When becoming a mother, why does the idea of beauty seem irrelevant or unattainable? Is it the way our bodies have changed? Is it because we feel so tired all the time? Is it the ever present smell of spit up lingering on our bodies and clothes? Or is it because our wardrobe now consists primarily of pajamas and sweat pants? It seems since becoming a mother we stop prioritizing our own needs because the needs of our children hold more weight and value.
A few weeks ago I was preparing for a long overdue date night with my husband. When my mom arrived to watch the kiddos she dismissed me to go get ready saying, “OK – you can go get beautiful for your husband now!” My immediate response surprised me; I rolled my eyes, and laughed saying, “Beautiful – yeah right!”
Walking back to my room I began to wonder why I reacted the way I did. What was it about the idea of getting “beautiful” for my husband that was laughable to me? Staring in the mirror I gave myself a good look. I saw frizzy hair, dark under-eye circles, and spit-up stained clothes. The way I looked on the outside seemed a perfect reflection of how I was feeling on the inside. Tired, achy, physically drained; all of which seemed so far from “beautiful” all I could do was laugh at the thought of the work required to reach that seemingly unreachable goal.
I have come to realize that a mother, especially a new(er) mother, I am content with the opportunity to simply take a long shower and put on some fresh, non -“mom clothes”, and go out for a quiet, uninterrupted meal with my husband. I don’t ask for much, just a little quiet time to reflect on life, and simply breathe. I suppose there will come a time when the desire returns to take the additional steps to get dolled up from time to time… but in the meantime it’s the simple pleasures I anticipate most.
I believe as mothers our definition of beauty changes. It’s no longer about high heels and fake eye lashes. Beauty takes on a more profound role in our lives. Beauty is the way our children look when they are sleeping: peaceful, innocent. Beauty is the magnificent sunrise after a long, sleepless night: brilliant, dawning a new day. Beauty is a mother’s heart: pure, filled with unconditional love. Beauty is motherhood: without trying, without even realizing it. You are a beautiful mommy.
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