Many seasoned moms and dads cite sleep as the primary casualty
of parenting. While it is true that most new baby owners quite
vocally mourn the loss of a good night's rest, I respectfully
submit that something else falters first:
It starts in the delivery room when teams of doctors, nurses and
students bear witness to events that the Motion Picture Association
would rate NC-17. Yet pain, stress and exhaustion leave most moms
oblivious to their own physical presentation. I look back at
pictures of myself in the hospital after my first son was born and
wonder, "Why the hell didn't someone hand me a brush?"
Sadly, I embraced the disheveled and frumpy look for the better
part of the next five years.
It wasn't that I did not care how I looked, but rather that I
was more concerned about not leaving my young children unattended
for the time it took to shave both legs. How could I possibly dye
my hair when burping a newborn would intersect the 45 minutes
required for noxious chemicals to vaporize my grays?
No, I wasn't pretty during this period. Thankfully, my husband
didn't seem to notice my failing looks and pitiful hygiene. He
never said a single critical word.
I believe he is a much wiser man than originally thought.
As the years passed and life got easier, vanity was eventually
restored but never to the same levels as it once existed.
My idea of looking good at school drop-offs requires putting on
lipstick before I head out in my pajamas.
While shopping for a formal event, I spend more money on
effective stomach-sucking undergarments than I do on the dress.
If my nails don't have sand, Play-Doh or paint underneath them,
I consider myself "well-manicured."
Recently, I read an article about the miraculous anti-aging
properties of red wine. Suddenly, my old narcissistic sensibilities
took over. I immediately marched over to my husband with two poured
glasses of merlot as he happily watched an episode of "Swamp
"Here. Drink this," I ordered and handed over his portion.
"I hate wine," Joe grumbled as he futilely attempted to hand me
back the glass.
"Doesn't matter. This stuff makes us age backwards. Like
"Why would we want to age backwards? Things are good as is."
"But don't you want to look younger, more attractive, and have
the arteries of a 20 year old? What if this stuff really is the
fountain of youth?" I questioned earnestly.
"No thanks, Ponce de Leon."
"You don't want to be Benjamin Button?"
"Nope. I don't even want to be Brad Pitt."
"What is wrong with you? You're un-American. We are supposed to
be vain and youth-obsessed."
"Fine," Joe muttered, "but can I at least put sugar in it? Wine
"One last thing," Joe paused dramatically as he lifted the sugar
bowl high into the air for final consideration, "if I DO drink
this, you are then not allowed to get mad when women start throwing
themselves at your younger, hotter, age-defying fireman
That comment was met with a long, thoughtful pause by yours
Then I handed him a beer.
Joe, like I said, is a much wiser man than originally
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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