I donated all of my work clothes.
All of them.
My dress pants are now being sold at Goodwill, most of my pencil skirts and suit jackets are gone, and I currently don’t have any button-down shirts in my possession. If I got called for a true job interview tomorrow, I would actually have nothing to wear.
I made the decision to quit my job over two years ago. I was that girl. I called my boss on what was supposed to be my first day back from a 10 week maternity leave, and I quit on the spot.
I’m sure my co-workers loved me that day.
I haven’t worn any of my office attire since that day, yet it all has survived every closet purge in the last 24 months. It all stayed in my closet, even after the infamous clothing swap party. For some reason, I just could not get rid of those clothes.
I had a rough transition from the working world to SAHM life. Staying home was everything I expected… and at the same time, not at all what I imagined. I had postpartum depression, and I didn’t even know it. Not until I came out of its fog, well over a year after I gave birth. Bless my poor husband. I struggled with feelings of inadequacy and doubt and worthlessness, but I didn’t really talk about it. I didn’t confide in my family, or my friends, and I certainly didn’t talk about it on this blog.
Maybe someday, I’ll write about it. But not today.
I held on to those old work clothes for so long because they reminded me of my past life. They proved that I was once something more. They hung in my closet, unworn, and forced me to mourn the person I was before.
I no longer wear the power pencil skirts and pointy heels so that I can take on the advertising world. I don’t put on dress pants and spend my days creating award-winning websites or working on cutting-edge social media campaigns. Every time I would reach for my leggings and a hoodie to tackle a toddler and the grocery store, those stupid dress clothes would seem to be laughing at how far I’ve fallen.
I know it sounds ridiculous. Being a SAHM is nothing to look down on. Billable hours don’t make a fulfilling life. I am no less than I was two years ago – in fact, I’m much more (even if I don’t know the first thing about Snapchat). But, at a time when your life looks nothing like it used to, something as stupid as suit jackets give you the feels.
But, I’m so much better now. The past year has been a turning point for me in my journey as a stay-at-home parent. I have found a routine with my daughter, a community, and even a new job that has nothing to do with my previous career – but that I enjoy so, so much more.
But I’m still never going to wear those old clothes again.
Last week, I went through a massive nesting spurt and took every article of clothing out of my walk-in closet. I sorted everything, put everything on matching hangers, and got rid of any item that didn’t “spark joy.” And when I got to the pile of dress clothes… nothing about them brought me joy. In fact, I didn’t feel anything. To me, as silly as it may seem to everyone else, the lack of attachment to my old clothes is the final transition to my new life as a mother. It’s almost like a previously overweight person finally letting go of their old fat clothes. I’ve completely embraced being a SAHM, and my life, two years after the fact.
Those clothes are gone, but my future isn’t. And I understand that now. Online shopping is always open, should a career opportunity ever present itself at the right time.
I just don’t need those clothes to feel worthwhile, or powerful, anymore.
I do just fine in leggings, thanks.