Thursday, February 23, 2006

Another Vain Diva Lost to Motherhood

Can we talk? Because I'd like to confess that I used to be a vain woman. Vain, vain, vain! A prime example of early vain summer camp, age 13, my BFF and I wore Maybelline waterproof liquid eyeliner and mascara so we'd look hot (hott!) even after being in and out of the pool all day. All through junior high and high school I threw tantrums and broke countless hairbrushes because "my hair isn't going right." (Going right? Is that even English? WTF?) Can you imagine? I was expected to go to school with imperfect hair....the horror!

So you get the picture, right? Fast forward two decades and two kids and boy have things changed. I don't want to say that I've let myself go but seriously, do I actually have time to be like that anymore? Hell no! I'd love to say that becoming a stereotypical ponytailed, no-makeup soccer mom (actually, make that gymnastics mom) has been a freeing experience, that I am happy to no longer be a prisoner within the iron maiden of beauty, but I can't.

In my office, which happens to be in the center of the house, there is a mirrored closet that you have to pass to get through the room. I see myself in that thing 6,000 times a day and I swear sometimes I wonder who that woman is. She looks tired and man...wasn't she wearing that t-shirt yesterday? What's up with that hair? And her skin? I think that woman in the mirror needs a spa day...and fast. The saddest part is that while I long for the days when I had the time to be vain, a part of me kind of doesn't care that much anymore what other people think. I actually go to the grocery store with no makeup (okay...tinted lip gloss maybe) and flip flops and dirty hair and I'm okay with it (as long as I don't run into anyone I knew before I mean I drive a MINIVAN, for crissakes. I've pretty much thrown in the towel on so many levels. But I know that soon enough, both kids will be in school and I'll have more time to ponder what it means to be beautiful (or feeling not so beautiful, in my case) and decide exactly how much maintenance I'm willing to do for it.

One thing I've never been is a poodle; my term for someone who spends an inordinate amount of time being groomed at nail, hair & tanning salons, getting facials, and having dates with personal trainers. I should clarify that I don't dislike poodles and to some degree, I envy them; for they have the time and resources to pursue such an intensive regimen of pampering and grooming and well...I don't. I'll probably never be be a poodle but maybe I'll get to a place where my vanity actually helps me begin to recognize that strange woman in the mirror again.

As a sidebar, yesterday in one of my legendary Target shopping binges, I bought a L'oreal micro-dermabrasion kit. I used it last night for the first time and can I tell you...that is the best $17 I've spent on my non-diva self in a while. My face feels as smooth as my baby's butt and it really does look brighter, smoother and I daresay...just a bit tighter. And this is just the first day! Check it out if you feel like your skin is looking blah. I'm giving it my stamp of approval.

This is an old essay from, written by a guy, celebrating the hotness of real moms. It's a classic. Check it out.


  • I remember before kids (BK) I would take HOURS to get myself looking good. Now all of that pampering goes to the kids, pretty much. It is so funny though, I do treat myself to at home microdermabrasion as well. I use the kit from Philosophy. Keep doing it, and you will love the results!

    By Anonymous rhonda, at 2/23/2006 12:55:00 PM  

  • I've been curious about that dermabrasion thing. I just may have to check it out. I need a lot of grooming to feel presentable. I do not have time for most of it. I wish I did. Not poodle grooming, but just standard stuff.
    I worry that having both kids inschool doesn't make a difference because I will still have to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to get them ready. Meaning pajama bottoms, sweatshirt, and ponytail for me.

    I did get a box of crest whitestrips. Now to find the time to use them.

    By Blogger Mama! Mama! (Mel), at 2/23/2006 01:06:00 PM  

  • Sigh... I bit the dust along time ago. Right now I'm wearing a sports bra (sans cabbage, thankyouverymuch), lip gloss (my makeup regimen today), an awful t-shirt, jeans with no belt (and I need one since I lost my ass in labor)... AND my hair is sort of wet and up because I didn't have to time dry it.

    UGH... I'm going to try that kit though... Thanks for that one!

    By Anonymous Kristen, at 2/23/2006 01:06:00 PM  

  • Take down the mirror. That's my vote.

    By Blogger MrsFortune, at 2/23/2006 01:22:00 PM  

  • So glad I'm not the only one. It's impossible to put on make-up and make sure a 2 year old doesn't burn the house down.

    Still... I remember the days of great hair, make-up, and caring about the wardrobe.

    I'm sitting here in a charcoal track suit, slippers, no make-up and the baby just knocked over a basket of laundry.

    Geez, life is so freaking glamorous.

    By Blogger Amy, at 2/23/2006 01:23:00 PM  

  • As further evidence of my momhood, I am a former poodle (sans tanning or trainer) who broke down and bought facial moisturizer off the rack yesterday for the first time in years. $42 decleor...or $6 oil of olay plus three week's worth of diapers. Hm. My ego definitely needed that salon article today.

    By Blogger Mom101, at 2/23/2006 02:07:00 PM  

  • hehe I really enjoyed this post. I was a little diva in high school, now I blow dry my hair 1x a week (on a good week!), ponytails all the way!!
    Glad I am not alone!

    By Anonymous chelle, at 2/23/2006 03:30:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the post!

    I keep looking at myself in the mirror, wondering "who is that tired woman?" Surely it's not me!

    I'll check out the link now - just wanted to tell you that I understand...and that you deserve to be a poodle every once in while.

    By Anonymous reluctant housewife, at 2/23/2006 03:58:00 PM  

  • Love the poodle analogy. Never been one myself, but I know the feeling of looking in the mirror and thinking, "Who the f#$% is THAT?" Especially while pregnant.

    By Blogger mothergoosemouse, at 2/23/2006 05:24:00 PM  

  • It really is sad how much I've let myself go. I need to go to one of those spas and get the works.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 2/23/2006 08:42:00 PM  

  • I guess I am lucky that I never fixed myself up, so I really didn't have far to let myself go. I was so anti-diva that when my sister tried to make me wear makeup for my senior photo, I burst into ugly tears and spoiled the shoot. What a cranky brat.

    Your hair is still great BTW

    By Blogger SUEB0B, at 2/23/2006 11:15:00 PM  

  • Great I think most of us can relate to!

    Man, I don't even have children and I've let myself go. I'm blaming it on a busy work schedule and mid-winter blahs.

    By Blogger Jess Riley, at 2/24/2006 12:00:00 PM  

  • I found the microdermabrasion thing to work great, until I had used it about three days and my face began to break out in rapid fire. When they say it isn't for sensitive skin, and not to attempt to use it on sensitive skin, they really mean it I guess. Darn.

    By Blogger dazed, at 2/24/2006 02:57:00 PM  

  • I've been wondering about that L'Oreal kit. Good to hear that it works.

    I use perfume as a sort of insta-fem makeover; smelling good makes me feel better, even if I'm just sitting around and wearing sweaty pajamas, with crusty milk residue on my mouth.

    By Blogger Arabella, at 2/26/2006 02:56:00 PM  

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