I’d like to invite you on a journey with me, if you will. Picture it. The Target dressing room, June 2021. The heat of summer is upon us and dresses and jeans aren’t cutting it for this new mom.
My quest is simple: to find a single pair of shorts.
Yet, with such a quest comes both the complexity and doubt that many a mother has encountered standing in a dressing room eyeing what, only moments ago, felt like such promising contenders. As my eyes begin to glaze over the sea of denim and cotton blend options hung in front of me, the hard truth starts to set in; the perfect mom shorts do not exist.
The “Pre-Mom” Shorts
They may be packed away in the attic or buried down deep in your dresser drawer waiting for their big comeback. These are the shorts of summers past. Your go-to warm weather option that perhaps still warranted a second look in the mirror to make sure your outfit paired well, but were overall tried and true. According to the changes most women undergo after giving birth, these shorts may still fit but somehow society has gotten so deep into our brain that there’s a mysterious red “X” appearing over them whenever you glance in their direction. Sure, they have that comfortable pre-worn feeling and hug you just fine, but rules are rules. You’re a mom now, so say buh-bye.
The “Your Mom’s Mom” Shorts
Gloria Vanderbilt may have cornered the market on the perfect “mom jeans” with the ever-so sexy promises of tummy control and thigh slimming superpowers. Lucky for moms everywhere, this same magic can be found up and down the shorts aisle as long as you know where to look. As you enter a store or even find yourself scrolling through online inventory, you know you’ve arrived at your destination when rises and inseams know no bounds and just keep going. You may try them on and be seduced momentarily by the ability to flatten what you think needs flattening but the moment your kids see these on you, prepare yourself to be compared to Grandma. While these cover and shape, they may just be a little too old school for you, Mom.
The “Anti-Shorts” Shorts
It’s sweltering outside and a breeze may be hard to come by but that’s what capris were made for, right? It’s the perfect time to stock up on maxi dresses, linen pants and tunics that can be paired with leggings. Easy breezy styles like these are perfect for a hot summer in the south for any mom! Who needs shorts to run around the park with their kids? While you’re on the hunt for these styles, remember to shop for the darkest color options you can find as to not draw too much attention to your lower half either. You don’t want to let anyone know you have hips, thighs or a uterus hiding under there.
The “Are You Sure You’re Not Too *insert here* to Wear Those?” Shorts
Ripped denim, tye-dye, high waisted button up, bright colors, high cut, low rise, print and pattern; there are so many varieties of shorts to choose from! The mission is clear: find the perfect pair for you, while avoiding the ones that aren’t for women of a certain age. It’s simple, just choose something that fits your style that you’re the right body type to wear (in public anyway). Steer clear of anything on the rack that shouts “I’m a mom and I clearly didn’t read the fashion handbook.” Taking advantage of the BOGO summer sale and adding two pairs of shorts to your cart? Maybe send a link to a friend for their opinion before checking out to make sure you’re not too thin, fat, young, old, trendy, or basic for them… just to be sure.
The Perfect Mom Shorts
With each and every pair of shorts that doesn’t check the boxes on the list of lower body garment requirements, a realization begins to occur…
The perfect “mom shorts” do not exist, but then again neither does the “perfect mom.”
When we understand that this is fact and not opinion, we can stop striving for perfection in either department. Instead, embrace the shorts and version of motherhood that fits you best; the one that feels most comfortable, the style that empowers you and leaves you feeling like the super mom that you are season after season. And when you start to wonder if the reflection in the mirror is one that follows the made up rules we think we have to follow as mothers, shake it off and pull on whatever shorts you damn well please.