Mommy Syndrome



A few nights ago, Jeff and I were laying in bed, side by side, on our respective computers. He glanced over at my Facebook page and asked about an old friend, which led to the topic of another old friend and an even more random old friend. “Are you in touch with xxx” he asked? I wasn’t, but I looked her up and, God love Facebook, there she was.

Our jaws simultaneously dropped — she looked nothing like what we’d remembered from 8 years ago when we last knew her. Her hair was glistening and sun-kissed. Her smile was bright and shiny. She was thin and groomed and practically glowing.

“What did she do to herself?” I gasped.

It didn’t look like plastic surgery, and she really wasn’t the type anyway. But, she looked a decade younger, at least. Gone were the sweats that were once her uniform and her hair was actually washed and out of the permanent pony-tail I knew it in. Her previously pasty skin was bronzed and vibrant. Her house looked neat and orderly in the photos, not the disaster zone I remember having coffee in. She was almost unrecognizable.

Suddenly, a light-bulb went off in Jeff’s head. “I know what it is”, he said, like he’d discovered the cure for cancer. “She doesn’t have young kids anymore. Think about it– what do you look like most days now that we’re the ones with the little kids? Look at our house.”

My life flashed before my eyes. The slippers I wear in public and the never-ending yoga pants. The lack of makeup and perfume and scheduled brow waxes. The house littered with crap and bathrooms that reek of little boy piss. I’m her, eight years ago, when I thought she was such a mess.

Is that what people see me like these days? As frumpy and unorganized and just… a mom?

Maybe so.

But, at least there is some good news: In eight years, I’m going to look fantastic.


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  1. 2

    Alison@Mama Wants This says

    It’s always great to look on the positive side of things!

    I have way more than 8 years before I look decent, so I should go ahead and schedule that hair appointment……….

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  2. 3

    Vinobaby says

    It’s like looking at photos of friends who have never had kids…flats stomachs, heels and coordinated outfits (where does one even wear heels?), time for manis & pedis and highlights and facials…it’s like they are a different species.

    Although, I do have to admit, now that my single kiddo is in school, I do tend to get a chance no only to look more put together, but to actually BE more focused and, well, like a “normal” woman. It absolutely frickin lovely.

    But I wouldn’t trade my days of puke-stained sweats for anything — but I am delighted they are in the past. We must all chant “It gets better!” or maybe just sing “I Will Survive” and dream of good hair days to come… Cheers.

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  3. 5

    Stacey says

    I absolutely love this post, not just for agreeing with you about the looks of moms with young kids, but for mentioning the piss smell in the bathroom. I’ve been trying all weekend to get rid of the exact smell in my house. Yes, it seems to have permeated the walls of the whole downstairs. It truly was my last thought before I read your post. Yeah, eight years can’t move fast enough. Glad I’m not the only one, but it sure feels like it sometimes.

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  4. 12

    Carrie says

    I’d rather just say people see you as REAL.

    I ain’t got kids and I live in my yoga pants and right now my sink has crap in it and my tub needs to be pressure-washed out with bleach. Or some toxic cleaner. Bad.

    And it’s just me here.

    And for the record, as creepy as it sounds…I think you’re pretty hot now.

    So, there.

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  5. 15

    Ms. Amy says

    Define young kids for me…. I have high hopes that when they are BOTH in school full time (less than 2 years away! WAHOOOOOO!) I might have time to exercise, get a hair cut, get ALL the boogers cleaned out of the car, stop eating the last chicken nugget from his plate, get rid of all the plastic toys….. Then again, my husband also informed me that I’ll “HAVE to DO SOMETHING” when the kids are in school (aka find a meaningful, fulfilling, decently paying job). Good luck to all of us.

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  6. 16

    Amy says

    YAY there is hope! You have certainly given all us moms of young kids a definitive light at the end of the tunnel. You know what else? Working from home can also do that when there is no reason to put on the nice clothes and makeup.

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  7. 20

    Kim says

    Oh, I remember that smell! Still get it sometimes. :( It is funny to look back on some of the things you noticed about others and realize that’s now you! It’s all stages though and there’s always another one around the corner. Whether it’s a good one or not remains to be seen. I’m trying to enjoy my middle stage right now – SO not looking forward to the teenage years!

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  8. 22

    Rebeccah says

    uh-oh. I think I might be late to this whole re-blossoming thing. Kids are 10 and 8 and I still look pretty iffy most days. Clean, but iffy. And my house…oy vey.

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