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Thursday, February 13, 2014

"We all let ourselves go eventually, hunny. You'll see!"


I overheard something in the store the other day that bothered me.

I saw a younger lady looking through the clothing section. She was picking out a small camisole and a tiny pair of jeans. She already had a necklace, pair of earrings, and pair of high heels that she was holding up to the camisoles to see if they matched. You could clearly tell she had plans and wanted to look good while doing them. There was an older lady nearby who said, "Oh my word. I probably fit in one of those tank tops 25 years ago. Look how tiny that is!" She then said, "Looks like you've got a hot date!" To which the younger lady stated, "I do. My husband and I are going out for Valentine's Day.. it's our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. I want to make his jaw drop when I walk out of the bedroom next weekend."

And the older lady said:

"Wait til you're 3 kids in and married for 10 years. You won't care how you look at all, you'll just be happy to get out of the house." The young lady giggled and said, "I'm going to try and always look my best for my husband. He's a handsome fella, I have to keep up!"

And the older lady said:

"We all let ourselves go eventually, hunny. You'll see!"

And it kind of struck something in me.

"We all let ourselves go eventually."

Do we?

Now, let me put a disclaimer out there really quickly. I am not saying everyone has to agree with me on this subject. I'm also not saying that if you wear sweatpants every day, your husband will indefinitely leave you. I understand women work out of the home, lives are busy, etc. I'm speaking from my own heart concerning my own experiences. To each his own.

As soon as I got married... as soon as I had my first child.. I heard it.

"Say goodbye to the days of showering, doing your make-up, wearing nice clothes."

According to Momlogic/Parent Alliance, "90% of couples report a drop in relationship satisfaction after the birth of a baby, there’s a major increase in relationship conflict and the recurrence of a couple’s “trigger” or hot-spot issues rises, plus lots of couples experience a shift in sexual frequency and intimacy."

Of course, this is obvious. You have a child now. You won't be able to be intimate whenever you feel like it because you will have a little one to tend to. It gets even more difficult as you continue having children. BUT does that mean we shouldn't still try?

I might be in the minority, but I think stating, "Well, we have children now" is just an excuse for not taking care of yourself like you used to.

I saw this little number going around not to long ago that said, "Sorry, I'm in the clothes I wore yesterday. It's called 'my children are my priority.' You should try it sometime."

I'll be the first to say that my children are my priority every single day. I make sure they have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I make sure they have baths every day, clean clothes, clipped fingernails, combed hair. I change diapers, wipe faces. We play, we sing, we dance. We watch funny cartoons. My kids are my world. 

BUT.

So is my husband.

Should he be put on the backburner because I'm a mother now?

Of course, there's the argument of: He should love you regardless of how you look. And sure, he should. Good thing is, my husband does. When I wake up in the morning, I still get told that I'm beautiful. It's a blessing, that's for sure, but here's the key:

He can still love me BUT not feel attracted to me.

What I mean is, if I'm not taking care of myself, he can love me, but he be turned off by my lack of care concerning myself.

Personally, I try and look cleaned up for my husband every single day. Sure, it's tough. I have two children and I am usually spending my days editing photos, but I MAKE him a priority. When I give the girls a bath, I keep them in the shower with me while I shower. I let them play in the bath tub while I get ready (doing make-up, blow drying my hair, curling my hair, getting dressed.) Some days, we have screaming while I'm getting ready. Some days, we have tugging on my legs. But, I keep going because I want to look my best when my husband comes home. Sure, I could say, "Sorry hun. The girls were being difficult so I didn't get ready today" but I feel like that's just an excuse. It takes me about 30 minutes to clean up on any given day.. and my husband is worth that. (I don't say this to act better than anyone-- just trying to make a point that my husband is one of my priorities :))

I love when he walks through the door and says, "Oh my gosh. You look beautiful today." I love that he can't keep his hands off me some days. I love when he says, "You smell good." I love when he wants to cuddle me. I love when he tells me how nice my hair looks.

We have been together for almost 4 1/2 years... 2 kids later.. and I still want to see that sparkle in his eyes when he walks through the door.

I'm sure I'll have people saying, 'Wait til you've been married for 10 years... 15 years... 20 years" or "Wait til you add another one in there. Good luck with that." But my answer will still be the same.

HE IS WORTH IT.

Just because I am a mother doesn't mean I forgot about him or his needs. I would not say that my husband is "needy" as far as my looks go. He would never tell me, "You need to clean yourself up." I know he loves me unconditionally, but my thought is-- why would I want to even open that door up for him? He goes to work every day and there are women there who work in offices. I'm sure they are dressed nicely, hair done, smelling good. I don't want him to ever have room to think, "Man, I wish my wife would dress like that." Or "Man, I wish my wife would clean up once in awhile." I don't want date nights to be the only night he sees me looking my best. 

I want to be the best I can be EVERY day. 

I won't lie. It's tough. It's work. I know I get to stay home every day with my girls, but it is difficult to make time for it. Between diaper changes, meals, editing 5 photo sessions, cleaning up, getting baths, having nap time.. I don't know how to fit it in, but I do it for him. I give props to mothers that work outside of the home and still accomplish this. It's a beautiful thing.

Your husband deserves your best. We must be sure that we aren't using busyness or children as an excuse not to take care of him. 

I refuse to "let myself go." I refuse to be a woman that tells younger women, "Wait til you've been married for 5 years, 3 kids later." I refuse to put that negativity in their minds. I want to tell them, "Fall in love with your husband and do it every day. Look at his face when you walk around the corner and he sees you for the first time that day. Remember it. Strive for that every single day. Your husband is worth it. Your marriage is worth it. It is worth you putting forth your best effort. It is worth you trying. It is worth embracing the intimacy and love that comes from looking your best."

It isn't easy every day. But that look on my husband's face is certainly worth it.

He is worth it.

My marriage is worth it.




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