If squinch my eyes to distort the faces in that photo, I think “That’s a rad fucking photo,” but you know what I did when I first saw it pop up on the screen in Lightroom?
I googled, “How to look better with no make-up.”
I wish I hadn’t. I wish I could tell you that it’s because I want to save the earth from more unnecessary plastic containers or that I care about my skin so much i don’t wear make-up. Really though?
I just don’t have time to put make-up on. Because I’m a Mom.
BEFORE WE GET ANY FURTHER; NOTHING I SAY IS A DIG AT ANYONE. I really, truly, honestly believe that WHATEVER works for you, is amazing. Working Mom? I’m really proud of you and I know that you have your own struggles that are JUST AS IMPORTANT AS MINE. Send your kids to public school? That’s awesome and I completely support your choices. I accepted the fact long ago that although different, people are equal. This is just my account in life.
“I wish I could stay home with my kids all day and not work,” says someone with their own hardships. I know it didn’t mean anything, but I feel that cut again. Not go to work.
“10 WAYS TO GET RID OF THAT MOM POOCH” I read in a magazine and thought about how I really needed to work on getting my physically separated abs that I acquired when I gave birth to a baby who was large and flipped, to go back to how they were when I was 21 with just one tiny baby.
Pinterest supplies my days with Mom’s looking like they walked out of a Better Homes and Garden article while their four kids play happily in their manicured yard, while I sit on the toilet in two day old pajama’s with another ponytail that makes me look like a founding father and my TWO kids screaming and crying while pulling all the toilet paper off the roll. I know that it wasn’t easy for that Mom to look good, but she still did it. Why is it so hard for me? I’m going to do better today. I can’t be the Mom that let herself go.
I pull article of clothes out of my closet and dresser. I can’t breastfeed in it, so I can’t wear it. It’s well loved and comfortable, and is stretched out from breastfeeding, but DEFINITELY isn’t Pinterest worthy. Kids are still screaming, but that’s okay, this will be quick. Pull on the GAP jeans, and a relatively nice sweater that I can still lift to feed the baby.
Now I’m dressed, I need to put the baby down for a nap, but I’ve waited too long and she’s screaming and clawing me as I put her in the baby carrier against my chest, which is the only place she’ll nap. At some point she had gotten ahold of her sisters gummy snakes and is now drooling sticky purple snake slime all over my nice sweater. I know if I take her out to shout the sweater, it’ll just make her lose it again after she finally started to calm down. I’ll just leave it, I feel bad she’s so upset and tired.
I sit and start to cry. I am that Mom. The one who’s let herself go. The one who doesn’t do anything but clean the house and chase the kids. The one who doesn’t make money. The one who stays home ALL DAY, but never seems to get anything done. The one who hasn’t showered. The one who is the stereotypical pajama wearing, bedraggled, ugly, fat Mom. I might as well be barefoot in the kitchen. Oh wait, I am. A majority of the day. Fuck.
I want to just sob, but I can’t. It’ll wake the baby up and it’ll scare Ana, so I sit silently, trapping the sharp breathes low in my Mom pooch and let the tears silently roll while I play Spotify too loud to cover up any noise I might make that Ana will catch with her eagle ears. She’s not the reason I’m crying, but she’ll feel like she hasn’t done enough and feel bad, which is awful.
So I ask if my brother wants to do photos. He agrees, even though it’s a wild and semi-dangerous idea. But I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for years.
Now I have to find someone to watch the girls so I can do this. I have to wait for Chris to help me go pick up the props because it’s impossible for me to load a trailer by myself with two kids, plus it’s dangerous enough for me to go alone to a strangers house, let alone drag my kids there too. If anything happens it’ll be my fault and I would have known better, but selfishly chose to do it anyways. Then i have to see if someone will lend me their yard for it, since I can’t use public property. I can’t risk a fine since birthdays are coming up and Halloween costumes need to be bought and Chris needs to get this for the barber shop, and I still need a new piece of countertop, paint, curtains, groceries, oh don’t forget cat litter, to do the daily stuff. Chris seems exhausted, the kids are so cranky, it’s ‘just photos’ and it’s not like it’s for someone who paid me. I’ll just skip it.
It’s easier to just stay home.
No one will be upset except me, but thats okay. We can just play it by ear. Besides, I need to clean the house anyways. I’m already a shitty mom, wife, housekeeper because the bag of fruit loops the baby dumped on the floor three days ago are still there and have been ground into the cracks in flooring while I cleaned the living room and changed the litter boxes, and taught Ana math work and the meaning of 20 words and took them outside and made 37 snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner…
Fuck, is that all I do?
Who am I actually? I know I run a little blog thing that my Dad loves and a handful of friends enjoy reading, and I ‘help Chris’ run the barber shop. But who am I? How do I answer that ‘what’s new’ question when nothing’s ever new or noteworthy? I cleaned the kitchen. Like I do every day. Like I’m SUPPOSED to do. Because I don’t work. I managed to be patient and kind to everyone while both my kids melted down all day and I took it all. They’re just kids though. They really don’t know any better. And besides, I’m their Mom. I chose them and I’ll never say their an inconvenience, because they’re not. But I’m still tired. I still feel like if I was better at everything, they would be better.
God I wish I was better. Better looking, better dressed, better at doing interesting things, better at parenting, better at feeling better, better at being in shape, just better.
The baby tilts her head in the carrier as I cry. God she’s so beautiful when she sleeps. Ana heard me crying and sets a drawing and an ‘Ana wrapped’ gift of gemstones from her personal collection on my desk. They’re so fucking perfect. I love them so much. I didn’t get my make-up done, but I got 20 extra minutes to play with them outside and laugh as they point at ants and squeal. The pooch I have is where the baby laid her head at night and said ‘Mama’ clear as day to me. Reminding me that I'm blessed enough to still be a Mom, here on earth after our scare in the delivery room when our heart rates dropped and she was stuck. I might be in pajamas, but at least if they get sticky snake slim on them, a new pair will cost me $5 and I can spend the money from a sweater on a rad grim reaper Halloween costume Ana has been asking for and that’s motorcycle piece Chris has been needing. I might not get the artsy photos that look good in my portfolio, but I have photos of their smiles as they scale a giant pile of woodchips the size of a mountain and that’s worth everything. I let myself go, to hold up others. I spend my time only doing housework because the people I’m holding up find comfort and safety at home and I can give that to them. But just because it’s my own home and family, doesn’t mean it’s not work. I might not get paid by a third party, but if I did, i’d have to be a third party to pay someone to watch my kids and clean my house and clean my gutters. Just because I stay home, doesn’t mean I don’t work and that’s all I ever want to do. And I wish that other people saw that too.
I’m a Mom, but I’m still an individual too.