I finished up Sunday with just two images and a few words. I took several photos at dinner, but most were pretty redundant and didn't tell much of a story. My daughter took the two photos of my husband and I. My husband snapped the bottom image on his iPod.
When I look at all three photos, I can read anxiety all over my face. At the time I couldn't really handle car trips or sitting at a restaurant without wearing a stomach binder. The binder, plus residual abdominal swelling post surgery made me look 6-months pregnant in almost everything I owned. It also made it impossible for me to wear anything other than dresses and low-rise yoga pants. I still can't wear normal pants.
To complicate matters of getting-dressed-and-leaving-the-house further, it was a cold day. My best-looking dresses were summery, or intended to be worn with tights, which were way to painful on my tender belly. So, I was filed with anxiety and sadness about having to be out in public and knowing I didn't look how I wanted to look.
In the midst of all my handwringing about this outfit not working and that one not being great for the weather, my daughter kept saying, Momma you look fine. Why do you think you have to look perfect? You don't have to look perfect, you know?
And even typing that right now I get a huge lump in my throat. Huge.
Because she knows something I don't know. It's something I want to know, but I have spent a lifetime inhaling the opposite message from the women in my life and the culture at large. I hate that I modeled all that angst for her. I hate that I can't be the kind of woman role model that says, Eff what anyone else thinks. Wear your yoga pants and sweater to Benihana because you just had surgery 6 weeks ago and everything hurts so bad you want to cry. But instead I'm modeling the apologize for existing message that women spend so much their adulthood trying to undo.
Yep, I get to teach my daughter that she/me/everyone else is not good enough. There's some standard that we have to live up to. We need approval. We are here to be judge.
Nice, Mom. Nice.
Parenthood is so damn tough. It's not because we lose sleep, deal with Common Core math, or have to worry about high fructose corn syrup. Parenting is tough because it cracks open your vulnerable places and says, Take that mess and help make another human turn into a thriving adult. Yeah.
To Every Parent Out There,
Good luck with that...
Thanks for walking through all seven days of my 2014 Week in the Life photo book. I'll be sharing the finished book with you as soon as I receive it.