Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Can You Be A Mommy And Good-looking?

So, there I was the other night at another book launch for Bonnie Fuller, celebrating her book, The Joys of Much Too Much. (Which is a fun read!)

All the "media" and television cameras were there, ET Tonight and Shinan Govani, gossip columnist, who was also hosting the bash.

I tried to look good that night. For the past few months, I've been living in pajamas, trying to finish a book, occasionally remembering to shower.

When I had to go out -for dinner or a movie or a party - and had to wear jeans (you know actual clothes) I felt so uncomfortable because I'm actually not used to wearing clothes that aren't 100 per cent cotton. Anyway.

For Bonnie, I had straightened my long hair, I had showered, I had worn a pair of Rock and Republic skinny jeans (also known as Torture Jeans because you gain one pound and you can't fit into them anymore) a pair of high heels, a push-up bra under a tight black James Pearce tank top and a green crochet mini sweater I had bought at Anthropologie.

I even wore lip gloss And I rarely, if ever, wear makeup.

Like most women, I was like, "Oh man, I even tried tonight and I don't know if this outfit works. I'm so ugly!"

But, my gay neighbour, who saw me on the way out said, "I'm really impressed! You look amazing! I'm really impressed."

And if a gay guy says that to you, well, you know, I actually felt I did look good. After all, my gay friend complimented me! And he's a touch critic. He once yelled at me for twenty minutes because I was wearing Ugg boots - in my home!

At the book launch, a Famous Canadian (Really, if you saw this person, you'd know who they were) came up to me and said, "Wow, Rebecca. You look gorgeous," as they pecked me on each cheek. "And, you're a mother!"

Gaa! Argh! Gaa! Eeek!

The way this Famous Canadian said this to me was like they were surprised that I looked good and WAS a mother - all at the very same time! I'm so talented!

I've seen this Famous Canadian numerous times after The Dictator was born. This person knows very well that I have a toddler. So, then I thought, "Crap. Maybe all the other times I saw Famous Canadia I looked liked poo-poo." (The Dicator's word, not mine.)

I mean, I thought the weird comments had stopped. When I was pregnant, yes, I got a ton of constant wierd comments, like, "I guess you won't have to flirt anymore," and, "I guess you won't be having any fun anymore."

Then, after I gave birth, I also got a ton of strange comments ranging from, "Oh, right. You're a mother now. You can't have fun," to, "Does your daughter have crossed-eyes?" (I mean, really, you do not ask a mother that question! Especially since The DIctator MOST CERTAINLY didn't have crossed eyes.)

But I hadn't had any strange comments for a while now. Until Famous Canadian, who is actually an extremely nice person, who doesn't have children - made the comment "You look gorgeous...and you're a mother!" as if mother's can't be good looking and it's an either or thing. You either are good-looking. Or you're a mother.

What do a pick? What do I pick? What do I pick? Should I be goodlooking or a mother? Argh! Joking.

There are plenty of mommies who are also good-looking. In fact, all my friends who are mothers, if you met them, you'd be in awe that they have a child (or children.)

And don't you always have come-backs way too late. I hate that. I mean, I just thought this very second that I should have said, "Yes, and I can walk and talk at the same time too!" or something like that

20 Comments:

Anonymous Toronto Gal said...

I think some people live to make backhanded comments. I'm only 25 and in a senior position with the Ontario Government and have received more than my fair share of mean comments about my age and position in 3 different ministries. Yes, I'm young, yes I make more money than you and yes I'm your boss even though I'm the same age as your granddaughter! Deal! Backhanded comments are the worst because sometimes you say thanks and then your brain catches up with what they've actually and said and it's like hey- wait a minute crazy!

7:56 AM

 
Anonymous abby said...

it ties into the whole mom = letting onself go. people watch too much oprah's.

i loved that you mentioned anthropologie. i think (if you want of course!) you should devote a whole blog entry to that lovely store.

9:19 AM

 
Blogger Bahar said...

Don't take it personal. The person who gave you the comment (if she is a nice person) meant: I envy you because I am not a mother. It's like a bonus. You are also a mother.

When guys meet me for the first time, after 30 minutes of flirting, they ask what I do and then they say " you are sexy and you are an engineer!" or " you are pretty and you have been to graduate school".

It's like pick between being sexy/pretty and educated! What's the deal?

11:18 AM

 
Anonymous LA1978 said...

I love the Mommy comments!
The other day my friend told me she was impressed that I managed to bring my son to daycare every day, keep up with the laundry and still find time to wax my eyebrows.
Just call me wonderwoman!
(really I just hide the laundry though - I'm not caught up at all)

2:57 PM

 
Blogger kittenpie said...

Frankly, now that I'm a mom, I mostly don't have time and energy to look much more than acceptable. By acceptable, I do mean I don't own sweatpants and won't go past my front walk in my PJs, so let's get that straight from the get-go.

But it also means I'm not as put-together and well-accessorized and painted and polished as I might wish I could be. On the few occasions when I do have and take the time, I glam up well. Get lots of compliments. All tht stuff.

