Friday, October 21, 2011

A Bad Case of "Mom Hair"

Bedtime is always a nightmare in our house—the children fuss and whine, ask for snacks, beg for water, complain that they're hot, and just generally stall in every conceivable manner possible.  To make matters worse, they also use nighttime as a chance to employ their most effective mind-control tactic: the "Wail of Torture."

Every parent knows what I'm talking about here—it's that siren-wail that sounds like a cross between a fire engine and a wolf baying at the moon.  It can shatter glass and is sure to damage the hearing of any adult within a thirty foot radius. Each child has his or her own variation, and I firmly believe that nature helps each individual to hone his or her particular screech so that it produces maximum annoyance in the parents.

My children are particularly gifted at the Wail of Torture, and they frequently use it to beat my husband and I into submission.  I am ashamed to admit that my torture tolerance is fairly low, so after enduring about two minutes of ear-shattering misery, I generally fold and say, "Okay, okay!  You want a snack?  We'll find you something!  Just please stop screeching!!"

I've gotten so used to anticipating the wail that I was taken by surprise when my son said to me the other night, "Mommy, I don't like it when you put my pajamas on for me."  No screeching, no crying, no wailing!

I saw the opportunity for a teachable moment (and the distant hope of saving my hearing) and jumped all over it. I praised him heartily for using words to describe how he was feeling.  I said, "Evan, I really like it when you use your words to say what you don't like.  It's so much more helpful to me than when you yell.  I really, really like it when you just tell me what you don't like."

Apparently my praise inspired him, because Evan looked thoughtful for a moment, then said in a firm voice, "Mommy, I don't like your hair.  It's messy."

Wellllll..... that tactic worked like a charm, now didn't it?!

I suppose I shouldn't fault him for being honest.  I glanced in the mirror and was immediately shamed by my reflection.  If I hadn't shampooed my hair just that morning, I might have expected to run my hands through it and find a small family of birds living somewhere amongst the mop of unruly frizz.

I've never had good luck with my hair—it's the kind that's not really straight but not really curly; it's very thick with a lot of waves, and if I don't make an effort to straighten it or tame it somehow it just gets bigger and bigger until I could rival Helena Bonham Carter on the red carpet.

Someone get this poor woman a stylist!
I've always been under the impression that going to an expensive salon and getting a "quality" haircut would fix my styling misery.  So when my friend organized a group trip to her favorite ritzy salon this past weekend, I was pretty excited.

My stylist's name was Joey, and he was well-coiffed and perfectly pomaded. I was surprised to see that he was wearing more makeup than I was, but  I decided to take that as a sign that he knew what he was doing.  I settled in the chair with a smile.

He took my hair elastic out, and a giant mop of frizzy tangles tumbled around my shoulders. I think a few butterflies may have taken flight too.  He frowned at my reflection in the mirror and said, "Okay... so, exactly what are we doing today, hmm??"

I sighed and told him that my hair was in massive need of an overhaul.  I probably launched into more detail than was necessary, but I felt the need to explain why I looked like an extra from a disaster movie.  I told him that, as a stay-at-home mom, I don't get out much, and I don't have the opportunity to get my hair cut on a regular basis.  I shamefully described my philosophy on hair care: wait until I notice that my hair looks generally terrible, do a quick calculation and realize that it's been four months since my last haircut, and book the first available appointment at the local Holiday Hair.

The shame.

He told me he would get everything taken care of, and soon he was artfully snipping away, chopping off all the dried out ends and tidying up the entire situation.

Once he had finished cutting, we discussed styling options.  I told him that my hair just doesn't cooperate.  He asked me what products I use.

"Um, excuse me?" I said.

"Pro-ducts.  What products are you using?" he asked again, speaking slowly as if I might be slightly hard of hearing or mentally challenged.

I thought about the cabinet in my bathroom that's jammed with styling creme, hairspray, curling mist, smoothing gel, pomade, body-building mousse—none of which I use—and frantically tried to remember what any of them were called.  I came up blank.

"Um, I don't really use anything," I said sheepishly.  He gave me a withering look and was about to suggest something when I offered, "but I have a whole drawer full of every styling product imaginable.  It's just that I never remember to use any of them."

