MILF Envy

Back in my early twenties, motherhood seemed more like a good way to settle down in my mid-thirties than a thing that was unsuspectingly about to take control of my entire life.  I used to walk around, head in the clouds, like I had the sweetest-smelling shit of all, telling myself “when I become a mom, I’ll be the MILF-y kind who looks hot all the time, still hangs out with my friends, has an amazing, easily-balanced between home and work kind of job, and would never even THINK about driving a minivan.”

Now that I am a mom, well, I’m still not that into minivans.  But the rest of that stuff is just plain hilarious.  What is it about being a single twentysomething that turns you into a know-it-all bitch?  No offense to my one or two young, childless readers.  My qualms are mostly with my own obnoxious younger self, not you fabulous bitches.

The dictionary merely defines motherhood as “the state of being a mother.”  I’d like to add an alternate definition to that: “the state of being in a permanent, childbearing-induced rut.”

It feels like motherhood has left me with a severe inability to get my shit together.  Physically, mentally, and emotionally just incapable of looking and feeling awesome. Ever.

While I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way, I also know that there are moms out there who haven’t been quite so physically defeated by this hurricane we refer to as parenthood.  And whoop-de-doo for them.  Go buy yourselves a Sephora gift basket or something.  Maybe reapply your mascara on a roller coaster or during a high-speed car chase.  I don’t care.  You and I aren’t likely to ever be very close anyway.

The thing is, I love my kids and they’re the best and they come first and yada, yada, yada, but I miss giving even half of a shit about what I look like when I leave the house.   I don’t really want to add the obvious subtext here that my kids are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m blessed and all that sentimental whatnot, but I will.  It’s all gravy, folks.  I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.

But sometimes, I think, it’s okay to vent about the fact that you’re falling apart from the inside out, and that you look and feel like you’ve been hit by a truck most of the time.

I have come to a point where I don’t even care anymore about how I look.  Last year, the full-length mirror in my bedroom broke and I didn’t bother to replace it for about six months.  I could have replaced it sooner, but my need to see how my sweatpants matched my sneakers just wasn’t motivation enough to haul two kids out to Home Depot with me to lug home a gigantic mirror.  And really, who needs another daily reminder of the ever-widening hips, increasingly disappointing wardrobe selections, deepening under-eye circles, and sudden appearance of a new wrinkle every other week?

I don’t know about you, but the thought of getting dressed up to leave the house both excites and terrifies me.  Switching out pajama pants for skinny jeans, slippers for knee boots, hoodies for fitted, cashmere sweaters—in theory it sounds appealing.  Looking sexy is empowering.  When you look great, you feel great.  It really is true.

But when your skinny jeans leave you looking anything BUT skinny, and they slouch messily around the knee area of your boots instead of perfectly hugging your pant leg the way everyone else’s seems to, and your cashmere sweater gives you pre-premenopausal hot flashes, and you find yourself daydreaming of cozy Old Navy pajamas, you can’t help thinking “what’s the fucking point??”

And that sentiment really sums it all up.  What IS the point?  Why bother wasting my time with nice clothes that will end up covered in tomato sauce and toddler snot?  Why bother putting makeup on if taking it off is just another thing to check off my to-do list before I go to bed?  Why even bother putting in my contact lenses if it means I’ll eventually run out and have to purchase more?  Like diapers and groceries, those things aren’t cheap.

I don’t have a solution for any of this, so if you’ve been hoping for some advice or perhaps a sudden epiphany at the end, sorry for wasting your time.  I’m a lost cause.  It’s 12:30 in the afternoon and I haven’t put on a bra yet, I’m not wearing a single unstained article of clothing, and I honestly can’t even remember if I’ve brushed my teeth today.  Hell, I haven’t taken a selfie since before they were called selfies.

Does this count as a selfie?

Does this count as a selfie?

But I can tell you this much: I have faith that it will get better eventually.  I don’t know when, and I don’t know how.  But someday, somehow, Mommy will look and feel good again.  She has to, right? RIGHT?

I honestly have no idea.

Do you?

A Letter to Women Who Look Amazing ALL THE TIME

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Dear Lucky Bitches,

I am writing to ask that you unveil the location of the magic button you press each day which enables you to instantaneously become impeccably-dressed and fabulous-looking on the spot.  You know what I’m talking about.  That button keeping you from ever leaving the house with a hair out of place or a visible smear of toddler snot on your collar?  Don’t shake your freshly blown-out, perfectly highlighted head in denial.  I know you are hiding that button somewhere.  Maybe on the night table next to your skin cream?  Or in the closet above your Jimmy Choo shelf?  Hidden under a pile of Gucci purses? In the makeup drawer behind your infinite lipstick collection?

I know it’s there, and I WILL find it.

It has to be there.  There’s just no other way you can leave your house every day sparkling and glowing like a freaking vampire from Twilight.

Is that what it is?  Are you a vampire?

I just don’t know how you do it.  I mean, I’m lucky if I make it through the whole day without getting peanut butter on my pants, a coffee stain on my shirt, partially covered in dog hair and smelling like cooked onions and olive oil.  And it’s a miracle if I’m not already in my pajamas by 6 pm.

Hell, if I’m still wearing my bra at that time then it’s been one humdinger of a day.

Even on those occasions special enough to warrant makeup application and, dare I say, high heels, it usually isn’t very long before mascara is blotching, hair is frizzing, feet are swelling, and lipstick is merely a smudge of what it used to be.

So if there really is no magic button, then what the hell is it?  Do you employ a live-in staff of stylists, hairdressers, and makeup artists?  Or are you secretly a princess from a foreign land?  A distant relative of Kate Upton, maybe?  A fem-bot, perhaps? A human freaking Barbie doll???

Please stop denying it.  You know who you are.  You walk around as though your children don’t occasionally wipe ketchup or mucus on your sleeve, or spill juice boxes and sippy cups down your shirt.  Your permanently manicured hands have never washed a single dish, and I know your closet must be the size of my entire apartment because, I swear, you’ve NEVER worn the same outfit twice.

Do you even OWN a pair of sweatpants?

All I’m asking for is your secret.  I have neither the time nor the patience for tiresome daily beauty rituals.  I can’t be bothered fishing through my closet in search of the perfect outfit for picking my son up from school, and I don’t know which shade of blush will accurately match my flushed cheeks after multiple trips carrying heavy groceries in from the car.  As much as I relish the thought of turning heads at the bank’s ATM or Dunkin Donuts or maybe even Kmart, I just cannot muster the effort it will take to achieve such a thing.

Look, I apologize for calling you a bitch (I actually said lucky bitch) at the beginning of this letter.  But, the thing is, you’re making me look bad.  Like, really bad.  If we were Kardashians, I’d surely be Khloe.  And if you’re Penny, then I’m Amy Farrah Fowler (hello, Big Bang Theory reference—if you have time to primp, then you have time for one of the best shows on TV, dammit).

So listen, maybe there is no button.  Maybe you aren’t really a fem-bot or a vampire, or a goddamn Disney princess in the flesh.  Maybe you are a regular chick who just happens to ALWAYS look like her shit is totally perfect and together– 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  And if so, good for you!  That’s quite a feat.

But I’m going to need you to take it down a few notches, okay?  Take one for the team.  Please?  Because the rest of us NORMAL PEOPLE don’t have the ability to look like we stepped off the set of a movie at all times.  And that shit just isn’t fair.

If not for me, then do it for your family.  Cut the routine down by an hour or two and go read a book to your kid or bake some muffins instead.  Maybe even try washing a dish.  Your family will thank you.

And, more importantly, so will I.

Sincerely,

A Not-So-Lucky Bitch