In honor of Mother’s Day, this week’s Love Essentially column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press is about the importance of moms taking care of themselves and having a life outside of their kids.
Happy Mother’s Day To All The Hot Moms Out There by Jackie Pilossoph
I grew up with one of those really attractive moms, the kind where you bring your boyfriend home and his jaw drops when he sees her for the first time, leaving you standing there feeling like an ugly duckling. I’m not lying, just ask my two sisters. They feel the same way.
So when I became a mom, I had an appreciation for the effort I think my mom made (and still does) to be a caring, nurturing and loving mother of four, while at the same time being her own person by taking care of herself and enjoying a life that included things besides her kids.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to bring up the importance of being a hot mama. What do I mean by that? What I don’t mean is that moms have to drink green smoothies every day, hire a personal trainer, work out for three hours and be a size 2.
A hot mama is a woman who adores caring for her children, but at the same time feels pretty and sexy, and like a girlfriend to her husband, at times. Additionally, a hot mama is passionate and successful, either in a career or a much-loved hobby.
But the reality is, feeling like a hot mama isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a woman to spiral into full mom mode, losing interest in her sexuality, her spouse and a life outside of diapers, crayons and carpools.
Dr. Sarah Allen is a Northbrook-based psychologist who specializes in women’s issues, including anxiety, depression, eating issues, pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders, and relationship difficulties. Allen said she has seen many women in this situation.
“When a woman has young kids, they can be clamoring all over her all day and so women will say, ‘I just don’t want anyone else touching me,'” said Allen, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and who has been in practice for 22 years. “Another reason is body image. The extra weight gained after children or a C-section scar can make a woman self-conscious. And if you don’t like your body, you aren’t going to feel sexy.”
Allen said lack of intimacy in couples can also be caused by having teenagers who stay up late at night, leading to a noisy house and a lack of privacy.
Here are Allen’s five tips to becoming a hot mama:
1. Get back in touch with the person you were before you had kids. See old friends. Go back to a hobby you used to enjoy before you had kids.
2. Exercise and choose to eat right. You deserve to eat something better than the leftover chicken nuggets on your kids’ plates. Do things for yourself everyday that make you feel good both physically and emotionally. Examples include a massage, manicure, therapy or volunteering.
3. Dress in clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. Feeling attractive will make you happier and more open to romance and sex. Also, you don’t have to be naked to have sex. If you feel self-conscious, try a silk piece of lingerie that makes you feel pretty.
4. If you don’t schedule dates, they won’t happen. Also, research shows that if you plan dates that are slightly risky, that get your adrenaline going, or that take you out of your comfort zone, it fuels your sex drive.
5. Do things with your husband that you used to do before you had kids. Were the two of you in a bowling league? Did you enjoy seeing certain bands? Doing the things you did while falling in love will help you stay connected.
I want to specifically address the body image issue, being someone who has struggled with weight issues all my life. I think if a man is in love – really in love, and your relationship is solid, he is blind to the 10 pounds of baby weight you haven’t lost. He cannot see your stretch marks, and he thinks your muffin top is sexy. When he sees and feels your naked body, he is in the same place he was in (or better) when the two of you were young and unmarried.
It’s sad when women are so self-critical that they don’t realize this – the depth of a committed man’s love. Not to mention, I’m sure your spouse’s body doesn’t look like Ryan Gosling’s.
This Mother’s Day, give yourself a gift that is far better than flowers, brunch or chocolate. Give yourself the gifts of self-love, self-acceptance and the commitment to making time for yourself and not feeling guilty about it.
Like this article? Read my blog, “Women Dating Over 40: What’s Up With the Bad Body Image?”