Thursday, August 5, 2010

Being Beautiful

I am sure many of you saw this today (if you watch the Today Show) while drinking your morning caffeine but if not, check out Operation Beautiful. Simple concept, huge impact potential. It was interesting that I saw this as I was having many thoughts this week about what being beautiful means. Monday the hubs and I celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary and since I was home all day with the kids and spent the day cleaning and doing laundry around 4:30 I decided the best “gift” I could give the hubs was to shower and dress with make-up and all. It is unheard of for me to do my hair and apply make-up in the evening if there are no plans to go out. So the hubs came home we spent some time with the kids and then started the bedtime routine. While tucking Rock Star in he said the following:
Mom, I always love you but I love you extra right now because you are so beautiful. Your lips are pretty and you smell really good.”
How sweet right? I felt good, great actually, I was showered and energetic, I was in a comfy summer dress and yes, I had lipstick on. Anyway, the conversation encouraged me in the days since to get up and get completely ready in the morning. This means real clothes (no sweats) with hair, make-up and a bit of jewelry.

But of course I had this little part of me that was bummed that my kids, and even myself, was viewing my beauty to be so external. I loathed the idea that my beauty and worth was tied up in whether or not I was wearing lipstick. I actually quit wearing make-up (with the exceptions of very special occasions) when Itty Bitty was a newborn because she had extremely sensitive skin and anything I wore would rub on her. To me, this was beautiful, granted my face looked haggard, but it was the face of a mother who wanted to kiss and snuggle her baby. However, this morning while watching this clip on the Today Show it dawned on me that perhaps what my kids were “attracted” to wasn’t the lipstick and eyeliner but rather my improved spirit and attitude. I felt better; I know my attitude reflected this. I was giving myself a few moments of pampering (funny how something so basic becomes “pampering” when you are a mom!) and it gave me just that little extra boost I needed. Rather than serving the kid’s breakfast in my PJ’s with crusty eyes and a prayer that I would soon come alive, I was dressed, energetic and felt ready to tackle the day. Yes, THIS is what my kids see and love. THIS is what makes me feel beautiful and happy. I have to remind myself that I love this body of mine not because of what it looks like but because of what it does, what it allows me to give and who it allows me to be and giving back to it a few minutes each day through a bit of primping is a part of its fuel.

My appearance has changed much from my pre-kid days. But I have never felt and believed I am more beautiful than I am being my kids mama.

What are you doing that makes you beautiful?


Anonymous said...

I tried to comment on your blog 3 times this morning and it wouldn't let me.

What I wanted to say was this...
I get teased at work for being the only one in at 4:45am in heels and a skirt but I believe so much in the way it makes me feel that I do it anyway. I may be tired at 3:30am and want to put on sweatpants BUT I know sweatpants Nikki isn't as happy with herself as Fancy Nikki. It can spiral, I wear sweatpants so I eat crappier because the pants are stretchy, I skip the gym because I'm already in my pajamas so why not nap? All of those things are just a downward slide. So if I can give myself that extra boost every day by looking great so I can feel great then I'll get my butt out of bed and fance-it-up! Yay Lipstick Mama!!!

Love ya

Angie said...

I totally know where you are coming from. The middle kiddo put on his mother day project that his mother is prettiest when she is going to work. :( I felt the same way...thinking he only thinks I'm pretty when I'm leaving the house. But I think he sees the effort that goes into looking "pretty". I'm one of those mom's that would rather my kids get the compliments on their cuteness, other than myself. :)

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