There is a big event coming up in November, and you would not believe the amount of mental energy I am expending on the prep work.
My fabulous sister is getting married, and while I am focused on the gravity of the occasion and gaining a new brother, my head is filled with panic about how I will physically prepare, rather than emotionally.
If, like me, you’re a stay-at-home-mom without a local babysitter, you don’t get to leave the house on your own very often. When I get a few hours to myself it’s usually spur of the moment when my husband has offered to watch the kids so I can just…be. Mary is an easy baby, and I enjoy my time with the boys, but I relish my alone time. I like running an errand and not speaking to anyone, carrying my credit card and phone in my bra with my hands gloriously empty. I like to stare at the label on a box of crackers and not worry that I need to keep moving my shopping cart lest the passenger get cranky.
I also enjoy escaping the house with just my husband, but that only happens when our parents visit and casually suggest we go out alone, and I just throw on a bra and jump in the car as Hubs peels out of the driveway.
The regular maintenance most women go through to look presentable seems an insurmountable task when starting from scratch. I’ve made an appointment to get my abundance of grey hair dyed during the week before the wedding, but I’m overwhelmed by the list of things to do, and the mountain of possibilities. Should I get a spray tan (if people still do that)? I am ghostly white because, although I basically live on the sun, I’m afraid of melanomas, so I don’t spend time outdoors. Will it be obvious if I don’t get my eyebrows professionally done? Can I just separate the one long caterpillar into two and call it a day?
I do not enjoy pedicures as I’m horribly ticklish and I always, always leave the nail salon bleeding and terrified I’ll get some kind of nail tool disease that makes my feet rot and fall off. But I’m wearing open-toed shoes, so I’ll at least have to slap some paint on there.
People without children probably turn their noses up in disgust when they hear that having children changes every single thing about your life, but it’s absolutely true. For example, I’ll need to look like a grown-up, so I got these great earrings for the ceremony, but they’re dangley, so at least one kid will try and swing from them by the end of the night. I need to wear heels because I’ll be standing with my sister who is wearing heels and her sky-scraper tall fiance while I’m dressed in green, and I don’t want to look like a homely little leprechaun. Can I safely wear impractical heels and carry my kids who will definitely require ferrying at some point in the evening?
For the rehearsal I’ve been going through my closet looking for clothes that don’t have pureed carrots and snot on the shoulders, and I know somewhere I have a ballet-wrap top I used to like, but again, if I pick up a kid I’ll have a wardrobe malfunction. I’m probably bringing the baby to the rehearsal (because she is extremely attached to my breasts and does not accept bottles), so I actually have to be able to get at my boobs, but not be so busty that carrying her will expose them. It’s a veritable titty tightrope I must walk.
Also, Mary is sure to be the chief earring yanker, so cool statement earrings are out that night, too.
Being a mom is my first love, before writing, reading, being alone, and online shopping. I just didn’t realize the changes I’d make without even realizing it. Each day leading up to the wedding I recall some beauty regimen I’ll be expected to complete and I honestly can’t remember how to take care of myself the way millions of women do every single day. Dry my hair? Ha. Sleep on it wet and pull it up in the morning. Do my makeup? LOL, put on waterproof mascara once a month and try and make it last several days. Wear attractive shoes? JK, flip flops or gym shoes will be more than appropriate for school drop off and Walmart grocery pickup.
Because this day will be photographed and filmed, I’m trying to make a list of things I should do to look like an adult human woman. It doesn’t help that my sister is going to look bangin’ in an amazing dress, and my date looks handsome every day of his life, especially in a suit. If only I could grow a beard to cover half my face like Hubs…
Honestly, at previous (less high-profile) events, I’ve just planned to hold a child at all times because that ensures no one will notice what I look like. Just hold the baby in front of your under-eye circles and flat hair and anyone who walks by will pinch their cheeks and keep moving. Last year I attended my cousin’s wedding as the enormously pregnant woman with strict instructions not to dance or stand for long periods of time, so I was an extremely visible blob and could do nothing about it. That was not my favorite, and I couldn’t even hide behind the kids since I wasn’t allowed to lift them.
This time I need to live in the moment and appreciate the magnitude of the day and the major step my sister and her beau are taking two feet from where I’ll be standing and not worry about how uncomfortable I feel or whether or not I hear my kid wailing in the audience. This special event isn’t about my shoes, whether or not I have a healthy glow or a sickly pale hue, or am missing an earring because someone tugged on it too hard. It’s about my sister and her fiance being joined together for life right before my eyes.
I won’t be able to see anything if I don’t get my eyebrows taken care of, though. It’s a disaster up there.
As always your blogs are such a reflection of life interjected with humor and a real love for family. Enjoy the wedding. You are right about the meaning of celebration!
Kat, you are so right on about our own perceptions of how people will look at us. At almost 69, I still feel your pain. Just enjoy the family time, and remember that people will love you for YOU. I do, and we’ve never met!