Mutha’s Day


     In May, mothers around the nation were celebrated. Cards went out, flowers were sent, and brunch became the busiest restaurant time of the weekend.

     My husband filled in for the baby this year. He went with jewelry (always the right choice) and then, because after the purchase but before Mother’s Day he decided he might have already given me that particular Pandora bead, he picked up a gift certificate for a facial and a massage at a local spa.

     I know. If I were you, reading this, I’d be jealous of me too.

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     But singing the praises of my awesome husband is not really the point of this column. Mother’s Day really highlighted the differences between my life Before Baby and After Baby.

     Before Baby, I exercised – three hours per week of core barre workouts and elliptical machine. After Baby, workouts are essentially the following: babysquats (using your quads to bounce the baby to sleep – I can do these now for approximately one hour), babycore (strap the baby to your chest and sit down, then stand up, and then repeat), babyarms (do I need to explain?), and babyendurance (how long you can carry the baby until your shoulder/hip/knees/sanity gives out). Before Baby, I ate a reasonably balanced diet. After Baby, I eat whatever food is in front of me, which means that I have consumed a meal of Twizzlers and cheese. And so on. I’m sure you’ve heard these before. All of these are things with temporary results and consequences – at some point, I tell myself, my life will return to a semblance of normal. And then I will no longer feel seething hatred for Beyonce for giving birth after me and having a waist again before me. I mean, the woman does have a posse charged with making her look like she never gave birth.

     So, since I was given a posse of sorts (posse-lite?) for Mother’s Day, I was pretty excited. I arrived eagerly anticipating a relaxing time followed by a 2-hour nap followed by strangers on the street commenting on how glowing and beautiful and well-rested I looked. First up, massage. It was everything I needed, except perhaps nine hours too short. Relaxed and zoned-out, I went to my facial, which to my surprise began with an interview that essentially undid all the relaxing stuff the masseuse did.

     I don’t like to stereotype. But I feel certain that a mom would not have looked at me in horror when I described my skin-care regimen (which is far too fancy a term to use to describe what happens to my face.)

     “Well, I take off my makeup with baby wipes. Mostly because they’re there, and they work, and I can’t ever remember to get makeup remover at the store. I wash my face with the first lathery thing my hand hits, which means that I’m pretty sure I’ve washed it with baby shampoo. Possibly also toothpaste. I try to wash it at least once a day, although I’m sure sometimes I forget…. Moisturizer? Mostly I use one with an SPF, although I’d estimate that half the time I just use baby lotion. I chose my makeup base because it looked like I could apply it one-handed without screwing it up too badly.”

     My cute little 21-year-old facialist looked horrified. During the forty-five minutes that followed, she gently lectured me. Needless to say, I found the facial much less relaxing than the massage. I left with a list of instructions and products to purchase.

     Here’s the rub: I used to be pretty well-groomed myself. I plucked my eyebrows. I straightened my hair. Hell, I had it highlighted because I had the time to maintain that color. I had regular pedicures and wore lip gloss. I taught classes wearing four-inch heels and outfits that required dry cleaning.

     I do not do this now. Now, my beauty routine consists of concealer and mascara, sometimes (it is a fact that I once left the house wearing mascara only on my left eye). I wear spit-up stained t-shirts and wear my hair in a bun. I have to buy new pants for any special occasion because once I wear them, they are indelibly stained with spit-up and pureed carrots and are therefore no longer appropriate for special occasions. I’m keeping up appearances because that’s what Southern ladies do, but it only works if you don’t look too close. Despite the fact that I am clearly a troll, my husband tells me that I’m more beautiful than ever. Either he’s trying to make me feel better, or he’s delusional. Or I have the most awesome husband ever.

     I guess I lied. This actually is a column about how awesome my husband is.

     Also, that list from my facialist? It’s languishing at the bottom of my purse, waiting for the day a posse volunteers to do my shopping for me.

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1 Comment

  1. DaShannon

    Nicely stated. Take it from the mother of a 14 year old- these days will go so fast you’ll be surprised.

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