With that preface, This issue had an article about Post-Pregnancy Beauty. As I started to read it I thought I don't feel ugly after having a baby. Then I remembered before a month ago, I did, I felt old and frumpy, which was depressing, because 24 is hardly old.
Before I start in my story, here is my favorite part of the article:
Around this time, I met Frenchwoman and mom of three Mathilde Thomas, cofounder of the natural skin-care line Caudalie. She's the picture of cool, calm, and effortless glamour, so I asked her how she holds it all together. "Of course motherhood is extremely tiring, and yes, yes, yes, it makes you age," she told me. "But it's life; it's great. It's very important to be more beautiful after having kids than before."
I asked her to elaborate. "My marriage is extremely important," she replied. "I won't put my children before it. You shouldn't be that person who says, 'I've given everything to my children,' because you may not get anything in return. So you need to be a little selfish."
My only complaint is I don't think having me time, or focusing on your marriage is selfish. I think it is the best possible thing mothers can do. I need brakes for the sanity of me and my children. The article also said this, from a different person,
"We're so child-centered now. We're not good mothers unless we're giving it all up for the kid." Furthermore, mothers today "always feel like they're falling short," says Nancy Etcoff, a Harvard University psychologist who studies the connections between beauty, emotion, and the brain. "They have really, really high expectations for themselves."Why is that, why do we all make ourselves miserable? I'm working at not feeling like I need to be perfect. Its liberating.
Back to my story, a few months ago, every time I looked in the mirror I was horrified. (Probably didn't help that three weeks after my baby was born, I felt pretty darn good about my looks, for having a baby three weeks ago, when it an unnamed male extended relative of my husband's told me I looked like I was sleepwalking from the dead.)
Anyway, so for months I thought I would never survive second child, worn-out-ness. I wondered if it was this bad the first time. I was filled with new vim and vigor to have all my babies early, because if my appearance got progressively worse each time, I was a goner. Every time I came home from the grocery store, and I saw I glimpse in the mirror I thought.. seriously? what must people think of me in the store, that crazy tired mom, who yells at her children to not grab the cookies, everyone without kids must be looking at me and thinking oh my gosh, never will I become that, thank goodness I don't have kids. I suppressed these thoughts, taking my husbands advice of not looking in mirrors. I never really thought about it, I had to worry about making sure my children and I were fed regularly. (Seriously this makes me sound like I was obsessing about my appearance but I wasn't, I rarely thought about it.)
Then we went to a "neighborhood party" of my husband's friends when he was in high school. Hoping I wouldn't look too mismatched or frumpy. A few days later a blog post surfaced (which won't work for anyone because Justin and Ashley's blog is private). With this picture.Oh thank goodness for that picture. Turns out I haven't looked as bad as I thought I have all these months. Here is the photo edited for just my family. Some days, maybe worse, but other days, better. When Justin took this picture, I would have never known how much this picture would mean to me. Thank goodness for unexpected pictures. I am not skilled at girly looks. I struggle finding shirts that fit someone as tall as me. I only know how to put eye make up on, and I can't wear eye shadow. So my routine is, mascara, and a pony tail. Sure pony tails are what every article says makes you look frumpy mommy, but its what I do, my husband likes pony tails, and I like sleep more than I like to blow dry my hair. Plus jewelry, clearly I love jewelry. Anytime I start to feel frumpy I buy a new tube of mascara because I realize the old one is almost empty. I also make sure to remove my mascara at night, so my dark circles from motherhood aren't darkened with mascara. Anytime I put on an article of clothing that makes me feel frumpy (even if it was once a favorite shirt), I immediately take it off, and throw it in the DI pile, that is stored on my fridge. I never go back through a DI pile, once it is in the bag its gone forever. Its amazing what the purge has done for my emotional health.
Turns out I will survive motherhood of two, and maybe even more.
Although three sounds terrible, everyone says it was way harder than they expected. Well I'm going to be a goner, I think two is way harder than anyone let on. When my friends of three complain about something they are stuggling with, I think OH NO I struggle with that and I only have two! Sometimes logic does enter into my brain, and I realize oh its the same struggles just with extra human.