Recently, the editors of Mom Babble posed this question to their contributors:
What makes you feel sexy as a mother?
This is a loaded question for me. I have struggled with body image for most of my life. I have criticized my ears that stuck out too far, my knees that were too knobby. I picked at my frizzy hair, my acne-prone skin and plucked away my too-thick eyebrows. I was too skinny, and now I'm too fat.
The mirror and I have a strange relationship, and that hasn't changed. I work on it all the time, but it continues to be a work-in-progress, even as I approach my 40's. It may not be something that I am ever able to reconcile. Brie + Body Image = Eh...
Still, that doesn't mean that I am not capable of feeling sexy. For me, sexy is less about what is in the mirror than what is going on inside of my skin and around me. In fact, I don't think that, for me, sexy will ever be about what's in the mirror. It's okay, though. Well, I'm sure my therapist would say that it's not okay, but I'm trying to work with what I've got.
Becoming a mother both simplified and complicated matters. My sexuality became an entirely different thing. It was no longer something used to attract a guy, or look good in a cute shirt. My sexuality became more womanly. My body changed after I had PJ, and I do not always like what I see in the mirror. But now, it's not really about how I look; my sexiness comes from how I am feeling, what is happening around me.
When my apartment is neat, and I am showered and have clean, cute clothes on, I feel sexy.
When I'm in control of a situation, I feel sexy.
When I put on makeup and my sister doesn't feel compelled to fix it, I feel sexy.
When I can parallel park my car on the first try, I feel sexy.
(Mom, Aunt Janie and Aunt Barb- stop reading now!)
When Pete and I get back in bed after PJ is dropped off at school, I feel sexy.
When I'm happy, I feel sexy.
When I am surrounded by my friends and we are all laughing, I feel sexy.
When I can sing, I feel sexy.
When I dance, despite what a truly terrible dancer I am, I feel sexy.
When it's the end of the day and I feel good about the kind of parent I was that day, I feel sexy.
What makes you feel sexy?
Full Disclosure: Thanks mostly to allergies, it took me nearly a week to complete this post. It's terrible this year, and if you, too, have allergies I hope you are able to combat them better than I!!