Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tweaking the Wardrobe

On May 30th my children go to the same summer program which is run by their school district.  It's a bit weird for me to type that.  It's even weirder for me to say in August my children will be going to the same school.  They will have the same school day with the same school holidays. 

No more dropping off at two locations.  No more different pick-up times.  No more talking to two different sets of staff.  I can probably get away with scheduling back to back iep meetings.  It will be bliss.

What will I do with myself?  Go back into the work force. 

My husband is in a very precarious career.  He basically lives on grant money and in December a large part of his pay check will be reduced unless by some miracle a bunch of grants hit.

So we're sort of reversing roles in the fall.

I say sort of because my husband has better earning power than I do.  He has a ph.d in science (even if it's planetary, there's still power behind STEM fields).  I have a bachelor's in music education.  I think that explains it all. 

He'll still be the bread winner, but he'll have reduced hours or a wonky schedule depending. I'll be the one who works a normal 40 hour a week job. So really we'll be flipping the lead parent role. 

What's the lead parent role?

Basically it's who is more in charge of the basic parenting stuff.  For a very long time, it's been me.  I've taken them to school, picked them up, taken them to doctor's appointments, bought things they needed, planned birthday parties, stayed home with them on school breaks, etc.  I've pretty much done most of the work.  Not that I'm complaining.  I actually don't mind it at all.

But that's all about to change.  Now my husband, because he'll most likely have a more flexible job, will be the lead parent.  I'll shoulder a bit more than he has done in the past because my husband will still be working, but he's the one who will deal with the lion's share.

This will also be a bit weird.  I imagine there will be a period of adjustment.  Tears will be shed and miscommunication mishaps will occur.

What has this to do with my wardrobe?

Well, imagine yourself going from the stay-at-home parent to a professional job of some sort.  I imagine I'll still be working with children, but I doubt that wearing t-shirts is appropriate apparel for the work force.  Although I could be wrong about that.  If I wind up in day care, they basically wear very casual wear.  In any case, it's better to be prepared so I'm tweaking the wardrobe.

I'm looking at everything I have and pairing it down with the expectation that I'm going to have to purchase some clothing for work. 

And that's what's so awesome about using the capsule wardrobe system.  I haven't worn any of my fall/winter capsule clothing since March.  Today I took it all out of my closet and put a large part of it on and was honest with myself.  (And honest with myself that I need to get back off the couch and stop eating junk).

It's a lot easier to do this now because I've got a fresh pair of eyes.  While I value others' opinions, I'm the one who wears the clothes and if they don't feel comfortable or fit right then I have to live with that. 

I asked myself questions about each item.  Is it too loud (I like a lot of color but not for work)?  Is it too easy to see undergarments in (I mean what is with all these large arm holes these days)? Is it too short and you can see my stomach when I lift my arms?  Is it versatile?  Is it too worn?  Is the garment well made and able to handle whatever is literally and figuratively thrown at it? Can I bend or lean without a mishap? Will I miss it?

It made it very easy to cull a large part of these things out of my closet and easy for me to see that I could stand some more basic items.  For example, I had one cardigan, which is a staple, but it was fading badly.  True I could have refreshed it with a dye job, but I wasn't real crazy about the color or the cut.  Truth be told it reminded me of nun's habit like the kind the Daughter's of St. Paul would wear.  No offense to the good Sisters, but I live in the lay person's world.  People take me more seriously if I wear something less dated which is an expectation of my vocation in a way.  I also think it's a bit dishonest for a lay person to try to dress like a religious.  Even 3rd orders don't allow lay people to wear the habit until death. 

So what I am building is a work uniform of sorts.  As I said, I can't be exactly sure what a work uniform would look like, but having just the basics down and fewer suitable weekend wear clothing is what I'm going for.

Have you gone back into the work force or made drastic career changes that affected your wardrobe?  How did you handle it?  Let me know in the comments below.  I've been doing a lot of youtubing and googling over this subject to get an idea of how to handle this so your own experiences would be extremely helpful to me. 

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