No, I Didn’t Let Myself Go.
Disheveled hair, scraggly eyebrows, jagged nails, stinky armpits, hairy legs, squishy body, downtrodden eyes, sleepy demeanor, annoyed attitude. That’s me now. I used to be fun. Funny, even. I used to smile a lot. I had goals and a job. My hair and body were regularly washed and groomed. I worked out and counted calories or macros to maintain a healthy body. I wore makeup most days.
Now I’m lucky if I look human when I leave the house, and more disturbingly, I don’t even care. Whatever, I don’t leave the house very often anyway. With a toddler and an infant it takes so much preparation and effort. The days of grabbing my keys and going are long gone. If I do venture out it’s usually to cart my son to and from preschool, or get the kids to the doctor, or the occasional walk to the park so my son can burn off steam. Why bother with mascara or clean underwear?
People who knew me in the good ol days, and strangers alike, probably look at me and think, “that mom has really let herself go.” I look at myself and think, “I used to be kinda cute. And joyful.”
It’s hard to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself. It’s depressing to look at not-that-old pictures of yourself and see a gleam in your eyes that no longer sparkles. In every sense of the phrase, I have let myself go.
Only I didn’t.
I didn’t let myself go.
I’ve been taken from me.
All I used to be has been wrung out of my body and mind by tiny hands that don’t know their own strength. By sleepless nights followed by sleepless days, by tantrums, by fought naptimes (not mine), by inconsolable crying (sometimes mine), by lack of adult conversation, by lack of purpose.
When I worked I had a sense of purpose and, more importantly and awesomely, my son had daycare. We both had somewhere to go and something to do besides push each other’s buttons for 14+ hours a day. Being a stay-at-home mom was never in the plans. But things change, and now I’m a SAHM of two.
I’m not the mom who uses hashtags like #momlifeisthebestlife. As if you couldn’t tell by now. I’m more of a #kidssuck parent. I’m unfulfilled each day, though everyone reassures me this is the most important job in the world and that I’ll miss this someday. But getting to “someday” seems so far away. Impossible, even. Like getting to Neverland or getting a shower and 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I’m not holding my breath, except when I peel off my spit up and booger covered clothes at the end of a long sometimes 2 or 3 days.
I wish I could cherish every moment because I know someday…someday they’ll give me back. And as wonderful as that sounds right now, I’m not sure who I’ll be when that day comes or if I’ll even want to be her. I mean, if her kids don’t need her anymore what will she have left?