So today I become the mother of a teenager. Yup, thirteen years ago today, I brought my baby boy into this world – 2001, when I was younger, slimmer and had infinitely more energy! There’s nothing like a child growing up in front of your eyes to make you feel older and compel you take a good hard look at yourself and how you’ve changed.
So today’s post is a little ramble through my beauty-related thoughts as I come to terms with this milestone. Call it a bit of a “then and now”, if you will.
Getting down to basics: Well, first off, lets talk about the skincare routine. Back then, I’ll admit I was a little slap-dash with the regime; I ‘may or may not’ have gone to bed with my makeup on more than a few times. Fast forward thirteen years and I wouldn’t dare skip the ritual of cleaning, exfoliating, toning, treating moisturising, face masks – you name it, it’s on the skincare menu. Is it because I’m paranoid about missing out on an opportunity to feed my skin with as many anti-ageing properties as possible? Or is it because it’s a little bit of treasured ‘me’ time amidst the madness of being a working mother? Whichever it is, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Weighing up the options: Obviously, my weight is not the same after three children – although in my more fanciful moments, I’ll hanker after being a size UK6 again. Now, I think I appreciate my body more for what it can (and can’t) do rather than obsessing about what it looks like. Of course, I’m still at the gym everyday, but if I’m honest, that’s more about staying healthy, fit and strong, not just to lose weight. I guess what it does mean is that I no longer throw myself down a black mogul run without a second thought…although you’ll still find me first in line for the waterskiing!
On the menu: All those years ago, I could eat whatever I wanted, in whatever quantity I fancied and it would have little or no effect on my size, shape or skin – oh the joy! Fast forward thirteen years and I’m so much more careful about what I eat, how much and when. Not just because I’m watching what I eat for my appearance’s sake, but also because I have to practice what I preach – hardly fair to tell the children to eat more fruit and veg while I stuff my face with chocolate (dark, of course!). Being a parent is sobering in so many more ways than you’d ever imagine.
Hair there and everywhere: As with my skin, I no longer take my hair for granted. Three children later, there’s no denying the hair follicles have been challenged, sometimes to the point of despair. The upside is that I’ve been religious about “feeding” my hair with the right nutrients and supplements (Viviscal, in case you’re wondering) which has had an incredible effect on my hair growth – I’ll be forever grateful! I also make sure I either oil or mask up at least once a week to keep my hair hydrated and moisturised, which I’ll admit I didn’t always get round to doing back then.
What Not to Wear: Heard the one about the mother and daughter who dress the same? Yes, I think we all have and I live in dread of ever trying to dress exactly like my teenage daughter (she’ll be there soon, just give her a couple of years). Yes, I can still fit into those clothes, but do I really want to? While the shortest of minidresses was de rigour back then, nowadays, a couple of inches gap is fine for me – and if I can get away with a pair of leather leggings for a night out instead, then so much the better!
Taking time out: I used to run around like a headless chicken, never saying no to anything, taking on too much and trying to be in three places at any one time. These days, I’ve the confidence to say no when it’s needed, be happy in my own skin, not worry about what other people are upto or that I’m ‘missing out’. I guess being responsible for another life will put your priorities into place for you. I long for ‘quiet time’, whether it’s when the kids have gone to bed, early in the morning before anyone else is up or even driving on the school run, in my car, radio off, just me and my thoughts (and any road rage I might encounter)! Last year, I even took up Transcendental Meditation, and while I find it hard to find the time to fit in regular meditating sessions (and yes, the irony of that is not lost on me), it’s made me realise how important it is to step off the treadmill of life now and then, take time to slow down and actually live in the moment.
The Science of Sleep: You know that old saying “you never know what you have until you lose it”. Well, I’m willing to bet that was written about sleep. Yes, you know, that thing we all take for granted, the most natural of things (after breathing)…these days, it’s probably my most precious commodity. That’s not to say you won’t still find me down on the dance floor at the Arts Club, Loulou’s or Annabel’s at 2am, but these days, if I do that two nights in a row (errrr, like I did two weeks ago), I’m a wreck for the next few days. Not like the good old days when I’d be in the salsa clubs till all hours four nights a week!
I guess basically it just comes down to growing up – me, not my son. Mother of a teenager – wow, that certainly has a ring to it. Time to take on yet another new role and stage of my life – wish me luck on this new and exciting journey!