Making Home: Katie–Part 2

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(We believe in Home-Centered Living.  We believe it’s good for women, men, children, society, the earth. This post is part of an on-going series we are calling, “Making Home” looking at the diverse lives of homemakers and those striving to live Home-Centered Lives. )

Making Home

[This interview is PART 2. Read Part 1, here.]

The Provision Room: Thank you, Katie, for the deep truths you shared in Part 1. We are certainly challenged to live fully as God created us to be as women!

OK, so, you have started an amazing new website. Can you tell us a little about it?

Katie: My new business is called Mom Clothes, and its purpose is to offer outfit coaching and style assistance to busy moms on the go. I post photos of my own outfits, offer tutorials for things like choosing clothes that flatter mom curves, and consult with women individually. With my individual clients, we identify their body shape and find clothing that flatters that shape, shopping together and even working on hair and makeup.

The Provision Room: That sounds like a fun job for sure! What inspired you to start it?

Katie: I find great delight in pretty clothes and have made a journey of self-discovery through my wardrobe. Many moms ask me where I shop and ask for wardrobe tips, so I decided to share what I  have learned through a business.

The Provision Room: How do you feel the way we dress impacts the rest of our lives? And do you feel that there can be an intersection between faith and fashion?

Katie: I first understood the impact of clothing when I was a freshman at Notre Dame. I had an 8:30 AM Calculus class, and, I discovered that when I got up half an hour early to put on mascara, curl my hair, and choose an outfit, rather than just throwing on sweat pants, I did much better in class. It was as if I was mentally prepared for my day, and on the days when I was mentally prepared, everything was better. I was on time for appointments, on top of my homework, and felt strong and in charge. But on the mornings when I slept in and didn’t dress with purpose, I felt like I was always running behind. That same law seems to hold true now that I am a mother. I don’t feel like I am fully awake until I am fully dressed, and it’s nice to leave the house knowing that I am prepared for the day. I never find myself wishing that I had put on a cute top or put on mascara, and I never feel like I am underdressed.

Making Home: Katie

As for faith and fashion, I find myself admiring women who look like them know their value in Christ. There are a few veteran moms at my parish who seem to exude an aura of elegance, courtesy, and grace. It’s as if they have invited Jesus to transform their hearts, and He has made them queens. They are so beautiful! So, yes, in my experience, interior transformation often extends to outward appearance.

The Provision Room: What would you say to that homemaker, who perhaps right now doesn’t feel so queenly, so transformed?  She’s in the thick of things and perhaps she’s not feeling particularly lovely?

Katie: When a mom is struggling, it’s important to ask her lots of questions first. How are her hormones–does she have enough progesterone (necessary for energy, bone density, healthy ovaries/uterus, etc)? If she needs hormonal help, I would refer her to a NaPro practioner or her nearest NaPro Ob/Gyn. Second, how is her mental health? Motherhood is incredibly taxing and can dredge up childhood pain that has never been addressed–maybe she has childhood sexual wounds or scars from physical/verbal abuse and she is beginning to experience PTSD symptoms and doesn’t know what to do. In my own life, motherhood opened many painful memories from my very painful childhood, and I have worked with a counselor intermittently for the last six years. If a mom is struggling, she might really benefit from counseling and/or anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc. Third, how is her stress level? Maybe she has a new baby and is homeschooling and trying to be super-organic mom (making her own bread, bone broth, kombucha, laundry soap) and really needs help. I would encourage her to get the help she needs. In my own life, I hire a single mom from our church to clean my house every three weeks; she washes the showers and toilets, and I get to take that responsibility off my plate. Also, I hire a homeschooled teenager to come over for two hours twice per week, so that I can sit in my room and read or sew or get coffee. There are all kinds of resources for moms, like freezer-meal clubs and babysitting coops, and moms thrive more when we take advantage of those opportunities.

With regard to clothing, when a mom feels pretty, each of the struggles that I listed above is easier to bear. I have been through so many crucifixion-esque days as a mother–vomiting nonstop with pregnancy, panic attacks from chronic PTSD, three failed adoptions after three years of mothering, necessary hysterectomy in order to save my life–and my heartbreak was a little easier when I got to put on cute skirt and pearls and lipstick. I remember, after Edmund was born and I nearly died from hemorrhaging with a retained placenta and had to have two blood transfusions and emergency surgery, that, when I was finally wheeled back to my post-partum room, I dragged myself into the shower, then got dressed in cute pjs and silky robe and pearls and applied mascara with shaky hands, and, I began to feel better. I felt absolutely poopy, but I felt human again, and that helped tremendously. I was not going to fall apart, sick as I was.

I know that sounds trite, but it’s true. The clothes do make the woman, in some sense, and, even if I feel like my life is a mess and wonder where the heck is Jesus in this, I can “fake it until I make it.” I can dress like I am confident and beautiful. I can dress like my home is my workplace and I take my job seriously and give my very best to my family, even though I really feel like staying in my pajamas all day because I have post-partum depression. The reality that I have repeatedly experienced, even when I was dying inside, was that dressing with care sends a message to myself and to all who see me, namely, that I am a daughter of God and that everything is going to be okay.

[Watch our video on the power of a woman’s body, featuring pictures of Katie and her babies here.]

The Provision Room: Thank you so much for opening up your heart to us! There is a lot to think about here. We know we’ll be coming back to these themes and your words again and again.  Before we let you go, let’s do rapid fire:

Favorite household chore? Washing dishes—it’s a great evening date with my husband.

Least favorite household chore? Scrubbing the shower and tub.

Favorite accessory? My “pearl stack”; it’s really just three strands of pearls from Target, but it looks so elegant together and pearls frame the fame wonderfully.

One thing that has gone out of style that you wish would come back around? Hats. Hats are kind to women—they highlight her beautiful eyes and cheekbones, the hide wrinkled foreheads and unwashed hair, and the mask bad hair days.

What is one thing that is in style that you wish would be gone forever? Geometric print leggings worn as pants. Leggings worn as pants are unflattering on nearly every body type, and I often wish that I did not have to see a fellow woman’s bottom in such minute detail. I’m not looking, but I can’t help but see.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Depends. I wash my hair every three or four day, so on the days when I don’t wash, I can be ready—outfit, jewelry, makeup and hair—in twenty minutes. When I wash my hair, it takes a little longer because I have to blow dry and style my hair.

Making Home: Katie

A HUGE thank-you to Katie! This interview has been inspiring and uplifting. Now I feel like cleaning out my closet and putting together better outfits! Go follow her on Facebook and Instagram! And visit her website: Mom Clothes.

(All photos property of Katie Rose.)

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