You’re Amazing, Just the Way You Are

alka-seltzer-for-tired-momsMoms are notoriously tough on themselves. We beat ourselves up for not having a visible six-pack in the ninth month of pregnancy, for not being back in the size four jeans three days after pushing a baby out, for not having hair, makeup and the baby all bundled up in a pretty little package one week in.

There are plenty who tell you it’s not difficult to raise a few kids and look put together and there are plenty who think showering is overrated. For some working out is a priority. Others feel they get their workout chasing after a toddler.

The fact is, you change after you’ve had a baby. Or two. Or five. Sure, you change emotionally, but you change physically as well.

It’s not always easy to look in the mirror and like what you see. Even on a good day. If it is after a few months of sleepless nights? Forget it. If you are focusing on spit-up on your shoulder or milk stains on your shirt it’s easy to forget to comb your hair or brush your teeth. When you have a toddler it’s easy to choose nap over shower. After all, you’re probably going to be covered in oatmeal soon enough anyway. The first time I planned a big outing with my first-born I made a real effort. I showered, did my hair, put on makeup. Ten minutes before I was supposed to walk out the door he pooped on me and I had one of those nursing sessions where it looked like my breast was a milk sprinkler.

As a mom, sometimes you go without so they can go with. You wear clothes from five years ago because they’re just going to get ruined anyway. You wear the ratty bras and the granny knickers, slap on some chapstick and call it a day. And every now and then you catch a glimpse of yourself in a passing shop window or a dressing room mirror and think: Holy shit. I used to be so hot. Who the hell is this haggard banshee staring at me?

And then you realize it’s you. You’re tired, you’re saggy or baggy or ratty. You’re cranky, you’re pale, you’re disheveled. You’re ten pounds off your goal weight.

You’re amazing. Just the way you are.

Those lines and bags and sags? They’re evidence of putting your child’s need above your own those first 365 nights. The crankiness and the short temper? Proof that you’re doing what you need to do. So what if you look tired? You made a human being. That’s tough work. So what if you don’t put on mascara or get your hair trimmed every six weeks? You’re raising a person, a full-fledged person with feelings and thoughts and emotions and preferences all their own. It’s hard sometimes.

Your skin isn’t glowing? It’s probably because you are making sure your pre-schooler gets his veggies while neglecting your own. Belly all jiggly? Yeah, that happens when you grow a few lives in there.

You made a human! Probably several! You protected those little lives in your womb. You sang to them a lullaby of heartbeats. You brought forth life. This ‘you are the vessel’ bullshit doesn’t cut it when it comes to motherhood. You are the vessel, sure, but you are captain, first mate, life boat, engine and sail as well. It’s no wonder you feel like you don’t look your best.

36? Why, how old did you think I was?
36.  Why, do I look older?

Stop. Think for a moment about what you are doing.

You’re taking the time to make sure these humans, these lives, these children have everything they need not just to live, but to thrive. Sometimes you’re going to look tired. Or old. Or wrinkly or just plain scary. Sometimes the creases from the nap you just grabbed are going to take a while to go away. Sometimes you might feel fat or ugly or unattractive. Sometimes you may look around you and think, how come everyone else manages to look put together?

But I promise you two things.

You are a mother.

And you’re amazing, just the way you are.

 

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10 thoughts on “You’re Amazing, Just the Way You Are

  1. aviets April 6, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    Once again I wish the Internet and blogging had been a thing when I was in those childbirth and “tiny children everywhere” years. What you have to say here would have helped so much.

    Like

    • Dina Honour April 6, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      It goes both ways I think. There’s some truly vile, mean, hurtful things out there and lots of mommy shaming too. The trick is believing it! (Or in the case of the vile, hurtful things, not believing it). But I do think it helps a lot of women connect to a tribe, which is so important, especially the way we tend to parent today, which is less ‘it takes a village’ and more ‘let’s call the village elders and report you’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • aviets April 6, 2016 / 5:40 pm

        Well, that’s a good point. Because I have also thought many times how glad I am I didn’t have the pressure of Pinterest to deal with when our kids were little. Nobody needs that.

        Like

      • Dina Honour April 6, 2016 / 6:23 pm

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pinterest is the scourge of modern motherhood!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. betunada April 6, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    (i don’t think i’m a goose?) you are so right, on. it would take an idiot not to agree with what you’ve conveyed here. thanx !

    Like

    • Dina Honour April 7, 2016 / 10:08 am

      Top Gun reference: Talk to me, Goose ;-). Thank you. I agree. If only we weren’t so hard on ourselves (and each other sometimes!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • betunada April 7, 2016 / 9:35 pm

        (whaps head with palm of hand*: DOUH!) okeh, i dewwa lotta thet too (moovy rephurrintz).

        *too bad the whappnn wuzznt dunn with a hockey stick!

        Like

Talk to me, Goose.

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