Children and Maternal Self Image

Pregnancy and Self-Image: The Impact of Our Children on the Way We See Ourselves

by Staff,  


The existence of children in our lives will always have a profound effect on our self-image. Work-at-home and stay-at-home parents may tend to reach for a comfortable pair of sweatpants day after day. Makeup and jewelry and the steam iron take up residence in the back of a drawer, and hairstyles evolve into "very simple" and "very-low-maintenance."

For expectant parents, the challenges are a little different, but present, nonetheless. Some moms are fortunate enough to go into their pregnancy in excellent physical shape.  They will have greater muscle strength with which to skillfully carry their increasingly-heavy toddler up steep stairs to balcony seats, or whisk her across the busy street in front of the Children's Museum at the opportune moment. Vanishing waistlines are offset by a pair of impressive calves.  However, if you're used to perming your hair, the months during pregnancy may be just the time to find a good barber and go with a super-short cut. 

When we were waiting for our children to be born, we were unable to find a hairstylist who would perm, relax, straighten or otherwise chemically alter our hair, and the result was that we felt unattractive.  Everyone we asked was afraid that the chemical exposure would hurt the baby, though no one could say for certain. 

To be sure, we were anxious to do everything right, and being first-time moms, there were many things we were learning as we went along. But the inability to address our appearance in the ways we wanted seriously interfered with our self-image. So before you head off to the barber chair (which we all ended up doing), consider the creative wrapping of your hair.  It's a clever way to look sharp at a time when you might be feeling a little discouraged about how you look. Having children doesn't mean automatically losing your sense of style.

As for the Vanishing Waistline, one of our expectant moms, having recently relocated to Florida from New England, anxiously looked forward to returning home around the holidays for the annual performance of The Nutcracker. However, by the time December arrived, she could no longer fit into her favorite black velvet dress. She was so discouraged that she turned down invitations from friends for the rest of that holiday season (and for the remainder of her pregnancy), convinced she looked too awful to go anywhere but the supermarket and the obstetrician's office.

If her story resembles your particular struggle, try The Long-Sleeved Pregnancy Survival Kit (4-piece) If you're still feeling awful about yourself, this might help: Fresh SugarBath Brown Sugar Body Polish Failing these, we can only suggest that you look forward a few months, and take comfort in the fact that most of the baby weight will disappear with a return to regular exercise, and continued healthy eating (just in smaller portion sizes--no more "eating for two" after the children are wielding their own spoons). Of course, you'll consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, and hearty congratulations in advance on your new role, your new hairstyle and the successful shedding of baby weight.