Before we give birth to our bundle of joys we are sold the tales of unconditional love, the smiles that melt your heart and the joy that the tiniest moments can bring. All this is very true and wonderful. Being a Mom is the best.
But we are also sold the tales of not washing your hair for days (or weeks) on end. Never having time for yourself and stepping out the house in baby sick and poop covered clothes. Because that’s just how it is. And you have to be ok with that.
I remember being so excited to become a Mom. Over the moon excited. But I was truly scared about turning into this person that everyone (yes EVERYONE) told me I was going to be. No, not the lovey dovey stuff, the unwashed, baby poop covered, tracksuit bottom wearing, no makeup person who I was promised would be me as soon as I gave birth.
I used to cry (literately cry) at the notion of having no time to shower. I love to shower- that sounds weird now I’ve written it but you get my drift. I enjoy putting make up on and doing my hair. That’s just me. I appreciate some people aren’t bothered by those things and that’s cool. No judgement. Because that’s who they are. But for me, I’m a dressed up soul. (I personally I think I would of suited the Downtown Abbey era where you dressed for dinner and went all out with the jewels for a mid day Brunch meeting!)
So I was scared. All. The. Time. I bet your thinking how vain? That’s ok, I suppose I am a bit. I remember in my last 2 months of pregnancy trying to make myself look as good as possible every day. It didn’t always work I might add, but I tried. I would spend ages doing my make up, hair and nails in the fear that it would be the last few times I would ever be able to do it for a very long time.
Then I had a baby.
And I realised that yes, your time is most definitely not your own. You are on someone else schedule. And that schedule can sometimes suck. Awake in the darkness and snoozes when your heading out the door. I also never realised how much mess one (little) person could make. And how much crap (sometimes literately) would come with having this tiny bundle of joy. But a strange thing also happened. After the initial 4 or so days of not washing my hair or getting dressed in anything apart from leggings and baggy tops and going make up free- I realised it was making me feel worse. I felt out of control of my life, which yes I know you are, but I felt out of control of myself. I was a Mom now, but that didn’t mean I had to TOTALLY change who I was. Did it?
I decided no. It didn’t.
So one sunny afternoon about a week after I gave birth, I got the hubby to watch the baby and I had a long ass shower. Washed, shaved (legs only! Please, I am not THAT crazy!) and blow dried my hair and did my makeup. I realised what used to take me AGES to do makeup and hair wise, I could do in a fracture of the time. I put on some decent clothes and for the first time since giving birth I felt like me.
Me the woman. Me the makeup lover. Me the fashion lover. Me the big haired girl. Me the Mom.
And in that moment I decided it was a feeling that I didn’t want to lose. I decided I can accept that some days it just won’t happen and some days even when I have time, I just would be so tired I wouldn’t bother. But most of the time I was going to try to retain a piece of the pre baby me. And I still do. I shower every day and do my makeup and some sort of hair style every day. Sometimes I still look like a bush woman but I try.
I also decided that this is the woman I wanted my daughter to know. The woman who still retains a piece of herself through all the craziness of parenthood. The woman who loves makeup and fashion and big hair. I want her to know the version of me that is truly me. Lippies and all.
I’m sure as the little one gets older or more kids come into the picture it will get more challenging, but I am hoping I can adapt my routine again. Fingers crossed.
So my message to you out there is try not to listen to what people tell you are going to become. Because you don’t have to. You can be who you want to be as a Mom. You can be you. Just Mom you.