travel with me from SAHM to working mum….
As a SAHM for 14 years, I know how daunting it is to consider a return to work. The mumsnet Work Festival had been organised to address these fears.
The night before I mentally run through my wardrobe: smartish trousers,smartish jacket, smartish shoes. How come everything I own is only smartish? Oh yes, I’m a mum.
The problem with being ‘just a mum’ for several years is that there’s not a lot if need for smart clothes. Toddler groups, school runs, class days out, none of them require more than loose trousers and washable fabrics. If you go out for lunch with friends, smartish is fine. There’s the odd bought-for-a-wedding, glamorous outfit, but it’s rarely workwear.
The what-shall-I-wear question looms high in the mind of women thinking of returning to work. Clothes are so wrapped up in our self-image, they pretty much are our image. That first glance, first impression of the professional woman in the smart suit. My first career was in teaching. A senior teacher marked his promotion by swapping his corduroy, elbow-patched blazer for a suit. Clothes give us an identity.
As a wannabe journalist, I want to be taken seriously, but I want to blend in and be comfortable. U want to look sympathetic, relaxed and approachable so that people are happy to talk to me. I don’t want to scare them off.
So, for today’s mumsnet Work Festival, I’ve opted for wide leg pinstripe trousers, a jersey jacket with white piping and an electric blue t-shirt. Just wish I’d bought new shoes.
Are you going to the mumsnetworkfest? What are you wearing and why? And if you’re not going, what would you wear?