Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The MomChop

Back when I was a student at the BYU, I noticed a strange phenomenon cropping up among young, newly married women: the MomChop. All of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was getting married and then immediately cutting off their hair. Some women waited until they had a baby, and then the MomChop concept expanded to include wearing sweats and a baseball cap on campus, in public, during the day. I noted these developments at the time and filed them away under the "withhold judgment" category, to be revisited when I was actually in that situation myself. (Also in that category: moms with crying infants on airplanes and moms who breastfeed in public.)

I've been married for over seven years now, and my oldest child is three, so I think we can take that dusty MomChop off the shelf and have a closer look.

First, I've had long hair pretty much all my life. I think the shortest it's ever been was in fifth grade when I got it cut to my shoulders.

I got married. I still had no desire to drastically reduce the length of my hair.

Then came baby #1. Hmm. I could kind of see where these women were coming from. Nature plays this mean trick on new moms where post-partum hormones make your hair fall out at the same time your baby learns to grab. The result is stray hairs all over the house and in your baby's tightly clenched fists. Not fun. Especially not with really long hair.

Which brings us to baby #2. And this is getting old. I may have long hair, but you'd hardly know it since it is wound up in a bun or braid nearly all the time. So I have to experience all the care and inconvenience of having long hair without enjoying any of the benefits, Jeremy's compliments notwithstanding. So for the past month or two, I've been considering doing a MomChop.

I made sure to go about it carefully and thoughtfully, even trying out some hairstyles that would keep my hair more or less out of Magdalena's reach while still displaying its longness. It was nice to give my long hair one last hurrah, but that's what it ended up being - the last one.

Because this morning, I got my hair cut. I really don't want to call it a MomChop because deep down, I'd like to think that I'm different from that girl wearing sweatpants, a ratty t-shirt, and a faded baseball cap in the BYU library so many years ago. But maybe I'm not.

Here's before:


And here's after, in all its awkward freshly cut glory:


It's way shorter than I thought it would be. I donated the cut hair to Locks of Love (I've done that twice before and still never ended up with very short hair) and I should have remembered that it always ends up shorter than you think it will. Now I feel kind of like a plucked chicken.

Ah, well. At least it will grow again. And then I'll be able to tell you whether the MomChop is all it's cracked up to be. And whether Jeremy has forgiven me yet.

31 comments:

Susanne said...

You have very pretty hair -- in both photos. Now I'd like to see a view of it from the front. Cute new picture of the Middle Eastern Miriam. Ha, ha. I guess that's her under all those clothes. She doesn't appear very happy. :-)

The new blog look is nice!

Including the hair.

Natchel said...

I can't believe it! I have always envied your hair! I've always done the Long Hair Cycle my whole life: love the long hair, grow it way way out, get too frustrated with the flat stringy-ness of it all, chop it and regret it. Then the cycle starts over. I'm now in the growing out phase. The most extreme was when I gave myself a feminized buzz cut. I loved it but got a lot of questions about how my chemo was going...
Locks of Love is lucky to have your hair! My sister with thick, very long vibrant red hair chopped it and donated it to LofL and her hair was still below her shoulder blades!

Amanda said...

I, too, chopped my hair after having a baby. I waited until Lillian was almost two before I couldn't take it anymore. I thought about what kind of haircut I wanted, went and did it, and then my BYU friend informed me that this A-line bob I have is the MomChop of choice. Oh well.

Liz Johnson said...

I love it! I still yearn for a full front view, but from the back, you look great. :)

I am very sensitive to having "mom hair." Every time I cut my hair, I wonder if I'm getting a "mom hair cut." I don't even know what gets you into that category, but I just loathe the day that I look like I'm 35 with mom hair. It's freaking me out.

That said, I'm probably chopping my hair soon. Like you said - it just really gets old to have your hair yanked at all day. And mine's not even that long. Hopefully it won't be a mom-cut. Eek.

Katie said...

Looks great, Bridget! I also would love to see the front view. I had to chop my hair because of the loss of hair and babies grabbing it, etc., but I also needed a change. It's hard to feel cute as a mom when your hair is always in a bun or ponytail, so I hear you there. I'm actually considering going even shorter!

Jeremy Palmer said...

I love Bridget.

I don't love MomChop.

Bridget with MomChop?

I still don't love MomChop.

But I still love Bridget.

Mikael said...

Good for you for donating your hair! That ROCKS! I bet you look HOT with short hair. I think that short hair is also very mature looking. We can't always live like we are 5 yrs old or teens. Eventually we need to grow up (have you seen an 80 yr old with waiste length gray hair? me either.. but it wouldnt be pretty). Anyway, I have always LOVED your long hair. But I think I will like your short hair even more! SO CUTE.
And I wanted to add that I think Jeremy will only think it is sexy! Men LOVE the idea of being with another woman (I am thinking of investing in wigs) HAHA!!!!!!!!!! JK

Katie said...

Wow! Your hair was really long! I can see how it could totally get in the way of babies' grabby fingers. I did the mom chop after I got married and right after Jonah was born. For me, I think it just came to the point of "I'm feeling UGLY an grungy and I need something cute and stylish". Then I cut it, loved it for a month, then wished I had the long hair back. It's a never ending cycle for me just like Natchel above.

Eevi said...

I totally didn't realize how long your hair is. I think you need to post a picture of your face with the new hair cut so we can really see the difference.

Laura said...

