On Finding My Vanity In Motherhood
I've been recently looking at pictures Dan takes of me and feeling instantly self-conscious, often going to a place in my head that is a highlight reel of my 20s where my hair was perfectly done and shiny, my skin appeared even and spotless and I presented consistently put-together. I was sharing this with an older, wiser mentor and she asked what I see now. I couldn't find a good word so I finally chose "bleh" and then went to elaborate on lifeless skin, stubby eyelashes and just an overall feeling of messiness. You could tell she was trying hard to take me seriously when she finally said, "Well you're a mother now - it's messy".
My initial reaction was an inward cringe thinking I'm such a cliché. The second was relief. As I've been letting myself get absorbed by vain despair, I've been over analyzing all the choices, relationships and personality shortcomings that could have contributed. But the reality is priorities shifted and sleepless nights caught up. I can't do much about the sleep - I signed up for this as we all do. I, like most of us, can't steal extra hours on the regular to stroll and get my eyebrows refined into Kaia Gerber arches (hers are natural which is so unfair).
But I can find little fixes. I can prioritize them even if they seem trivial. A face mask during nap time (like this one) or a new mascara that does wonders (like this one). These little indulgences seemed so small and silly in the context of feeding and teaching a little person. I suppose I forgot how much my self-image mattered to me (I realize how narcissistic I sound). But it does, and I think we all eventually learn that the controversial word martyrdom does not need to apply for good mothers. It is indeed ok for any of us to still care about silly, small things if they make us feel whole.
I'm going to spend the Spring doing a small refresh of myself quite like I spent January working on my gold star complex. Because I'm certain I'm just as happy if not significantly more so, than I was in my 20s, and I'd like to look in the mirror and enjoy that person.
How do you feel about your appearance? Have you noticed changes? How do you keep yourself feeling intact? I'd love to hear from all of you lovely women xo
Featured Image by Whitney Justesen