I tend to forget that I have been officially unemployed for only two years. In some ways, it seems as if I’ve been a housewife for a much longer time. Please don’t take that to mean that I crazily love being a housewife – I take the most neutral stand possible on that one. Things needs to be done, I do them, not always with the same enthusiasm. But the upside of being a full-time housewife is also being a full-time mummy, and I have to say that nothing is as satisfactory as being able to spend my time with C and enjoying her childhood day by day.
My life as an employed differed a great deal than today’s days. Apart from the routine and working hours, everything else was different. The one thing that stands out from the rest is my wardrobe. Working Josepha never bought printed t-shirts or casual trousers. She rarely wore flat shoes, except for days at the beach. My feet were used to heels and I could wear them everyday from 9 to 7. I used to walk across Victoria running errands for hours, nearly everyday, all day in heels and I never complained. My profession is quite casually-dressed in Gozo but I always dressed up as well as I could. Of course everything was matching, from the colours of the outfit to the make-up to the shoes.
And today? Let me just say that I’ve discovered and learnt to love Zara’s t-shirts with their quirky prints. Six months after I quit working I became pregnant, and that started my intense love-affair with flats. I have more flat shoes than ever and the last four pairs of boots I bought are all flat. I truly make an effort to wear heels nowadays, and it is not because I don’t like them as a style, it’s simply because I don’t know how to properly walk in them anymore. I feel and probably look like a penguin with a limp. It saddens me when I look at my uber-high heels in Gozo, no longer worn and left to gather dust. I need to get rid of them, but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. It’s silly to say this about an inanimate object, but each pair of shoes holds a memory, and for that reason they will stay there for the time being.
My days are different, my style is different, but fragments of the ‘old’ me are still there. And on certain days I do indulge that aspect of myself. Whenever I can, I make that extra bit of effort. I put on smart pair of trousers, a ‘tailored’ top and put unhurried make-up on. I unearth my old accessories and change my handbag and feel like my old self again. And even if it’s just a visit to the local supermarket, it’s a good feeling looking fresh and feeling decent.
Living in England doesn’t help at all because you can wear whatever you like here and no one will bat an eyelid. Everything is more relaxed here. Whereas in Malta my wardrobe used to be divided into working clothes, casual home clothes and Saturday night outfits, over here I have my casual clothes and less casual clothes. I always have to remind myself when in Malta, that the style is that bit more polished and ‘rigid’ so to say. I can get away with a lot more here than in Malta!
I do miss my ‘old’ style. I miss the time I had in getting ready to go out and having reason to look smart for the day. And there it is. The magic word – time. If I had more of it, I’d be that more efficient. I wouldn’t find excuses not to dress up or put make-up on.
Now it’s time to get off this thing and move myself to the bathroom. That day-cream won’t be applied by itself.
Has this happened to you as well? Did having children and staying at home change your style radically? And how do you rid yourself of the comfortable and relaxed routine you’ve suddenly adopted?