Last night my hubby was laying on the couch and invited me over by him. I sat on the floor as we talked for a few minutes about our Ana (the subject of most our conversations). A few minutes into our conversation he gave me a look that was all too familiar. A look that he saves for when I least expect it, which makes it mean that much more to me. A look that screams how much he loves me without him having to say a single word. A look that I live for. A look that I love. In the midst of this look he opened his mouth to say what I assumed would be something wonderful - something that would melt my heart and secure this moment in my fondest memories. I was not expecting what came next. Out of his mouth came these dreaded seven words - "you're starting to look like a mom."
WHAT?!?!?! Don't get me wrong. I love being a mom but I'm not sure I really want to look like one. I mean come on! What does he think a mom looks like anyway? Because in my experiences, being told that you "look like a mom" has never been a compliment. Instead, it has been a subtle, passive aggressive way of telling a woman she's let herself go. When you hear that a woman wears "mom jeans" you don't picture a pair of chic Diesel jeans with a bootcut leg. You picture the Lee Riders that sit comforably just under the breast bone and are tailored so tight at the ankle that they flawlessly blend into the canvas Keds sneakers that every mom wears, right? When you spot a "mom haircut" do you instantly think "ooh, that looks just like Jennifer Aniston's new 'do!" Nope, I didn't think so.
I guess what bothered me so much was the fact that, as he uttered those words, I felt his image of me change. In that instance I feared that he was no longer looking at me as his wife, as his girl, but instead he was beginning to look at me only as the mother of his kids. I've read an abundance of articles and plenty of books and magazines on parenting, all of which come equipped with their own tidbits of advice and "expert moments" on keeping your marriage alive after kids. It's common sense that nourishing my relationship with my husband and maintaining a strong bond outside of our kids is important and shouldn't always take a backseat to being a parent. Sure, it's common sense, but common sense is no stranger to the back seat in my life. I'm guilty of putting our relationship on the back burner more often than I care to admit. I have put being a mom in the forefront of my life and have neglected my marriage too many times to count. I think it was this very acknowledgement, not my husband's words, that became the basis of my upset.
But like I said, I know my husband. He used those words as a way of telling me he loves me. I am the mother of his children and the love of his life. After seeing that I was noticebly upset he began to "defend" what he had said. As I argued that his comment, in an instant, labeled me as a wholesome, less-than-sexy, maternal figure in his eyes he argued back that that couldn't be further from the truth. To the contrary, he said, the thought of me bearing his children and the way I take care of our family has made me even more beautiful and sexier than any high heels or little black dress I've ever worn. He says I'm still his girl, not just his kid's mommy, and I really have no choice but to trust that.
I know I should (and will) do my part to make our relationship the center of our life more often and that there are things I can do to avoid becoming "just the kids' mom". For starters, I figure if I stay away from the scrunchies and keep the Christmas sweaters out of our closet we might just be ok :).