We would be the ones to maintain a great body and trendy wardrobe -- not to mention, a killer hairstyle.
But somehow, our child-rearing days and sleep-deprived nights have replaced our chic hair with "mom hair." Sound familiar?
Pantene celebrity hair stylist Hallie Bowman, describes this as the "soccer mom" look. "It's short-ish, above the shoulders, chin length, layered and usually tucked. Think Martha Stewart," she says.
Bowman says it's not necessarily the actual hair cut that can make this 'do look frumpy, rather the lack of styling time busy moms have to devote to their locks. "The thing is that this haircut can be worn in a chic manner. Think Katie Holmes."
"Obviously moms have less time to do their hair than non moms," says Bowman. "So really, I think the "mom look" that is criticized is the unkempt look. It's funny, with just a little tweaking, that look is quite in fashion at the moment. The trick is to know the right touches to take it from frazzle to dazzle. And it doesn't have to be time consuming!"
Bowman says she sees a lot of women who are more focused on their children than their own appearance. "I have great respect for moms as I can personally relate to having most, if not all, of my primping time taken from me by my own two-year-old."
But just because a mom is busy and overwhelmed doesn't always mean she doesn't care how she looks according to Bowman. "She just hasn't learned the tricks to quickly add chic to her regime."
"Or, on the other hand," says Bowman, "maybe her appearance is low on the priority list. There is that whole story that new moms are hormonally challenged and have lost their libido temporarily. If you don't feel sexy, you don't spend time trying to look sexy."
Caring about your appearance is important for you and your kids though according to Bowman. "Attention and being noticed or complimented by others (not your children) is important for your self esteem. Caring for yourself reads confidence to others, including your children."
The good news? It's really easy to modernize most instances of "mom hair" with a few simple updates.
"I see a lot of messy buns or ponytails on long-haired moms, and a lot of air dried texture. These are all things seen on the runways at the moment and, with a little tweaking, in a few minutes the messy bun can become the messy ballerina bun with a headband (as seen on the runway Bottega Venetta's spring runway). A few pins and a headband can easily transform a non-style into an intentional one, and that's the secret right there. Look like you intended your hair to appear how it does and you will look chic!"
Here are more of Bowman's style suggestions for busy moms:
1. The ballerina bun takes very little time and isn't far from the messy bun you may already be wearing. Instead of a regular ponytail, make it a side pony. If you are a quick braider, braid a side braid not worrying about it being messy. Messy braids are chic.
2. Dry shampoo is a great way to stretch your hair another day if showering isn't an option.
3. Wash your hair at night and add a little smoothing product and sleep on it wet. Air-dried, natural texture is in. In the morning check that it isn't too wild, you may need to dampen spots to reshape. (i.e. bangs). And twisting back sections and pinning them or pulling it all back with braids or twists mixed in makes for a more urban romantic look.
4. Bangs are a nice addition to the right kind of hair (not for curly hair). Heavy lash grazing bangs are making a comeback. They can be twisted back and pinned if you need them out of your face. But they add a bit of style to an otherwise uninteresting cut.
Although short hair can be easy, just because you had a child doesn't mean you should cut your hair off, according to Bowman, because long hair can be easy too. "If short hair isn't something you had or wanted before you had kids, it may not be right afterward," she says. "Children will pull hair whether long or short. But hair pulling is the excuse I hear most from moms who cut off their hair. Also, short hair can require more maintenance (in needing to get cut more often)."
Bowman's final advice on how to ditch the mom hair: Take note of what's happening on the runway. "You may only take one thing away from it, but one thing is enough," she says. "If it's a hair accessory or a place to put a braid, just one nod in the right direction is all it takes to look like you're in the know. "
Being a mom means you'll never be the person you were before says Bowman. "You'll be deeper, more patient -- and crazier! All the more reason to embrace the new you and try to be intentional about how you appear."
And while you're busy getting rid of your mom hair, make sure you have ditched the mom jeans too!