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What motherhood looks like
Recently a friend's husband relayed an interesting story to me about mothers. His mother had commented to his wife, whose beautiful baby just turned a year old, that she didn't "look" like a mother. The couple assumed the mother (-in-law) was referring to the facts that the new mom was basically back to her pre-baby size and was wearing professional-looking clothes.
Back in the MIL's day women didn't necessarily work outside of the home once they became moms. They didn't necessarily work out or visit a gym or know how to pronounce "Pilate's." And, until quite recently, a lot of them wore MOM JEANS.
I have a sign on my fridge door--well, actually it's an ad from a magazine--that has a picture of a woman's backside on it. She's wearing the worst mom jeans imaginable, and the phrase on it says, "No mom jeans." This was additional motivation for me to hit the pavement and try to lose all that baby weight.
Clearly what the wife and the MIL have different ideas about what a mother looks like. Me? I couldn't tell you. I can comment on what I look like, or what I think I look like, now that I am a mom. I can sort of talk about what my friends who are my age who have babies look like. They look like me, and the wife in the story above.
But what does a mother look like? Truth be told, I don't think it's possible to define. Motherhood looks different on everyone, but I can assure you it's quite flattering. Generally. Except for the mom jean thing. And I know those are super comfy. And I know high-waisted jeans are coming back in style. But I just can't go there.
Perhaps there's a post in there somewhere about mom jeans. But for now, let us all ponder exactly what a mother looks like.
For example, I was just commenting today that I couldn't picture Jessica Alba as a mom. She seemed so young and fresh and new to the scene and just getting her career going, etc. Then my husband was like, "Uhm, she was on Dark Angel like ten years ago." And he's right. And of course Jessica Alba can be a mom just like anybody. But, my point is that even though I can't define what a mother looks like, I sort of thought Jessica Alba didn't look like one.
It's these celebrity moms who continue to smoke after they've had kids that have all we regular mothers up in arms about working out and dressing well and looking sexoramic. I mean, seriously--can you see Jessica Alba wearing mom jeans???
So what does a mother look like? Or a father, for that matter? It all goes in to what we have preconceived a parent should look like based on what our own parents looked like and what our friends' parents looked like, that kind of thing. Part of it comes from the families we see on television. Part of it is shaped by who works and who stays at home, and all the other stuff we talk about on ParentDish daily.
Ultimately, though we shape what we think parenthood looks like as we go through it ourselves. That concept is constantly changing and being updated as we experience what it's like to be a mom or dad.
But if motherhood starts looking like Jessica Alba we're ALL in trouble. I can't touch that hotness, even on a red leather pants day.
Pic of Jessica Alba by David Babylon.