It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way!

I realize that I may be burned at the stake for this post but here it goes, what the hell! What good is the internet if you can’t share your crazy opinions, lol!

When I was pregnant with Everly I vowed that I was not going to be one of those mothers in the mall with dirty sweatpants, an old t-shirt and greasy hair in a pony tail with their child immaculately dressed in the stroller. I vowed that my child was not going to become my measurement of  self worth. I was not going to let myself go and have the “awww she’s so cutes” of my baby be enough. I guess what I am trying to say is that I still wanted people to think I was attractive too, and if we are all HONEST with ourselves who doesn’t? I know there are people out there who don’t have to courage to admit that they would like other people to find them attractive (even if it is just your partner) because they think it is shallow and vein and I think that’s sad and so contradictory. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to want to look nice, especially when we are all kind of expected to (according to pop culture and media)? I am not saying that looks are all that matter, but shouldn’t they matter a little bit? Doesn’t looking nice help you to feel nice? I know it does for me… Oh I am totally showing how shallow I really am, lol!

Now maybe it is because I only have one child, or maybe it is because of my baby’s age, or maybe my baby’s temperament, but I have been able to manage to make myself presentable upon exiting my house up until now (that’s just a smidge of a boastful statement isn’t it! ha ha). Well, actually wait, let’s back that truck up I know lots of moms that still look nice and have children… so maybe it could be because I only have one child, that makes things easier for sure, but it is not because of her age and temperament because even when she was newborn I washed my hair and she is a DEMANDING child so it can’t be her temperament… and all babies have different temperaments so that wouldn’t account for all the yummy mummys I see… Maybe it’s because they, and I, prioritize a little bit of time for ourselves. Ah-ha! There it is! It’s that extra 5 minutes that I make before we leave the house where she is strapped into her car seat/high chair at the door of my bedroom or bathroom while I finish putting myself together. She and I love this moment together, seriously we do. I act all silly and entertaining and she clearly thinks I am the greatest mom, put here on the earth for her pure enjoyment. I hope this 5 minute moment continues as she gets older.

I hadn’t thought much of all this until recently when a friend commented that I was more put together than her and she has no kids, she said usually people with kids aren’t as put together as single people, I said well I guess I find the time and I make it a priority. I think I should take a moment here and clarify what I mean by put together; put together does not mean 4 inch heels and a full face of racoon make-up. Put together could be jeans and a clean graphic t-shirt or cute lulu’s and a nice hoodie with a bit of lip gloss, basically just looking like you made some effort to polish out the rough edges of dried cereal and snot he he he.

Another thing that piqued my attention was an article I read where the mom had said that because she had kids she couldn’t go to the mall to shop for herself and couldn’t wash her hair and couldn’t wear nice clothes when she went out with her kids. Shower at night when your kids are in bed… change your clothes just before you leave the house so they don’t get dirty before you leave, and then change back into your grubs when you get back to your house (thereby reducing the amount of time near the child who’s goal in life is to get everything dirty, lol!). As for shopping… well we have no problems there. I have taken Everly shopping since she was 2 weeks old and she does just fine in the mall. Sure there are days that I can’t try something on, but most stores have great return/exchange policies so you can try it on at home and return if needed (ps. I pretty much only buy things for myself in stores with policies such as this).

I am not using my baby as an excuse to look like dirty and disheveled. If you want to dress sloppy in sweats and dirty t-shits, that’s fine, that’s your choice, just don’t blame it on your baby. And for the record, I don’t think that caring what you look like is an entirely shallow trait either. It’s important that a child learns that the world judges you by how you present yourself (yes I just wrote that). I am not saying that we should all look the same, or that my version of put together is the right one. I know that this way of thinking which our society has subscribed to might not be morally right or fair, but it is the truth of our world and probably not likely to change, especially when people like me perpetuate the belief, I know, I know :)- Yes I have heard that we all have the power to change the world and that I should teach my child the right way and yadda, yadda, yadda… Obviously I will tell Everly not to judge a book by it’s cover, I will tell her that the inside is really what counts at the end of the day. But I am also going to be realistic with her, something like informed consent and then she can make her own choices about what to do in a situation. When Everly goes for her first job interview or has to defend her thesis (obvi) I hope that she will remember that looking put together will help people to take her seriously, because although it shouldn’t matter in a perfect world, it does in this one.  Or maybe, by the time she is this age none of this stuff will matter and she will think her mom is as shallow as two drops of rain on a dime! She is going to hate me for something one day, it might as well be for wanting her to look nice, ha ha ha (that was an evil villain laugh).

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5 Comments

Filed under Daily Check In

5 responses to “It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way!

  1. I feel that as a mother of 2 children, (1 with an anxiety disorder and the other with autism) I am qualified to make a comment to this post: You make a good point.

    Whether you have 1 baby or several kids, it’s not always fair to use our offspring as scapegoats for not taking care of ourselves. Not just looks, but overall health. And yes, when I spend that 5 extra minutes in front of the mirror, I do feel better about myself and I know I will not frighten people without my make up 😉

    One of the excuses I get tired of hearing is this one: “I would exercise but I have kids and not the time”. No, that isn’t true. Like I said, I have very high needs children and I still find 30min a day 5 times a week to run. I feel not just good but GREAT! Its about prioritizing. You don’t have to exercise, but like you said: Dont blame the kids!

    P.S. If you get burned at the stake for your post, I’ll just have to join you 🙂

    • Jessica Bender

      Yes, the exercise one is a common one, I also hear a lot of… I am chubby because I had a baby… no you’re not. I was chubbier before I had a baby and that was because I ate junk food and didn’t exercise!

  2. Bev McFadyen

    Once again, I suggest that you write a book! You have a style of describing things that makes a person feel right in the middle of the situation!! That kind of writing is very hard to do and is uncopyable? Anyway, keep up the great blog, it is really good to know that Everly will have such an extensive and descriptive heirloom to rely on. I am jealous, but incredibly proud.

  3. andrea

    Hi Jessica, I just found your blog and have spent the last half and hour reading it. I’ve really enjoyed it! Everly is such a doll!
    I have a one year old baby and often think abou the things you write in this post. I also swore I would never be “that” mom. All the things you write are so true. For me, the most important thing is managing to shower every day. I’ve heard a lot of moms say they go days without showering because they have no time. I understan not having time to shower one day. Maybe two. But a whole week? I don’t judge, though. Maybe you are right and our baby makes things easy for us (maybe by the time I have two more kids, I will not be showering also?), but I do make an effort to wake up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to shower before my boyfriend goes to work.
    Anyway, keep up the good writing! Will be back to read more about you and your cute babe.

  4. Jessica Bender

    Thank you ladies! Glad to know I am not the only one, it was good to get positive feedback on this post because I was prepared for lots of negative, lol!

    And mom, as always you are my best critic, lol- thanks!

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