Pretty Pretty Mommy

Posted On: 10.25.12

It was one of those days. I was unshowered, dressed in old gym clothes. My hair was greasy, up in a bun. I wore my glasses. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling super hot.

It was a Sunday evening. We were about to leave Moo-Moo’s house to head home to get the girls to bed. I was bent down, putting Middle Girl’s sparkly pink shoes on her little feet. In retrospect, it was something she could have done herself, but there I was helping her. And as I did, my babe looked up at me, eyes bright and said something, something I didn’t expect, something it turns out I needed to hear.

Pretty pretty Mommy, she said, grinning. Pretty pretty Mommy.

Oh how I smiled. I smiled big and I secured those little velcro straps and I scooped her up into a big, fat hug. And then I said something, too.

Thank you, my girl.

We might be tired and stretched and stuck in yoga pants and standard-issue existential storms, but we are still attractive. We might not have tons of time to shower or primp or accessorize, but that doesn’t mean we have let ourselves go. We might have our eyes on our kids, chasing them around the world, fretting over their happiness and safety, dressing them in cute clothes and boots, snapping and sharing pictures of their abiding adorableness, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t look good, too.

Home from school. She sheds her pink backpack to the floor. Unzips it. Pulls a piece of paper from it, waves it in my face. For you, Mommy! she says. And I look at it. It’s us! Me and Mommy! And I look at it. And I can’t help but smile because there we are, the two of us with our blue eyes and impossibly long lashes, our matching blond hair.

I love it, sweets, I say, scooping her up. Thank you.

Do you feel pretty these days? Do your kids remind you of your own beauty, physical and otherwise? Do you feel more or less attractive than you used to? Is Middle Girl’s picture wonderful or what?

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11 Comments for: "Pretty Pretty Mommy"
  1. That picture is awesome. No, I don’t feel pretty these days! I feel tired, and worn out, and unable to juggle all the balls I have in the air. I rush home from work and throw on sweatpants (in fact have been pondering a post about this, about the signalling of clothes) and try to be there with them. But I definitely don’t feel pretty doing it! xox

    • My girlfriends and I once had a conversation about how so many of us get home from work and change straight. into. pajamas. Bypassing the yoga pants altogether. Sometimes I do this (although the yoga pants/t-shirt is more common). But sometimes I try to stay in my work clothes until my husband gets home because otherwise he could go an entire week without seeing me in dog-walking or gym clothes. I know he loves me regardless, but sometimes it makes me sad to think that people I care about much less see me looking much nicer than he usually does.

      • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

        I totally hear you. This is why I feel SO grateful for our twice weekly date nights because, well, I am not attending this city’s restaurants in flannel pajama pants. There is indeed something important and rewarding about making the effort, about primping, once in a while. But there is also something pretty awesome about the comfies that await us after a long, long day. Thanks, Gale!! xox

  2. Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    Write that post! Because I do that too. I put myself together reasonably well during the day and then at the end of it, I race to my oversized sweatshirt and yoga pants. I am assuming that this is a pretty common thing, that many of us do this, but what really does it mean? Is it all about comfort? Is it about stripping the facade? Is it about being the “real us?” Maybe I will write a post about this too 🙂

    I think there is something else at work here, too. I think we go from being individual units who are praised for who we are as people, given compliments, etc and then we have kids, a process which ages us and makes us have less time to primp, but also a process which decidedly takes the focus off us. I used to get compliments on my blue-green eyes, but now all I hear about is the eyes of my girls, how electric they are. And I love this of course, and agree that they have some stunning blues, but I think unconsciously sometimes we take it as a message that we are not pretty anymore – which I think is really not the case. I think many of us are MORE attractive in our thirties and beyond, once kids or careers have begun to dominate…

    Alas, I ramble. So much to unpack here. But, yes, the picture is pretty wonderful, eh? We have curriculum night at her school tonight and I can’t wait to lay eyes on her other masterpieces 🙂

    Happy Thursday!

    • natalia

      I so hear you on this! I literally RACE to the sweats and tee when I get home from work to hang with the kiddos. I actually kind of like it – it is an opportunity to be messy and comfortable and to focus on the stuff I don’t get to all day at work… playing and rolling around and getting messy without a care of how I “present.” The other day I took the kids for a walk when I was in this mode and was in the elevator with a SUPER trendy, put together young woman in her 20s (think one of those “artisanal” manicures, blowdry, etc… turned out she was going to an interview at MTV Style but still!) and I realized how long ago were the days I tried THAT hard and how glad I am to be focusing my energies elsewhere. I say this even though I am religious about working out and love shopping, etc- but I feel like that stuff is all about the FUN and indulgence of it now, rather than having to look a certain way lest… lest I don’t know what calamity I thought might befall me!! The one issue is that because the hubs leaves in the am before I get it together and comes home after I am in full kiddo mode, this is how he sees me most of the time! Thanks for the post, pretty lady!

      • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

        I so get all of this – the desire to get home, to slink off the day, to be comfy and roll around on the floor with the kids in comfy clothes and not worry about buttoning up or tucking in or appearing a certain way. And yet there is a part of me that longs for those days of undue effort, of wanting to dot every I and cross every T, of wanting to “present” that image. I don’t think I am willing to totally let go of that longing, of that need to “cute-ify” once in a while. And, yes, the poor husbands who come home to their super-comfy wives who looked so much more put together only hours before… Alas, real life. So so cool to see you here, Natalia. Look forward to seeing you Monday!!

  3. The drawing that your daughter made is fantastic. And I always appreciate comments from the littler ones because they have a tendency to tell the truth, no matter how blunt it may be.

    Regarding running home and getting into sweatpants/wearing sweats on off days – I miss being able to wake up and just throw on sweats and head to class. Or have a day off and throw on sweats. As a teacher, I feel like I should look respectable (for the most part) when I go out in public in case I run into a parent or a student. Maybe I’ll get over this someday. But for now, I wish I could just throw on sweats to come to school.

    I also love that you’re excited for curriculum night for Middle Girl. I think that a lot of parents lose interest once they hit the high school level (and some parents never have an interest in it).

    • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

      Now you are making me think back to college when we could throw on whatever and stumble to class toting our notebooks and big coffees. Indeed those were the days. As I am primarily mommying and writing these days, I do feel like I have a fair bit of freedom in how I dress, but I am torn between wanting to make the effort to look polished and presentable and wanting to don my ripped jeans and super-casual kick around stuff. A bit of an aesthetic identity crisis, I suppose.

      And, yes, I am obsessed with these curriculum nights. I love nothing more than gaining that elusive peek into the world of my child at school. It really does make me nostalgic for my own school days and also so excited for them to be at the outset of so much life and learning. I would honestly be surprised if these evenings ever get old for me.

      Thanks, Elise!

  4. Kristen

    I love your daughter’s drawing! Kid art is honestly one of my favorite things.

  5. I definitely don’t feel pretty. Pretty tired maybe. Lately I have been zonked. My daily outfit is a lululemon tank, jeans, and a pair of converse. Gah. And yet, when my boys tell me I look like a princess, my heart soars!!

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