In a fast-paced, fast-forward time where the glorification of “busy” is the new hype, and everyone is proud to call themselves “off this week”, “super full” and “simply exhausted”, I sometimes like to step back and look beyond the curtains. Especially into Moms’ lives. Nobody can be busier than a mom, whether a working one, a stay-at-home one, or a combo of the two, we all know that. So while we are always caught up in a million things to do, a thousand details to remember and endless places to be, I am particularly interested in that “pause” moment. Because there always has to be a pause, a break, a moment of breathing in and breathing out. I’m interested in those personal minutes, hours, days we take for ourselves to look deeper into our hearts’s desires and aches. To step away from the many masks we have to put on every day, and look deeper into who we truly are beyond all that.
I am more curious to know what makes mothers feel HOT. Desired. Sensual. What is it that still makes you want to kick ass in the morning? Be sexy, vibe, dance in the kitchen, shake your ass, use your spatula as a mike and sing to your favourite lyrics? What makes you want to shower off that smell of cooking food after putting the kids down, and put on your sexy lingerie and a drop of your favourite perfume instead of the cozy Pokemon Pyjamas?
What makes you wanna really turn up the Cyndi Lauper hits in the morning while preparing the lunch box for the kids with one hand and flipping the pancakes with the other?
How many layers do you need to take off to get to the real you? Your authentic self, that piece of yourself that is the woman, the soul, the pure you, and not the mom, the wife, housewife or taxi driver. That one piece that is lying there inside of you and that you forget to call to life more often than not. When are you rediscovering her? When are you eager and determined to call her to life?
What makes you search for You every now and again when you feel you might be losing yourself between all the masks you have to put on every day? I don’t think women, and mothers in particular, ever lose that wild, sexy, intriguing part of themselves. But we forget about it so often that sometimes we don’t even know how or where to look for her again.
It has not been an easy piece to be a part of, and I love that! I love a topic that challenges (some) moms to take a step back and look deep inside, and think about aspects that they might have neglected or forgotten or put aside with time… whatever makes you think twice and hard, is worth sharing!
Here are some of my favourite mother friends, in their purest form, in nothing but a towel and a robe. Inspired by Mario Testino’s “Towel Series”
Cristiana, Mom of two, creative advertising Jedi, creator and writer of the TINY ROCKERS book series.
“My life feels like a daily party where I’m overdressed. Literally. I do have fun, but I can’t dance properly or feel like myself because I have so many „coats” on me. I wear the mom coat and under it the housecleaning lady one, the copywriter, the cook, the teacher, the shopping assistant, the organiser, the personal body washer and fashion stylist and, last but not least, the wife coat. Fuck. That’s a lot.
But underneath all these clothes, it’s me. The woman. The wild child. The melomaniac. The sun chaser. The fool for romance. The „I’m just gonna leave work and run to the seaside now” and „I love Ryan Gosling” girl.
And I feel sexy when I am the most „me”.
When I’m in a tent, with salty hair and my best friend and “Stay wild” from The bones of J.R. Bones is the soundtrack.
When I put on a red lipstick and a short skirt and the mirror says “Damn, girl!”.
When my mind runs free and welcomes words that turn into lyrics for songs I may or may not record one day.
When my skin gets covered in my favorite scent of cherry blossoms from Rituals.
When I read “Micro(scop) pentru suflet” from Anca Dumitrescu.
When I dance hours in a row.
When I’m having a good hair day.
When I walk barefoot on the beach.
So basically when the Planet of Babysitters and The Good Vibes Planet align. Which happens more rarely than a solar eclipse. That being said, I’m gonna wake up now. Thanks for the daydreaming.”
Mara, Mom of two, founder and editor in chief of Realmomster Online Mag.
“I have been a mother for 7 years now, since I turned 21 years old, to be more exact. I was a child and still am and will always keep my child side no matter what. But still, I really WAS a child and decided to become an adult much earlier than others even care to graduate university. You can not anticipate the discipline and dedication and availability and exhaustion that come hand in hand with new motherhood. It’s not something you find written in parenting books, it’s not something your fellow mom friends are able to explain to you, and it’s not something you are ever able to comprehend before becoming a Mother yourself.
