I stare at myself in the mirror, looking deep into the eyes of the woman in front of me. I give myself a smile, finding it hard to believe that she is really me. I see the faint dark circles under my eyes and begin rummaging through my makeup bag for the concealer. I comb the tangles out of my hair then add a little mascara to my lashes and rosy gloss to my lips.
I take off my T-shirt stained with chocolate pudding, applesauce, a dab of blood on one shoulder and a lot of snot on the other shoulder, and replace it with a clean shirt, then remove my gym shorts and slip on a pair of blue jeans, having to squirm and jump a little to get them on. I look myself over quickly in the full-length mirror propped up in the corner.
This is the ritual I go through around 5:00 every day to make myself look halfway presentable and somewhat feminine and desirable before my husband gets home from work. But is this what makes me feminine?
No, it’s not. It’s how I get to 5:00 every day that makes me feminine.
My daughter wakes up in the middle of the night, every night, screaming “Mama! Mama!” I bolt out of bed and run up the stairs to wipe the tears streaming down her face and help her get her breathing under control, comforting her when she is awakened by a recurring nightmare. That is why I have circles under my eyes, and that is feminine.
My hair is tangled because I have been driving the four-wheeler through the fields around our home, the wind making a hot mess of my hair, which I forgot to put up before we began our search for a missing cat, and that is feminine.
My jeans are a little tight because I have carried 2 children, and that changed my body. I don’t have time to go to the gym or run miles like I used to. My workouts now consist of playing tag in the back yard and lifting 30 or 40 pounds of kicking and screaming weight. I have curves I didn’t have before, and that is feminine.
All of the stains on my t-shirt? They came from feeding my family (a messy job when you have small children) and comforting my 4-year old son when he fell off of his bike, scraping his knees and elbows and nose. The art of feeding and comforting and the ability to heal boo-boos with a single kiss…that is the most feminine thing of all.
I smile at myself again in the mirror, happy that she is me.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future….Proverbs 31:25
So excited that this article is appearing on the MOPS blog!!!
This was beyond beautiful, touching, encouraging, needed. LOVE!
Thanks, Sasha! I appreciate your kind words!
This was so beautiful. You have a way with words. I made a mental note to start slipping on some jeans and brushing my hair before hubby comes home, haha. But all in all you are right. It’s not the lipstick, fashion or heels that make us feminine. It’s the ability to love, nurture, bring forth children and raise them in the way they should go.
Stephanie, it is amazing what taking off the gym shorts does for my self esteem. Thanks for reading!