Kids change us. There’s no getting around it.
But mum-of-three and blogger Amy Weatherly has uncovered an important realisation about motherhood that is certainly worth sharing.
Her ‘A-ha’ moment might just be the thing you need to read today. Because we all have those days when we look in the mirror and think, “What happened to the person I was before having kids?”
We are more than just a messy bun
Amy’s realisation came after running into an old friend who made the innocent comment, “I can’t believe I’m seeing you out in public with no makeup and tennis shoes. Who even are you anymore?”
“I laughed because it’s true,” Amy writes in a poignant Facebook post about when mums let themselves go. “In a past life, in a galaxy far far away, I was the girl who only wore wedges and trendy tops, who was never without makeup and big hair, without jewellery, and lip gloss, and loads of foundation. I had myself together. I was voted “girliest girl” and “most likely to wear heels” for crying out loud. And now…
“Well, now is a completely different story.”
Now, Amy is a mum. She has three gorgeous kids. Sure, she isn’t sporting the overload of foundation anymore, but she is more confident, more sure of herself and more likely to not give a shit if someone doesn’t invite her to a party.
But, instead of focusing on this, she responds to her friend with a casual:
“Yeah, Something about that third baby really forced me to let myself go.”
Let myself go.
It’s a phrase we all are guilty of using. Or at least thinking. Mums let themselves go. Amy admits that after she uttered the words, she started to feel a strong sense of shame for saying it.
‘You haven’t let yourself go’
“I knew I didn’t look the same as I did before, but had I actually let myself go? Ten extra lbs and a messy bun would point to yes, but my heart screamed “HECK TO THE NO YOU HAVE NOT, GIRLFRIEND,” Amy says.
“If we step back and think about it and keep our judgmental mouths shut, there’s a good chance we’ll find they haven’t let themselves go at all. There’s a good chance we’ll discover they have in fact found themselves and appreciated themselves and loved themselves and realized that who they are as a human has absolutely nothing to do with their fake eyelashes or their highlights or their giant leathery feathery earrings (which, I still love, by the way.), and absolutely everything to do with their heart, and their mind, and their soul.
“You haven’t let yourself go, you have simply let go of the need to look perfect all of the time.
You have simply let go of stuff that isn’t important and traded it in for stuff that will leave a lasting legacy. You have simply let go of stuff that will last a little while, for stuff that will last for generations and generations and generations.”
More than a mum
She may not be the fashionista she used to be, but Amy realises that she is so much more. She’s a mum who loves her kids more than anything, a wife who adores her husband, a woman who has more passion, grit and strength than ever.
And so are all of us mums out there.
Sure, we may rock the messy bun a little more than we used to. And our trendy top collection might not be up to par anymore. But it doesn’t matter. So what if mums let themselves go? When we let go of these trivial things, we gain so much more – our kids.
As Amy puts it: “You are more than just a pretty face. You are a momma. You are a wife. You are a sister. You are a lover. You are a fighter. You are a warrior. You are a daughter. You are a student. You are a teacher. You are a dreamer. You are a doer. You are giver. You are a believer. You are you, and that can never be taken away from you.”
Thank you Amy, for reminding us of this.
Looking for more pearls of mothering wisdom? Check out what I wish I told myself before having kids.