September 3, 2010

The UGLY Truth

          One of my favorite bloggers is Debi at The Truth About Motherhood. All last month she ran a "Be a Better Parent" challenge. It was all kinds of awesome! This month, her challenge is "Be a Better You!" The Day 1 Challenge was "Banish the yoga pants and ponytails." Her post literally had me laughing out loud. The same day I came across a post from Sue and FadraMotherhood stole my mojo! And I laughed my a** off. Especially when it got to the wash and wear ponytail.
        While I can be amused by their descriptions of the common and disturbing phenomenon of moms letting themselves go, the truth is it really isn't funny. At least when it comes to this mom. Right now, I think I look the worst I have ever looked in my life. I cringe when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I can't stand to see pictures taken of me. I think I look like h**l. And it sucks!
          I actually weigh 20 pounds less than I did when I became pregnant with my daughter. In fact, weigh less right now than I did on my wedding day. So I should feel great about myself. But my body is shaped completely differently now. And with my seemingly permanent round belly (despite hours of Pilates) I look like I am expecting again (I’m not). Plus nursing completely ruined my breasts.
          I have never actually worn a pair of yoga pants. My trousers of choice since becoming a mom are work out shorts. My husband's work out shorts.  With their flexible elastic waistband and lightweight, loose material, I am very comfortable. Do I look good? Not even a little bit.
          I do leave the house pretty much every day, and I try my best to wear "real" clothes for that big occasion. And by real clothes I mean a flowy top and shorts. And while I have an entire closets full of clothes, I pretty much wear one of five shirts and two pairs of shorts each day. On my feet? You guessed it, flip flops. Although I do live in Florida, and everyone here wears flip flops.
          My hair is the longest it has been in years. I've been growing it out since my daughter was born. But for several months now it has been falling out. Big time. So now it is the thinnest it has ever been. I wear it either in a ponytail or, better yet, up in a big 'ole clip on top of my head. Oh yeah, that's a good look! I do put on makeup every day, for what that’s worth.
          I could pull out all my excuses. Lack of time. Lack of energy. Lack of opportunity. But if I am honest with myself, I think it comes down a lack of motivation. And that is simply not acceptable. I owe it to myself, as well as everyone else in my life, to take care of ME! And to feel good about the way I look. Going back to Debi's post, I think what I need to do is banish the excuses! Stop making them and take the time and effort to take care of ourselves. If I can do that, not only will I look better, I will feel better, too.
          I recently attended a birthday party with my daughter for a neighbor's child. The hostess took a picture of me with another adult attendee. The contrast between the two of us is dramatic. It's Glamour Mom versus Frumpy Mom. And I am the latter. Forget that she is at least ten years younger than I am. That doesn't matter. She is the mother of infant twins! (Whom she is nursing, no less.) If she can do it, what valid excuse can I possibly come up with?
          Earlier this year, I committed to nurturing my creative self. After losing myself during the first year of motherhood, I started to write again and it has made a world of difference. Now I need to make the same commitment to nurturing my physical self. I'll be honest, I don't know yet HOW I am going to do it. I really don't have the time. Or the energy. Or the opportunity. But I do have the motivation now. And I am going to make it work. (Plus, by posting it here for all to read, I can't go back.) I will figure it out; and I'll keep you posted.

* Update: No time like the present. This morning I had to run errands. I did my hair - and left it down. Put on a form-fitting shirred tank, capris and real shoes. Voila!


  1. what a great post.. I feel the same, most of the time I spend my days in PJ's
    Now THAT"S sad! my hair is always in a ponytail.. and I never wear makeup unless I'm going to a wedding or something. and even then it's probably just a little mascara. Oh boy! I have recently gone back to the exercising so that's something right?
    oh and HI... I recently started following you :)

  2. Good for you committing to nurturing yourself!I too am guilty of the work out shorts, that's pretty much my summer time version of yoga pants:) Also, you were taking about your hair thinning, that's normal after giving birth. BUt I've trued to banish the ponytail because my hair was falling out by clumps from stress and I think the pony was adding to the problem by breaking it of when twisting it into the pony:) Something to think about!Now go link this up to today's readers need to read this.Hugs!

