I passed the mirror the other day as I was running around chasing my kids and sighed. Granted I just had a baby a month ago, but I can tell this time will be different. This time I will have to fight harder for the weight to come off and the cellulite legs to disappear. I realized as I was running around that it was going to be so hard this time to do that. Just as it was so hard most days to even find time to fix my hair or wash my face or cook the fanciest dinner for my deserving husband.
And that's when I thought of you...
I thought about the mama running around wishing she had just a few more minutes to spare to work out some because it has been a year and there's still baby weight. Or the mama who wishes (like me) that she could have gym time, but let's face it, that isn't always going to work with three kids under four. I thought about the mama who went to bed and said that maybe tomorrow she'd try and wash her hair and put some makeup on, but when the morning came and the kids needed her, that never happened. Then like me, perhaps you hurried and tried to make yourself presentable before your husband got home just simply because you still want to be more than just a housewife. You're a woman too.
I thought about the mama who scrolled instagram and saw all of the other mamas and bloggers who look so put together and stylish and how you cringed with envy because you nor your house look anything like them. I thought about the working mama who rushes home to be with her kids and who puts her needs last just because she wants to squeeze in every ounce of time with her children before bedtime rolls around. And of course, I thought of the stay at home mama who runs around without any stopping ALL.DAY.LONG. and by the time you do stop, there's nothing left to give.
I thought about all of this as I passed that mirror and saw my larger figure with unkempt hair and squishy legs as I was chasing kids and still working damn near an hour just to get dinner in the crock pot (when it should have never taken that long). Laundry piled up, food everywhere as I desperately tried to fix something, toys all over yet again and babies crying at my feet. Emails needing to be returned, orders needing to be shipped and blog posts waiting to be written. I realized within these moments that I never stop.
Motherhood never stops.
I know now how it's so easy to get lost in the role as mom and wife. It's so easy to give and give and give until there's not much left to give. I don't necessarily believe in excuses when it comes to remaining healthy, but I see just how easy it is now to keep that baby weight on or to stay stocked up on yoga pants. It's easy to assume from the outside that someone just has to have some free time to work out and lose weight or fix themselves up. But take a step in my shoes or many other mothers' shoes and you'll realize those minutes come far and few. And when those minutes come -- you spend them crashing, or catching up on sleep, downing a bottle (okay glass) of wine, or in my case trying to squeeze in some one on one time with your newborn.
So to all of the mamas who look into the mirror and see a reflection of a person they don't quite recognize or a reflection that makes them sigh, I'm right there with you. You're probably like me and thought years ago that you'd never be her; you thought you'd be the stylish mama that somehow always juggled three kids in cute wedges without any spit up on your clothes (is that a real thing?). You may feel disappointed in yourself for taking eating for two a little too literal during pregnancy and you may hope that one day you'll look like the version of you that you remember. You see a reflection of a mother who may be lost in her role at times, but underneath is still a woman; a beautiful woman that you hope isn't overlooked just because she wears the role of motherhood on her sleeve.
The beauty of your reflection is that those little people crying at your feet and chunking toys across the house see that reflection as beauty. If you ask your children, I bet they see the most beautiful woman around. They don't notice the stretch marks, the cellulite or the split ends. They see strength when they're weak, brave when they're scared, comfort to make the bobos better, cuddles for good night and light in the darkness. They see joy, laughter and their number one pal. They see you for what you are, a mother.
Just like any season, this too shall pass. It's a time of mothering. One day there will be more minutes in the day to do the things for you, and until then if you can't find the minutes, then just know that you didn't really let yourself go.
You let yourself become a mother.
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