Monday, March 7, 2011

Age Before Beauty

Today I drank coffee through a straw.  No, it wasn't iced, and it was in a ceramic mug.  It is just the price that I am now paying for beauty.

In November I bought expensive anti-aging facial moisturizer.  Last month I had my hair dyed for the first time (something I swore I wouldn't do until I showed signs of graying).  Yesterday I had my first cosmetic dental work- teeth bleaching.  Today I am drinking hot beverages through straws, avoiding wetting my hair in chlorinated pools, and buying large floppy hats to block the sun from wrinkling the skin around my eyes.

I am now beginning to obsess over the state of my hands.  After reading an article of how Jennifer Aniston keeps her youthful look, yet is still outed by the frailty of her aging hands, I began to notice how my own have lost their youthful glow, and the fat that keeps them from wrinkling. Maybe I should start wearing more gloves?

When did this happen?  When did I change from complaining about looking years younger than my actual age, to a tired mother who barely garners a stranger's turned head when my youngest throws up on me?  How did I age ten years in the span of my childrens' toddlerhood?

The answer is really very simple: lack of sleep and intense bodily/emotional changes.  Not only does sleep loss result in aging the face (dark circles beneath the eyes and wrinkles on every available surface), it also ages the brain.  Sleep deprivation is what causes new mothers to be unable to form cohesive thoughts, carry on conversations revolving around anything besides diapering and nursing, and operate heavy machinery (like the dishwasher).

The sense of responsibility that comes with motherhood also is also extremely mentally aging.  With two small children to raise, I simply no longer feel young.  A girl's night out now usually ends by 10 PM; that nagging little voice is always reminding me that I have to be awake and alert come seven in the morning.  I can no longer drink myself into a drunken stupor; no amount of inebriated fun is worth looking after two children under four sporting a nasty hangover and a red wine headache. Ultimately, I am aging because my life now revolves around two little girls who completely depend on me.

I can deal with the mental aging, the early nights, and the lack of spontaneity in my life.  I knew that these were a likely consequence of procreating.  However, I am having a much more difficult time accepting the physical demise.

I attempted to research the proven ways that children age a mother.  However, after googling numerous combinations of the words "children, childbirth, beauty, age, and wrinkles", the most relevant web results the search engines produced were plastic surgery sites sites.  My favorite,, informed me that even though I love my children very much, there is no excuse to let my body go.  It offered many useful tips to regain that pre-baby body, all I need to do is schedule a few minor surgical procedures and convince my husband that the money will be well spent.  

I let the site guide me through a detailed prescription of their remedy from birthing my two children:
  • Post breastfeeding boobs?  Answer: Breast Augmentation (~$3500) and Breast Lift (~$4400).
  • Fatty tummy from bearing children?  Answer: Liposuction (~$2800) with Tummy Tuck (~$5,300).
  • Wrinkled forehead from screaming at your children? Answer: Botox (~$400), Physician Skincare (~$300),  Light Based Treatments and Lasers (~$2000), and Brow Lift (~$7000)
  • Fine wrinkles around the eyes from lack of sleep?  Answer: Chemical Peels (~$700), Possibly Blepharoplasty (~$2700), Fat Grafting and Injectable Fillers (~$1700)
The grand total for all this plastic beauty is only a meager $30,800.  Well, I wasn't expecting my children to be admitted into an Ivy League school, so do we really need to bother with a college fund?

I am not quite at the point where I am willing to shell out that kind of cash or time commitment, nor am I ready to sacrifice the ability to use all facial expression.  For now I will just be thankful for flamboyant hairdressers that offer me glasses of wine while they color my gray hairs and that billowy tops are in fashion. 

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