Inspirational

To the Mom Who Hates Her Reflection in the Mirror

Define “Cute.”

I stood in front of my mirror the other day and thought, “Surely that is not me!” I hoped it was just bad lighting or something. I definitely wasn’t too pleased. I don’t have a lot of time these days to dedicate a beauty regimen, and the kids don’t really care if I wear mascara, so sometimes I just save myself the hassle. But sometimes, even I get tired of looking at myself in this state. Sometimes, I make myself jump in surprise because I think someone else is in the bathroom looking at me.

It’s easy to get discouraged with ourselves. If you are like me, you are busy in the trenches with kids, school, work, and household duties. Oh, and add to that, marriage. After chasing kids around, doing homework, cooking dinner, feeding animals, cleaning, driving, loving, fixing, and listening, you have to make sure you look awesome. Put down that laundry and go straighten that hair, because you look like you just kissed a light socket. To top it off, your husband can look like [a] train wreck, but that makes him somehow more manly and acceptable. Life is so unfair.

I could give you tons of scripture about inward beauty. It would be truthful and beneficial. I could remind you that you are made in the image of God, and it really doesn’t get much better than that, right? I have statistics that could make you feel better. Did you know that you are 20 percent prettier than you think you are? Instead, I have a different angle for you. Maybe it will take a little pressure off of your shoulders. Maybe it will inspire you to view beauty in a different light. It could even make you understand that there are all sorts of levels of cuteness.

1. Nothing is more adorable than a mom in sweats and a ponytail.

Whether you have been at home all day, or have just stumbled in from [work], you actually look great in cozy wear. Deep down, your husband thinks it’s adorable when you sport this look. You see, we mainly dress up for other women, not men. We try to impress our female friends with our outfits, not the men in our lives. They really just want to see you smile at them. Your happy eyes are all he needs, t-shirts and leggings just fade into the background. Besides, leggings are one step from pajamas, and pajamas are one step from bed. And bed is your husband’s favorite place to be. It’s a win/win.

2. Save the Wow-Factor for special occasions.

I like to shock my husband a little when we go out. I dress up, fix my hair, and dump the hay out of my boots. If I did this every day, he wouldn’t appreciate my efforts on date nights. I happen to live in a town where women curl their hair and wear make-up to go to the gym. I feel underdressed at the hardware store around here. Sure, I look like a Wal-Mart person when I grocery shop in Lynden, but I know the hidden potential is there when I want it. I love it when I get dressed up and my kids look shocked. It just never gets old. There is a time and place to primp, and every single day of the week is not it. At least for me. I cannot keep up with that level of expectation.

When I dress up for a date night, I don’t want to hear, “Wow, Honey, you look just like you did yesterday!” It adds mystery to our marriage if I switch it up a little. It makes it more fun if he is shocked at how well I clean up. I even save a certain perfume just for going out. That way, I even smell like fun and adventure to my husband. At least this is what I tell myself.

3. Appreciate the real you.

I understand the need women have to feel attractive. But it gets tiring trying to chase after ways to feel acceptable. The day I jumped at my own reflection was sort of pivotal for me. I stopped and looked in the mirror for a few seconds. I saw my younger self looking at me, but with a tinge of wisdom and experience included. I leaned forward and studied my bare, brown eyes. They are an exact mixture of both of my parents’ eyes. That is pretty cool. I never really took the time to notice that. I didn’t have one bit of make-up on, and my hair was pulled up, so I was able to really see myself without all of the trappings. It was kind of refreshing after I forced myself to appreciate the plainness.

What is the moral of this rambling story? You are stunning because you are unique and hand-crafted. If you take away all of the extra stuff we use to hide behind, what is left is a precious woman, created by God. Forget the smoke and mirrors. You are enough, just as you are. The measuring stick is unforgiving and unfair, so just relax. Go put on some sweats and forget about it. Until date night, that is.

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Michelle Lindsey
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Michelle Lindsey is a Jesus-loving wife of more than two decades and a homeschooling mom of four who blogs about what happens when romance meets reality (with her adult daughter!) at Nitty Gritty Love. You can find more Nitty Gritty Love on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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