(I know, I know, this is a FLDS not a LDS picture, but still, think hyperbole people!)
From what I’ve seen, the reality is a whole lot more like an Anthropologie ad.
I’m wondering why all the Mormons I know, either through blogging or “in real life,” always look like a million bucks? I mean do they take all the money the rest of us blow on alcohol and put it into “self-care?” Brynn, one of my favorite former students (and a reader of this blog!) has 5 kids and looks spectacular. Yes, I felt old after typing that.
Brynn’s kids look picture perfect, too. When her husband took their 4 kids to the hospital to meet baby #5, they had matching pink polos or polo dresses, khakis, and adorable hair ribbons. Considering Brynn had been working hard giving birth for the previous 24 hours or so, that means that at a prior date she had trained and equipped her husband to pull off this feat.
I find this astounding. I can barely pull off a single crappy family picture once a year (snapshot, not studio), and can't imaging being photo-ready on other important life occasions.
I know I’ve been pacing myself on this marathon called motherhood, trying not to expend all my energy in one place, but these hot Mormon mommies expose me as the slacker I am.
They’ve got their fancy jeans (I tried to put a hip brand name here but I don’t even know one), high heels, and perfect accessories. When my peer group and I first had babies ten years ago, we looked pretty schlubby. We walked around in oversized sweatshirts, which may or may not have been adorned with pictures of licensed characters, and sported mom jeans, tennis shoes, and scrunchies. I wore my Old Navy overalls a lot, and sometimes my sister would share “a really cool nursing shirt!” with me. We knew how to party like it was 1999.
Now, even though my kids are 8 and 10, I often still use them as an excuse for why my gray is showing, why I don’t exercise, and why I have shmutz on my shirt.
And parties? Those LDS ladies are decorators and entertainers, going all out for holidays and picnics. I get some of my favorite design inspiration from their blogs.
Makeup? You should see my hot Mormon blogger friend Shawn at Swanee Singer. Not only does she rock with her band in real life, she rocks the hair and makeup every day.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but in a post rife with gross generalizations, I’ll pile one more on. While I have sometimes looked at motherhood as something to be survived or endured, I think my Mormon friends see it as something to celebrate. As an ongoing special occasion…and who wouldn’t dress up for that?
I think this attitude is a positive one, particularly if Brynn is any indication; with 5 kids before age 30, there’s a whole lot more celebrating on her horizon...
And although my childbearing years are over (Tom is now in the market for an Ektorp), I still think I could stand to kick it up a notch. Tomorrow I’m wearing cute ballet flats I purchased at Target, NOT at the thrift store. Baby steps.