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Mom Gives Up Leggings For Jeans & A T-Shirt Because 'Looking Like Trash' Leads To 'Laziness In My Duties'

Photo: Instagram
Screenshots of mom's Instagrams about leggings and laziness

No matter how much wives and mothers do, it never seems to be enough. Women are routinely criticized and shamed for their parenting choices, the choices they make in their careers, the ways they manage their homes — even as studies show that women are all but breaking under the load of their responsibilities.

For one mom on Instagram, there's a new item on the list of things she's doing wrong as a wife and mother, though — her clothes. 

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A mom says God 'pushed' her to 'give up' wearing leggings.

Heather, an Instagrammer, mom blogger, and podcaster known as "@holyhotmessmom," recently shared that she has made a major life decision — to give up wearing leggings.

To many of us, that probably doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice — it's just an article of clothing, after all. But Heather's post goes on to describe how leggings have come to mean so much more in her life, and how they've come to signify things she feels God is calling her to leave behind.

The mom says God is 'calling me out of my laziness' by urging her to stop wearing leggings.

Heather, a self-described "ROME'in Catholic" who writes and posts about marriage and motherhood from a Christian perspective, clarified in her Instagram caption that she was not claiming that "leggings are of the devil," but that, for her, leggings lead to laziness.

She says leggings are related to "inward things I’ve needed to work on for a long time," and she has discovered that her "outside disposition has a huge effect on my behaviors, attitudes and beliefs about myself." This includes, as she put it, looking "like trash all day every day" by wearing leggings. "The mentality just wasn't lining up."

She says that since she began "putting a measly 10 minutes of effort into myself each morning God has shown me that outward appearances do matter to humans — because we are sensory beings." This, she says, has led her to improve her problems with laziness, and she urged women who feel they aren't doing enough to make a similar sacrifice.

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The mom says giving up leggings has made her more confident, joyful and productive in 'the duties God has called me to.'

Heather originally gave up leggings for Lent. In an Instagram post at the time, she said she had "been praying for the Holy Spirit to redeem me from my laziness, and He is doing it through leggings." She wrote that it only took two days for her husband to notice a change in her. "By day 2 my husband commented on my confidence increase."

She said that for her, her outfits became a "self-fulfilling prophecy," and writes that "I’ve been home full time for almost 10 years now & bc of that, I’m only really accountable to God & my husband. Insert: 10 years of feeling frumpy, ugly, and allowing laziness to flow."

She says the change from leggings to jeans and skirts, as well as doing her hair and makeup, has impacted every aspect of her life. "By week 1 my productivity in the home had insanely increased," she writes. "I was actually more joyful. I felt feminine, lovely, beautiful even — for the first time in a long time."

Heather noted that the idea that leggings lead to laziness may not be true for all women — leggings are just a metaphor. She urged other women to find whatever their leggings "metaphor" might be and let it show them what they need to change about themselves. "Maybe you don’t need to ditch leggings, maybe it’s ditching leaving dishes in the sink at night," she writes. "Maybe your vice isn’t laziness, maybe it's something else."

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Burnout among women who feel they aren't doing enough has become an epidemic according to experts.

You needn't look further than Heather's comments to see the pressures women are facing nowadays. They're full of women who feel like they're just not doing enough — and who felt they now had to defend their love of leggings. "I wear leggings to motivate me to workout cause I gained baby weight from pregnancy and post-partum depression has stopped [progress] for me," one mom lamented. 

For others, it wasn't the leggings themselves but the idea that they're just not good enough at being wives and mothers. "This so resonates with me," another mom wrote. "Not just the leggings part. But all the excuses I’ve allowed myself because raising [little kids] is tiring."

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But studies show that all of that exhaustion isn't laziness — it's very, very real. The statistics on the matter are staggering — a 2022 study showed fully two-thirds of parents feel totally burned out, and burned-out moms vastly outnumber burned-out dads.

And Psychiatrist Pooja Lakshmin says responses like Heather's and her commenters' — women blaming themselves for not doing enough — is among the most common reasons wives and moms end up in her office. "Women have internalized a culture that demands they bear the brunt of caregiving while simultaneously devaluing that job," Dr. Lakshmin wrote in the New York Times in 2021.

She went on to urge women to not blame themselves for what is ultimately a cultural and societal problem rising in part from the ways America fails to support mothers, from not funding childcare to making access to healthcare a luxury all too many can't afford. 

Self-improvement is all fine and good. But as a mom and "full-time homemaker" for 10 years, is it even possible for Heather to actually be lazy? Life is hard enough without women putting so much pressure on themselves. Maybe just wear the leggings. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.