Honestly, fashionista is not a word that I have used to describe myself for very long. Growing up, I wasn’t the cool, hip cheerleader. I was a nerd. At least, that’s what the kids in middle school called me. I still hate that word. I got my first pair of designer jeans in eighth grade, but they still didn’t help me fit in. So, I was ecstatic when I was accepted to a high school far away from all those judgmental girls.
As I’ve navigated through my adult life, I’ve embraced my own style. I’m infertile and childless, but I’m definitely not childfree. I have nieces and nephews, an exchange daughter and a fur baby. And believe it or not, clothes have helped me through some really difficult times and have helped me connect with my kids.
Shop, don’t cry.
While struggling through infertility treatments and the numerous “not pregnant” results, my husband’s goal was to make me happy (or at least keep me from crying). He often did this by taking me shopping. You can read that story here.
Connecting with Bruna
When Bruna arrived to live with us for six months, she had two big suitcases and a backpack. As I hung clothes in her closet (because we did her laundry; her chores were to make her bed and do the dinner dishes), I was worried that she didn’t have enough to wear. Maybe it was those middle school memories…. I just didn’t want her to get made fun of. Plus, she’s from Brazil, which doesn’t really have winter—at least not like we do. So, one of the first things we did together was go shopping for a pair of boots.
Although we were under no obligation to buy her any clothes, she was our kid from day one and we wanted to make sure she had everything she needed. As we looked at winter boots, Bruna examined prices and figured out how much they cost in rho (her currency). With concerned eyes, she asked if the boots were expensive. When I told her that, in American terms, they weren’t cheap but they certainly weren’t expensive and that we would be happy to buy them for her, she started crying. She knew we didn’t have to do this, and she was so grateful for this simple gift of winter boots.
As the weeks went on, my husband bought her jeans and t-shirts and skirts and sweaters. She would come home after school to find the outfits on her bed. (My MIL is a fashionista, so my hubby has a pretty good eye for clothes.) Bruna loved trying on her new things and one day, while skipping back to her room, she said, “I’m going to be as spoiled as Maddie!” And she was. We had to send her home with a third suitcase when she went back to Brazil.
Special Days with our Nieces
Of course, we’ve also gone shopping with our nieces. When we moved away from Tulsa, we started “Special Days” with the girls. Originally, we spent time with each of our nieces individually during these days, but after moving to South Carolina, we had to have Special Days with all three at once (for economic reasons, obviously).
One Valentine’s, we flew back to Oklahoma and took all the girls shopping. They each got a certain amount of money and could spend it on whatever they wanted at the mall. It was interesting to watch the younger ones look for bargains, while our oldest wanted to go to a store that wasn’t for eleven-year-olds (since she was twelve at the time).
Dressing up my fur baby
Clothes even make me smile with my fur baby. Although it isn’t Maddie’s favorite, she humors her Mommy and lets me dress her up at Halloween, Christmas, and Mother’s Day. I try hard to buy t-shirt dresses since she hates sweaters, and I don’t get anything too girly since our Maddie is definitely a tomboy. ?
Not So Mommy…™ Fashionista Blog
All of this to say that the Fashionista blogs on Not So Mommy…™ are probably not what you expected. I won’t tell you about the best jeans or latest trends. But I will tell you how clothes have helped me through some tough times, allowed me to connect with those I love, and bring back special memories for me. I can look at a dress and recall where I wore it, taking me back in time….
So, I hope you enjoy the Fashionista (or perhaps Not So Fashionista) blogs. Join the Community and comment often because I’d love to hear your stories about how something as ordinary as winter boots created a special memory for you…