Living in a world that is full of beautiful people is challenging. Our society demands that we look our very best on a daily basis. Log online and the pressure is overbearing. Pretty Instagram feeds filled with perfect, sharp beautiful photos. Smiling moms holding their children without a care in the world with stunning outfits and smiles abound.
If you have followed my pregnancy you know that I do NOT love being pregnant. It’s hard on me both mentally and physically.
If you lived with me you would know that most days I look like this.
I was hesitant to share this photo until my three-year-old daughter taught me a life lesson in an unlikely way.
How the last week of pregnancy taught me the most about beauty
On our way out of the house, she saw the phone in my hand and asked to take a photo of me. (She is on a photo kick lately with my phone)
Without hesitation, I wanted to say, “No, Mommy looks bad!”
I quickly bit my tongue and gave in. She looked so happy and I didn’t want to dissapoint her or teach her that if you “look bad” you don’t deserve to have your photo taken.
As she took the photos, she beamed with pride and said, “Momma, you are so beautiful!”
Hair in a ponytail, minimal makeup, no effort to look perfect and she thought I was beautiful.
Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, but what you can’t see are the tears forming behind the eyes of my big sunglasses I wear to hide the bags under my eyes.
If she can see my beauty during a moment I feel tired and ugly, why is it so hard for me to do the same and share real life images that aren’t analyzed, edited and staged?
Below is what society and inner critic wants me to look like everyday. I’ll admit – It is fun and feels empowering to look this good, but it also takes a lot of time and effort. It’s not real life.
The last week of pregnancy as slow and miserable as it’s been has been the most impactful thus far.
If my family thinks I am beautiful during my most challenging days, that’s all I need in this life.
Women, let’s live beautiful lives regardless if our faces are “made up” or are bodies are in “tip-top” shape. Our children are watching and learning from us.
When we say, “We look fat or feel ugly.” that plants the seed in our children’s minds to say the same later on.
We need to take the photo no matter how we look or feel about ourselves.
We can have our days where we look absolutely stunning and gorgeous with the hair, makeup and whole set up. I am not advocating that we completely give up and stop taking care of ourselves.
I am saying let’s stop beating ourselves up during the times we look tired and feel like a hot mess.
Let’s celebrate the beautiful mess we call living.
You can be the most beautiful person in the world on the outside, but be rotten and ugly on the inside. I want to teach my daughter to be beautiful on the inside while feeling that on the outside regardless of how much glitz and glam she has going on!
Life isn’t perfect so we should not expect our appearance to be the same. Kudos to those who make their beauty look effortless.
Cut yourself some slack, look through life through the eyes of a young child and see the beauty in imperfection.
Your kids will not remember how much makeup you put on or that your hair was perfectly curled.
They will remember that you were there for them sharing in moments of joy ready to cherish the moment.
One day when I am old and grey I will appreciate the photos I took regardless of the messy bun and tired look.
Take the pledge to #TakethePhoto without hesitation
Mommas, are you with me?
Do you pledge to take the photo of yourself with or without your child(ren) when it’s not “perfect” to society’s standards?
Bonus points if you share them online!
When you do take the photo, please tag Modern Mom Life with the hashtag #TakeThePhoto. I would love to see your beautiful photos!