In Defense of the Less Than Put-Together Mom

What does a mom really look like? Yoga pants and messy buns? Jeans, a t-shirt from her kid’s school, and slip on shoes? Workout gear? Heels, skinnies, flowy top, and lipstick? You can’t really pin her down with anything besides the kiddo hanging on her hip, holding her hand, or maybe darting off with a burst of independence. To judge her appearance on anything else — clothing, messy hair, lack of makeup — is well, judgmental.

I recently read a blog post labeling moms looking less than put-together as struggling and stressed. It went on to diagnose these moms as having lost their sense of self and worth.

I’m just going to leave that there




Wait, what?!?!

I couldn’t disagree more, and I’m here to passionately defend you, me, and any moms whose day gave them time for a quick shower and brushing of teeth and nothing more. I’m here to challenge the claim that how mom presents herself on the outside is “the best indication” of what’s going on inside, of who she is and what’s her worth.

I’m here to tell you, in no particular order, that looking like a mom …however you look like a mom… doesn’t matter!  Here’s why.

In Defense of the Less Than Put Together Mom

Under Pressure

Maybe mom’s thoughts go something like this… “Zero Fox Given.”

And good for her. Really. Moms have enough on their plates without wondering if anyone is going to judge her self worth by her ratty jeans or non-monogrammed {or cutesy at all for that matter} baseball cap.

Intentional Mothering

Maybe it makes her a better mom. {No, not better than you — just the best version of herself.} It’s certainly easier to climb after a toddler at the park, load up several kids in the car and push those giant car carts around the grocery store, splash in the sprinkler during summertime, and even squeeze in a workout during naps if not made up for the day. I, for one, am less likely to be as hands-on if I’ve put more morning time into my own look.

Time’s A Tickin’

I hope my kids learn that their time is no more valuable than anyone else’s. For the most part, we are a prompt family. It’s important to me. If mom sacrifices a bit of her own beauty routine in order to arrive on time for school, play dates, church, errands before the kids get hangry around lunchtime, what of it? What she “gives up” doesn’t mean she puts her kids first for everything. She’s now thinking of other people. Perhaps she’s thinking of herself and the time she gets solo later in the day. There’s nothing unworthy about that.

24 Hours

While we are talking about time, we’ve only got 24 hours in a day, right? I’ll concede this: it’s beneficial for everyone in the family when moms can take time for themselves. It’s not always possible, but it’s a good lesson for kids, and it fills mom’s bucket so she can better care for everyone around her. But taking care of mom doesn’t always mean getting dolled up. Fitting in a workout {but perhaps not time for a shower after}, reading a book, sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and a devotional while the kids watch tv, spending time prepping a tasty salad for lunch instead of eating leftover scraps from the toddler’s plate… These are all indications that mom is taking care of herself. But you might not know that if you are too busy judging a mom for her look.

The “B” Word

Budget that is! Big or large, stringent or loose, we all have a system for our finances. Consider this: maybe being put together is a problem that’s not even on mom’s radar. Diapers, food on the table, house notes, kid birthday presents — let’s not tell mom that she’s overstressed and frazzled because these things might take precedence. Let’s just not.

The Giving Tree

Perhaps mom’s appearance might be indicative of what’s inside. Maybe mom was up all night with an infant. Maybe this is day 3 of the stomach bug, and she snuck out quickly for more Saltines and Pedialyte. Maybe mom made pancakes before school instead of doling out bowls of cereal and blowdrying her hair. Moms are designed to give. From the very moment of conception, moms are giving of themselves. If mom’s sloppy appearance indicates that she’s giving all she has to the souls around her, good. I would hope we can applaud such selflessness instead of throwing “overstressed” and “struggling” on her.

So let’s take our mom look for less these days…less judgement, that is.

Previous articleLean In? Really, I Just Want A Job
Next article10 Easy Galentine’s Day Ideas
Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


  1. You hit the nail on the head! I don’t know why it surprises me that there are still people out there who are publishing blogs like the one you found that seems to highlight the supposed downfalls of mothers. I am lucky if I even get to take a shower that day and I only have one child who will be 2 soon here in March! I am constantly aching in my heart when I realize that I am still using the same clothes from 10+ years ago sometimes and I find it cruel for another person to sit on their pedestal and think they can judge me. There is only one who can judge me and we all know who that is.

    I haven’t dyed my hair since before I got pregnant, I can’t remember the last time I bought make up let alone put any on. That being said, i still don’t look like the walking dead. And if I did look that way, what does it matter when my child is laughing and having fun all while learning?

    I have to truly agree with the point you made about the hassle. If I straighten my hair (especially in this humid houston weather) it is pointless and a waste of time! When I’m “dolled up” I definitely don’t partake in wrestling and ‘hide and go scream’ as I normally do when I’m comfortable.

    Since when does any mother have it all together anyways? No such thing.

    Thank you for your wonderful post and defense!

    • Thanks for the sweet support! I’m cracking up about your walking dead comment. I’m sure I’ve been there a time or two, but I try to avoid that extreme if I can — hello under eye concealer and tinted moisturizer!

  2. I really struggled with my wardrobe when I became a stay at home mom. I had all these great clothes in my closet that I hated to wear because they would constantly be getting stained with spit up, or little dirty hands. I found myself telling my kids not to touch Mommy’s white chinos and apologizing for not going down the slide in my new leggings.
    I realized I wasn’t dressing for the job at hand. I want to be a fun, hands-on mom. I need to be able to chase after my kids, scoop down to pick them up even when they’re covered in ketchup or have a runny nose. I don’t want to be scared of glitter, play dough or spaghetti nights.
    So, I dress casual. I wear jeans, Ts, converse. I can destroy a manicure in a day!
    And yes, sometimes I see the judgement from other moms… but I know in my heart my children won’t remember what I’m wearing ~ and I can only hope they’ll remember how much fun I have with them.
    Mom of 4 (2 boys, 2 girls)

  3. I love this!!! There are so many times that I feel less of a woman/mom bc I am not dressed the best. I have no style of my own and don’t have much time to get myself any more than “presentable enough” to go into work. I still wear clothes/shoes and use purses that I’ve had since I had my oldest (9). The only time I buy clothes (maybe an item or 2 once/year) is when I find it on clearance or in good condition at a thrift store…why? Bc I have bills to pay, bdays to save for, baseball, and more importantly than my own – kids clothes and shoes to buy. I do wish I had more clothes, especially those that I truly enjoy wearing, but there are just simply more important things to make my heart smile bigger and more confidently as a mom than having new clothes or my own style. I do my hair 2-3 times a week if I’m lucky, and I have to wake up earlier to do so, so that we still get to school/work on time. What makes me feel like a good mom is when my kids are full of yummy breakfast I’ve made time to make, they are happy, rested and well dressed for school and are successful bc my husband and I take time to be with them. I wish more moms would stop worrying about what the other does and how they look, and try connecting and building one another up instead of judging. This was such a great read! Thanks for the boost! ?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here