So, I was scrolling through my old Instagram posts recently, and I came across this photo of me, sitting on the couch, freshly home from the hospital with my firstborn. I had asked my husband to capture the moment when we introduced our new baby to our two fur babies. This seemed like an exceptionally pivotal moment. I smile when I remember how nervous we were to bring Maximus home from the hospital. (I kid you not, crazy mother that I am, I was having my carpets in the house professionally steam cleaned that very same day, for fear that even after months of “nesting” that my home was not clean or sanitary enough for a newborn.) When Troy, my husband, picked the girls up from the doggy sitter he brought along a onesie that Maximus had worn in the hospital that smelled like him, to help make the girls familiar with the new baby’s scent. All of these things are permanent products in my memory, but they actually have nothing to do with the topic of this blog! Ha. What stood out to me when looking at this beautiful moment, captured historically on my Instagram account, was my ridiculous caption,
“For those that were wondering, introductions of the girls to their new brother couldn’t have gone better!! We are officially a family of five!! (Forgive my crazy hair and appearance!)”
It’s that last parenthetical that kills me – Forgive my crazy hair and appearance!
I wanted to reach through the image and slap my former self.
Forgive!? Mama, WTAF is there to forgive!? You literally just brought this baby home. You are a super human. You pushed for 3.5 hours (not including labor) to deliver this amazing child, and you look amazing. Your hair is in a neat and tidy bun on top of your head. Get serious with your life right now. Oh, PS, the bun is here to stay – you’re a mother now. Welcome.
The thing was, this was all new. This motherhood thing. As a first-time mom, it is absolutely overwhelming. I had no clue what I was getting into before it hit me. I packed my hospital bag like I was going on a weekend resort vacation. We had taken a 12-week long natural child-birth course, and I was still drastically underprepared for what the realities of postpartum were going to look like. This is a major problem in our society. We expect mothers to deliver and within weeks be ready to walk the catwalk for the VS fashion show. It’s insanity. I’m sure that we will revisit this topic soon, since I will be delivering again in roughly 5 weeks. However, one thing I can be sure of, is that this time around, I will not be apologizing. I swear to embrace my hot mess self, diapers and all, with grace and acceptance. Now I know that a day with a shower is a really, really good day!
I visited a hair stylist recently that was asking about my daily hair ritual… I almost laughed out loud. Hmm, let’s see. I wash it every 2-3 days or so. I do use a leave-in conditioning treatment, which is the full and complete extent of my hair product usage. I let it air dry. When it is dry it usually ends up in a ponytail or a tie-back knot of some kind. On really fancy days I do a braid, and the great thing about this is that my next-day hair has a little texture. Otherwise, my hair is straight. Flat. It’s there.
Don’t get me wrong, when I get the opportunity to have an actual blowout, I seize the luxury. I still get my hair colored every 8-10 weeks or so, because this is necessary for me to feel like a human. It’s just that on a daily basis, this feels like such a rich indulgence in time-wasting that it’s not even worth contemplating. When your toddler is going to run his cereal and milk fingers through your hair, using a texturizing spray is no longer necessary. Got milk? Texturizing complete!
I hear some of you mamas shouting, but yes – what does your hair say about you? What type of person do you really want to present to the world? Don’t you feel better when you put in the extra effort? So, let me respond to that… what does my hair say about me? It says I’m tired. It says I’m busy. It says that I would rather not spend 20 minutes in the morning with a blow-dryer and a round brush when I have someone tugging at my leg to go outside and play “sand” or “read, mama?” It says that at this point in my life, it’s just not really a priority. Guess what. I’m okay with that. Maybe someday, in like a decade, when I’m done having babies and I’m sending all of my littles off to school, perhaps then I will take the 20 minutes. Maybe when I can ethically lock the door to the bathroom without worrying that some small person will absolutely be freaking out or may do something crazy like drink poison, maybe then it will seem important. Right now, I’m just keeping tiny humans alive (one at my feet and one in my belly still), and right now, that seems like enough.
So, cheers to not apologizing. Cheers to messy buns. Cheers to motherhood.