I was looking at pictures of Tommy and me the other day and two things struck me: He looked absolutely adorable. My hair looked downright horrid.
I hadn’t had a haircut in — wait for it — over a year.
I was due for a cut while I was pregnant, but I was so busy with a new job and getting the house ready for my new arrival that I couldn’t make the time. I’m cheap, so I like to wash and comb all the tangles out myself and pay for just the cut. And I thought I didn’t have enough time to make an appointment online, much less comb through my curly mop.
Then the baby came and I realized I had no idea what busy was before. Before I became a mom I had time to sleep, watch TV, chew my food … all things I don’t have much time for now. I could have made time to comb out my hair back then. But after the baby, no way.
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So I decided my hair wasn’t that big a deal.
I treated it like the weight I’ve gained since having the baby. Yes, I’ve put on some pounds, but there are more important things to worry about. I just tweet #takebackpostpartum on every unflattering picture of myself and feel little remorse. This is my new body.
My tangled, uneven postpartum hair was something else I was going to live with. Did it look bad? At first, not really. Then, as the months went by … well, that’s why God made the ponytail. I often contemplated cutting it short enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about ever combing it out.
Finally I saw the pictures. And I booked a haircut for the next week. Forget saving money. I’d just pay extra and let them do all the work.
The natural hair salon I go to is only two blocks from my house (I know, I know), so I walked. I almost missed the shop because it had moved since my last visit.
During the hour I was gone, my husband, home alone with the baby, did text me, “How’s the haircut going?” which is code for “Are you coming home soon?” But that was just once. Baby was fine. Mommy was fine. Mommy’s hair looked amazing.
The whole experience made me realize that even though I am a mom now, I can make a little time for me without the house burning down. I need to do it more. It’s not going to be easy for me, but I’m going to work on it.
The other day my husband asked me what I was going to write about this month.
“Taking time for myself. I’m going to write it as soon as I finish washing these bottles and putting the baby to bed and starting the laundry.”
To reach Pamela E. Spencer, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.