Dear Jodi,

Reading this article made me furious. Then I upgraded my feelings to being sad instead. I felt like you had betrayed me, betrayed all moms, and betrayed all women. Congratulations on slapping girl-power in the face.

To address the title of this article, yes I do have an excuse; I’m a mom! I don’t feel like I should have to explain that. I feel like since you’re a mom too, Jodi, you should understand. Unless you have maybe only one child, and he or she  is weirdly well behaved, and self-sufficient every hour of the day, I don’t have to tell you that I’m tired every morning, and I would rather spend what precious little extra time I have talking to my kid about their school musical than I would putting on mascara. I don’t have to tell you that my yoga pants, and baggy sweater are way more comfortable than leggings and a nice top. I don’t have to tell you that if my morning breath, and sad choice of clothing is more of a concern to my kid’s teacher than how well she is performing in school (due to my constant practice with her at home) then her teacher is less than qualified-to put it nicely. I don't have to tell you that I don't get a ton of sleep as it is. No way am I going to wake up earlier and improve my appearance just to appease other people. I also shouldn’t have to tell you that teaching our kids, especially our little girls, that our appearance is part of our self worth is setting them up for failure. And by the way, in what altered universe does the majority population of kids go to school looking “immaculate” and “fashion-forward”? I'm glad my kids don't go there. 

Let's forget the mom part all together. Let's say that I'm a single twenty-something, child free, woman buying groceries at the store. Or, maybe I'm a sixty-something grandmother buying her grandchildren ice-cream on the corner. Am I expected to dress a certain way in these situations? Are you going to be offended because on this particular day I chose to wear sweat pants and not comb my hair all the way through, or because I have tattoos and piercings? I think you would be. For the most part I don’t go to school with bad breath and crusty eyes. I might go in pajamas about half the time. The point is that it’s my prerogative.  The point is that this is a bigger issue that doesn't just affect mothers. The point is that I don't need an excuse to dress in any way I choose to. I am proud of the mother I am, and I have taught my children be proud of themselves, but the pride I teach them to feel is based off of their hard work and ability to treat other people with respect and kindness. It has nothing to do with the clothes on their back.

If your prerogative is to look a certain way everyday then go ahead, I'm happy for you, but don’t write a judgmental article giving moms another reason to feel bad about themselves. The only problem in these situations, Jodi, is judgmental glances and whispers from uptight women like you. My kids know that I value them, that I value myself, and that my self-worth is no higher or lower when I choose wear Hello Kitty pajamas to school. And when I get those judgment glances from mothers like you while dropping my kids off at school I smile at them bigger and feel thankful for my ability to be a great mother, and the maturity to see the bigger picture. 


Ashley R.

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