Being busy moms doesn't mean we're not pretty - it just means we don't usually have the luxuries of time and energy that are required to make the most of our assets.

8:43 PM

 
Blogger Cindy said...

I hate that in life if you are considered pretty, you obviously can be nothing else. Why can't men ever have that same double standard applied "I'm sorry, you have a large package. You must not have a good job." If only men had to put up with this stuff.

I also can never come up with a good comeback right away. It always comes about five minutes later when it is of no use. I store the really good ones in my mind for if someone ever says the same catty thing.

11:44 PM

 
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Some people have no clue. I am sure they weren't intending it as a back-handed kind of compliment. But hell ya you can be hot and a mom. But if you don't feel like it and want to go to the grocery store in your pjs and unwashed hair ... then I love using the excuse :)

4:46 AM

 
Blogger Kristen said...

My favorite (sarcasm here) backhanded mommy compliment was about 2 weeks after I gave birth. I got the "oh you look so great...for just having a baby." Oh, thanks. I feel great now.

8:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

frankly it appauls me that being fabolous is treated as a penalty and not rewarded or simply left alone. I live in westchester county, new york, run a highly successful business. and am a single mom of 2, and all that I ever hear is " she must have had a rich ex". hardly, he took off and i built my world, by myself!!!!!!!! marci

6:02 AM

 
Blogger Sara Bingham said...

I think people who give backhanded comments really are lacking for anything better to say. The amount of unsolicited advice that expecting or new parents get is amazing!

Being a mom and remembering to take time for yourself isn't always easy. You want to give so much to your children, that it's hard to find a balance and take care of yourself as well...but moms can definately look and feel good - it's important! Take time for yourselves - even if it means you have to lock yourself in the bathroom even for 15 minutes!

7:40 AM

 
Blogger hautemama said...

Welcome to the world of MILF.

You're even hotter now and don't deny it!

I love reading your blog by the way, it's one of the only ones I read.

It's halarious and real!

hautemama in vancouver

9:46 AM

 
Blogger Jenn said...

I'm a mother - several times over. And believe it or not, I can pass for attractive too, when given a few minutes, and not wearing formula on my shoulder, or being weighed down with a diaperbag that must be at least 85lbs!
Geez, where do they think the term MILF came from? Mums got it going ON!!

3:23 PM

 
Blogger Mom101 said...

I understand completely and you make an excellent point. Although from the looks of you (unless that picture is absurdly well lit, photoshopped, and retouched) you look a lot better than I do postpartum. Not that I can't hold my own at a Soho gallery opening or a Conde Nasty party, but my only James Perse is a skirt that looks like a sweatshirt and I'm afraid even my yoga pants qualify as torture pants these days.

Okay, I've thoroughly depressed myself now. Back to the ice cream.

(and thanks for the nice comment over at my place and for the trail back here. Happy to have found you.)

9:22 PM

 
Blogger Kristin said...

It's like be blonde and smart or pretty and funny... no matter how far along we evolve as a soceity or how many "hot" moms the media shoves down our throat on a daily basis, we still imagine "mom" as a sexless, baking for fun, apron wearing gal...

sigh.

oh well, i guess just take the compliment!

10:14 PM

 
Blogger Mega Mom said...

I always have the sense that whenever someone gives me a compliment, the word "considering" is hiding in between the lines :)

7:37 PM

 
Blogger Haley-O said...

Every time I go out--which, I admit, isn't very often given that my baby just started sleeping through the night...--I get this: "you look great; you've lost more weight...YOU'RE GETTING THERE." UGH!!! It's enough to make me want to stay home....

7:59 PM

 
Blogger Petite Mom Blogger said...

Yep, you can be a mommy and good looking. There are so many beautiful(HOT) moms around especially the blogging moms.

I think it is that we(society) have always thought of a mom as just a mom and nothing else and that once we become a mom we should no longer look or dress sexy otherwise it implies that don't care about our kids since we spend so much time looking good...but that's just a bunch of crap from the people who are jealous!

Your a gorgeous mommy! :)

9:38 PM

 
Blogger Ali said...

personally, i think being a mom makes me so much hotter...

(and i secretly LOVE when people say, "wow! you don't look like you have had three kids!")

9:33 AM

 
Blogger stkitts said...

I would say on average most women don't get back the body they had pre-preg .. partly pregnancy, and partly the normal aging factor.

Though I think there's a bigger push to get back into shape nowadays, then there was 20 or 30 years back.

Congrats on looking fab!! =)

5:42 AM

 
Blogger Maddie's Mom said...

Part of the issue is that we spend our time getting the bebe ready to go out-it cuts into our time to get ready...Madeleine always has a new and matching outfit on (even to go to Drs where they just ask me to undress her) and I still feel lucky some days to brush hair and teeth!!!

Although I must pass on my Moms only advice to me when I had bebe-"Make sure that you brush hair, get dressed and put on a touch of lipstick prior to bebes DAD coming home-no matter what!"

This may sound pretty outdated but comes from a very independant woman who was a CEO of large retail company, looks 10 years younger than she is and who is still VERY happily married to my dad. I just add the sexy shoes as well...

10:28 AM

 

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