Goodbye Old Friend
In this blog Meika talks about how her beauty routine has changed since becoming a Mum, and how reflecting on this has made her realise its much more than not having time to blow dry her hair.
I’d intended to write one blog about how my beauty routine has evolved now that I’m a mum, but I found that this seemingly simple subject tapped into a lot of emotions. So, I have decided to turn it into a series of three separate blogs.
This first blog of the series kind of sets the scene, or at least gives a short introduction into how I feel about giving up the old me, which some mothers may or may not identify with.
When my husband first read this blog, he said “it’s not really that bad, is it?”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the same person, but I realise now that life is too short to sweat the small stuff like having good hair every time I leave the apartment.
I’m sure there are some women who pick up their old selves after having children, but for me it’s been a bit of an awakening.
It’s taken the birth of my first child to allow me to break from the norm, put down those fashion magazines and realise that I have nothing to prove to myself or others where vanity is concerned.
My new Brit Mum friends in NYC have seen me at my natural worst, they just don’t know it. God, they’d hardly recognise me before having Lola. Quite frankly, I don’t recognise myself these days.
Before having Lola, I blow-dried my hair straight after every wash. I diligently applied makeup Monday to Friday before leaving the house for work and when I went out at weekends. I would be wearing a decent wardrobe. Sundays were my day off from it all, my own version of religion, but in reverse.
After having Lola, I am constantly hot and therefore have a red and sweaty complexion, especially during the hot NYC summer! I have tired eyes and scraggy hair, which is scraped back into a bun or pony tail. Not a chic high pony tail, but just a low, boring, unapologetic tail of hair hanging from my head.
My wardrobe is limited and on rotation. I’ve worn the same pair of sandals all summer, no deviation. They’ve left a crisscross suntan mark across the top of each foot, which I’m sure will reappear next year regardless of what shoes I’m wearing.
However, I don’t feel the need to better myself like I used to, and I really don’t want to. Something has shifted. And I’m not blaming it on Lola. Far from it. Actually, she’s made me a better person. Less vain.
I still love my beauty products and makeup, but I make time for it only when I really want to.
She gives me far more than I ever realised I’d get from being a mum, and it can’t be substituted.
Maybe it’s just about finally growing up – ahem, at 41 years old – about relinquishing self-importance, and realising that there is more to life than spending time and money on my vanity, especially where unnecessary potions and lotions are concerned.
Last week, a dad with his toddler son told me exactly the same thing with regards to growing up. He was carrying his sleeping son in a car seat and a number of bags that you seem to acquire when becoming a parent into the lift of the apartment block I live in. I held the door open (Lola in her buggy) so he could manoeuvre in without waking up his son. A young woman got in at the last minute talking quite loudly on her phone. She was completely oblivious to the sleeping boy even though her eyes told me that she had seen him. Blah blah blah blah blah on the phone 19 floors up until she got out with the dad just accepting that this woman couldn’t care less about a sleeping toddler. After she got out and the doors closed, the dad turned to me and said “I remember the day when I stopped being such an a**hole. It was when I had kids.”