He frowned at me and said rather accusingly, "You're not one of those moms who wears those awful track suits and sweatpants out in public, are you?"

Um, guilty.

My mind called up the image of my dresser drawer that barely closes because it's stuffed to the gills with "yoga" pants, and I blushed.  I felt the odd need to apologize.  "Being a stay-at-home mom just isn't very... glamorous, I guess."

"You could make it glamorous," he replied optimistically.  "Do your hair in the morning.  Put on some makeup.  Dress up.  Look nice for your husband when he gets home."

Truth be told, those were all things I once swore I would faithfully do.  I vowed never to be one of those moms that just lounged about in shapeless workout attire, sans makeup, looking like a candidate for What Not to Wear. What had happened?  When had I become that person?

I pondered this as Joey gave me a fabulous blowout and styled my hair to perfection.  It fell around my face in bouncy waves, and I instantly felt beautiful.  I thanked him profusely and promised him that I would clean up my act.  I owed it to myself (and to my extremely expensive haircut) to maintain the new look.

But regardless, just a couple of days later, there I was—wearing my comfy pants and sporting a hairdo that could have worked on a scarecrow.  And my son called me on it.  My four-year-old boy!

*sigh*  Something had to be done.

So yesterday I got out my straightening iron and my curling iron.  I moved the junk on my bathroom counter out of the way and cleared a work area.  I set out bobby pins and styling products—I was determined to look pretty for my boys.

Just as I was getting warmed up (literally), my son ambled into the bathroom to see what I was doing.  Before I could shout, "Stop!", he reached up and grabbed my curling iron by the barrel.  He gasped and reflexively pulled his hand back, cradling it against his body.

I just felt terrible.  Evan didn't cry or whine; he insisted he was fine.  I took a look at the angry red patch on his hand and decided it would be best to keep an eye on him to make sure he was okay, so I unplugged my styling tools, put my hair back in a ponytail, and went to join my kids at play.

Attempt to look good=failed.  Back to square one.

I frolicked with my little ones, but the fun was tainted by paranoia—did my son frown at my baggy sweatshirt?  Did he glance at my hair and look quickly away?  Was he going to be ashamed to be seen in public with me in a few years?

Does my appearance really matter that much when I'm in the house most of the day?

Is this really that bad?

Ack, well, perhaps it is.

I don't have all the answers, but if anyone has a brilliant idea about how to look beautiful and put-together while caring for two children, I will be the first to take notes.

In the meantime, I think the next skill I will teach my son will be how to say, "Mommy, you're pretty just the way you are." 

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  1. This is hilarious!! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the hair salon. Since I have stopped working outside the home, my hubby sees me in a pony tail almost daily. I was just thinking that I ought to do something about it...but maybe not! You always make me smile!

  2. Oh I love Helena Bonham Carter's style! She is an individual in world full of clones.

    Please don't style her!
    Mind you, I don't think she'd tolerate anyone else telling her how to look and good on her for that.

    As for looking beautiful and put together while looking after kids, be kind to yourself and know that you are beautiful without the fakery. It's just a different kind of beauty.
    It's tough being a woman isn't it? Men don't worry about such things, they just get on with doing stuff.
    I bet your son thinks you are the most beautiful woman in the world.


  3. Eh. I work outside the home and here is a little secret, no mom has all the time in the world to get ready! We are all in it together! I mean unless you are J.Lo with a nanny, cook, stylist and trainer. I put on make up every work day but my hair is wet and in a bun when I go to work and I rarely open my make-up bag on the weekends! Try a bun or a side braid! And PS when I'm home my UNIFORM is yoga pants and a t-shirt. I'm a mom I don't have time to worry about if my fancy clothes are getting sticky or messy -- I'm making memories with my kids and that is more important! Also -- the Loreal Sulfate Free Smoothing creme works wonders and I just put a tiny bit in before I comb my hair.

