An article entitled, “Mom Stays in the Picture,” is touching nerves over at Huffington Post. In it, the author, mother to a five-year-old and an infant, talks about how, as a woman whose body has changed so much through motherhood — the months of pregnancy, giving birth, the sleepless nights, the exhausting days — she’s hesitant to document this time in her life with photographic evidence of herself looking less than her best. But then she thinks about how her children, years from now, will want — will need — to see pictures of their younger selves with their mama. They won’t see her unwashed hair or bags under the eyes — or, if they do, what they’ll hopefully notice more is the love, the happiness shining through even the deepest exhaustion.
My son, Jackson, turns one in just a few days (we had an early birthday celebration for him over the weekend). These last couple of weeks have been a time of reflection for me. Finally, after many months of finding my footing — and falling a lot, metaphorically speaking — I’m feeling like myself again. I think I’m starting to look like myself again, too. I’ll never look as young as I did even two years ago before I got pregnant, though. Motherhood has aged me and will continue to age me faster than, well, not being a mother. I’ve lost many hours of sleep in this last year (and in the final months of pregnancy preceding Jack’s birth). My body changed, most likely for good. I’ve lost all of the baby weight I gained, but I have a feeling I’ll never lose the “mother’s pooch” I now sport just below my belly button, a souvenir from those months I carried my baby inside my body while he grew big enough and strong enough to take on the outside world.
But if this is my mom look, I’m OK with it. I don’t love looking in the mirror and I HATE trying on new clothes — or old clothes, for that matter (there may or may not have been crying in the dressing room the last time I went shopping and tried to squeeze into dresses that I’m sure would have fit me just a couple years ago). But when I look at photos of myself with Jackson, with my husband, Drew, and with other people I care about, I see love and I see happiness shining through the exhaustion. I see a fuller face, too, and sometimes puffy eyes and bangs that need trimming. But those aren’t the things I notice the most. [Click to continue]
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