Somewhere along the last 30 years, a revolution of sorts has happened. Mothers belonging to my parents' generation brought into the notion of the self-sacrificing "adarsh maa" who devotes her entire being to the service of the family. This ideal mother had no time to take care of herself or to go to the gym. Moms back then—whether stay-at-home or working or somewhere in between—mostly came in one shape, that shape being roundish, and that was all there was to it. Most of them let nature take its course once a certain age set in. Mothers looked like mothers and children looked like children, no room for confusion. Back then terms such as "yummy mummy", "tiger mother", crunchy granola parent" etc were unheard of.
Cut to the year 2017, and the stereotype of the "adarsh maa" seems to be broken. And that's good. Yet you will notice most modern mothers on a scramble to push a gigantic rock out of their way—the rock that's an obstacle to the place where everything is good and perfect. Where the fountain of youth flows. Where everyone looks young, very young. This compulsion to look trendy and glamorous at all times, could be a reflection of the fallacy that is being sold at every nook and corner that being a " yummy mummy" is effortlessly easy.
I am not particularly thrilled when my journey to be fit and look good at 44 is misconstrued as a desire to pass myself off as a 16-year-old!
While the grind of motherhood has not really lessened, the next-gen mom's have brought on to their plate the burden of looking young and fit. As it turns out, being a mother remains hard work that never really ends. You have got to grit your teeth and keep working away at it day after day. Yeah, it has cool and amazing moments, but the work you put in is tremendous and the room for improvement to be a better mom keeps growing, every time you think you might have conquered the peak. But despite this, there does remain a desire to look good, and I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I was immune in my 14-year journey as a mom. The clothes we wear, the bags we carry and the shoes we run around doing our chores in not only make us feel good, but they give the world an impression of who we are. Especially for us mothers—shallow as it may sound—the way we present ourselves reflects a lot about what "type" of moms we are. And thus, this revolution which "unshackled" us has also bound us in some new chains.
I belong to the group of mothers who don't aspire to look like their children's sister or best friend. I am uncomfortable with terms like "yummy mummy" and "hot mama" because of their sexist connotations and am less than flattered if someone tells me I look like my son's sister. If my son hears it he may think that he looks old! As for me, I don't need the spotlight on my appearance—teenagers don't need competition from their moms in looking a certain way, they need someone to look up to.
When I go running, when I choose to skip pasta I am doing so to be fit and to look good for MY age.
So I am not particularly thrilled when my journey to be fit and look good at 44 is misconstrued as a desire to pass myself off as a 16-year-old!
You see, I pin myself down on the middle of the road—I would like to think I am fashionable but not a fashionista, I have given up craving for the ultimate flat-stomached body, because I know my belly, which has housed my two babies, won't ever look like a 16-year-old's. I also know that being over the age of 40 shows on the face, and no amount of expensive lotions and serums can erase those age lines. So, when I am working out, when I go running, when I choose to skip pasta and help myself to a second serving of salad, I am doing so to be fit, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to look good for my age.
Walking the fine line between wanting to look good and not falling into the trap of overdoing it is the new twist in the game for us new generation mothers.