Welcome to Junior High School, Mom! Congratulations - You Are Old.
Oh, don't shake your head and say that you still look like you're twenty and everyone says that you and your tween look like siblings. It doesn't matter.
My oldest daughter was born months before my 21st birthday.
When she entered junior high school, I was 31 without a wrinkle or gray hair - oh, how I miss those days - but I was still old, too.
You are now the mother of a tween in junior high school: You are old. You can still be cool.
Mom's Guide to Junior High Fashion:
1. No more personal clothing shopping at a store whose primary work force could've passed through your birth canal.
Early indicators that a store is not for you, Mom, are dark lights, loud music and overwhelming olfactory stimulation. Even if the clothing at Abercrombie/Aeropostale/ dELiA's/Forever 21, etc. can fit your womanly body, you shouldn't wear it. The pants are cut so low that you'll be flashing your stretchmarks and ass crack every time you bend over. The skirts are too short. The shirts are made out of paper-thin material, too tight or cut for a 10 year old boy.
You are only allowed to purchase accessories at these stores. Wearing the clothing from these stores screams: "Look at me! I think I'm a teen!" (This will fool no one 'cause we all know that you are old. You have a kid in junior high school. Deal with it.) Wearing accessories from these stores is a subtle wink. "I'm fun and I know what is cool."
2. Cover your boobs, cover your ass.
I really wish that I didn't need to write that one. I don't understand how it is possible to age into adulthood and motherhood and still be unclear on this topic. Your child doesn't want to see your boobs hanging out at school. The female students and teachers don't want to see your 30+ momma boobs at the school either. Only the pimply, pervy tween boys will appreciate them, but do you really want to be the reason some icky pubescent boy has to excuse himself to go to the bathroom? Gross! Same goes for your ass crack.
3. Update your style in a modern, age-appropriate way.
Invest in classic pieces, which fit your current body type. Stop wearing shapeless drab garments because you don't want to spend the money until you "finally lose the weight." Those clothes make you look sad, washed-out and larger than you are.
Look to the others around you for inspiration. Whose style do you admire at the school parent nights? Start complimenting her and ask her where she shops. Talk to your other put-together mommy friends and find out where they shop.
You are a beautiful, woman warrior! Own your body type - no matter what size you are and treat yourself to clothing that will flatter it. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, choose new clothing in neutral shades. Accessorize and change the look with inexpensive bright accessories, preferably purchased from the obnoxious, noisy, stinky stores I mentioned in #1!
4. Leave the lounge-wear at home.
Yes, yoga pants are incredibly comfortable. I know - I own several pairs and I can't even touch my toes. However, you should never wear them to a choir concert or a Character Counts Awards Breakfast. Never. I don't care if your house was burned down to the ground only an hour before the event. Don't wear them. This also applies to any kind of work-out wear, sweatpants and sweatshirts.
5. It's all about the shoes.
Wear hot shoes. Trust me, junior high girls appreciate a great pair of shoes. I give you permission to go crazy with your shoes - totally and completely insane. Pick something youthful and outside of your comfort zone, pop a couple of Advil and pair the sexy shoes with some modern-cut dark denim trousers, a crisp tailored blouse and fun accessories. The girls will notice, I promise. I've even had junior high girls approach me and ask me about my shoes! Bask in the attention and give credit to your daughter or introduce the girls to your son.
Listen, Mom. Junior high school sucks. There's too much drama (even for the boys) and a lot of physical, emotional and social changes for your tween (and you, too. Junior high gave me my first wrinkles and gray hairs!). Don't complicate things by trying to steal your tween's glory or making them an easy target. Teach them early to dress for success. You'll feel more confident and put-together, too. And you deserve it!
You've had your time. Save the hooker-look for a date night with your spouse or a neighbor's Pimps and Ho's costume party.
Let your tween have their time and get the attention. Sit back, grab a cocktail with a couple of other junior high school moms and reminisce about your days of pimples and periods, first kisses and first heartbreaks.
Those days are over - Thank goodness!