  4. This site is so funny! I'm glad I found you through the Blog Hop!

  5. My daily outfits are pretty much exactly like the one you took your pic in. I only wear black yoga pants (or yoga capris, depending on the season) and plain tops. I feel okay in that, though. I wear very little makeup. Usually just a concealer under my eyes, and maybe some mascara. Chapstick. ;) But when my hair looks like a bird's nest is when I feel very unattractive. It sounds like we have similar hair. Medium length, wavy, thick. In other words, hard to do anything with! My go-to hair style (when I want to look cuter) is to wet my hair, then take my bangs and pull them back in a clip (this is for purely practical reasons. I cannot stand hair in my face...turns out it looks cute pulled back like that.) Then I squirt a bit of Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam into my hand, and crunch it into my hair. Then I just let it air dry. My "hair styling" session is over. The foam takes the frizz away and gives me a little curl, and it looks decent. The best part is it only takes about 1 minute to pull the bangs back, scrunch, and done. I hope that made sense. Here's some pics from a couple weeks ago, so you can see what I mean. It's the simplest hair-do ever! lol


    Thanks for stopping by and joining oin the blog hop. I was already following you via GFC so I liked you on facebook and twitter. HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE BLOG HOP NEXT WEEK :)

  7. Great post! I am guilty of the same thing. I do try for a while to do better, but it doesn't last long. Oh well. I'd rather my kids remember me playing with them that me in the bathroom fixing my hair while they played alone.

  8. Great post! I just found your blog through Home Grown Families blog hop and started following. Hope you'll stop by and check out my little piece of the Internet

  9. Yet another great post - I was accused of having funky hair by my 6 year old once. It's naturally curly and can take time to fix. I use a leave in conditioner/hair repair product that keeps my frizz at bay. I only work on the top and front and let the rest naturally dry. I think you look cute in your pic. Thanks for hooking up on the Friday Funny Hop - hope to see you next week!


  10. Hi Jen. Tara here from Mischievous Monkeys, signed up as a new follower. Will have to take some time to check out your blog later, busy day today. BTW-saw doctor about my foot, not broken but is infected so had to get prescription cream for it.

  11. I'm Jamie and i'm a new follower of your blog! Would love you to follow me back!

  12. Hi Jenn, thanks so much for stopping by my blog!! I'm glad you enjoy my reviews, I have a few more that I've gotta get done. I'm not sure why my GFC wasn't working but it should be now. I don't see that you are following me so if you could try the GFC again that would be AWESOME!! :) Try refreshing and if it still doesn't work please let me know, if you try to follow again. I only ask you to do this because the more GFC followers I have the better my chances are at doing reviews.

    OH, and go check out the giveaway that I blogged about for Breast Cancer Awareness Month from Read For Your Future, if you haven't done so already!! :)

    Thanks so much,

    Jessica Rose - Beauty and The Bookaholic

  13. I loved this post, as I sit here reading it in my jeans and sweatshirt! lol
    Just visiting from Best post of the week.

  14. Great post. Have a few hair stories myself! Following from Find New Friends hop!

  15. I am so there, I have begged my friends to turn me into what not to wear because I am in serious need of help.

  16. Lol, this is a perfect post for the Saturday laughs. This makes me crack up because my everyday attire is sweats or scrubs when I work. I do dress up when I go out with friends,etc but my everyday lifestyle sounds similar to yours. And btw, dressing up for me is jeans. I was already following you but I didn't see it on my gfc followers,so I added you again;) thanks for linking up!

  17. Ok, this is hilarious and I really can relate! Most days it's not until nap time for Abby that I even think about taking a shower...and often times I'll talk myself out of it because I would be giving up a free hour or two of time I could be chatting in the blogosphere or writing my next blog post. The only thing that works for me is when I get up before the rest of the world, go to the gym for my workout, come home and hop immediately in the shower and then I actually fix my hair and put on makeup while my daughter gets ready for school. Those are actually my better days because they tend to be my most productive. Now if I could just motivate myself to do that every day!

    Thanks for the laugh!


  18. I think the point of life is to get through it comfortably with your humor intact!

    I am you newest follower from the Weekend Gathering Hop.


