I love when I hear women talk about what kind of mothers they’d be one day. Most are idealistic, but some, to a mum of a one-year-old who’s been through an emergency C-section, colic, infant reflux, amongst many other things, are downright funny. So when the girl next to me regaled to her girlfriends over brunch that she needs to make sure she bounces back quickly after pregnancy, I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and say, “Call me when you’re crying over leaking boobs, Susan”.
I am a bona fide beauty junkie. I’ve been writing about beauty products well over a decade, I’ve worked in the pits of various beauty companies, including one that has a nail lacquer manufacturing plant next to the office. Sometimes I blame my clumsiness on the fumes I inhaled while I was there.
And before I gave birth, I had a routine I now envy — from regular peels at my dermatologist, to a different skincare regimen different days of the week. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I sat thumbing mindlessly through magazines in a vibrating chair at the nail salon. I also basked in the glory of being an honorary member of the hairless cat family thanks to my regular waxing regime.
13 months after the human being I made came into the world, I’m lucky if I leave home without spit in my hair, and my bi-weekly brow appointments have ceased to exist. I’ll keep thanking the beauty powers that are making sure the bushy thing stays on trend. My makeup, once a carefully contemplated ritual I adored before leaving home, has turned to a race against time, a two-minute affair that involves sunscreen, concealer (nobody wants to see these dark eye circles), mascara and lip colour.
It has, admittedly, gotten a little easier as he’s grown older, even though my son has started favouring throwing himself headfirst in the line of danger of late. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown accustomed to his whinging for attention while I apply Nars’ Climax mascara on my lashes. But maybe, it’s also because I’m no longer balancing a nursing infant on my boob in one arm and stressing over how to pull off a comb-over that doesn’t resemble Trump’s thanks to postpartum hair loss. Let’s not even talk about the shocker you get the first time you look into the mirror after you’ve given birth. Michael Myers has nothing on me.
One thing you do do is get smarter about your beauty choices when you become a mother. What I lack in daytime skincare regimen, I make it up at night when he’s fast asleep. You learn about the best multi-tasking products that let you sleep while it does its work. You turn to laser hair removal for limbs smoother than a slide at a waterpark (thank you, Supersmooth!). You get your lashes permed so you save microseconds curling them.
So here’s the thing — I know my skin may never return to its former youthful lustre, my hair isn’t always going to be highlighted perfectly to bounce off the sunshine, and I’m pretty sure my feet will remain looking like hooves for a longer time to come. But as cliched as it sounds, it’s worth it all. The human I’ve created, nurtured, and spend most of my 24 hours with is an incredibly happy little boy with so much love to give. I would take that over perfectly manicured talons any day.
All images: Instagram (@fazgaffa)