Last March People premiered a photo shoot featuring Jennifer Lopez and her newborn twins, Max & Emme. Upon seeing these pictures I felt just a bit put out. Mandy, my sister-in-law, chimed in by asking, "Was that not highly offensive?" Indeed, sister dear, it was. And we say this in a loving way, just so you know. We're not the least bit catty.
But please tell me: who looks like this mere weeks after giving birth?
Don't get me wrong...both mommy and the babies are looking fabulous in their Christian Dior haute couture. Note the perfectly coiffed hair of La Lopez. There are no dark circles under her eyes. She's just hanging out with her kids, wearing silk and diamonds. You know, as do all new mommies, of course!
Obviously her children do not have reflux. I can't even imagine what spit-up does to fine fabrics. I wore a burp cloth with both my girls, for the first three months. In public. I'm not kidding.
These pictures did not impress me. Here's what I really want to see:
Let's just be honest here. This is reminiscent of any fashion statements I made as a brand new mother. My ever-present ponytail, zero make-up, and an old t-shirt...albeit my mammaries would not have been contained had I worn a shirt cut this low. I'm just sayin'.
Here's Uma Thurman, looking real. Maybe one of her children kept her up the night before, puking or with a fever. Maybe she's PMSing. Or maybe this is Uma sans photoshop, airbrushing, and the magic of Hollywood. Regardless, I still love her. Moms do look like this! We've all been there. We've all had these days. I think she looks beautiful...you know, like a mother.
Faith Hill, I love you! This woman makes sweet babies with Tim McGraw and always looks flawless in concert, onscreen, or in print. Yet I love that she's out shopping, doing her thing, wearing jeans and a simple t-shirt. You know...living in real life! I need to be her friend.
My point? I have many friends who are new mothers, or soon-to-be-new-mothers. I want them to know those first few weeks (OK, months!) with a newborn are not glamorous. There are days when you won't shower until 7 pm. And that's if you shower at all! There are days when you'll think to yourself, "I will never leave this house again." And that's OK! Again, we have all been there. Moms out there--please nod your heads with me and affirm: We have all been there!
I'm not saying to let yourself go...to abandon all sense of fashion. Sometimes a little kitten heel, some new mascara, and dangly earrings are a shot of much needed self-esteem during those early days of new motherhood. Especially if you're looking fabulous and have a babysitter on hand for a couple of hours. This is a gift from God--take it and and run out the door! These moments are fleeting, particularly with a small baby.
Someone, somewhere out there in bloggy land needs to be reminded of this. For every Jessica Alba article that shouts, "Svelte & Sexy--6 Weeks After Baby!" there should be the magazine headline which touts, "I Got Off the Couch and Put On Clean Underwear--6 Weeks After Baby!" That is a very big deal.
I can't confirm the status of my underwear, but here I am with two week old Libbey. On the couch. In sweats. With my double chin. And the breast pump in the background. Now this, my friends, is new motherhood in all its glory.
It's what we need to hear and see. We need to be reminded. I do, at least. And I don't even have a newborn. But I have been there.
For the record, I wasn't wearing Dior or dripping with diamonds. Nor was I on the cover of People. That's not the point, now...