By Rachael Boley
You guys! Today was day 6 of no shower.
That’s too long folks. My hair has been in the same pony tail all week long, I’ve only changed my t-shirt maybe twice at home and have only worn real clothes a few times and that was for church, the zoo and a grocery run. Dry shampoo, deodorant and perfume can only carry a person so far, and I think day 6 is the limit. I’ve wiped down the essentials several times, but even that starts to not work anymore after so many days.
Here’s the thing. This is not unusual for me these days. It’s consistently 3-5 days in between each shower. It’s just a reality of life right now. Actually this has been the reality probably since my twins were born over 2 years ago. (I was better about showering when I worked throughout my second pregnancy because the public was subjected to my appearance on a daily basis and I didn’t want to lose my job. But I digress.)
Here’s the other thing. I’m ok with it.
I’m a mom! Of 3 boys 2 and under. I don’t sleep much, I don’t shower much, I barely wear real clothes. My spare time is spent cleaning or writing… (it’s about priorities guys). The boys hygiene is much more solid than mine and I do a much better job taking care of their little bodies than my own. It just is what it is.
Earlier today I posted this picture on Facebook with the status, “The struggle is real folks…. way too many days since I’ve seen the shower! You know you’re a mom when cleaning like a mad woman before your kids wake up (and some after) is what you consider me time and a workout all in one! ? I better squeeze in a shower somewhere or people will stop loving me.”
Obviously this is not a flattering picture of myself, but it’s my life. Shortly after my post I had 2 friends comment and share similar pictures of themselves admitting it had been 3 days since they showered as well. This got us thinking and realizing that we are not alone in the showerless, stinky mom look. This beautiful “me too” moment gave us the freedom to relax and be proud of our stink and what it represents. I replied with a “Go us! Power to the showerless” comment and we decided to change our profile pictures to these “real” pictures of ourselves to show people that this is what motherhood looks like sometimes.
It’s not always pretty. It’s not always clean. There’s no make up, no cute outfit, no accessories other than a vacuum and a spit rag, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Mom life, especially stay at home mom life, is not glamorous in the typical definition of glamour. But it absolutely is beautiful.
There is a Colbie Caillat song called “Try” that has become my anthem. Please take the time to watch the video and let this sink in.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life striving. Trying to fit society’s definition of beauty. Trying to feel worthy. Trying to find myself in everyone else’s opinion of me. Trying to be perfect, good enough, lovely. Hating myself for what I’m not rather than loving myself for what I am.
I don’t always feel pretty when I’m on day 6 with no shower, my legs haven’t been shaved in 2 weeks, I may or may not have brushed my teeth that day, my hair is in a greasy pony tail, and I’m in the same grubby clothes I’ve been wearing all week. I don’t always look in the mirror and think, “Yes, this is good!” except for sarcastically of course. I don’t always feel beautiful and I definitely don’t always love what I see in my reflection.
But what I do know is that I’m beautiful. Not because of how I look but because of who I am. Because of who my kids say I am. And because of who God says I am.
Beauty isn’t found in make up and expensive clothes. Its not found in the perfect body. It’s not found in society’s definition of beauty.
True beauty is found in truth. It’s found in honesty. It’s found in the real life moments and our open hearts. It’s found in our flaws. It’s found in the “me too.”
For me today, beauty is found in the eyes of my children. It’s found in them wrapping themselves around me despite my unshowered body. It’s found in doing the best I can, loving my boys, and learning to love myself in the process. It’s found in the understanding of joy and a happy heart. It’s found in the most real moments of everyday life as just a regular old mom.
So today I just want to challenge us all to stop trying, and just be. Let your true beauty speak for itself, no matter how many days it’s been since you showered. Stand proud of your stinky body and dirty clothes. Find joy in your greasy hair and unshaven legs. Look in the mirror and realize you are beautiful! You’re worth is not determined by your looks or what you do, it’s determined by who you are.
And who you are is beautiful! Rock on gorgeous warriors! Power to the showerless!!!
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3: 3-4
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:4
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25
About the Author: Rachael Boley is a 31-year-old single mom of 3 little nuggets–identical twin 4 1/2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. She works full time as an Oncology Social Worker, and in her “spare time,” she wrestles, snuggles, and loves on her three boys. She moonlights as a blogger and writer, and spends her days learning to enjoy this crazy, messy beautiful life of single motherhood. Follow her on her blog Three Boys and a Mom and on her Facebook page, and read more of her writings at Divorced Moms.