Dark circles and messy ponytails, that is my daily uniform nowadays.
I used to carry that look with a bit of shame, it was a signifier of late nights wasted bingeing on my latest tv series obsession or going out with friends. I wore those with a bit of shame and a bit of a wink too since it was also a symptom of having an active social life. The next day walking into work, slightly shabbier than my normal with a little shrug and a mischievous smile to my work bff that yeah I had fun last night and I’m paying for it today.
But it’s different nowadays. Nowadays, this uniform is a badge of honor, a purple heart, a bandage I got from the battle I had to go through to get my toddler to sleep, of the 14 months I breastfed. It’s a record of me trying to get him to follow his nighttime routine, to actually brush his teeth and not just suck on the toothbrush and eat the berry flavored toothpaste off of it. It’s a souvenir of the late nights I had staying up to finish the chores and pick up after the hurricane that is my son once he finally decides to go to bed.
I’ve had dark circles and a messy ponytail since I had my boy. I’ve looked like this so often that on those extremely rare days I actually use make up and do my hair my son barely recognizes me, my husband acts like he just discovered this new fancy person living in his house, and people at work ask me if I have a job interview to go to.
And I don’t mind that at all. It’s nice to surprise the hubby with the cute ‘ole self is still under here, or remind my co-workers that I actually own a hairbrush, or even show my baby that yes, mommy is beautiful in other ways too. But when I come across people now, with my dark circles and messy ponytail, I am not ashamed. Those were nights where I stayed up later to sit and chill with my husband once we put our house back together, and mornings I took extra time cuddling on my son as I say goodbye before I go to work (he likes putting his little fingers through my hair when we hug). It is my daily uniform, and my daily reminder that those dark circles and messy ponytails are well earned indeed.