Monday, October 29, 2012

Hot Mom Syndrome

By Cassandra of The Unplugged Family
I once heard a quote that suggested we need less Moms worrying about being 'hot', and more Moms actually embracing the role of selfless caregiver and life bringer.   Women have been so reduced to the point where it is mostly about 'how desirable' we are - which actually means, how sexy? How available? And THIS has become the trophy of Motherhood for the world - to look hot whilst 'doing everything', yet actually doing very few of the things that TRULY matter well.

(Yes, I'm feeling opinionated today - I was inspired by THIS  fantastic post by a Blogging Friend of mine).

Is this post a jab at Moms who happen to be beautiful people on the outside?  Or Moms who wear nice clothes and do their hair 'all pretty-like"?  Not at all. I think we're called to take care of ourselves.  But there's a huge difference between 'taking care' and allowing the quest to be desirable become an idol in our lives.

I remember proclaiming many times throughout my first year of marriage (I was 20) that I wanted to be 'a hot Soccer Mom'.  Hubs would just chuckle.  I shake my head as I look back on those times - at the things that consumed my thoughts.  I was a very, very different person.  I would tell you I didn't care what people thought when, at that age, I cared too deeply.  I desperately needed the assurance that despite being a "Mommy" at 20 - I was still desirable.  And not just desirable to my husband, but desirable to other men.  I liked the attention I got in my skinny jeans.  I liked that when I went out without my husband and baby, I'd get winked at by University boys at the grocery store.  I liked that I was thinner than my pre-baby weight.  I craved the compliments.  I needed them.  My worth was more wrapped up in my exterior than I like to admit.

And I confess this because I think so many other Moms have dealt with this or continue to fight these feelings in their daily lives.  I've been on a journey... and over the past seven years, God has revealed a boatload to me about my body, modesty, my worth, who I am as a Mom, a wife, a Child of the King.   My relationship with Him has grown extensively and I feel closer to God than ever.  If it wasn't for my foundation in Christ - who knows where I would be today.  I look back on so many of the beliefs I used to have and the things I said and lived out.  The attention I craved from men - it astounds me It pains me. Why did I believe such lies?  Why did I live like that?  Why did I feel the need to be 'sexy'?  What would it prove?  My first reaction is shame and guilt, but my next is repentance, change, and testimony.

"Hot Soccer Mom" - these are the images we see.
As Moms it is really hard for us to figure out who on earth we're supposed to be.  
The world gives us images of "Moms" that are confusing and intensely damaging.  In the Media, it's considered a trophy to have your teenage son's friends lust after you.  It's 'cool' to flaunt cleavage at the PTA meeting.  It's normal to dress provocatively.  You will be praised if you can pull off tight jeans and a mini skirt at 50.  And, let's face it, being desirable is one of the best ways professional women can really climb that trusty Corporate Ladder.

There are countless groups like, the "Hot Moms Club", and the "Yummy Mummy Club", encouraging Moms to be sexy and 'flaunt it'.  With tag lines like, "Our philosophy is simple, you are not the best mom unless you are the best YOU", it's no wonder Moms are confused.  Especially when 'the best YOU' is defined as being 'hot, desirable, and fearless!".  Like, totally!

And "Yummy Mummy Club" defines themselves as: 

"A true Yummy Mummy struggles to find the impossible balance between the single sexpot she used to be, the woman she's become, the professional she works hard to be, the wife she aspires to be and the mother she has to be. Basically, she's confused and exhausted."  

Today's "Mod Mom" - sexy, immodest, self-consumed, and confused.

The mother she HAS to be?  Really?  I hope I'm not the only one who shudders when reading that.  Of course she's confused and exhausted if she is worrying about the 'sexpot' she used to be and how she traded that in for the AWFUL GRIND of the Mom she now "HAS" to be.  What a bummer, eh?   Why not encourage Mothers to embrace the Mother they've been GIFTED to be?  To mature in grace and love and stop worrying about being a 'sexpot' and embrace being an inspiring and wholesome image of Motherhood for her husband and children?

No wonder Moms who pursue 
Godliness as Homemakers 
feel like outcasts in the 'real' world. 

WHAT WE LOOK LIKE and HOW WELL WE ATTRACT the OPPOSITE SEX has become the world's definer of worth in women.   And it doesn't stop when we become parents - in fact, so many Moms feel more pressure to be sexy, desirable, and wanted.  Especially in a sea of 'stay-at-home misery', only a prelude to the feeling of uselessness that is so often alluded to in today's society when talking about homemakers.  Women are made to feel and accept that being at home is boring, isolating, and awful.  Rather than embracing the gift of raising our children wholeheartedly, we are encouraged to do what 'works for us' instead.  Or find something more interesting to do, a better pair of pumps, a new hairstyle, a designer bag, something, ANYTHING but the mundane of watching living, breathing, precious human beings growing along side us.

Just calling it like I see it.

And I've been there - desperately seeking approval in any way I could get it.  Physically, mentally - just the ability to answer something seemingly meaningful when asked, "what do you do", despite being surrounded by needy children - 5, 3, and 1-year-old.   But I didn't even know what I was doing in the process.  Building up businesses with vigorous zeal - giving my time to everything and anything but the full-out commitment to my family.  And I'm not saying having interests is wrong.  It's just - so often, we let ourselves be robbed of these precious times.  It's so much easier to lose sight of truth when we don't view Motherhood as a sacred and precious calling.  When, instead, we tip our hats to the world's view that Motherhood is really just a big pain in the butt.  A diversion... a bump in the road to our 'true' roles and jobs in life.  You know, our calling to be hot, sexy, and well, 'professional'.

And this, to me, embodies the huge problem with this "Hot Mom Syndrome".

And yet, all this - all this is so opposite from what God says and so different from what Godly women are called to live out.

We are called to be modest and pure at heart.  To treat all men as our brothers and never (ever) dress to attract sexual attention to ourselves.  When we dress immodestly to get the 'looks' from other men, we are dishonoring God, their wives, ourselves, our husbands, and the other men who are tempted to look.  The world calls it empowering to dress provocatively, but, I call it a cage.  A cage that locks us up into a body, an image, a sex-symbol, something to be stared at and lusted for, bars that are wickedly hard to break through.

But we are called to so much better.  We are called to embody the purity and goodness that Christ planted in our hearts.  How can we as Moms raise up girls who put their value in who they are as children of God if we don't do it ourselves?  How can we inspired them to modesty and purity when we are immodest and impure?  How can we foster our marriages and secure the sacredness of the marriage bed if we are desiring attention from men OTHER than our husbands?  How can we love and honour the women and men in our lives if we are causing them to fall by dressing in a way to tempt other husbands and young men to lust?

Women, Mothers, Ladies - let us rise up.  Let us throw the "hot Mom" labels by the wayside.  Let us stop concerning ourselves with whether we are 'desirable' and instead, deeply desire God's will for our lives, our hearts, our daughters.  And our daughter's daughters.

Let us not be reduced to a label - to a catch phrase that pumps cash into a corporate piggy bank.  Let us not give in to the lies that flood our culture about who we are to be as Moms.  Instead, let us lead by example as modest, heartfelt, pure-in-heart seekers of truth, intensely committed to family.

We are not perfect, but our love is made perfect in Him. 

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