Oct 22 2013
1. Thriving on a nutritious diet consisting of homemade organic food? Check.
2. Perfectly coordinated outfit? Check.
3. Hair well coiffed and adorned with an accessory that flawlessly matches the ensemble? Check.
Oh how I wish that were MY checklist. It, however, belongs to my 11-month-old little girl. I always make sure she is well fed, perfectly groomed, and has any and everything she could want that is within my power to give her.
As for me, I’m lucky if I squeeze a shower in each day. After which, my hair is promptly twisted up into a clip and a bandana is worn to cover up the mess and the grays which have sprouted since her birth. On the rare occasion that my hair is worn down (If I will be away from my wee one who would only put my locks in her mouth), then the Sharpie comes out. Yes, I have covered my grays with a black Sharpie. I’m a classy broad. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 17 2013
It has happened. I swore it wouldn’t, but it has. I have a mommy uniform.
When I was expecting my first child, I promised myself I would never wear so-called mom jeans. You know, the kind spoofed on “Saturday Night Live,” with a light wash and high waist. My vow was more of one to stay committed to myself than to fashion, and yet I found my version of mom jeans in the form of workout clothes.
I first started to realize I was in an appearance rut in the spring, when my daughter–now 3-going-on-16 said, “What happened to your real eyes?” when I walked into the kitchen one morning wearing makeup.
I answered that I had applied some eyeliner and mascara and suppressed the urge to say, “Listen here, missy. Before you and your brother arrived on the scene, these were my real eyes. Every day.” Read the rest of this entry →
I never saw my mother naked.
Not even when I was a little girl.
With her clothes on, she was slender and supple. Her legs were shapely beneath black Gap stretch pants, and her breasts rode high underneath her cotton turtlenecks. She’d change with the door closed, and I knew better than to open the opaque glass door when she was showering.
She never wore bathing suits. Even when we went down to the lip of the sea where the waves licked our feet, she’d stand there in her leggings and a baggy t-shirt while my father and I would charge into the billows, our firm bodies buoyant in the waves.
I never saw the softness of her belly, or spider veins etching a life story on her thighs. I don’t know if her nipples were brown or pink or red or peach.
I never heard her use the “F” word. No, not that one. This one: Fat. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 23 2013
My daughter has jeans that fit… but I don’t.
We’ve been following along with Emily on her path to becoming a single mother by choice. Her daughter is now 6 weeks old.
Today I went shopping at Destination Maternity–again.
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Yes, I had my wonderful little baby girl six weeks ago. We’re having a great time getting to know one another. She is smiley, wiggly, and wonderful. She even sleeps for long chunks of time at night–knock on wood! But, she left me with a very stretched out uterus. In fact, my OB recently told me that I still have a 10 week sized uterus.
Big deal, so does Kate Middleton and she’s being photographed by paparazzi every day. Still, there is one thing that Kate and I don’t have in common. OK, fine, more than one thing! But, there is one difference that makes my experience of this still-pregnant-looking-body a more serious matter. I’m single. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 19 2013
My father’s mother had two constants in her life. The first was coffee, several cups a day. The other was her girdle, which kept her looking as slim as she did when she was a nurse in the Navy, before she gave birth to four boys.
Exercise and diet fads came and went, but Bubbe had her girdle. We made fun, my sisters and I, until the unthinkable happened. I bought one, too.
It all happened so fast. It was a week before my younger sister’s wedding and I took a dress to be altered. As I adjusted the fabric around my hips, the dressmaker smiled and nodded at my mid-section, asking if I was pregnant. Nuh-uh. Nope.
Obviously, I sobbed when I got to my car.
It wasn’t so much that she misinterpreted the little pooch that’s stubbornly stuck with me after having two babies in two-and-a-half years. It was the swift blow to my confidence, previously on the upswing thanks to hitting the gym three times a week and on weekends.
So I did what any practical momma would do. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 13 2013
My eyes were ready to take a giant lap around my forehead when I saw this headline in today’s New York Times style section: “Mommy Blog or a Glossy Fashion Magazine?”
I took a sip of my breakfast tea and prepared myself for a delicious hate-read of the story in which, I imagined, shiny-haired socialites would talk about their $3000 diaper bags and which pieces work best on their postpartum “cleansed” (starved) bodies.
Instead, I found that I liked what these fashionable mamas had to say. Julia Restoin Roitfeld, daughter of former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, said she had the idea for her blog Romy & The Bunnies after she had a baby and was struggling to feel attractive and fashionable. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 5 2013
Last week at my daughter’s gymnastics class, a friend introduced me to another mom as a “Spinning Instructor.” Before she could say anything, I blurted, “I am. I don’t look like it right now, but I am.”
Instead of saying, “Nice to meet you,” I went with that. Way to show self-confidence and make a good first impression. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 24 2013
Confession: I avoid mirrors. I dress in the dark (but that is at least partially because there is a window in our closet that has no curtains). I am very unhappy with how I look.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, you’re just being self-indulgent and stupid. You just had a baby THREE MONTHS ago–and ANOTHER baby 15 months before that. You have a lot going for you: your health, a great husband and family, a home, a job that lets you work from home and be with your kids. You’ve got a lot going for you, lady.” Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 30 2012
In baby and me yoga class, the instructor asks that we each introduce ourselves, our babies, and then share how we’re feeling today, both physically and emotionally. A small but lovely gesture–she wants to help us create a community of new mamas.
Yet, as we go around the room, I realize that the thread running through each introduction is self-criticism. Moms with babies as young as 6 weeks are embarrassed to explain why they haven’t yet been able to tighten their abdominal muscles, saying, “I want to better access my core but with everything going on in my life, remembering to hold in my abs is a constant battle.” Read the rest of this entry →
May 16 2012
I suspected I was pregnant with my fourth child even before the little ritual with peeing on the stick for two reasons. Reason 1: It is not normal to fall asleep in the (parked) car in the carpool line. Reason 2: It is not normal to think that dipping chocolate covered pretzels in hot sriracha sauce would constitute a tasty snack. Well, okay, both of those reasons are “normal” behavior–normal behavior for a woman who is pregnant, that is.
Food is a touchstone of pregnancy. It’s not only because a pregnant woman has to think of the developing child in her womb as she chooses what to eat, but also because those “pregnancy cravings” are very real. Trader Joe’s trips, normally a comparatively inexpensive supermarket trip to stock up on fresh vegetables, have become a veritable minefield of lethal snacks. There is definitely someone pregnant working in product development for that store (chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, exhibit A), and they prey on my dramatic pregnant appetites. Read the rest of this entry →