“I feel like crap. What I need is a really hot guy to lust after me. I’m not interested in cheating. I just want to know that some seriously good looking guy has the hots for me.” I’m talking to a good friend of mine catching up on life, career and the kids. Are you kidding? I tell her, you are one of the most fabulous women I know. And she is. She is beautiful with a successful international career, handsome husband, great kids and an innate sense of style that is the envy of most women. She then told me about the plastic surgery she was planning to have – the Mommy Rejuvenation (breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction). You don’t need it I tell her. Just get a trainer, regular massages and carve out more time for yourself and you’ll find your mojo in no time. I don’t think she bought it and I know how she feels.
Some days I feel more frazzled than bombshell. Case in point, I was at Target a few weeks ago with D2. It was a Saturday and I had dashed out for a quick errand. I was wearing workout gear, no make up and had a diaper bag slung across my body. I pass a mirror and WHOA! I literally did a double take. Who was that woman with the bags under her eyes and the tired complexion? I seriously didn’t recognize myself and had a bit of a panic attack. Of course I want to look good for my husband but I also want to look good for me. I want to be the “hot” mom not the schulubby mom but life gets in the way.
Five years ago I don’t think I would have truly understood where my friend was coming from but as mother now I think I do. You see back then I was a single career girl who loved to get dressed up and go out on the town – loved it. Back then I never stepped foot outside of the house without makeup and a cute outfit. My theory is that as single women we dress to attract the opposite sex. The name of the game is mating and we strive to turn heads every time we walk out the door. After you get married your priorities change. Time for yourself slowly gets winnowed away by work, home obligations and eventually motherhood. Since I’ve become a mother – now 19 months ago – I often struggle with my own body image. I’ve asked my self the question: Can you still be sexy after you become a mother? I think the answer is yes but it requires a different state of mind.
So here’s my Rx for cultivating my inner bombshell:
- Forget about the ideal and get real. Media and celebrity culture play head games with women. We consciously or unconsciously compare ourselves to women whose job it is to look a certain way. Sure I’d love to look like Halle Berry but chances are it’s not happening so I focus on being the best version of myself I can be and appreciating what I’ve got today.
- Tune out the inner critic. I’m really good at this as I suspect are most women. We look in the mirror and take apart every inch of our bodies. I’m trying to take a page out of Dr. D.’s book. He’ll walk by me in the morning and say, “I look GOOD, huh?’ — without a trace of irony. I’m going try that.
- More romance. More sex. Gasp! Yes, I said it because what makes you feel more sexy than romance and sex? You’ve got to make time to have it even it means synching up your Blackberries to schedule together time with your Honey.
- More sleep. Let’s face it. It’s hard to feel like a bombshell on six hours a sleep a night (currently my average). I’m aiming to get at least seven. I try get to bed by at least 11pm but I know I need to shoot for 10pm. It’s hard because I use my evenings to catch up on a bunch of stuff (including writing this blog) when everyone else is asleep but I am trying.
- Ditch the sweats. As much as I love my sweats, I realized that wearing them all the time caused me to lose sense of my body. I still wear comfy on the weekends but it’s more likely to be leggings and a figure-hugging top (think dressing like a dancer) than sweats and a t-shirt.
- Scheduled maintenance. Prior to having D2, I never missed a weekly manicure or monthly eyebrow wax. For awhile, I fell off my routine because I was short on time and so damn tired. I’m back on my schedule though because I realized when I stopped doing those things, I didn’t feel good about myself. I get mani-pedis every three weeks at my favorite salon. My hair dresser is super flexible and let’s me drop in almost any time which is great for my schedule. I’m back at a gym close to my office and now schedule lunchtime gym appointments for myself in Outlook with reminders. Result? I feel 1000% better.
So how about it? Am I off base for wanting to cultivate my inner bombshell? Are motherhood and sexiness mutually exclusive?