Thankfully my journey has been very easy and natural and filled with peace so far, and I like to think that I am and have always been a responsible, dedicated mother and have put all other personal and professional goals second to my beautiful kids.
But as of recently, I have rediscovered that I do need to resuscitate my carefree side in order to remember who I can be aside from motherhood. I need my carefree spirit, I need to feel young and wild and free again. I need to step away from the responsibilities of daily life every now and again, I need to turn up the music in the shower, I need to dance my stress away in my bathrobe, I need to hop on my bike on a rainy day, alone, listen to my music and let the rain wash away everything I don’t need. A seemingly frightening thought – of being wet and cold while riding a bike with the wind blowing in your face on a cold winter day is for me so refreshing since I rediscovered this side of me. It gives me such freedom and joy. I feel alive when I remember my wildest passions and dreams. I feel alive when I am in love. Madly in love with the person next to me, but also with myself.
I want to be remembered as a bright, vibrant, loving, fearless girl that always pursuits her dreams and her desires. I want to believe I matter, even though deep inside I feel I often shrink myself to make room for everyone else. That is when I feel the most beautiful. When I feel desired, looked at – and I mean really looked at, wanted, admired, spoiled, treasured, loved.
I recently read a paragraph in a book that stayed with me ever since, and that felt like it was me saying it to my best friend in a conversation, word by word: ” You know, somewhere in your heart aren’t you always nineteen? Where you have that completely fearless approach to life and everything is a possibility? Always, even at this age, there’s still that part of me. Sometimes you forget about it, but it’s always present. You always miss that a little bit. Maturity is one of the most disappointing things in life”.
It’s that possibility that something amazing might just happen to me at any second. That is how I want to live.”
Bianca, Mom of two teenagers, wife of one and that pretty much occupies my entire time.
“When do I feel sexy and beautiful? In many states: when I’m dancing either in the heat of a crowded night club with my friends, or even just simply around the house on my high heels with a glass of red wine in my hand on one of my favourite songs (for instance now Cher’s “Burlesque” or Donna Summer’s “She works hard for the money” are the first ones to pop to my mind); or after an intense workout – be it jogging, yoga, or even a short workout on my mat..
Or when I’m getting ready for a night out with my friends and my husband is interrupting me for a round of hot sex (see photo). I think it’s impressive that after 28 years of relationship, 20 years of marriage, 2 pregnancies and a lot of hick-ups along the way, he still finds the motivation and desire for such things! This is why I love him!”
Roxana, Mom of two, travel blogger .
” What makes me feel sexy, even as a mom… TIME. Time for me. Time for a long bath, for reading a book on my terrace, drinking a coffee in front of my laptop, for drawing a sketch for a new dress, for taking my time eating instead of rushing everything. To me, time transforms me from a tired, exhausted and stressed mom into a relaxed woman. A balanced woman. Happy. Pleased. Sexy.”
Floriana, Mom of (soon to be) two, senior certified coach and communications advisor.
“It’s a simple answer here, yet hard to put in practice by many; the love I feel for myself is my ultimate support! This love I’ve cultivated in years of practice and it’s work in progress, but it brought up a certain priority for my wellbeing, for my smile, for my body/mind harmony, to feel calm, confident, beautiful. This is the biggest resource we each have. How big is this love will influence how we make decisions in our lives and relationships. The choices we make every day can bring us down or lift us up! It’s a great deal of responsibility to point no fingers but to go back inside and find better ways to respond to our own needs.
First thing in the morning when I wake up and I look in the mirror, I consciously look at myself, in my eyes. Meeting me, the person inside, taking a deep breath to connect with myself, being kind and loving in that short moment, can instantly bring out the peace and calm inside. Life happens every day, everybody has priorities, but we must stay connected with our body and mind and heart, and check what’s needed. I call this my daily “Self check-in”. I do it a few times a day and it helps a lot with rebalancing. Breathing exercises, such as the natural sighing or a glass of cold water, are simple tricks that work for everyone, at all times, to refresh your attitude, your mood. This practice helps us not to lose ourselves amongst these roles in the first place.