  3. It's tough not to neglect yourself when you're nurturing a little person full time. Things will get better, I promise. :)

    In the meantime, have you had a physical lately? The hair loss could be hormone related. You might want to have your thyroid levels checked--that's what caused hair loss in my DD, and she isn't even a mom yet.

  4. @ Cristina - Hi and welcome! Glad you enjoyed the post and are following the blog!

    @ Thruthful Mommy - Just linked up.

    @ Linda - I went to the doctor when my hair started falling out in handfuls. They did all sorts of tests and found nothing wrong. So they have no idea why it has been falling out. Hormone and thyroid levels were normal. It's more than the normal post-baby thinning, too. Although I have a friend who practically went bald after weaning with all three of her children. It grew back each time. I am starting to see new hair growth, so I'm hopeful...

  5. You are so right, it takes all my willpower everyday NOT to put my hair in a ponytail, yet the kids look great!

    A confession to Debi, my yoga pants have become my new office wardrobe, a new all time low? Possibly, but when you're the boss you can wear what you want, right? Even if you look ridiculous, right?

    I am with you on your journey to nurture the physical self, keep me updated and I'll do the same.

  6. I'm so glad you got the inspiration (even if it was for an honest confessional) from I mean, we are real women. We're not the celebs in the magazine that are on the red carpet 5 minutes after they give birth.

    I'm working on a review of a book today (giving one away too) and the first chapter stopped me in my tracks. It is so on target with what you are saying here. It's about nurturing our different selves.

    And P.S.? I'm losing hair left and right too. It's not just motherhood. It's aging. Sigh.

  7. @ blueeyedadri - OK, we are in this together! ;)

    @ Fadra - Oh yes, aging. That does have a lot to do with all my issues. Bleh!

  8. Pretty lady!

    On days that I don't have to leave the house for work, I'm lucky if I shower or wash my face, let alone put on make up. Even at the office, my hair is in a ponytail or bun by 10AM every day and many meetings or irritating coworkers have caused me to rub off all my makeup in frustration, come home look in the mirror and think "how long have I looked like THAT?"

    So, yeah... right there with you.

  9. 20 lbs lighter? I wish. My weight is the thing that has plagued me since I had babies. We're talking years ago,(my youngest of three kids is 17) and recently I've committed to getting back into shape. I'm only 48, so it's important for me to take advantage and get healthy.

    Good luck to you in your quest to get some of your old self back. It's hard once you're a mommy.

  10. Feeling good about ourselves has nothing to do with weight ... I've learned that the hard way! But I agree that it's important to find a balance between fussing so much over ourselves and letting ourselves go. Why don't you treat yourself to a new haircut or manicure or new sandals? Maybe it will be just the pick-me-up you need.

  11. Hey hot stuff! (And I've seen your pictures so I know what I'm talking about.) I agree with Linda - have your thyroid levels checked. Also your vitamin D. Baby raising wrecks havoc with a girl - go easy on yourself. Besides, think of wearing your husband's shorts as the closest thing to foreplay these days. Everyday you're getting in his pants - what more could he want? :)

  12. you are beautiful! I am so glad you have decided to get out of the frump more often! I too have gotten totally into the yoga pants/giant tee all summer. Now that school is starting and I have to dress up? I am kind of glad. Even though I weigh more, my hair is at it's best, and I know I can look good in clothes that fit!

    Thanks for this reminder that being a mom does NOT have to equal being a frump machine!

  13. GREAT post - you go, mama! It is SO hard to carve out time for creativity, exercise, nurturing my kids, my husband, and oh yeah, my full time job. Exercise always gets the short stick in my house. Add a bum hip to that, and I'm done for.

