully destroyed jeans to thrift stores and the dumpster in order to make room for slacks and button-down blouses. I was a mom of two now and it was time to put aside my youthful frivolities.
Thankfully, when my son was about six months old I had had enough of this ognorance, marched down to the salon, and got my red faux hawk back. It was time for me to be me again.
You see, I am part of a group of women who align themselves with being true to who they are even after they push a tiny human out of their body.
We are women who push our stroller down the street while sporting hair of all different cuts and colors. Blue, green, purple, spiked, asymmetrical, even a shaved head.
We are women who take our children to the park while wearing black lipstick and studded choker necklaces, black thigh high boots and fishnet stockings.
We are women with piercings in our ears, our noses, our… other places.
We are women who believe that tattoos are beautiful body art and just because we have a toddler at home doesn’t mean we have to stop expressing ourselves by getting a new one every year.
We don’t believe that in order to be a good mom, a great mom, we have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or act a certain way. We believe that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and what’s on the outside is for us to modify so that when we look in the mirror we see our true self.
We refuse to give up our self-expression merely because we are moms. We flip the bird to the notion that once we hit a certain age we are no longer allowed to dress the way that makes us feel the most gorgeous.
We look different, yes. We have different hair, different make-up, different clothes and different décor in our houses, but that doesn’t make us any less of a mother. Our tattoos don’t cancel out our love for our children. Our piercings don’t discount the sacrifices we make for our babies. Our wardrobe doesn’t mean that we’re in denial about the fact we are parents. On the contrary, these choices we make show our children to always be who they are regardless of their age or gender. By embracing our true identity, we are teaching them to embrace theirs despite what others may think or say.
You may give us the side eye as you pass us on the street. You may guffaw at the outfit we wore to the grocery store. You can have your opinion, but it won’t have any impact on us whatsoever.
We don’t need your approval. We know who we are. We are badass women who won’t apologize for being who we were made
BIO: Toni Hammer is a freelance writer, comedian, and author of Is it Bedtime Yet? Stories from a Mom Who Never Wanted the Job. She’s married to Luke, her college sweetheart, and is the tired mom of Lily and Levi. You can find more from her at tonihammer.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.