This morning en route to work, I asked my dear ol’ Hubstopher: “babe, do you still think I’m pretty?” How needy of me, right? But the thing is, it’s almost a year since I gave birth to Jo and I pretty much feel as if I’m still pregnant. Maybe it’s the constant need to shove food in my face, or the fact that I want to live in gym pants. Maybe it’s the excessive tiredness or that my waist band has expanded and it clearly has no desire to return to it’s former state. I mean, we can mull over the details some other time guys. But for now, I just wanted to come here to let you guys know that I feel like a fat slob and I often wonder if my husband thinks it too.
He obviously gave me the standard “I think you’re the most beautiful girl in the world” response, which I guess is a better option than “get out of the car, fatso”. And I obviously wasn’t happy with his reply. I was all “yeah, you HAVE to say that, because I’m your wife”.
And he sighed.
The sigh said a lot. The sigh said things he probably didn’t have the time or energy to get into. His sigh reminded me that to him my loveliness isn’t dependent on what I’m wearing or whether I brushed my hair. To him my beauty has nothing to do with the size of my clothing or whether my eyebrows are on fleek. He doesn’t base his opinion of my worth on whether I can successfully wear a pair of hot shorts in public. Heck, my hubstopher isn’t even concerned about whether my shoes and handbag matches. And that’s because when he looks at me, he sees his bride. And he sighs because he doesn’t feel as if he needs to justify why he thinks I am the most beautiful girl in the world.
It got me thinking: “what the heck is your problem, woman?!” No, seriously, I asked myself that question in a candid one-girl conversation. What the heck is your problem?! Why do you base your beauty on superficial things like weight and appearance? Moms, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to look like a super model, post-kids? It’s almost as if we want our appearance to be UNCHANGED by motherhood. But the truth is that being someone’s Mama changes you in every single way!
I don’t know about you guys, but my children have completely rearranged me! Their little hearts have reshaped and molded me into a woman I never thought I had the capacity to become. And when my daughter looks at me, the last thing I worry about is whether she thinks I’m beautiful. When my boys talk to me, I’m not standing there wondering if they are impressed by my carefully applied face beat.
When my kids think about me, I want them to remember a kind and compassionate heart and a willingness to serve others. I want them to remember a strength to stand up for what is right and a humble soul, not driven by ego. When they think about their mom, and associate me with beauty, I want them to find the glory in how I helped to draw them closer to God… and NOT in a perfect, size 6 appearance.
All of this from a simple sigh, this morning, when I asked my hubstopher “babe, do you still think I’m pretty?”
Oh and disclaimer, guys: I do believe that we should look after ourselves… caring about your health and how you present yourself, is important. But set healthy expectations for yourself. Your face is not the most important thing about you! The size of your legs and flatness (or lack thereof) of your belly does not determine how valuable you are. And you, my dear, are far more beautiful than you realize.