Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Repost: I lost my sexy, but I think I know where it is

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.


Nov. 24, 2010

Today is my wedding anniversary. Eight years ago this morning (and I do mean morning; we got married at sunrise), my husband and I said 'I do.'

Last year, our daughter was a few weeks old, so we had a candlelight takeout (Moroccan!) dinner at home while she napped. This year, there will again be no high heels or fancy dinner.

The plan is pretty much to hang around the house and get ready for tomorrow's Turkey Day extravaganza. I will probably be wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt, with my hair tied in a scarf. My daughter likely will be dancing and hopping around. My husband will probably be trying to dip into the food for Thanksgiving. We likely will be listening to Raffi.

Yeah, I think I've lost my sexy.

Not that I ever had much of it, of course. Even at my best, I was never the hippest, sexiest chick on the block. Motherhood has only accelerated the rapid decline.

Should I be OK with that? I'm not. For some reason, it upsets me that moms are just assumed to begin to "let themselves go" -- so much so that there's a cultural space for women who are thought to break from the norm and are actually "sexy moms (that last link is NSFW due to profanity)."

I no longer have the patience, time or energy to doll myself up the way I did pre-child, but I'm determined to make an effort nonetheless. More for myself than for my husband, believe it or not. That effort means I really am trying not to dress like a slob around the house, Thankgiving prep night excepted. I'm trying to do a better job with wearing makeup regularly (OK, just lip gloss most days. Look, it's a start!) and with my wardrobe. I've also returned to a favorite self-pampering routine of my youth: giving myself a weekly manicure with a fun nail color.

I've even taken up running, with a vengeance. I'm finding that it's great for both my physical and mental health. It's good exercise and allows me some time with my own thoughts. Even when I have my daughter with me in the jogging stroller, she generally gets quiet and seems to enjoy the scenery going by, so I have rare, precious time to think. I certainly feel better when I can invest that time in myself, and I'm convinced that when I feel good, I can be a more present, effective mother, wife and worker.

So, although I'm still struggling with it, my 'bringing sexy back' goals are basically fairly modest: I just want to be the best me that I can be.

Have you struggled with what it means to be a mom and be at your personal best, too? How do you find time to work on you?

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