I’m a woman who always expected, and wanted, to have a career, not stay at home with kids. I don’t like cooking. Housekeeping is not my forte. I prefer high heels to sneakers, and always have. I refused to wear pants until third grade and sweatpants until sometime in my late teens. (This may have just shown good style sense in avoiding bell bottoms.) I’ve always loved fashion and fashion history. I started sewing by the time I learned to tie my shoes. And I truly love stylish hats.
Naturally, I ended up a stay at home mom. My last office job ended shortly after the Twin Towers collapsed. As a stay at home mom in Los Angeles, I ended up wearing shorts, sneakers, and flip flops most of the time. The almost never wore hats. As so often happens, as my kids grew up, I realized that my style was gone, I had gained (too much) weight, and I wasn’t reading, watching, or listening too things I genuinely enjoyed anymore.
About two years ago, I got sick and tired of all the clutter in my house. Unlike a TV show, I couldn’t get rid of it all in a day. I keep going through things, getting rid of a big bunch at first, then smaller amounts as time goes on, continually reducing the clutter. When I looked at my clothing, I realized that much of it was outdated, ill fitting, not my style, needed repairs, or just plain didn’t suit. I tossed half the clothing in my closet but that didn’t mean I loved the rest, because I didn’t. Around this time, Hancock Fabrics went out of business and I bought tons of fabric and patterns on sale. I started sewing simple outfits for myself. As I became more confident, they became more interesting and I developed a new style for myself.
My style relies a fair amount on 1950s and 1960s style, but updated to be comfortable. The truth is that swing coats, sheath dresses, and quite a few of the styles can be really comfortable if you chose the right fabric and keep the fit loose enough to not need a girdle, or Spanx.
More recently, I developed a very nasty garlic allergy. I can’t even have a tiny amount of garlic powder without reacting. In practice, this means I can’t eat out easily or eat most pre-packaged foods. So now I’m cooking most of our meals from scratch. For a woman who had to ask for instructions on making tuna salad at least four times, this has been a fairly wrenching change.
All in all, through no fault of my own, I’ve ended up very much like an updated 1950s housewife (no waiting at the door with a cigar and slippers for my husband), but with writing and blogging as my hobbies. This is not a place I ever imagined I would end up but it is a good life and I love my husband and kids. I know I’m not the only woman out there who expected a career and ended up with a life instead, and that’s why I have decided to expand The Moderate Mom beyond politics.