It is a state of mind, ladies. Says the 20 week pregnant woman. Finding out gender on Friday! Where was I when I was this pregnant with SweetPea--(oh, wait, that was 33 weeks)?
And it wasn't until my recent trip to ny to help my sister Molly with her new baby girl (LOVE HER!!!) that I realized this. It's a state of mind. Walking the Brooklyn streets to run errands for my sister, or up to the doctor's office with her, I marveled. The women in Brooklyn look chic. In their snowcoats. With their boots and hats on. Pushing a stroller, dragging a doggie, or sipping a latte. They looked like they either cared about their appearance, or they thought they were hot stuff despite it. Lesson learned for me: believe you're hot. Do it.
So that means if you're wearing yoga pants and a nursing bra (despite ceasing nursing months and months ago) (oh, yeah, the non-underwire one), care enough to add earrings. And a normal shirt. Not one that requires ironing after you wear it, mind you. But not one that has holes or stains, or an unflattering midsection.
If you're newly pregnant, relax. You get a pass. If you're newly a parent, relax. You do too. The rest of us do not. I repeat: do not get a pass.
Beyond the basics of hygiene, thanks to my Tia Ali for the space heater in my bathroom that enables more frequent showers, and dressing yourself beyond the look of a waif or workout queen, remember the mental battle.
Part of my realization took place when I found myself repeatedly saying "I just look so terrible" to any available person: my sister, brother-in-law (sainted man), husband via FaceTime, girlfriend I ran into at the airport. I had to stop and think: why do I think I look so bad? And do I look that bad? Because 1) I do and 2) I think of myself as frumpy mom house frau.
Maybe I could pull off this look if I delusionally thought I did look decent. Or say, I made an effort to look decent and stopped telling myself I look like a beaten down, tired, apathetic housewife who just wants to survive til 6:30 when AA comes home and I can collapse upstairs.
You see Facebook or Instagram photos of your mommy friends and think "why does she always look so good? Why make the rest of us feel like crap?" Clearly (hopefully) that's not her motivation. She's probably trying to rise above her beaten down feelings, you know, the ones your fingers are prune from swimming in. Good for her.
Now get about the business of becoming hot for your poor neglected husband. Not just on your annual date night to his company holiday party, but bi-weekly (too much? Bi-monthly?). It's not about your weight, lack of hair coloring, or nail condition. It's really truly about thinking you're still the hot babe he married. Wear your baby evidence (weight, stripes, wrinkles) with pride and be a mama who still roars. (Too much? Maybe too much. I'm going to make myself a hot cocoa.)