Penny Pinching Peach


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Who Thinks You Are Beautiful?

Being Mommy

Being Mommy

I haven’t felt beautiful in a very long time.

Four pregnancies, three births, multiple complications from those, grief, sickness, stress and the course of life has changed me. It has changed not only how I look, but how I feel about myself and the world around me. The past couple of weeks have been rough. First, I took a bad fall that left me with multiple minor injuries, including a sprained right wrist and jammed fingers. About a week later, I had a freak accident while helping my husband uncock his crossbow after hunting, causing my hand to swell up like a softball instantly. I came home from the ER with pain meds and a brace after three doctors inspected my x-rays and couldn’t find a break. They said I could still have a hidden fracture, and may need follow up x-rays if I don’t heal properly as the swelling fades. I’m currently typing this one handed, feeling far from beautiful.

My children think I am beautiful.

Today- as I was soothing my cranky teething baby girl- my oldest wanted to take my picture. When I asked why, her reply was startling- “Because you are so beautiful, Mommy!”. Since I was wearing the clothes I slept in, have green fingers peeking from an ungainly blue brace and barely combed my hair today, I was curious enough about what she was seeing that I couldn’t to tell her to go ahead. I didn’t feel like posing, so she got just what she saw…me being their mommy. I don’t see physical beauty at all in the photos she took, but when I look at it from her perspective, I see what she was looking at. My daughter saw me loving on her baby sister, and she thought it was beautiful and wanted a picture of her mommy doing what she does.

Sweet baby

Sweet baby

This was a powerful reminder of the truth in the old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

The beauty of a person is often in how you look at her. My daughter didn’t see the tired face. lack of grooming and sloppy clothing I would have zoomed in on had I looked in the mirror. She saw love and nurturing. I see the toll life has taken. She only sees the person who gives her and her siblings love, security and care. When I look at my children, I don’t just see that they are physically adorable (which they obviously are….lol). I see my dreams come true, their giving spirits and all the love their little hearts are overflowing with. I see endless beauty.

Who thinks you are beautiful?

Mommies, I know you often feel ugly and you are hard on yourself. We all get that way now and then, especially when we are struggling like I was when I wrote the poem at that link. Maybe it would help if you saw a glimpse of yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. It could be your daughter, husband, parents, sister, best friend or the kids you mentor. Who knows? No matter what you look like or how you feel about yourself, someone sees the beauty in you. They see who you are, and they think you- the real, unfiltered, everyday you– are truly beautiful. Let that touch your heart. Maybe it will help you look at the woman in the mirror in a gentler light.

Feeling lost in the demands and wonder of motherhood? Read my thoughts on being More Than a Mom!

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More Than a Mom

Before being a mommy, with one of my hiking buddies.

Before being a mommy, with one of my hiking buddies.

Sometimes I find it hard to remember that I was ever more than just a mom.

It’s difficult to believe that once my primary identity was merely “Keisha, a human”, rather than my first identifier being the fact that I am obviously the mother of the two beautiful munchkins who are pretty much always with me everywhere I go and the growing bump showing baby number three coming along. I don’t remember the last time I was remembered for being myself, but everywhere we go regularly people remember my friendly little people. I love being Mommy…but sometimes I desperately need to remember that I am more than that.

Once I had a job that I was proud of, with flexible hours conducive to being a full time mommy when the time came (and continued to work- taking them with me- for the first three years) and had worked very hard to make that a secure long term career plan. I had to step away from it in order to make the parenting decision I could be comfortable with under extenuating circumstances I can’t go into publicly. I went from being a wife, mother, and shipping manager/motivator in the family business to being a full fledged stay at home mom & wife. Even knowing it was the right decision, I went through a huge depression. I still struggle with the fact that I “just” take care of my family.

Staying at home with little ones day in and day out is both rewarding and soul numbing.

I forget I am anything other than a mother. I forget I’m capable of anything other than being a sibling referee, snot wiper, bottom cleaner, story teller, homeschool teacher, art director, entertainer, dish washer, laundress, chef, chauffeur and all the other little things that make up the day of a homeschooling parent of a tribe of small children. What else is there in the world? I don’t remember sometimes, since I’m alone in this little world of children so much of the time.

I always dreamed of being a mommy. I love living that dream- with or without income in my own right- but sometimes I want to remember there’s more to me than that.

Being silly, before I became a mom or lost my own mom.

Being silly, before I became a mom or lost my own mom.

I am artistic. I can do a lot more than just quick sketches for my children to color, but I forget that sometimes because I just don’t take the time out of being Mommy to do draw anything that interests me without involving my babies. I love to hike and wander through nature, but it’s so much hassle to try to haul my children along by myself that I don’t bother, and my husband is so infernally busy with the job of providing for the family and being everything to everyone that he rarely takes time for that type of outing. I’m good at selling anything I’m enthusiastic about, but haven’t been able to focus beyond the munchkins enough to find something I am passionate about to sell to help pay for our little family’s needs. I haven’t finished a book that wasn’t colorfully illustrated for the joy of children in a few years now, where I used to read extremely long novels on an almost daily basis. Until I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, I went to the gym three times a week, because I loved it. Haven’t stepped foot in one in over 5 years now. I could go on, but I’ve forgotten too much. Really! 😉

Mommies, it’s okay to forget for awhile what made you unique and happy as an individual before you became a parent.

I know that I do. Sometimes I forget who I am underneath it all so much that it starts feeling soul numbing, though, and I have to do something- however so small- to remind myself of the things I loved and was good at before. When it starts to get to you, take time to try to remember. If you’re like me, you just plain can’t do anything major. That’s okay. What do I do?

Well, I blog, for one thing. It reminds me I’m able to continue to form sentences and thoughts without anyone’s input other than what flows from this crazy place inside of my brains. 🙂 It’s amazing how much that helps.

I draw, even if it’s just a quick card to brighten someone’s day. Sometimes I even throw some calligraphy on there.

Walking in the woods with Mommy

Walking in the woods with Mommy

I take my kids on a walk in the woods. I may not be able to go for miles on a trail somewhere, but I can certainly circle my own woods, watching the take in the beauty of nature that I find so peaceful as an individual and treasure even more as a mother.

I read a few online articles or a magazine to satisfy my inner bookworm until the day that I can voraciously consume literature once more.

I crazy dance around my living room or do stretches to feed my inner gym rat. I need to move it, move it….even if I’m tripping over crazy short people in the process. 🙂

In short….I remember.

I remember what I love and who I am that has absolutely nothing with the beauty of motherhood and the demands of tiny amazing beings who call me Mommy. I seriously stink at remembering, but sometimes I pause and remember all those little things that make me just plain ME. I am a much better mom when I take a few minutes to do that.

How do you remind yourself that you are more than a mom? Struggling? Head over here for a reminder that you are not alone.