I love this piece by Tracie because as a woman and a mother, I can relate to all the thoughts and feelings she wrote about–even if for just a few moments. Haven’t we all felt like these characters at some point in our lives?
You are walking down the grocery store aisle. As a mother of three, you are dressed for comfort and mobility as your list of “To Do” things is long and exhausting. Approaching you from the other end is a woman whose appearance is the kind that makes you take a second look. Her hair is done, not overly but naturally, soft curls pulled back into a half bun, her nails are done and her makeup is natural but enhancing. Her fashion is modern and understated yet as a whole she draws your eye in with an almost sense of admiration because she looks so well put together. At first sight, do you take the stand of pride or prejudice in how this woman is presenting herself?
This situation takes an out-of-body approach. Imagine you are watching the scene unfold as an impartial 3rd party. You see the mom, dressed in a combination of stretchy pants and flats with an over sized sweater. As a description goes, frumpy may come to mind. There is a small child in the cart, eating Cheerios from a plastic bag as mom goes over the list she has written so as to not forget anything. The baggy clothes could be hiding anything–a great figure or in the moms eyes, maybe figure flaws brought on by years of neglect, children, or a forgotten sense of self. No one really knows, as it’s next to impossible to see through it.
When the mom notices the woman approaching from the other end, she will in that instant make a decision. That mom will either judge this woman with a sense of prejudice due to her own self-confidence issues or she will embrace the pride this woman has in herself and give her some mental applause. Which one are you?
It’s all too easy for us as women to take down one another in a setting such as this. Or any setting where one woman forces us to take a good look at ourselves. It’s much easier for us to ignore what we know to be the truth and pass that ignorance onto the other person. After all, we don’t know them. We won’t be hurting their feelings by passing unfair judgment. We have nothing to lose by mentally slicing this person apart because they have gone that extra step to decorate themselves and in turn, in our eyes, make us look bad.
Were there days when you would get up, do your hair, have a master plan of what you are going to wear? Did you ever dream the night before an event or situation of what you would put together to get the result you desired? Did you ever like a guy? Someone who you wanted to impress or dare I say it, seduce? Is that man now your husband or boyfriend?
It’s a difficult transition to make, woman to wife, wife to mom. As far as identity crises are concerned, I believe these are at the top of the list. You no longer are responsible only for yourself. You now have the reputation of your mate to consider. You have the actions shown to your children to think about. From here on out, everything you do is watched, judged, and maybe recorded mentally by someone else to categorize you as either appropriate or inappropriate. Your opinion of yourself is no longer at the forefront of your mind; you now walk around catering your self-worth to how others perceive you?
Where is it written that because you are now a mom or of a certain age that your clothing or appearance has to take a dive? Where does it say that sweatpants and t- shirts are now your only options where wardrobe is concerned? It’s time to self analyze yourselves ladies.
You alone are in total control of your destiny. You alone control how you feel about yourself and you alone control the situations around you. It’s your choice to wake up in the morning. It’s your choice to take a shower, do your hair, and put on makeup. It’s your choice that controls what you see in the mirror every day. If you don’t like what you see, sit back, be honest with yourself, and see where your viewpoint changed. Did you gain weight when you got married? When you had children? Do you find it easier to just hide behind your life and not live it? There is a solution to every problem. There is help around every corner. Google is your new best friend. Want to lose weight? Get healthier? Go back to where you were 5, 10, 20 years ago?
Research it. Knowledge is power and with today’s access to everything www., You are no longer trapped in the house. You can work out online, you can diet online, and you can talk to others in your situation online. With the internet, you can never use the excuse you are alone. No internet? Try using your phone. Call a friend, tell them how you feel, what you want to do to claim your pride back, and have them hold you accountable. You may find that by swallowing your pride enough to admit your weaknesses that your friend may have those same thoughts and decide to embrace her pride and join you on the new journey to decorate yourself.
There is no one to blame but yourself. When you are able to see that, embrace that, and change that, the next time you wander down the supermarket aisle, you will no longer see that beautiful, well put together person as a threat, because that well put together person will be you.