  14. Yay, good luck! I don't even have a toddler, and I definitely have days where I'm startled as I walk past the mirror because, really? I couldn't even be bothered to find matching falling-apart clothes to go with my tangled hair? So I feel you. It's worth committing the time to yourself. And your picture looks great!

  15. Right here with you. Funny, cause last Friday I decided to try and hold myself accountable and declared it Fashionable Friday at my blog. Today I talk about the hair. I haven't really "done" my hair in weeks. I rotate from ponytail to bun to braid. I can't remember the last time I wore makeup and now with pregnancy #2...I have no energy. But I am hoping, like you if I put it out there I will do something about it. I can't give my family 100%, if I can't even give myself 50%!

  16. You look great, what are you talking about? I know, it doesn't matter what others think, what matters is YOU think. For the record, I think you look amazing.

    I had to laugh when I read this, because I'm wearing stretchy shorts and my hair is in a clip! I live in the boonies and my husband's at work. On my boys saw me today, thank goodness. I really should prepare for the unexpected!

  17. I hear you sister! I find I sort of "let myself go" in winter time here--when I've often felt like no one would see me some days but PBS Sprout viewers! :)
    I try to make it a point to go somewhere every day now...for my own sanity...even if it's just to take the kids to Tarjay, the grocery store, park, or for coffee....because it forces me to put on makeup, do my hair, etc, and in doing so, I always feel better after.

    I will say, I love me some flip flops in summer! And we are always hardest on ourselves--don't ever forget that. I think you look gorgeous. And 20 lbs lighter? I wish, girl! In the big picture of things, you are doing fab.

    P.S. Maybe have your thyroid levels checked. But I too had my hair falling out after one of the three..forget which one now...and mine were normal. Eventually it just stopped. You're hormones can fluctuate so much with pregnancy, post pregnancy, etc.

  18. @ Krista - I do make sure I get a shower every day. LOL But there were days in the beginning...

    @ Jeannie - On the weight thing, I went on this crazy "fertility diet" when we were trying to get pregnant. Included lots of high fat foods. And I gained about 15 pounds. So I was overweight before adding on the pregnancy pounds. Glad I was able to take it off.

    @ Adelle - I was doing really well with exercise earlier this year. Did Pliates 3 times a day during DD's nap. Then I got out of the habit, and have not gotten back in. That is one of my goals, 'cause it makes an amazing difference. Plus, in the cool weather I walk 1-2 miles a day. Can't do that in this awful heat! :(

    @ Elizabeth - You know, it's not just moms who fall into this trap. Thanks for the perspective, and the reminder.

    @ Mommy This and That - Your last point is an excellent one! And I read your posts. Enjoyed them!

    @ Julie - Thanks, hon! I don't think it matters where you live or who sees you. What matters is how you feel about yourself...

    @ Muffintop Mommy - I did have my thyroid checked and it was OK. I do

    @ Sluiter Nation - Yes, banish the frump! We're in this together!

    @ Kristina - I don't know what more a man could want! ;)

    @ Karyn - You are right, it is not about weight. But pregnancy and childbirth changes our bodies in ways we cannot reverse, and perhaps are not prepared for. Accepting that can be difficult.

    OK, the order of these got all messed up. But I think I responded to everyone. Thank you for your comments! :)

  19. I like how you responded @ each person who left a comment -- that makes a lot of sense to have it in a list like this. I like the idea of this work on yourself challenge. SOOOO many women are feeling the same. My vow? To shower more than twice a week!

  20. @ grimmgirl - I try to always come back and reply to the comments. I don't know if people ever return to read my response, but since they have taken the time to share their thoughts, I like to show my appreciation! Thank YOU for commenting. And if you like the challenge, be sure to follow The Truth About Motherhood!

  21. Just saw you for the first time in two years and you look fantastic! Tan and tall and I love your hair long.


I value your input, and appreciate your taking the time to not only read, but also comment on this post! Thank you! Please come back often and keep the discussion going...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts with Thumbnails