I’ve done it again. I’ve attempted something knew without thinking or worrying about how long I’ll be able to sustain it. But who cares? As long as I get a few posts out where I share things that are important to me, I guess I could call it a job well done.
I envision ‘Mamma Bear’s Musings’ to be a collection of my thoughts on all things motherhood that I’ve personally experienced. Some of them, like today’s topic, could be something I realised very late, some could be things I’m pondering about and for which I’m looking for answers. But, as usual, I will be strictly steering clear off any gyaan because there are so many Guru Maatas around that the world does NOT need one more. You’re welcome.
For those of you who’re busy and don’t have the time to read my extra-long texts, I have this in audio format as well, so you can just plug your earphones in and go about your day. For others, who don’t mind reading, the entire text is below the audio links.
Don't miss the Instagram challenge at the end of the post.
Why it is important to LOOK in the mirror
And let me tell you, it’s very different from just ‘glancing’ in the mirror. I’m sure we all take a glance at least once a day – to fix our hair, to brush our teeth, etc. Some of us may do it multiple times a day, and as vain as that may sound, a little bit of vanity may actually be good for us as moms.
But between multiple glances at ourselves to “get things done,” do we really LOOK? I know it seems like there’s a very subtle difference between glancing and REALLY LOOKING but it IS a significant difference. I realised this only a month or so ago.
Recently, I received a few skincare products to review. And obviously, when it was time to post about them, I had to use them first, observe the changes that happened over a period of time, and take a picture of my face and skin to show the results. In the 10 or so days that I tried the products on before forming an opinion, I stood in front of the mirror at least twice a day. The idea at the time was to make sure the product was applied properly but that’s when I really SAW myself.
Somewhere between the birth of my child and reviewing the skincare products, I had stopped LOOKING at myself, and that realisation happened only when I started doing it again. At first, I only saw the dry, uncared for skin, and that was taken care of pretty quickly when I started using the products. But in the days that followed I saw a face that once used to be happy, cheerful, and full of life, but now all I could see was tiredness. I noticed puffy eyes and the dark circles that now existed where there always used to be a glint of hope. My almost chiselled cheekbones that had led to many people assuming I was Bengali for some reason were drowning between chubby cheeks and triple chins.
I couldn’t recognise myself, and no, of course I don’t mean that literally. But you see, we all have a certain image of ourselves, and for me, that image was lost. I saw a tired looking woman who looked much older than her actual age, and something was missing – a spark maybe. It was bad because I knew that spark existed. Internally, I think it’s still there – the drive to do things, the motivation to reach my goals – but that’s probably at 50% now, or even lesser if I’m being honest. I wanted to do things, but I didn’t feel up to it and most of that was because of tiredness and lethargy.
And all of this came to light only when I stood in front of the mirror for a few minutes and carefully LOOKED at my face. And while I was at it, I also took a long, hard look at my body. Of course I knew I was in bad shape – my clothes would tell me that even if mirrors didn’t exist – but I realised how bad it had gotten only when I properly looked.