Mom-Style: It Happened to Me

Sometimes being a parent is depressing.

I’m not complaining, I’m just stating a fact. I think about my pre-children life all the time, how much easier it was to pack for a weekend trip, say, or to run a quick errand.  I mean, the light fixture in our kitchen takes a special lightbulb, and we’ve just been eating in the dark since it went out a few days ago. It could be weeks before we get to Lowe’s. No joke, I would rather eat in the dark than attempt to take all three of my kids to a store.

One of the things I miss most about the old Jenny, though, is what I used to look like. I know it’s shallow, but there it is. My husband says I’m more attractive than when we met; he likes that I’m low maintenance. He’s sweet. But I miss having a body that can be trusted to remain at a fairly reliable weight. I miss knowing for sure what size bra to buy, which pants will fit me correctly. Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood times three have changed all that.

Don’t know what to wear? How bout a baby?

My closet, right now, contains a range of sizes, clothes I bought in the early stages of pregnancy and in the months after giving birth. They’re too big for me now. At this moment I’m wearing a pair of saggy “boyfriend” jeans from Old Navy. On me, they should be called It’s a good thing you’re married because you would NEVER land a boyfriend in these jeans. However, they’re preferable to (and far more comfortable than) the other jeans in my closet, the Hey! Check out my muffin top! ones, also known as the Just wear an extra long top and no one will know your top button is undone jeans.

The last time I bought myself a nice pair of jeans was at least seven years ago, but I just don’t see the point. While it is very likely that I am done riding the whole pregnancy roller coaster, I’m still waiting to see where my body will decide to settle. Like it’s a freaking traveler on the Oregon Trail. Plus, I can’t justify spending a lot of money on an article of clothing that will be soiled within the first hour of wearing it by either a) spit-up, b) poop, c) snot, d) a condiment that was intended for dipping but which my child is eating with a spoon, e) some kind of art utensil, or f) all of the above. So I shop the Merona clearance racks at Target and make do with wearing combinations of my new stuff, which only kind of fits me, and my old stuff, which feels new to me because it’s the first time in five years that I’ve managed to cram my hips into it.

And it wouldn’t be so bad, trying to piece together an outfit from the five shirts and two pairs of shorts that fit me, but then there’s the issue of hair and makeup. The issue being, who the hell has time for that? Every time I see a fellow mom with her hair sleekly blow-dried, every highlighted strand sprayed into place, face powdered and lips bright with lipstick, I wonder what I’m doing wrong. (What business does she have looking so good, anyway? She must be trying to have an affair. That’s the only explanation.) Do I need to get up earlier? I’ve tried. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what time I wake up: I never end up looking like those gorgeous lipstick moms, and after I have spent forty-five minutes attempting to beautify, it’s ruined when I get all sweaty tackling my two-year-old to the floor because she’s refusing to have her teeth brushed.

I’m not complaining, really, I’m not. I am what I am. I’m a mom. My looks should be the last thing on my mind, especially because I would hate to send my daughters the message that that’s what matters. I guess that, with all the insanity in my life, it would be nice to look like I have it together, even if I don’t. And I know that things will start to plateau soon, and I might actually get to go shopping for clothes that fit me. At least, I hope it’s soon, because it really would be nice to make a detour to Lowe’s. Until then, I’ll be hiding in my dark kitchen.

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