  19. Love the post, new follower hoping you will follow me back at thks in advance xx

  20. Hi there! I'm a new follower from the blog hop! Would love a follow back at

  21. Hi Jenn....enjoyed your post today. I've never been a stay at home mom, and love the idea of wearing yoga pants more often! Sometimes when I'm feeling icky, though, I try to dress a little bit nicer0that 'fake it til you make it' attitude! And having a teenage girl in the house helps-she doesn't let me out the door without aproving my outfit!

  22. HI Jenn.first off I think you look great........not so bad case of mom hair ;) LOL

    Second off..........thanks for visiting Mommy on the Move and letting me know my button wasn't working!! I appreciate my fans letting me know when problems arise! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  23. OMG so funny! Thanks for joining the Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop!

  24. I know everyone here says to keep wearing the yoga pants and sweat shirts, but I think you are seriously asking for advice on how to spiff up a bit. Here's my suggestion. Get up a little earlier than you do now. I know...but it's nice to give yourself time to groom and be ready for the day. Take your shower then do your hair and make-up. Get dressed to shoes and then you are ready for whatever comes. Use the hair product! Mousse has saved my life. I have thick curly hair and fought it my whole life, until I discovered mousse, scrunching and diffusers. Ok, for dress I suggest jeans and a nice top. That's all. It's still comfortable but looks nicer than sweats or yoga pants.

    Good luck!

  25. Some days I'm convinced I should just shave my head and be done with it. New follower from BPOW, hope you'll swing by my hood.

  26. Oh my goodness, I loved this post! I can relate more than I could say! Thank you for taking the time to share this - you write so well! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I'm a new fan and will be back for more laughs! :)

  27. Helena Bohnem-Carter is my HERO! Honestly I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE HER! I think she is so beautiful! I mean I agree with erh hair but omg she is soooo purdy! I would do anything to meet her or even look at her! I LOVE HER!

    But haha sorry that is such a cute story! so honest lol...
    Your right I do love your blog :) and I am about to go read more :)
    Thanks for coming over to

  28. This was hilarious- you tell a great story! A few years ago, my husband joked that I could be a candidate on What Not To Wear! I was in sweatpants & slippers all day long until he called me out on it. Then I learned from FlyLady about dressing to be ready to go out at a moment's notice. I tried it and it was hard in the beginning but now I love it. I love how you share who you are, love how you frolick with your kids, that's what they remember most is how much you play with them :)

  29. I love your blog... can so relate to it and you do make me laugh ! Your newest follower from the exposure hop. you can find me at

  30. HI stopping by for the blog hop! now following...

  31. Laura's niece has big gorgeous black curly hair and it looks eerily like Helena Bonham's. And as she's an aspiring actress, she tells everyone that HBC is her 'stage mommy'.
    Funny post. Hope you are well.

  32. That's fantastic! I am loving you boy!!! I think he and my 4 year old have a psychic link :)

    Yeah, I did that whole, "Look cute for hubby when he gets home," thing for about 3 days. It's sort of hard to paint my face and spray my hair when I'm changing poopy diapers and wiping spit up off of my shoulder. And my face. And my legs....

    We need to go shopping mama!

  33. Found you via stumbleupon.
    Kids are so [choose one: funny, honest, damaging to mama's self-esteem and or/style choices]!
    Just be aware that they grow - when they get bigger, you'll have more time for yourself.
    In the meantime, have you ever considered going 'no poo? No, not that! Using baking soda/vinegar instead of shampoo/conditioner. I've been using it for a few months and I only have to wash my hair every 3 or 4 days now. Saves time. Plus the texture and body have improved. Just a thought.

  34. You should see what I look like right now! A mess but I cover mine up with a ball cap, yep! I went to Wal Mart last night in my PJs. You know it! But I do have a date with the hubs tonight so off I go to work it out! Thanks for the laugh. Over here from vB and Members to Remember. Following!

  35. I know exactly how you feel! I recently started the Get Dressed Challenge because I live in pajamas, go for days without even brushing my hair, and am lucky if I am wearing anything that doesn't have holes in it. While getting dressed and glamorous everyday doesn't really seem to work with being a stay-at-home mom, I am at least trying to cut out all the clothing with holes in them, lol. And maybe brush my hair daily. But products? Yeah, that probably won't happen for me anytime soon.

