• Niamh O'Reilly

From FROW to Airfyers... How Motherhood Changed Me



One minute you’re young, free and single. You know what’s hot, you know what this seasons must have is, you know who the big music stars are. And the next you’re married with kids, you think Cardi B is possibly a type of cardigan and get you genuinely excited by air fryers.


Yes it’s happened… things like hoovers, blenders, non-stick frying pans have become as exciting as a new pair of shoes used to be.

Who the fuck am I???? I used to be cool.


Well okay let’s face it I was never ‘cool’ but I was certainly not as naff as I am now. I may not have been a style icon, but I was a self-confessed shoe aficionado and I knew my shit. Back in my Beautycouture.ie days, I was in the inner circle.


Now let me clarify, I was definitely on the outer rim of the inner circle. I mean I’d go to these fashion press previews and watch as other members of the fashion media would alight on what I thought was the most awful looking piece of clothing in the room (Once a Chewbacca-esque red poncho) and stand around the rails saying how fantastically chic it was, as I rolled my eyes and radiating cynicism while doing my best faux smile.

I didn’t always get it. I found it to be an extremely shallow and fake endless hamster wheel of all the air kissing stereotypes you can imagine. I had my own style which didn’t always fit in and often I was there for the freebies (sorry, not sorry!), but that said I was there. I used to write fashion and beauty and back then the online media pool was still small so I was a on the press list and I’d get to sit front row (or FROW) at the Brown Thomas fashion shows twice a year. I went to all the fashion and beauty press previews, launches and events. I knew my Jimmy Choo from my Manolo Blahnik and had my finger on the pulse of what was hot (even if I never always agreed with it or quite pulled it off myself!)


But that was pre children.


You never think you’re going to change that much when you have kids, but it’s only when you have them you realise how life changing they are. I can sing you every word of Thomas and His Friends but I couldn’t tell you what the SS21 trends are (other than seeing my 90s wardrobe on every Gen Z’er I see!) or which designer smashed it on the runway this season.


My priorities have changed. I simply have less time and honestly less inclination to indulge in a lot of that stuff* anymore (*this stuff?? In my best Miranda Priestly voice!) I’m not saying fashion isn’t important. It is and I do still love it. For me looking at unwearable haute couture is art. And there are plenty of mums who still maintain their involvement and interest in fashion after becoming a mum. I’m not saying that once you become a rent you cease to be fashionable or all you care about is Peppa Pig. I guess what I’m saying is that, you’ve less time for it and you become immersed in the world of your kids.


I think age has a lot to do with it too. You interests often change as you’re life changes. That’s not to say that as women age they aren’t interested in fashion, they still are. And I’m not saying I’ve given up all together and will consign my Manolos to the back of the wardrobe forever and become Waynetta Slob, but I do find the idea of getting back on the fashion press treadmill exhausting.


Also, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that the thoughts of a new air fryer would rock my world a little bit. I mean as a mum I cook 99.99999999% of the meals, so gadgets that can make things easier on that front and give me more time to NOT be in the kitchen as a short order chef, is a good thing.


And yet, I feel as though it’s another part of the old me that’s disappearing. Because the truth is, my collection of designer shoes are collecting dust in the wardrobe. I’ve become a pink croc wearing, naff mum dancing, classic hits listening to, middle age mum with wobbly pancake skin and a growing penchant for not giving a fig what Gen Z think of me… and you know what, I kinda like her and would love to see her now enter the room of a fashion press preview and this time say it like it is instead or politely smile at the faux fashion brigade.

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