When Nobody Tells You...
Honest to God, I really thought I was rocking the whole maternity thing with William, Alexander, Benjamin and Henry. Sure I felt tired. Sure I felt rundown. Sure I wasn't getting my hair highlighted every other month. Sure I wasn't getting spray tanned. Sure I wasn't working out like a maniac. Sure I seemed to always be pregnant... but really, should that be an excuse?
I came across this photo this past weekend of me, my husband and my 7 month old son William from July 2004 while vacationing in Ocean City, NJ...
In a word, I strongly DISLIKE this photo of me. And I'm not kidding, I could pull about 100 more - and I look exactly the same way throughout 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and half of 2008.
Why you may ask?
Well, for starters... my hair. Why didn't ANYONE tell me my hair this color just didn't work? I mean, really. REALLY. It wasn't that I just wasn't highlighting it on purpose -- because I ended up getting foils done throughout my pregnancies so I wouldn't harm my unborn baby. I remember my hair stylist convincing me at the time that brunette was the way to go... and I listened. I listened for a good year! I see this photo now and I think to myself... why, oh why? LOL...
And I actually remember at that time in my life makeup wasn't a consideration. I just didn't wear it - plain and simple. It's not like I'm a makeup junkie now and won't leave the house without it on... but, oh, Audrey... really? NONE AT ALL for almost 9 months?
I don't understand why anyone didn't say ANYTHING to me.
We've all been there where we've just sort of let ourselves go... this was me. This was when I literally (on my own and deliberately) said, I just don't care. And I don't know why that was. Well, I do. I was tired and overwhelmed and knew I had another baby on the way. I was more concerned with taking care of my little William and my Alexander than I was about taking care of the vain side of myself.
What I didn't realize then that I do now is... it's OK to do both.
I talk to moms ALL THE TIME who just want to do a little something-something for themselves. A little something beautiful. A little something fabulous. But they don't. They do everything and anything for their kids, but they don't do anything for themselves. And that needs to stop.
I don't know exactly when the switch, or the light came back on inside of me... it's not like I spend a great deal of time on myself, but I make sure I do a little something, every now and then. With school about to start (and in some areas, it already has!), this is kind of like the "New Year" the "New Beginning." We're getting our kids ready to embark on a new adventure in school, a new year... take this time to do a new you.
Try that hair color you have been wanting to try.
Buy those heels!
Experiment with that lip shade.
Wear that cute Little Black Dress.
Walk around the block every single night and get your blood pumping!
Find the time for the weekly or monthly manicure.
Use that tanning cream!
Lose that extra 5 pounds.
Wear the SKINNY JEANS!
Add some bold and bright colors into your wardrobe!
DO something. Do it now. Do it with this NEW opportunity.
You know... in that photo above, we were at the very same spot in Ocean City, NJ in early August of this year. I told William that I had taken a photo with him there 6 years ago and that I wanted to get another one taken with him... he smiled at me and said, "OK, Mom." I wanted to take another photo for him, to show him his growth in 6 years...
... here we are.
And you know what?
The growth? Ironically enough, I needed it more than he did.
I took the steps to take care of myself, and I saw this photo next to the other one and smiled.
And quite frankly said, "Oh, Audrey... you're so much better as a BLONDE!"