Through Their Eyes

I’ve been feeling a little old and haggard lately.  Not just fatigue and tired and busy mom of three kind of old and haggard, but the ugly, unattractive kind of old and haggard.  I’m aging and I’m not very happy about it.  It’s got me a little down.

Here’s a recent pic as evidence.

I have puffy bags under my eyes, my pores are too big, and my skin is pasty. I’m carrying an extra 10 pounds from the holidays. I hate those grooves forming between my nose and my too thin lips.  And I am just so sick and tired of my hair. I cut bangs and got highlights to no avail. Really, I think I’m long overdue for some good hair days. I feel old. Just old.

The other day I was looking in the mirror, sighing over the girth of my hips and cellulite on my thighs, when I caught Penny, right behind me, sizing up her backside too.  She smiled at me, clearly pleased she was doing grown up things, even if she didn’t quite understand the point.  And it hit me, what am I teaching my girls about body image, self-esteem, and self-respect?

At their age I remember thinking how beautiful my mother was.  She had this hot pink, terry cloth bikini she wore to sit in the kiddie pool with us and I remember thinking how gorgeous she was with her thick, black hair, pale skin, and that bikini. Oh, how I wanted one of my own.

My mother had two children at that point. I’m sure her tummy wasn’t as flat as it was pre-children, I’m sure she had lines or bags or grey hair she wasn’t happy about, but I didn’t see it.  I just saw my mother, the most beautiful woman in the world.  Did I see her inspecting herself in the mirror? I don’t remember that, but maybe, probably.

I can’t help but wonder how that affects a little girl, how it affects my little girls. I can tell they think I’m pretty, that they want to grow up to look like me, and here I am showing them through my actions that I’m not happy with what I have, that it’s not good enough, that it’s unattractive.

Well, that is a lesson I do not want to teach them.  They are beautiful and I want them to see that always.  So I’m going to try to change the way I look at myself.  Try to appreciate what I have that I like, try to appreciate what I don’t like. I’m going to try wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see myself through their eyes.  For a moment, maybe, I’ll see the most beautiful woman in the world.

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5 Responses to “Through Their Eyes”

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  1. Kristin
    Twitter: kristinglas

    I struggle with the same thing. It’s very hard. And at the same time we need to feel beautiful, like we’re putting our prettiest face forward. I’m trying to figure that out.

    I’m reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, she doesn’t have any solutions for getting old but she makes you laugh about it.
    Kristin´s last post ..In Case Of The End Of The World, We Have Rice.

  2. lorrie
    Twitter: Moogirl

    Once I finally got a haircut I liked I learned that I feel a whole lot better about myself when I spend about 5 minutes doing my hair (all I do is flat iron it so I don’t look like I’ve been sleeping for a week). I wash my hair at night and flat iron in the morning. I get much better hair results when I let it air dry or pillow dry. Try the wash at night thing and get a flat iron, a decent one with ceramic plates.

    I did the bare minimal make up thing for a couple weeks, but that didn’t last long. I hate putting stuff on my face and worrying about it getting messed up later in the day.

    I skip the iron and go with a ponytail a couple days a week.
    lorrie´s last post ..1 year and 4 months, plus a couple weeks…

    • Jessica Anne says:

      My hair sticks up funny in the morning so I have to get it wet so it lays flat. That’s really part of the problem, getting all three kids dressed, fed, and out the door by 7:30 for school doesn’t leave me time to do anything with myself.

      • Lorrie No
        Twitter: Moogirl

        Okay, so I can’t relate to waking up early since Luci and I sleep in too often. I’m trying to work on that since eventually she needs to get up early for school. I set an alarm to wake us up at 8:00am, but I need to be more determined in order to get OUT of bed. I still try to take 5 minutes to do my hair. I heat the iron up while I’m brushing my teeth and changing Luci to clothes. She gets to brush her teeth or play while I iron.

        My hair sticks out EVERYWHERE in the morning. I’m not kidding. I don’t have the thick flat straight Asian hair. I have a lot of hair that is medium to thin and very easy to bend, dent, or curl. I look like a train wreck every morning. I never wet it first though, I just grab my flat iron and work out the bends in my hair. You don’t have to get your hair stick straight or anything, I mainly use it to smooth out the top and top layer of hair and give the ends a little curl inwards if I feel like it. I wish I could show you, but you’re too far away. I understand how hard it is to add something to your morning routine though. Even 5 minutes can be hard to find — especially with 3 girls….the feeding part takes the longest for me and I only have one. Then I don’t even get to feed myself if I’m trying to do dishes while she eats.
        Lorrie No´s last post ..1 year and 4 months, plus a couple weeks…