When women lose connection with their body, mind and heart (due to tiredness, putting others’ needs always ahead, lack of self-awareness, or no self-care routines etc), they also lose touch with this inner love and calm that can take many forms and affect the love for our kids, for our body, love for healthy nourishing food, love for making love and having intimacy with our partners, ‘me time’ with self, social time etc. So the key here is to not lose yourself. Find time to stay grounded and come back to yourself a few times a day, not only to feel sexy or desired, but to feel connected with inner source of love. Then all duties will happen more naturally because you take the space to discriminate amongst the needs and resources needed for each role you play.
The roles I play every day as mother, wife, professional, woman, have to be very clear for each of us. The more aware we are of what it means to switch between these roles, of the resources you need to dedicate for each of these roles, the more you will be able to balance out your energy and set priorities. Also, the timing for all these roles is different. There is a time to feed the kids, there is a time to rest and sleep, there is a time to be sexy and share this with your partner. Some moments you can’t control, kids need to eat, however some moments we need to create ourselves. Me time, or time with our partners, with our friends, that’s up to us to schedule and include into our life. They bring us balance. I like to say I have a 1:2 rule for MUST vs LIKE things : for each task I must do (because it is a must – e.g. feed the kid, go to work, do groceries, etc) there should be two things I should plan that bring me joy, that I love doing, that give me energy (e.g. walk in the park, take a long bath alone or not J, go for a new exhibition, visit another town, make new friends etc). Such activities are not a must, but it’s so healthy and enjoyable to do them as they support our mental resilience and refill the tank of positive energy.”
Oana, Mom of baby Matilda, doggie Roofie, at least three stray cats and whoever baby chooses to join our family in the future; former fashion editor and stylist trying to figure out a new role in this industry.
“To be super honest, I struggled with the replies for this awesome piece. Mainly because I didn’t think about these things for a while. I was so focused on getting through the day and checking all my ‘to do’s’ that this was probably the last thing on my mind. We recently moved to another country that is worlds away from what we were used to and finding a new routine was the main focus. Everything was a brand new, exciting and very tiring chaos. Did I mention fattening? (Apparently not doing your 10000+ steps per day comes with a heavy cost. See what I did there?).
I noticed that what makes me feel like myself lately is just taking time to take care of myself: anything from a good massage to my skincare routine, a nice mani pedi or an amazing coffee I get to sip super slowly in the garden, when everybody is out of the house and I can enjoy the silence. All these small things make me feel happy and willing to dance in the kitchen.
Also my routine on the tread mill gives me an amazing kick and I feel I can take on the world (as soon as I can catch my breath).
What else? Traveling of course. We did a lot of that lately, short trips that gave me a whole new vibe and sexy energy.
And speaking of sexy, never underestimate the power of lingerie. I struggled at first to get back into it, because I always wanted to feel super comfy. But guess what, if you just throw away the unsexy stuff, you simply have no other choice. Hahah.
Anyway, the idea is that for me, what works best is being just a little selfish and always looking for small ways to spoil myself.”
Diana, Mom of one, supercalifragilistic bubbly ray of sunshine.
“Luckily, water, sunsets and some greenery are here everytime i need to take a rest and put the world on pause.
In my secret garden i can always be myself.
Sunsets. Fresh air. Trees and greenery. Sinking in the bath tub. A good book. Old lovers on the street. Pictures from old magazines that inspire me. The ‘50s. The ‘60s.
A bit of sport.
Little things that make me feel myself and be grateful for all that i have.
But usually everything starts with a good breakfast and a bit of Portuguese Bossa Nova”.
Annemiek, Mom of three, working part-time as a cabin attendant and part-time at my husband’s company.
“Overall, I love to spend most of the time with my kids. They are the most important, and I want to spend as much time as possible with them. Being there for them, making memories and standing next to them while growing up.
So with this family setting, it was and still is quite busy. As we say in The Netherlands, we are in our tropics years.
To be a mom of three and still be working, spending time with friends, doing sports, and I love fashion, I feel just beautiful and sexy. My three beautiful kids, my well-looking husband, my self-confidence, and my way of living make me feel beautiful and sexy
….Make me feel beautiful and sexy, but not everyday 😉 at least it makes me feel that I’m blessed! 💗”