Recently, I read this really wonderful article: Moms Being Photographed With Their Kids. It was a good reminder to have especially so early within my journey into Motherhood.
Before having Forrest, I admit that I was somewhat superficial with how I had looked. It was not entirely about vanity. Because of my Deafness, the first impression that many people have of me was my appearance because I did not speak and use my voice to communicate. Therefore, my looks somewhat communicated what I was all about upon the first impression. Also, I had a standard of how people should dress and carry themselves. It was about self-respect and how you felt about yourself. I cringed when I saw a teenager boy walking with his pants half way hanging off his butt and exposing his boxers. Or when a woman, way past age-appropriate limit, wearing a short skirt and skin-hugging shirts.
I liked to leave the house with make-up and my hair looking decent. I was not the type to spend hours in front of the mirror to touch up my make-up and hair. However, I did at least put on foundation or mascara before I left the house. During my pregnancy, this attitude had not changed. I loved wearing clothes that showed off my bump, and took advantage of my pregnancy glow. I tried on 2-3 different outfits before going out to determine which accented my bump the best. I worried about excessive weight gain, and stretch marks. I was very careful with keeping myself hydrated, not to itch, and plastered myself in lotions. I worked out, and gained accordingly exactly my doctor had asked from me. Post-pregnancy body image worried me. I was afraid it was going to be difficult to shed my pregnancy weight, and how my body was going to change.
A part of this was contributed by my personality Type A. I was very much so perfectionist, organized, anal, and on top of everything. Appearance was among one of things that I worried and probably cared a bit too much about. People jokingly have said to me that I was probably going to end up as a helicopter mom once Forrest was born.
After having Forrest, a switch was flipped off, and I no longer cared about how I had looked--not as in giving up taking care of my appearance, but in how I used to obsess over my appearance. I have caught myself on a few occasions leaving the house in my bum clothes, hair still messy and probably uncombed at times, and bare-skinned face. I spent the first six weeks bonding with my son instead of being overly worried about how my body had looked. Sure, I was not crazy about how I had looked, and it was a bit of adjustment. I took my focus off myself and on my son instead.
People did take pictures of me during those first six weeks. I was still recovering from giving birth. I did not return to my pre-pregnancy body right away. I was not crazy about those pictures. Nonetheless, I reminded myself that I wanted to enjoy this time with my son, and just to take those pictures out of my mind.
Looking back, I am glad that people did take pictures of us because I really do enjoy seeing the moments I had with Forrest.
While my body has slimmed down pretty much, I see that I still have this weird dark vertical line on my belly that won't vanish away, and I am pretty sure that it is permanent. My stomach is no longer toned even though it is flat. My boobs have quadrupled in the size. Because of this, I can't fit in some of my pre-pregnancy shirts. I find that I lean toward wearing comfortable clothes over fashion. I am pretty sure that my hips have changed from a slight pelvis separation. I have Kim Kardashian butt. You know what? I don't care.
My son is here. He smiles at me. His eyes focus on me when I am holding him. His sight follow me as I slowly depart out of his sight. His fingers gently grasps at my hair strands while I am nursing him. His chubby fingers curls on mine. He stops crying and coos when I hold him. He squints his eyes and grins when I blow raspberries on his Buddha belly.
After reading this article, I realize that one day, Forrest will be asking to see the pictures from when he was an infant with his parents. He won't see me with my still-shrinking belly in those first few weeks.
Over the years yet to come, Forrest won't see how tired I look without my make-up. He won't care that my hair is messy, or if I am wearing leading brand-name clothes. He certainly doesn't care about all this trivial stuff. All he will see is his mommy and his daddy.
Forrest has definitely taught me that looks isn't everything. Love is. And this article has reinforced my belief.