Wow, your hair was pretty long. I think that it looks cute short. I also cut my hair once Lily started grabbing and donated it to locks of love, but she still grabs my hair. Even though it is short, it is always pulled back usually in a pony tail. Lily isn't the average baby. A way that she comforts herself is running her fingers through hair. So it doesn't matter if I put my hair up in a pony tail she will pull it out so she can run her fingers through it. She even does it to Matt's hair. So the cutting of the hair short was completely useless. I think that the only way to keep her little hands from my hair would be to shave it and I am not willing to shave my head (though the thought has crossed my mind a time or two).

Britney said...

I just got the "MomChop" about a month ago, too, because I needed a change, and was especially tired of pulling my long hair up in a ponytail every day. I now love my shorter style.

My long hair never looked as good as yours did, though. You have great sheen and body. Lucky! How many people have beautiful hair at any length??

Amanda said...

I wondered if this day would ever come. Most people I know with long hair never ever ever cut it so I'm proud of you for taking the chance. My hair is already short but it drives me crazy anyway. What do you think about bangs?

christi and clifton said...

Wow. I didn't notice your hair being that long either. It is beautiful long and short. I got a Momchop when Casey was 6 months old and missed my LONG hair, but still thought my new cut was cute. I did it with Katelyn when I lost so much hair and I hated the hair cut so I hated my short hair. So good thing yours is cute, huh?

The Ensign's said...

WOW!! I can't believe you cut it? I can't wait to see it in person.

...and just an FYI- I've always had short hair. I didn't do a "momchop". My hairs just too thin to grow long.

Linda said...

Your hair is really really beautiful so some very lucky girl or girls will LOVE THE LOCKS. I don't think too many people have that nice of hair,especially that long, and you know yours will keep on giving. To you and Jeremy , too.
It's a very nice thing to gift hair.
The donation you can give and live.

Alli E. said...

It looks like a cute cut. You need to show us the front view, too!!

Nancy said...

I think it's cute. I cut my hair short, too, but it is NOT a MomChop. It was a moving-to-Egypt-and-not-letting-anyone-touch-my-hair-for-any-reason-ever-under-any-circumstances chop.

My baby never was a hair-puller, though. So I never had to worry about that reason for the MomChop.

I love having long hair, too.

Lindsay said...

What is it with boys and long hair? I say we make them grow their hair out and see how it feels to have to style and primp and have babies pull it out! I go through the long - short cycle too. Though, I haven't cut it super short since I've been married. Bryan is not a fan of the mom chop. :)

sarah said...

You do have very nice hair. And Jeremy, I don't think that's short enough to constitute a 'momchop' anyway.

Lark said...

Its really cute! I'm a big fan of short hair - it is a great thing for moms :)

And I'm way late on reading the job post - congrats! Very excited for you guys!

binrobert said...

Bridget, I don't think that qualifies as a true MomChop. Didn't you have hair at least that short once in Syria? I vaguely remember that. I remember that shorter hair made you look younger (too young).

Lindsay, I think some of us guys wouldn't mind having long hair. It's always been my dream, but I wouldn't count on any guys actually styling and primping. Plus you'd have to put up with half of us looking like balding middle-aged rockstars.

Heather said...

LOCKS OF LOVE IS A SCAM! EVERYONE STOP GIVING THEM YOUR HAIR!

Camille said...

Wow--what a change! It's funny how something as silly as cutting your hair can affect you. I've donated hair to Locks of Love twice (I'm sure not as long as yours) and both times it's taken me a while to get used to the new look. Jeremy's comments were great!

Kristen said...

I'd like to see a picture of your face with that haircut, too. It is really not that short, Bridget. So, Heather, is Lock of Love really just some creepy guy in a basement with a fettish, neck-deep in strangers' hair?

Jeanerbee said...

To me, that is still LONG hair, lol. It's beautiful! You'll get used to it, then it will feel long again. I made the mistake of continually going shorter... I love your length of hair and HATE my current MomChop, lol. But growing it longer takes so much patience!

Dan and Katie said...

I'm not a mom quite yet but I did chop all my hair off about 9 months after I got married. It wasn't a big change for me because I had short hair growing up. I grew my hair out so I could have "wedding hair" and I got tired of it once it fulfilled its purpose. Short hair is so much easier and more practical for Arizona. Your hair looks great!

Kristen said...

By the way, I didn't mean to diminish the loss I'm sure you feel from chopping off as much hair as you did. I can't believe how long it was! You probably feel completely naked. But I bet you look adorable, a fact at which I can only presume, since you didn't show us a picture of the front. :)

Bridget said...

Steve (binrobert), I did a chop before we went to Syria but it was more of what Nancy said - a haircut to make my blonde hair less conspicuous in the Middle East. It was a few inches longer than this time, though.

Katie (as in Dan &), this may seem nerdy to you but I remember when you cut your hair and I think you look SO good with short hair. I swear every time I look at you I think, "Wow, I love her haircut."

Heather, please to be elaborating.

Heather said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html

Liz Johnson said...

FYI - I mom-chopped myself this weekend. To be fair, I think it was mostly a communication error between me and the stylist, but yeah... I'm mom-ified now. It's so depressing. I'm going to give it a few months to grow and then try to re-cut it short without looking 40.

Anonymous said...

Def a mommy chop. Sorry. Locks of Love should disband already. They get hundreds of thousands of ponytails each year, and make only 100-200 wigs. Ronald

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