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From Beauty to Beast:: The Unappealing Side of Motherhood

 I have never felt so unappealing as I do now. I have been mauled by motherhood and have developed an allergy to loveliness. It’s not just the unruly curves of my post mom body. I can handle a few extra pounds. The curves make me more approachable, and they are bringing me closer to my ultimate goal of transforming into Mrs. Claus.

It’s more than trying to be young, beautiful or freshly showered. All attempts at ironing or having color coordinated outfits are in the distant past. You might as well post a condemned sign across my nether regions and call it a day.

Imagine this coming toward you at a grocery store surrounded by shrieking ghouls. That’s just my little horde!

I no longer meticulously straighten the natural curls from my hair and I rarely wear makeup. Most days I don’t even pause to look at my reflection in the mirror. I do brush my teeth daily and I wear deodorant. Sometimes I change my underwear. I may look like a mess, but at least I don’t smell. That should show you the depth of love that I have for you. When I wore makeup to my son’s classroom one of his classmates exclaimed, “I didn’t know who you were!” Yep, that’s me in disguise. If I were a superhero my costume is cleaning up and looking presentable.

I am incredibly tired.

My brain and body are crumbling as a result of hurricane mornings. Counting scoops of ground coffee each day is almost too complex for my exhausted mind. {For the record, it’s nine scoops.} I can’t handle strong black coffee and I don’t add sweetener or too much cream because of the aforementioned post mom curves. Don’t interrupt me during a task or you may discover that I’m spraying down your hair with olive oil instead of hairspray. And I won’t care! You will go to school like that because oil will work just as well and people will think you smell delicious. And yes, my house is in that much disarray that hair styling products are in the kitchen and vice versa.

When I go out in public I am always accompanied by my roaring mess of a brood.

I unashamedly use my children as a social shield. I need them as a visible explanation of my unkempt state. These uncontrollable spawn are the reason I have bags under my eyes and am wearing what I slept in last night. Please don’t watch me wipe the free cookie crumbs off their mouths with the tail of my shirt. I’m not embarrassed until I see the shock on your face. Believe me, this shirt has much worse on it already. The stains on my shoulder are snail trails from my toddler’s snotty nose.

If I take too long trying to find the cheapest brand of peanut butter, my youngest is tearing down the display shelves and climbing to the ceiling crying out, “Look at me, Mommy!” I’m moving as if each selection from my grocery list is a clue and the store is an escape room. Just walk away. Please. Do not call attention to us. In fact, run quickly in the other direction. Pretend that we are ghosts in American Horror Story and I am Kathy Bates. I assure you that the impending mess from our encounter will be no less gory than an episode.

If I leave the house without my children, the ease of movement is overshadowed by an undeniable feeling of nakedness.

I do not have a child on my hip to cover the stretched out t-shirt or the roll of fluff that doesn’t fit into my “real pants.” If we exchange hellos and have commented on the weather, I am stricken with fear. I have nothing else to contribute. I don’t know how to reply when there isn’t a child to reprimand or someone to chase. My un-plucked eyebrows and non-manicured hands feel as if they are growing in the silence. I have ended conversations with a blank smile and an offhand comment about the color of the floor. Surrounded by children all day, I have forgotten what it means to talk about anything other than the scent notes in a fart. (A special thank you goes out to my precious sons for the amazing insights into bodily functions).

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away I was a different girl.

I combed my hair and spent the early hours of a day trying to look beautiful for people that barely saw me. Now I spend my mornings changing diapers and making breakfast. I don’t have time to take a shower because I need to google the name of the longest bridge in the world or my oldest’s head will explode. There is no time for makeup because my youngest is dying of thirst and needs his cup refilled immediately. Little things add up to the sum of a busy morning. I know that this is a season . . . albeit a season of dark and dreaded terror where I play the role of Shrek.

My family sees me as beautiful without all the effort.

I would venture to say that they actually like it when I smell a little. They would rather have the disheveled mom that I am than the sweet smelling, polished supermodel I once longed to emulate. If I was spending mornings trying to impress strangers, I wouldn’t have as much time to kiss rosy cheeks and laugh at silly knock, knock jokes. Those things seem much more important.

Motherhood rules like a tyrant. It will chew you up and spit you out if you don’t learn to roll with the punches. Run with the beast. We’ll have time to spruce up for the second act.

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One Response to From Beauty to Beast:: The Unappealing Side of Motherhood

  1. Tammy April 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Beautifully stated!!! It is as you say…a sense of nakedness when your children are not with you! These years are fleeting and I wouldn’t trade any poopy diaper, scraped knee, morning snuggles, late nights,, spilled milk, smudged handprints on the glass, tears to wipe away, backyard exploration, craft extravaganza, pile of children’s laundry….kisses and lovings as my kids like to say, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!! You are a beautiful loving fun mom Leah and you radiate joy over your children, just the way our Father in Heaven delights over us:)