Yesterday I saw an old friend in the grocery store. She asked the usual questions…”how are you!?”, “how are those babies!?” Then as we were about to walk away from each other she says, “Look at you, girl. You look like a little mom.”
So as I’m walking away, I look down at myself…jeans, t-shirt, flat shoes, and a jacket. My hair was in a ponytail. Is this what a mom looks like?
I immediately became self-conscious and thought about the “frumpy mom” phenomena. Women who used to take care of themselves, then after kids they let themselves go. Am I that frumpy mom? Maybe some days I am when I don’t leave the house, but usually I put on a little makeup and make myself presentable. So why did she tell me I look like a mom? I began thinking what all moms have in common. What does a mom look like?
Her nail polish may be peeling off, because she hasn’t had time for a manicure in a while. Or perhaps they are painted, but her manicurist is an imaginative three-year old that wanted to make mommy pretty.
She wears dried food on her shirt, because her little one gave her a big hug after snack.
She has shin splints from sprinting down the driveway to catch the surprisingly fast toddler.
Her legs are a little prickly to the touch. She didn’t have time to shave because the kids were hanging over the bathtub crying for her company.
She wears bags under her eyes from sleepless nights.
She carries a huge purse filled with a wallet, sunglasses, diapers, wipes, Kleenex, band aids, teething toys, a snack, and a pacifier.
Her feet are callused from running outside to help the little scientist catch bugs and butterflies.
Her limbs are numb and tingling because her infant fell asleep on her, and she doesn’t want to wake him.
She wears little to no lipstick. She put it on earlier, but it came off after she kissed those precious cheeks over and over and over again.
Her back hurts her all the time. She is constantly bending down to pick up kids, pick up toys, pick up laundry, etc.
Her fingertips smell of Neosporin from making skinned knees all better.
If she has earrings on, they probably do not dangle. She had a painful incident when the baby pulled too hard.
There is a milk stain on her jeans that she forgot to wipe off when heading out the door for work.
She wears the most joyous smile. A smile that only her kids can sneak from her lips. They make her the happiest woman alive.
Perhaps her hair is in a ponytail because her youngest wanted to read an extra book before school in the morning. She decides a ponytail will do for the day instead of using the straightener or curling iron…and she picks out their favorite book to read together.
Her knees are bruised from bending over the tub every night to wash the germs away from her little ones.
She wears a Mickey Mouse band-aid on her arm because her toddler was playing “doctor” and mommy needed a shot.
And underneath it all, she wears stretch marks, saggy boobs, & cellulite…all proof that she carried the little miracle(s) in her body.
So thank you, old friend, for the enormous compliment. I LOOK LIKE A MOM, and I wouldn’t want to appear any other way.