Mommy Isn't Spelled with an H
Lucia has started picking out letters when she sees them; she can find her name on things, and tonight I was wearing a St. Paddy's shirt and she picked out the letters L-U-C and was very excited because it almost spelled her name. Pete showed her a flyer I got from the local Toyota dealer with a faux image of a new Prius with vanity plates saying Heather and tried to get her to figure out what it said. He finally said it was my name and she said, But there's no H in Mommy!
Which perfectly echoed stuff that's been on my mind lately. You may have noticed the plethora of photos of me here and/or on Twitter, and I've asked myself more than once, am I looking for compliments, or what's the story there? I think I'm nudging closer to the answer. As I'm able to wear my pre-baby wardrobe again, I'm reminded of the choices I made when I was just Heather. I think part of the big struggle for me in taking care of myself when pregnant was thinking that taking care of myself meant surrendering any sense of vanity and moving the idea of feeling like a strong, sexy woman to the backburner. I was going to be a MOM, darnit, and I might as well give up those other days of feeling sexy and hot. I remember immediately after Lucia was born, I was hellbent on getting the weight off, and had a picture of some totally hot, perfect toned butt taped to my fridge and a (now former) friend saw it and literally LOLed, saying I would never get there. Part of me thought she was right; I may as well surrender to wearing shitty clothes, not taking care of myself, not working out, not eating right, not shaving my legs or using comforting body lotion. Because I was a Mom, and that's what being a mom meant. Sacrificing. Giving up. Sure I've looked good and have never been horribly overweight, but there was always a fine distinction for me, a thought that I couldn't go back to feeling sexy and hot like I did before I had Lucia, because that wasn't allowed. It's funny the ways our minds create these false notions of things. I remember working out when I was pregnant and thinking that because I was tired meant I was clearly not supposed to be doing that; how could I have been so selfish?
Tonight as we got ready for our kid-friendly Happy Hour, I was torn: do I celebrate and wear the sexy top I want to, that I haven't been able to wear in FIVE YEARS, or do I wear something a bit more conservative, after all I'll have Lucia with us and what would people think? As you know, I've paid close attention to that statement over the past year and whenever that question is posed, I immediately know the answer: do the thing that scares me.
So I did. I rocked that top and did my makeup and put on heels.
And I felt great. Hot. Gorgeous. As I'm supposed to feel; and as it's OK to feel. I love being a mom and hope that I can bring another kiddo into this world. But Lucia is right: Mommy isn't spelled with an H, and Heather will always be who I am, to my core. A woman who likes to feel sexy and strong. It's nice to see some of that back.