  36. I COMPLETELY understand - some days I look at myself and wonder what happened to the effort I used to put in! But, in the long run, we moms spend time on things that are much more important!

  37. This is hilarious and I absolutely LOVED reading it LOL! I can sooo relate to this :)

  38. You are a total riot. Love the pic. My hair is long but rarely "done". I either have a hat on or it's piled up on top of my head in a crazy messy bun. I opted for choice #2 today. Mix it up a bit. I will not admit to wearing lounge pants and a tank top I may or may not have had on yesterday. Er, really it's not true at all. And I have no excuse, my kids are 17 and 23,lol!

  39. You look PERFECT just the way you are! I look the same on a daily basis. ;) About the screaming wail, my daughter does it too much. The other day, she let out the shreek and I muttered under my breath, "I just want to punch her when she does that!" My husband heard me and responded enthusiastically, "Me too!" We laughed and were relieved we weren't the only ones to have such a terrible thought. Hope she grows out of it. For real. Visit me at!

  40. What a great post! I could so envision your convo with Joey, we've all been there for sure (as I think about the LONG roots that my hair currently has). I am a new follower from the Saturday Laughs hop.


  41. I think you look better than most moms I know, even with the yoga pants! But here's a little known secret to avoiding hair disaster: grow it to just below your shoulders. Then it's easy to put up, and you almost never need to wash it. Seriously!

  42. I laughed so many times while reading this! I can so relate. Most importantly, you are being a wonderful mom to your kids, not worrying about primping every minute.

    And to Joey, the stylist: Today I wore black yoga pants to drop my kids off at school - hair in a ponytail - no makeup - and I saw people and even spoke to the preschool director. For shame!!! :D

    Visiting from vB!

    Smile and Mama With Me

  43. Hi Jenn,
    You certainly know how to write a very interesting post! I enjoyed this!:) Thanks for becoming a follower of my Blog. I am now following you via Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs and Twitter. Take very good care and all the best to you and your family.

  44. So funny -
    I currently sport a clip in my hair. I'm not sure if those are still 'in' or not, but it works and I'm sticking with it. There is no time for style, sadly.

  45. Jenn- Here from the wednesday blog hop. Loved this post as I am sporting my own unbrushed since yesterday hair-do. I try to make sure I blow-dry my hair every other day during nap time, this way I only look *really* bad half of the week. Sometimes on friday's I try to be really special and add some mascara. lol.

    Please check out my blog when you get a chance, and if you like what you read, follow me back:



  46. When I worked outside of the home in the corporate world - my hair was shampooed every morning, full make up, nice clothes - and I did all this with kids. Now as a SAHM, I'm lucky if I shampoo my hair every 3 days. sigh.
    And I go for comfort. Bring on the yoga's - there is no way I want to clean house and hang out at home in tight jeans. Cute post!

  47. OMG! This is me all the way! I have unruley hair. It looks great when I leave the salan and then it just kind of dies out just as quickly as I've obtained it. With a 22 motnh old running around the house wrecking havoc on everything I don't have time to do my hair.

    I looked in the mirror around 11am today and nearly fainted! WHO WAS THAT! LOL! My hair was sticking out every wich way. It was horrible. And yes, I wear my "yoga" pants all day to.LOL!
    I will one day clean up my act to, but it doesn't look like it will be anytime soon.

  48. This was hysterical. Thanks for the laughs! I'm your newest follower from FIF Wednesday Window -- would love a follow at MindfullyFrugalMom

  49. Peronsally I think you should have told Joey to mind his own business! If you want to wear comfy clothes, that's your business!! :-)

    I just started following you and would love to see you over at

  50. Loved reading this post!

    I'm a new follower from the blog hop. I'd love for you to stop by my blog and follow back if you like!

    Katie @ Glamorous Without the Guilt

  51. stopping by from the friday blog hop!! linked up/followed!!!

    happy friday!!!!!!!

  52. I so enjoyed reading this post. You are a gifted writer, and I love your transparency!

    Thanks so much for joining Flock Together this week and for following Mom's Best Nest. Thanks also for posting my button!

    I am now following you and look forward to reading more of your posts.

