I remember a long time ago, before my wee lad was born, I would notice mothers or pregnant women, and I seemed to notice that there were two types: the ones that were beautiful, elegant and always poised and the other type, who weren’t.
I would think “why don’t they look after themselves?” I mean, how difficult can it be to put on a pair of nice high heels and some mascara?! Why didn’t these women make a little bit of an effort?
There was never a question in my mind what type of mother I was going to be! ( And just in case you were wondering, I was going to be elegant, always wearing clean and freshly ironed clothes, my handbag matching my shoes and so on)
What did I know?
So what do you think happened when I got pregnant? I was not one of the women who had that certain glow. No, I was more like a grey duck; grey because I didn’t feel good (or was I green), and duck because I waddled like one. I opted against heels and for comfy clothes and didn’t have much energy to do my hair or put on make up!
[For the record, can I please point out that it was the middle of winter (in Norway!) when I gave birth, so I think that is at least some excuse for being comfy…]
I wish I could say that being pregnant or being a mum made those priorities change and that I found something more important in life to concentrate on so I no longer cared about how I looked. But, the honest truth is that I was just too tired to do much about it, although I thought about it every time I looked at myself in the mirror.
I mean, just getting time to go to the hairdresser takes so much planning with the husband and the grandmother (who are the designated babysitters) that I just don’t have the energy.
I am back at work now so can only go the hairdresser on a Saturday but there are always other things that get prioritised instead. (I actually am considering buying hair dye at the grocery store! I wouldn’t say that’s such a bad thing but I have always been so worried that my hair will end up going green or something that I have never dared to try it before, so for me to consider this option just highlights how desperate I have become.)
And what ever happened to my nails? I used to spend a lot of time filing them and choosing the right polish, but now I can’t even remember the last time I did them. I actually prefer them short now—less chance of scratching the baby of course—it is just so much more practical. (Can’t believe I just said that… “practical”… oh no, is there any hope left?)
Furthermore, I just did something I previously never would have admitted to, never actually would have done: I just bought my first pair of Ugg boots. And guess what? They are sooo comfortable!
Who cares about being elegant when you can be comfortable?
I do hope this is just a temporary situation and that, in the not too distant future, I will dust off my Jimmy Choos and again be an elegant version of myself. As I live in Norway though, and we are in the middle of winter—and winter here means a lot of snow–there is no way I can start being elegant right at this moment.
So I think I had better wait until spring, when the snow has melted. That gives me another month to just be comfortable. At least I have a proper excuse… don’t I?
What pieces of your “former self” have you left behind since becoming a mum? Do you miss it/them?
Photo credited to Asta Burrows