Today I was reading Wood's blog post about being able to wear nice clothes and high heels again after the birth of her second child. It struck me that I have not felt truly beautiful in a non-motherly way for a long, long time. There was one night back at Christmas time when my parents took Emerson while Robbie and I went on a date. But by halfway through the night we were so frustrated by our inability to get a buzz off Utah's watered-down alcohol and our inability to find much to do in downtown Salt Lake City, that I completely forgot about feeling feminine.
I always figured women's looks went downhill after becoming mothers because they just gave up. Little did I know that it is actually a much slower - and more insidious - process. It begins with pregnancy, when your rapidly changing shape makes it difficult to find anything that fits well, much less be considered fashionable. The first pregnancy I ended up wearing loaned maternity clothes that I never would've been caught dead in otherwise. This time at least hasn't been quite as bad since the new style trend is empire waists and baggy dresses (why all these teenage girls WANT to look pregnant is beyond me). But slowly, and surely, your standards for your wardrobe begin to drop.
Next comes acne, stretch marks, either dry eczema or an oily sheen (pregnancy "glow" my ass!), only the most comfortable shoes, and eventually the ever-sexy waddle walk. When I was pregnant with Emerson, I also scratched my cornea when sand got into my eye. Since pregnancy makes your eyes change shape slightly, but frequently, I have never been able to wear contacts for more than a few hours without them re-scratching the old wound and incurring another infection. Thus came glasses.
After pregnancy your body is still constantly changing shape and reacting to the hormones of breastfeeding, so things don't improve much. Plus you get to add the spit up that decorates every shirt, leaving you smelling like sour milk all day. Not to mention the poop, pee and eventually mashed food that is splattered on your hair and clothes. (For those non-parents out there who think I'm exaggerating, I can assure you that even as I write this, my pj's are sprinkled with yogurt from breakfast and poopy water from when Emerson decided that the bathtub worked just as well as his diaper.)
My one pride and joy is that I do manage to shower and get dressed (eventually) every single day. My hair may go three times longer than it should without a haircut because I ran out of time to make an appointment, and I often get to the end of the day before realizing I forgot to put on makeup, but at least for twenty glorious minutes I am clean.
I have vowed that someday in the far future when this second baby is weaned and my hormone-raging days are officially over (until menopause anyway), I am going to get Lasik surgery, a decent haircut, squeeze myself back into my tightest clothes, put on my most uncomfortable pair of shoes, wear full make-up, and enjoy feeling completely and totally non-motherly.
In the meantime, I'm yet another mother who gave up.