Dressy Casual or Little Black Exercise Outfit?

About a year ago I began exercising every day.

I also had a content-writing job, was room mom for my second boy’s class, volunteered in our church, drove the boys to martial arts in the evening, thought it was a good time to go to counseling for me and for me and the hubby, and …I’ll bet you’ve skimmed to the next paragraph by now.

Because exercising was the priority, I wore my workout attire until I actually worked out. Sometimes I was still wearing black stretch pants, a sweat-wick shirt (also black), and the natural musk of one who has not showered past the time the boys were all in bed.

I was one of Those Moms wearing workout clothes at the grocery store.


Yesterday, however, I was not. It was Sunday and I therefore put on a skirt and sweater and went to church. I was still wearing that dressy casual getup after the boys were asleep.

-“I said, ‘the boys are all asleep!’ Now, QUIET!”

As I was saying, I had a skirt on when Mom Time finally rolled around. I sat on my bed to type on my iffy laptop and heard a ri-i-i-i-ip.

I then realized an important fact about my choice of outfits: I need versatility.

Problem is, I demand versatility even when it shouldn’t be present. Last Memorial Day, my mother was shocked that I was scraping mud and weeds from a relative’s grave marker (again) in my church clothes. I accompanied my husband to the RedBox in Wal-mart in my socks Friday night. Anyone spying on my carpool activities will see me sporting house slippers at pickup.


In my defense, they’re the really nice slippers with hard soles.

Besides ruining a new shirt because I was bleaching the white clothes, wearing holes in my socks, and using jackets as bathrobes; I don’t really mind my casual approach to clothes. I mean, obviously. Part of that is that I value comfort, part of it is that I’m too lazy to change, and 83.6% is how many small hands wipe indelible substances on me.

Surely I can’t be alone in this. Do you wear white after Labor Day? Socks with sandals? Yoga pants to the store? What’s your go-to garb?

At-Home Gym


“There’s something wrong with your hair,” my oldest says, making a face. Trying to elaborate, he adds, “It just looks terrible.”

These are the sort of compliments that hit a mother right in the self esteem. They come at the right moment, too: just when I’ve talked myself into some gym clothes and in front of the television. I also assured me that frumpy was suitably modest around the boys, that my sweat stains formed artistic patterns, and that I could erase everyone’s memories once able to shower.

My oldest looks back over at me. “It’s just …eurgh!”

What kind of sound is that?! I stop mid-crunch and bring a hand up to feel what offended him. I hit mostly sweat, and some stringy pieces that might be my thinning hair. Perhaps he’s simply not a fan of the whatever-pulls-hair-out-of-the-way ponytail, I reason.


I don’t have time, however, for the cute braids and non-sweat look the YouTube instructor is sporting. can’t plank with hair in my face; can’t crunch with a lump of hair on the back of my head. If my son can’t handle Sweaty Troll Mom then that’s his problem.

“Thanks, Sam,*” I say, pretending the booming dubstep music has impaired my hearing. I continue pretending to keep up with the sadistic woman on screen.

I’m not one of those people who likes to exercise in front of others. I don’t like doing much of anything in front of others. Given that I can’t even urinate without an audience of fingers beneath the door, I often find just such unwanted attention during my YouTube Aerobics Time.

Sometimes I think to wake up earlier, but then remember that I screwed that plan up when I stayed up late.

Then I consider dropping them in The Pit at the gym, but recall that two of the four have aged out. I guess the daycare workers assume they’re old enough to watch themselves; the boys assume that they can punch each other unsupervised.

Other days I hang out in my gym clothes until my darling husband comes home …and then watch him crash on the couch. Don’t worry; he revives once dinner’s on the table.

*Sigh* What’s a girl to do?

Troll hair it is.



unsplash-logoJacob Morrison
unsplash-logoMohamed Nohassi


*I always change the names of my kids