“What stories do you tell through your attire? Are those stories true?”
The first moment that I start to wake, it’s usually because my fingers are numb. The baby sleeps in the crook of my arm all night and his head is heavier than you’d expect. I push down into the mattress and drag my arm out from under him and make my way out of the room. I avoid the creaking boards as I walk by Chase’s room and I look in the mirror.
I am tired. This is most definitely true.
I check my face for signs of sleep, brush my teeth, fix my hair back into a bun on the top of my head and then get him ready for school. I know I’ll be dropping him off so I’m not scared about what I look like. No one will see the fact that I don’t have socks on and it’s freezing temperatures outside, or that my hoodie I threw on has stains from doing the dishes last night.
I just can’t find the energy to care.
Some days I go to the grocery stores, I do try and at least wear clean clothes there. Most of the ladies know me and have seen me come in after dropping Chase and have watched Xander grow – they know he doesn’t sleep.
They know… they know I am so tired.
I go home and stay in the same clothes. I wait for my husband to get home and then sneak into the shower. I am renewed. The hot water scalds my scalp as I scrub with shampoo. I drag the razor along my skin in efforts to feel like I actually care about what I look like. I get out, I dry off, I twist my hair a top knot so that by the time it dries, it falls in loose waves.
That makes me feel beautiful.
I put on some new leggings, fresh underwear and a bra, a new shirt… depending on the weather, maybe a sweatshirt. It feels so good. I love the way that I feel. I love the confidence even a simple shower gives me. I tell myself that I’ll do this every day even though I know in the back of my mind that I won’t. It’ll be days of slow deterioration with my hygiene before I get the energy to shower again. It’s hard to be truthful about it. You’d think it’d be easy to hop into the shower every single day and feel this good about yourself but time slips away in the rush of having a family.
I slip away.