Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest of them all?
I have to say it is not me
Muchas gracias GRAVITY

Who’s staring out from behind those eyes?
Is there a woman I recognise?
I’m not the girl I used to be
Whatever happened to the ‘old’ me?

Sleepless nights - I’ve got no youthful glow
I think I lost it long ago
Today I am a marketers dream
With trolley loads of youthful cream
Cream for the face and the neck
I buy them all…what the heck!

Yes, this face paints a picture of who I am
But that doesn’t mean I can’t look glam
These lines - from happiness and strife
Are a facial roadmap of my life
Yes, they’re there for all to see
But that doesn’t mean I can’t improve on ‘me’
So everyday I paint my face
Not a lot, just a trace
Potions, lotions, make up too
My apothecary has much to do
Am I guilty of disguising gravity?
Yes, and I accept the charge of VANITY.

I am sure I am not the only woman to look in the mirror and feel that the reflection that stares back at her, isn't quite the one she wants to see.  In my twenties, when I was blessed with a youthful glow, I did not fully appreciate it.  Nowadays, I do all I can to try and restore it.  Before children, I looked at friends who had given birth and thought they somehow looked different afterwards.  Not necessarily older, but there was something about them that had changed.  Perhaps it was just the shell shock of first time motherhood, the sleepless nights, but over time I've started to think it is something more.  I think the essential essence of us alters as we become mothers, nature’s greatest gift also comes with great responsibility, and  I think this shows itself in our eyes and faces; a very delicate nuance of a change, but it is there.

Maybe it's because I was a slightly older mother, but in the two and a half years or so since having Pip, I have noticed changes in my face and body have accelerated at a greater speed than previously. I have wondered if this is because as a mother, I'm constantly giving, giving, giving.  Physically, mentally, emotionally.  Do I begrudge this?  No. I don't. My wonderful boy has been the greatest gift the world has given me.  Do I wish that I could stem the acceleration of the bags beneath my eyes, and fine lines like crepe paper starting to appear around my face?  Yes.  Alas, I know I can’t, they are part of the canvas of who I am.  I accept them, but, if I’m honest, hiding them makes me feel better than having them on display.

Before I had my son I took great care with my appearance each morning. I applied make up each day and washed and blow-dried my hair. It was a calm, peaceful time as I got ready for the working day ahead.  Since having my son - mornings are very different, I'm lucky if I can get a shower without someone either getting in with me, emptying the bathroom cupboard, or swivelling the nozzle on the bidet upward to create a fountain spout, then turning it on and flooding the bathroom.  It seems to take forever to get us ready in the morning; an age before we’re ready to start the day. The reason for this is that even though it would be easier, I refuse to give up my morning shower. I still wash and dry my hair every day, and I still put on a slick of concealer, a touch of foundation, a wisp of bronzer and wave my mascara wand over my eyes.

I have wondered many times if I should sacrifice this morning ritual. Ridiculously, I do feel guilty about spending this time on myself. I don’t spend ages doing it, these days it’s more of a brief rain dance followed by a blast of hot wind, but it still takes time.  This now condensed ritual is possibly one of the only things that hasn’t changed in my life since becoming a mother.  Perhaps it is selfish, but I cannot forsake my morning shower and a day with clean hair, even for a few minutes more each day with my son.  We all have our ‘thing’ and this is mine. With clean hair and a little bit of make up, I can face the world, numerous playgroups, unwelcoming mothers, soft play dens and a buggy defiant toddler. But without the clean hair and the slightly improved face, I just feel I’m in the wrong groove all day.  Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.

This post is linking up with Kate on Thin Ice and the Groovy Mums meme. 


  1. Well done you on retaining something for you. Will make you love yourself more which has to be good for your child too. I let everything go and I mean everything when I had children. I have a long way to fight back but as you know I am really trying to do so with the support of you and the other #groovymums. Thank you.
    I like what you say about that nuance thing. Very wise and true

  2. Absolutely right, MummyPlum. Glad that you've been able to carry on your routine even through it all. If it makes you feel better as you face the day, go for it! Polly x

  3. Sometimes a little bit of 'self care' can make all the difference. You shouldn't need to sacrifice that little bit of sanity saving personal TLC - especially if it makes your day feel a little easier xxx

  4. Hats off to you my lovely its good not to give up on these little things even if they are somewhat rushed these days. I have had to change my routine recently for an evening one now were in the terrible 3's. The 3's are the best kept!!
    I agree with the changes mother hood brings i think its the lack of sleep.
    Take care
    Cat x

    1. Hmmm. I can't wait to see what carnage will be released once he reaches 3 then!

  5. Wonderful post.

    I have noticed a change in new mother's faces too, and I think you've hit the nail on the head. The responsiblity of being a mum and all it brings alters your expression. You can't exactly have that same relaxed, easy expression when you constantly have to think ahead for you, your child and your family.

    I've kept my morning routine as well - it's the one part of the 'old me' that I cling to. I thought about giving it up, but it's really the only thing I do for myself all day!

    Great post - very truthful and very well written (as always).

    1. Glad I'm not the only one... maybe I'll stop feeling so guilty about it then :0)

  6. Now THAT was a stand out bloody amazing post. Did you write that poem? Its brilliant! I am so with you on this. I went and spent a small fortune on make up for my birthday last year as I decided that my not so youthful skin could do with a bit of enhancement. I have to say there is nothing more satisfying than applying all my lotions and potions followed by a bit of foundation, mascara and lippy - I really feel like the day has begun. Thought about entering any writing competitions?

    1. Yes, I did write the poem. That's what not being able to sleep at night does for you! Thank you for your lovely comment. x

  7. Great post. I know exactly how you feel. Stealing those moments in the morning to shower, do your hair, etc., really make a difference to the rest of the day. Gives you a little more energy despite zero sleep.

  8. I'm glad someone empathises! It's such a small thing but it does make a big difference. To me anyway.

  9. Brilliant post - love the poem!

    I think that it is great that you still make some time for yourself in the morning. I too have to have a shower & wash my hair or I don't feel right. Sometimes though time is short and its scraped back into a ponytail and not straightened, but never on a day I have toddlers or another outing (other than school run). X

  10. wow go you, the last of my kids at home are 12 and 17, we all have ensuite bathrooms and despite not working for the past year I still dont always manage to put make up on and do my hair before going out

  11. Brilliant post! I am in complete awe that you manage to glam yourself up everyday. As I write this I have my hair pinned up from Wednesday. I've washed my smelly bits in the shower but my Fraggle hair I just couldn't face trying to sort with 10 minutes to spare.
    Note to self - must do hair every day!

  12. Whata fabulous poem, I think it is so important to retain times and things that make us just us!

    Mich x