I remember feeling beautiful.
It wasn’t that long ago really.
I remember feeling confident.
I remember not caring what anyone thought,
Because I knew how incredible I was.
I remember trying on clothes and feeling good about the way I looked in them,
And not dreading swim suit season.
I remember loving to take pictures.
I remember being young,
And thinking when I reached my early twenties I would look even better.
When I look in the mirror,
I don’t recognize the woman I see.
No amount of make-up can hide my tired eyes.
The life in me has just faded.
Granted, being physically ill takes a toll on a woman’s psyche,
And certainly isn’t a recipe for glowing skin and radiant beauty.
But I don’t seem to know who I am anymore.
I used to see mothers who looked so plain,
And wondered how they let themselves change.
How they went months without a haircut,
Gave up on make-up,
And only wore sweats.
Now I know all the well why:
What it comes down to is that the hour I once spent getting ready and doing my hair and make-up,
I no longer have.
That extra hour is spent trying to catch up on chores,
Or chasing after my little ones,
Or trying to catch an extra few minutes of sleep before beginning my day.
That extra hour is spread in a million different directions,
Just like me.
When I had one kid,
I had time to work out.
I had time to go spend three hours at a salon getting highlights,
Or going shopping for some new clothes.
Im lucky if I can get a fifteen minute shower everyday,
Throw my hair in a sopping wet ponytail and hit the ground running.
And I wonder why my body reflects the way I feel when I haven’t had a good nights sleep in a year and a half,
And I probably wont for another two.
I wonder why I feel sick all the time when the main nutrition I can stomach is a bowl of fruit loops.
I wonder, but I know all the answers already.
I let myself go.
The phrase feared by women from their early adolescence of what future them will look like,
Has come to pass in my own life,
And it stinks.
But let’s be honest,
I can whine about it all I want, but until further notice I am way too sick to actually do anything about it, as I continue to fight to stay healthy and embrace my ever expanding belly.
But do you know what I love more than I hate my looks?
I love how much more time I am able to spend with my kids,
When I don’t have to dedicate a good sixty minutes to hair and make-up.
I love that I don’t have to constantly check a mirror for fear of smudged mascara.
I love that I don’t get leered at in the grocery store anymore,
Because I kind of have a mom bubble around me,
Not to mention my actual tiny entourage of little ones.
I guess in a way I traded what I thought was beauty for a life;
One that is challenging but so rewarding.
My kids come first,
And I suppose that shows when you look at me,
But I am okay with that too.
Plus, I am blessed with a wonderful husband who tells me every day how beautiful he thinks I am,
Even when I am at my worst.
So here is to the years,
The ways I have changed,
For good or bad,
Because it made me who I am today;
And I know my family sure loves that woman,
And that is what matter’s the most.
Being a beautiful person is what matters,
Not looking good in a bikini.
That’s why I live,
For the ones I love.
That why ultimately I can learn to love this new me,
Because I know she is loved by others.
Blessing 51: Acceptance
– From the ones who matter, even on my worst days.
Now & Then