At a girls’ weekend recently, I came out to the pool in my bathing suit only to be hit in the face with this quasi-compliment from a friend: “Oh, you look so cute. . . like a mom.”
Like a mom? What does that mean exactly?
OK, I admit my bathing suit did have a skirt bottom on it, which in the bathing suit world is akin to mom jeans. But I thought I was rocking that skirt. What exactly screamed MATERNAL! about me? Stretch marks? No, nicely hidden by the tankini. Cellulite? Hence the skirt. I could see no inherent mommyness about me beside the fact that I was the only one poolside that day who has children.
And yet, there it was. I looked cute . . . like a mom.
Of course, before I was a mom, I didn’t realize how these types of comments come across. I remember telling my sister-in-law one time that she “looked good for having four kids.” I had no idea why she laughed and told me never to tell a mother that again.
Now I get it. I don’t want to look cute like a mom, or look good (but only if you take into account that I have grown two human beings in my abdomen). I want to look good. Period.
But alas, that may be too much to ask as a mom. Even I sometimes forget that underneath all the mommyness, I am still a woman. I still want to feel sexy, beautiful and like if I walk out in a bathing suit everyone’s mom radar won’t go off.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being a mom. It’s the No. 1 title I claim to describe myself. But at the pool with your girlfriends, it sure would be nice to be just one of the girls — stretch marks, suit skirts and all.
What makes you feel like a woman instead of just a mom?