At nine months pregnant with my first child I was enormous. People see pictures and don’t recognize me.
My daughter was born and life as I knew it changed forever. I looked in the mirror and saw a person I didn’t recognize and didn’t really want to see. I avoided the mirror. I hated my hair, the extra weight and the image of how I thought I should look wasn’t reflected.
Adjusting to life as a stay at home mom and living up to the expectations of Today’s Parent magazine and people who told me I “had” to be that mom left me feeling less like myself than the image in the mirror. I am not that mom. When I tried to be that mom my daughter acted up and misbehaved. It was like she knew it didn’t come naturally. I stopped caring how others perceived me and just followed my inner voice.
My son was born three years later and I was more confident. I liked my hair and the image in the mirror. Mirrors always show our reflection. People have a love/hate relationship with their mirrors; it holds truths we can’t escape like our flaws or whether or not we have an outfit on that rocks or one that stinks.
In October I became part of an amazing book project with 67 other women called Meeting in the Ladies Room. I don’t know the other women nor have I met the authors Linda Woods, Karen Dinino and Pamela Detlor personally; although, I have become friends with them and admire them. I set out to make a fabulous paper dress to wear representing my art. My friend Glamma Gregory was my photographer/makeup artist and my bathroom was the back drop.
Making the dress was amazing; being photographed thrilling, and the pictures I LOVED. There was another component to being in the book. We had to answer three questions :
1. What do you see when you look in the mirror?
2. What’s your favourite bathroom?
3. What do you think about when you are alone?
The questions seem straight forward until you sit down to answer them honestly. It really makes you think. What do you see when you look in the mirror? My first response was to say “my reflection” but I thought about it and answered each question honestly.
My submission was complete. The book release was so amazing and overwhelming. I felt so proud to be included in a book with so many remarkable and strong women. Holding the book in my own hands was something I never dreamed of. We come from all walks of life; some are rather famous, others stay at home moms, single moms and just your average woman trying to be the best she can be.
I was curious how the other women answered their questions. Some answers are soo different, some funny and others thought provoking and powerful. I imagined each woman having their photographs taken or standing there trying to figure out their best “side” for a self portrait. I have become friends with many of the ladies and hope one day we can all gather and have a group photo taken in a room truly for ladies only!
I challenge each reader to buy the book, bring it to your book club and ask the three questions. The answers will surprise you. I guarantee you will see yourself in many of the woman, feel empowered and looking in the mirror will become much easier.