Saturday, April 27, 2013

mommy has a mustache! ...and other weird things about motherhood

i remember certain things about my childhood.  i remember summers spent at the lake with grandma and grandpa.  i remember weird games that Seester and i would invent and play in the yard.  i remember the baseball diamonds, the smell of the dirt and grass and popcorn.  i remember swimming and sneaking inside for cookies.  i remember watching cartoons on mom and dad's bed.  i remember the aroma of pot roast in the crock pot.  i remember waving to dad as he drove down the street on his way to work on summer nights.

i remember mom grooming herself, tugging and plucking unwanted, and unseen by me, stray eyebrow hairs and "whiskers" on her chin.  and i remember thinking to myself....i don't see what she's tugging at, and that will never happen to me.

well, IT DID.

this is not okay.  plucking eyebrows, sure.  that, i am fine with.  i actually don't mind doing that.  it appeals to my OCD nature.  it's kind of a time when i'm all by myself for ten minutes, i can harness my chi, and i feel so put-together when i'm done.  isn't that weird?  that one small maintenance measure can make me feel so much better after a crappy crappy day?  okay fine. 

but i VIVIDLY remember seeing my first "whisker" on my chin.  dark brown, coarse feeling, and just THERE.  where the hell did that come from?!?  i remember plucking it as fast as humanly possible, and examining it, thinking, "you filthy little INVADER! how dare you make me look like a man!

and then, i was almost peeved because why, on earth, would my husband not tell me that i was becoming a grotesque specimen of a woman?  how could he not say, "sweetheart, you're getting a little masculine.  you may want to trim that up a bit." 

i think the truth is, however, that all of us ladies examine ourselves way too intensely, way too closely.  we hold ourselves to this impossible image, that our faces, our arms, our abs, our legs need to look like we're airbrushed all the time.  well, i'm here to tell you, that i don't look like a victoria's secret model.  shocked?  i have stray hairs that i must contain.  i eat ice cream way too often.  i have lumps on my thighs that i can't even begin to figure where or when they arose.  i have stretch marks that i wish i could erase. 

and why do i wish i could erase these things?  these imperfections that come from being a mommy, or a hard-working, usually distracted woman....why do i wish to erase these battle scars of a life lived fulfilled, thus far?  i'm not going to blame the media.  that's such a scapegoat.  well, look at HER in that magazine!  she looks so perfect, i'm going to starve myself to look like HER.  no, that's a copout.  because i believe that even without magazines, billboards, the internet, we women would still compare ourselves to our friends, our enemies, our mothers.  and i think we'd do it in a self-malicious manner.  we would do it regardless.  we'd tear down our parenting beliefs, our bodies, our jobs, our houses, our faith.  and we'd compare it to those of women around us, without help of the media.

why do we do this?  is it innate in our double-x chromosomes?  is it something we're taught?  is it our inborn nature to be better, faster, stronger....almost bionic? 

there is a very fine line between wanting to better yourself, in whatever way is en vogue at the moment, and driving yourself crazy with it.  i think we all want to be prettier, stronger, more faithful, less emotionally unstable, more productive, more loving, more independent.  but we have to learn to balance it.  to compare ourselves to ourselves.  Seester is living a completely different life than i am, and i shouldn't compare myself to her.  can i learn from her?  of course!  but i shouldn't think to myself that i should be more like her.  should i be judgemental of other women and their parenting style/hairstyle/body type/clothing choices?  no, i should not.  i should praise them for their whatever, because whatever their choice in handbag/religion/daycare/discipline/hygiene regimen, they've arrived at that while comparing themselves to others, or through financial constraints, or God's blessings.  and God bless them for that.

we are all God's creatures.  we are all in this together.  so what if i have a whisker or two that i haven't plucked in a few days?  i'll get to it.  so what if i have a few carpet stains from our new puppy learning to pee outside?  she'll understand it.  it won't last forever, and i'll fix it.

however, i do have someone lined up that, in case of a hospital stay where i'm incapacitated, they will come in and tidy up my eyebrows, my mustache, and my whiskers!

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