GRABBING her purse Chloe McIntyre, heads out the door of her house and walks eight minutes to her local town centre.
Five months pregnant with her first child Chloe, 28, has a craving for sausage rolls but as she approaches the bakery she realises that she’s attracted a bit of attention.
“That’s terrible, a mum in pyjamas at 11am – I’m shocked,” Chloe hears a glam mum whisper to a friend.
Not one to take criticism lying down, Chloe, of Melton Mowbray, Leics, is quick to give the fellow mum a piece of her mind.
“I told her what was terrible was the fact that she mum-shamed me,” Chloe says speaking exclusively to Fabulous.
“I’m five months pregnant, none of my clothes fit, I can’t afford to buy new ones because of the cost of living crisis.
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“My pyjamas double as loungewear, I only live a few streets away and I thought you as a fellow mum would understand.
“But I constantly get mum shamed for being pregnant and wearing my pyjamas and slippers to the shops.
“Even when I was nine months pregnant other mums were calling me lazy and a fat fashion failure.
“I used to feel humiliated. Now I am appalled that other mums can be so nasty.”
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Chloe who is engaged to 38-year-old fiancé Jack, a personal trainer and is mum 17-month old daughter Clementine admits that her fashion choices were never at the forefront of her mind during her pregnancy.
“I was just thrilled to be expecting,” she says.
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“After the horror of lockdown and not being able to work, a new baby was a joy.
“It was my first pregnancy and I went from a size 10 to a size 14 by the fifth month of my pregnancy.
“Nothing fitted and the clothes that did felt constricting and uncomfortable.”
Chloe a former self-catering manager, admits due to the financial drain of lockdown she couldn't afford to buy maternity clothes and instead relied on her supply of PJ’s and loungewear onesies.
“They weren’t garish or they are classy PJs and I felt comfortable in them,” she says.
“The limited savings we did have were for when the baby came. I couldn't afford new outfits so I made do with what I could.
“I repurposed my PJs with a jacket as my ‘pop to the shops outfit’.
“Some women wander to the shops in bikini tops and tiny shorts or barely there dresses. I considered my outfit conservative.
“I didn't think I needed nails, glam makeup and designer outfits to buy a sausage roll.”
But fellow mums didn’t agree.
“I remember waddling to the shops two weeks before Clemmie was born in the only PJs that fitted and a yummy mummy took aim at me,” Chloe says.
“She told me to ‘have some respect’ and that I was a ‘terrible mum-to-be.”
But Chloe says that standing up to mum-shamers gave her a newfound confidence and says it actually helped her during labour.
“What the mum shamers don't know is that they actually helped me give birth. I got the last laugh,” she says.
“Whenever I had a contraction I pictured the vile mum shaming women and thanks to them my labour was only three hours.”
Chloe and Jack welcomed their daughter, Clementine, on April 30last year weighing 7lbs 5oz.
Ignoring trolls is something Chloe is used to.
In January this year she told Fabulous how after the birth of her daughter she’d stop washing her hair and using shampoo and shaving her legs in a bid to beat the cost of living crisis.
She says: “I ditched shaving, my ‘bits and pits’ and letting my hair's natural oils’ bring the shine’ rather than using pricey shampoo. I don't care if you think it's wrong.”
In fact Chloe says that the small changes have seen her save £400 this year by not shampooing her hair and chucking the razor.
“I make sure that I spend no longer than two minutes in the shower now which leaves me no time for shaving,” Chloe adds.
“But I am in no way horrified by the forest of dark hairs that's started growing.
“In fact, seeing my formerly shaved ‘bits and pits’ grow back is a badge of honour and a daily reminder of my ‘kerching’ moment and plan to be super frugal to ensure I could pay the heating bill and buy groceries.
“I challenge myself daily to come up with more and more inventive ways of cutting costs.
“When I started I didn't wash my hair hasn't for nine weeks and it looks amazing and my legs and my body are getting hairier by the day.
“I know some people will troll me and likely label me disgusting but that doesn’t bother me.
“They’ll be jealous when I’m not up to my eyeballs in debt.”
Chloe is currently on unpaid maternity leave and she and her partner have a joint income of just over £25,000 a year.
“When grocery prices started skyrocketing and energy costs went through the roof I needed to radically economise,” she explains.
“We’re new parents and literally every penny counts. I started researching extreme frugality and money saving tips.
“I was spending £20 a month on shampoo and conditioner and if I totally cut back I could save £240 a year.”
In a bid to disguise her greasy locks, Chloe simply scraped her hair back into slick ponytails or buns during the day.
She adds: “I brushed it every night to stop it going knotty.
And Chloe was thrilled that she stayed focused as just two weeks in, she noticed a great difference.
“At the end of the first 14 days my fiance asked if I’d given in and washed my hair because it looked amazing,” she explains.
“I looked in the mirror and was amazed. Gone was the grease replaced by super shiny locks.”
Chloe claims her hair has never looked healthier, both thicker and shinier than ever before.
Every month Chloe uses the ‘just water’ washing method and rinses her hair.
“A non-product rinse is all I need,” she claims.
"It saves money and allows me to buy the best for Clementine."
As for the mum shamers Chloe says she still wears her PJ’s on a sausage roll or milk and bread run to the shops just to prove to mum shamers they don't intimidate her.
“I am standing up to the mum shamers. They should help young mums not shame them,” she says.
And now brave Chloe is giving back at 28 years old she has become a foster mum.
“Jack and I are fostering a teenager because we want to help others. It’s been amazing and our foster child is brilliant,” she adds.
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“People twice my age are shocked to learn I am fostering. I don't know anyone my age who has fostered.
“That's why I won't be mum trolled for my fashion choice. I know from experience there are more important things to worry about.”
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