.

It’s the freakin weekend

I fell down on the job a bit yesterday in the self care and posting arena, but suffice it to say that applying a full face of primer + bb cream and a swipe of bronzer was the best I could do. And it was something. We’re having some minor issues around the old homestead that aaaaalmost led me down the path of ‘7 Quick Takes: Reasons renting trumps owning,’ but, somewhere between the first and second plumber’s visits and my stark realization that making a summit attempt on nighttime potty training when the washer is out, is a terrible plan, I got sidetracked. By urine.

A brief summary: we are renting, and yes we’re throwing away all kinds of money every month and yes that’s super annoying but it’s the same amount of money every month, regardless of whether, hypothetically, your garbage disposal, master shower, washing machine, built-in vacuum system and dishwasher all stop working at the same time. Hypothetically speaking. So, so sorry, landlords.

This morning was rough circa 4 am on, but once I heaved my angry body out of bed at 7 something to the tune of Joey thundering back and forth across the hardwoods screaming “I just need to be free!!!” (why why why) I made an executive decision, ran it by my commander in chief, and sprinted for the nearest exit for some alone time. At Great Clips.

I have ridiculously flat, straight hair that is super easy to cut (and more importantly, hard to screw up) so color me white trash, but my stylist is generally whomever is available for the reasonable tune of $16. I then proceeded to buy some Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner before trotting off to everyone’s favorite couture boutique, Elderly Army, where I bought some oversized post-preggo bump-hiding tops. And a great pencil skirt.

Ah, the glamorous minivan selfie.

All in all, a moderately pricy morning, but well worth the investment in that I can finally retire my last maternity top until…2016. Or so.

I have to say, the most obvious effect of the Wellness Project thus far has been the quieting of inner critic. And actually, my outer critic. She isn’t silent, but she has certainly piped down, and that’s been really freeing.

The other day I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the full length mirrored panels of our bedroom closet (how’s that for sadistic?) and the thought immediately sprang to mind: I look like I had a baby recently. And what followed wasn’t a wave of disgust or even frustration but rather, a very reasonable Yep, I had a baby recently.

I was texting with a friend who is newly pregnant with number 2 (yay!) and lamenting the sad fact that in our culture, pregnancy is only acceptable for 9 months. Why, when such a profound bodily experience has transpired, is it not okay to look like something huge and important and massively disruptive to the norm (see what I did there?) has occurred? It’s fine to be big and cute and round and even huge by the end, but it’s suddenly shocking to be stretched out and recovering even one month after the event. To other people, maybe, but more to the point, it’s shocking to ourselves.

Every one of my girlfriends, almost without fail, have at one time or another been self-critical in my presence of their beautiful, hardworking and yes, altered postpartum bodies. And I’m sorry for not having been more firm with them in my reassurances that they looked beautiful, and that recovery takes more than a handful of weeks and a stretchy pair of yoga pants. I’ve always cringed at the expression “9 months on, 9 months off,” but I’m beginning to see the truth in it. And maybe it’s 12 months. Or maybe 15. Maybe after every baby your body changes a little more, is altered uniquely by the new and unrepeatable person who has been nurtured and grown within it.

God, make me more merciful toward myself, and toward other women whose appearances I’ve judged or been tempted to judge.

Also, isn’t there just something about a new haircut? Even if it was obtained in a strip mall.

Hope you mamas are kicking back and don’t forget to head over to Bonnie’s to vote. If you want.

9 Comments

  • thesewallsblog.com

    Your hair looks great! And I feel like your copycat — I went and got my hair cut today too. I was wishing I had somewhere more exciting than the grocery store to go to afterward.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to comment regarding your wellness project. I think it’s a great idea. And after thinking for a couple of days on what I felt would improve my mood/self-image the most, I realized it’s pretty basic: getting dressed and putting make-up on before I head downstairs for the day. I happened to do so one morning and WOW, I felt great. I think I’ll make that my mission for the next month or so. We’ll see if I can do it! Thanks for sharing your great idea with everyone.

  • Bonnie

    Jenny, I really appreciate this a great deal. Being pregnant for 5 years has been incredibly hard on my once thin, pretty body and now I’m torn between just giving up and picking up to start again. But this is a good reminder to be gentle on myself. Thank you.

  • Ellen Willson

    I think it’s rather profound that an exercise that is making you do good things for yourself is silencing your inner critic. You are motivating me to keep up with my exercise program.

  • Kallah Oakes

    Thank you!!!!
    I keep thinking about my body in the grander scheme of my life as a whole, as a woman. A healthy, fertile, child-bearing, life-giving, energetic and hardworking woman. In that context, who gives a shit (was tempted to use the f word, ok)… How it feels or looks on and off before and after babies! If I am able to pull it off, I know later I will look back and be so proud of myself that I chose to be wise and forgiving of myself, and frankly, less dramatic… I believe if I can take it in stride without either self-flagellation over my reflection or throwing in the towel, it will atone for the embarrassment I gave myself for my college dalliances with absurd eating disorders!
    Its a really big deal if you’re able to do this, I think! Keep setting a good example for me Jenny :).
    Also your hair is so cute. And Paul Mitchell is the bonks

  • Stacy

    I love your philosophy on haircuts because I have the same hair and the same philosophy. I always feel super trashy when people ask where I got my hair cut…. “Oh just a salon near the house”. Yeah, it’s called Cost Cutters.

  • Britt Fisk

    Your hair looks great! I agree – a new hair cut just does something for everyone 🙂 Thanks for the beautiful post and for the whole wellness project. You’re beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *