Hello, My Name is Mommy

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was cute and stylish.

Then, this happened ... twice:

Which brings me to the current me. My name is Rita, but the people I talk to most call me Mommy. And this isn't even totally representative of how I typically look (I'm wearing makeup in this picture) but I must retain the teeniest shred of my dignity:

This is why I'm here, blogging about my neverending struggle with "the frump." Because somewhere within me - beneath the ponytail, and the pajama pants you can still find me wearing at 3 p.m., and the crusted food from breakfast, and the smear of baby snot on my shoulder - somewhere, that girl in the curve-hugging Calvin Kleins and cute but uncomfortable boots is begging me not to forget that she exists.

It has been soooo easy for me to fall into the frump trap, though. I'm a freelance writer, so I can work from home. I do interviews over the phone, where no one has to see that I'm barefoot and have a Backyardigans sticker stuck to my butt. My husband works a ridiculous schedule with long hours: he works all night, twelve to fourteen hours at a stretch, and therefore sleeps all day. We're like two ships passing in the night sometimes - and I almost never leave the house when he's not off work. I don't need to, and it's much more difficult to run errands with two kids in tow. So I figure if I'm not going anywhere, why should I spend half an hour fighting my unruly hair, putting on a face, and grudgingly squeezing myself into jeans that are quickly getting too small?

In truth, I know why I should be doing all that. Because I deserve it. Because my husband deserves it. Because the girl I was, the girl he married, was the kind of girl who wouldn't be caught dead at the store sans makeup in a rummage-sale sweatshirt. Because I spend so much time taking care of everyone else that I should, above all, realize the value of taking care of myself.

But I've got an almost-four-year-old, a fourteen-month-old, and a baby due this September. And though my husband, bless his heart, is wonderful and attentive when he's home ... he's usually off making a living so that I can afford to stay with the kids and, well, be frumpy. So it sometimes (okay, often) feels like I'm a single mother with a sugar daddy. Even the simple act of showering becomes a monumental task when you've got to work around two little boys. During the day, they can't be left alone while I'm in the bathroom; at night, the shower inevitably wakes one, who cries and consequently wakes the other. So that leaves me to shower ... when the cosmos perfectly align and I seize the tiniest opportunity. And shaving? Forget it. I look like Sasquatch's sister. That includes "down south," where I once meticulously maintained a neatly trimmed little landing strip - which now, unfortunately for my husband, looks more like an open field.

By September, when the baby's born, I will have had three kids in four years. I have gained and lost a grand total of 170 pounds of baby weight (I'm not one of those cute pregnant women with the tiny, out-in-front bump; I look like I've got a baby stashed in each thigh, and my stomach makes people gasp audibly). I have gone from sipping champagne backstage at a Snoop Dogg concert to pre-ordering tickets for Dora the Explorer Live!. It's madness.

I'm not ungrateful for the life I have. In fact, it's what I always dreamed of doing - I just didn't dream I'd be wearing an outfit I'd be embarrassed to answer the door in.

So welcome to my neverending fight with frumpiness. If you can relate, holla!


  1. Girl, I got up this morning after deciding last night that I wasn't going to go to the gym. This gave me about 5 extra minutes this morning to get the boys ready for school. How sad is it that I actually had to decide whether or not to put on jeans or just wear my pajama pants...keep in mind that I just can't kick the boys out of the car in the child drop off zone. No, I have to go and sign Cole in, say hi to the teachers and whatnot. I went to bed with my hair wet, so I look like Garth from Wayne's World, except he has visible eyebrows! I'm so glad that the boys aren't old enough to be embarrassed by me yet!

  2. See! See! It's this stuff that nobody tells you about motherhood ... seriously.

    And I've seen you in the state you described, and you look MUCH prettier than Garth. Trust me. :)

  3. Just seeing if I can post on your blog - Cindy's is weird & ask for stuff I don't know? LOL Glad you both are blogging - wish I could get into it more.


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