I mentioned Erin last week. We’ve only met the one time, for an hour, but we’d gotten close online for the past year or so. She’s a very busy gal these days, working on two different passion projects while trying to raise 7 year old twins and a baby and maintain her blog, Erin L Margolin: Road To My Writer Roots. I mentioned her projects last time, but they’re worth a mention again. Erin’s dad came out when she was young, and divorced her mom. This past year, she teamed up with Amie, who also had her dad come out, to start the Gay Dad Project. They want kids with gay parents to have somewhere to turn, to know that they’re not alone. The team only has a few days left in their IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for a documentary, so if you’re looking to spread the word about a great cause or trade a few bucks that you’d normally spend at Starbucks, check it out.
Erin is also working extremely hard with her partner-in-crime, Laura, on the Listen To Your Mother Show in Kansas City. It’s Mother’s Day weekend, and mothers (and fathers) are invited to submit their story. Submissions are open until Feb. 15...I already submitted mine, and am excited to go watch the show, even if I’m not selected to read! If your not local to Kansas City, there are lots of other cities represented this year.
As you can see, Erin has been extremely busy, so I’m very grateful that she’s agreed to share another store here, today. Thank you so much, Erin!
I look in the mirror every morning. I pluck my caterpillar eyebrows and the errant grey hairs overdue for camouflage. I scowl at the fuzz all over my face. I loathe the lines on my forehead. The saggy belly with separated muscles, silvery c-section scar, hernia surgery scars from carrying twins plus one. I berate myself for not exercising, but I have no desire due to depression and too many excuses and things on my plate.
The stupid US Weekly magazines featuring celebrities who lost all their weight so fast? Those get to me. Why am I drawn to them? Why do I care? All they do is make me feel badly about my body and how I look.
Screw them. I have too many expectations of myself. I think women in general do. We’re not supposed to be hairy (hence waxing, threading, Nair, laser treatments, electrolysis, etc.) or big boned or too tall or have bumps on our noses or huge feet. We require lots of mascara to have extra-long lashes, Spanx for our muffin tops, and plastic surgery to improve our overall looks.
I spend too much time comparing myself to other moms who appear to have it all; juggling everything effortlessly while wearing real clothes and swinging their perfectly smooth, shiny hair. Meanwhile, what examples am I setting for my three daughters? I feel like I can’t win: I can’t show them that I take pride in myself if I’m in dirty sweats and greasy-haired with bags under my eyes; but it’s nearly impossible for me to play the part of the Barbie Doll mom who flat irons her hair every day, wears makeup and a crisply-ironed blouse with slacks, balancing my toddler on my hip while in line at Starbucks.
My thoughts: why bother? Why wear anything nice because Piper’s just going to drool on me, throw food at me, blow raspberries on my pants leg, or I’ll splatter something on myself when I’m cooking another fabulous gourmet meal (not).
Who really knows? Maybe I’m teaching them that it’s okay not to have my shiz together. Maybe it’s not the end of the world if I’m wearing the same yoga pants today that I slept in last night. Perhaps it’s even alright if I pop a pill to cope with my anxiety. And I’ll move us to Europe, where no one showers regularly.
In the end, my girls will turn out okay. I’m learning it doesn’t do them any good if I set the bar too high for myself, because they sense that. So here and now, I’m done. I’m officially ditching the great expectations.
And that? Might be precisely what ends up providing the potential, the push I need to feel better about myself, just as I am. Quirks, faults, and all.