  53. LOLOL! First - love the shoes! Second - My hair always looks like that first chicks... what's wrong with it?! ;)

  54. From a mother of 4 littles ones I Enjoyed reading your blog, following now, hope you follow back :)

  55. Hi, linking up with the Friendly Friday Hop!
    Hope you can drop in, say hello and follow back, Thanks.

    I really love this post. Most days I am just hanging around the house in my comfortable clothes, too. I don't know how anyone can cook, clean, take care of children and still look like a supermodel anyway, lol.

  56. Hey funny lady! :) I'm now following from the Friendly Friday Blog Hop with The Clumsy Coquette. Love the post!

  57. Hello! New Follower from the Friendly Friday Blog Hop...I love this post! I am also guilty of have 1000 hair products and not using ANY! I also rock the yoga pants (alternating between navy blue and black, of course). I call myself a T-SAHM because I am returning to work in January...but staying at home with one child has been no easy task (not sure how you do two!), and I do not look "pretty" on a daily basis...ha Would love for you to check out my blog. Look forward to reading more!

  58. This is so funny! I like to blame my lack of doing anything fancy with my hair on my blow dryer that is dying, truth is I don't want to mess with it!

    New followers from

    We would love for you to come by and follow along when you get done with you long list above! = ) Have a great night!

  59. Haha! This reminds me of a moment with my son that I should blog about. I won't even talk about my hair when I let it simply air dry. I make Helena Bonham Carter look like Martha Stewart.

    I found your blog on the Friendly Friday Blog Hop and am a new GFC follower.

  60. jenn, laughing out loud as always!! it isnt that bad at all! you're a beautiful mama!! seriously, my hair is SO SCARY right is an absolute rat's nest!! i haven't had it professionally cut in over two years...eeks...need to work on that!
    i can't tell you how many times i see that chaz wen commercial and crack up!! i almost want to get it to see what it would do to my hair!
    i hope you've had a wonderful week.
    ps-your statuses on fb always make me smile!
    have a fabulous weekend!!
    maria <3

  61. Great post...I can totally relate.

    Newest follower from FFB, have a great weekend.

  62. But yoga pants are just so freaking comfortable!

    And a ponytail is so easy. I have to leave the house way too early to get my monsters to school. No time to do my hair. I'd rather sleep!

  63. As a fellow owner of impossibly frizzy, curly-wavy hair, I have a secret for you: the brazilian blowout! It makes hair silky and manageable and low maintenance for MONTHS. I have become addicted to them, and my husband loves my new silky locks! ;)

  64. Hahah, too funny! Don't feel bad, I look much worse than that picture of you. =)

  65. Stopping by from the blog hop! Sounds like we all can relate. I swapped the pro-ducts for pony tail holders long ago. In fact, the last time I wore my hair down, putting in the extra effort in an attempt to "pretty myself", my son told me I looked weird with my hair down...thanks honey (my son is ultra-honest too)

  66. This made me laugh. :)

    Hello! I'm following from the Whimsical Wednesday Blog Hop! I'm following through Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, etc., if applicable!
    It would be great if you followed me back!

    Have a wonderful rest of your week!

    Much Love,

  67. The trick is to hide that you're wearing comfort clothes! I always wear jersey skirts, with elastic waists, but because they're skirts people mistakenly think I'm dressed up! How smart am I!

  68. Oh that is great! Especially since I sit in pony tail, exercise pants and sweatshirt!

  69. hahaha, I love it! Truthfull and funny. Don't you love how brutally honest kids can be? If it wasn't for them speaking up, certain things would probably never occure to us! And the hair salon? I can't even remember the last time I went. I stopped getting my highlights done and just dyed it back to my natural color because I can't stand the time it takes for upkeep! Thanks for leaving a comment on my site. I'm now following you as well!

  70. hahaha, I love it! Truthfull and funny. Don't you love how brutally honest kids can be? If it wasn't for them speaking up, certain things would probably never occure to us! And the hair salon? I can't even remember the last time I went. I stopped getting my highlights done and just dyed it back to my natural color because I can't stand the time it takes for upkeep! Thanks for leaving a comment on my site. I'm now following you as well!


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