gosh she’s really let herself go



Do you know this woman?

I can tell you what she used to look like.

She used to match. Have a $250 haircut. Often manicured. Waxed, combed, clean.

You wouldn't see her without a touch of mascara at the very least. Some nice cheek gloss. Lip glass. All on expensively moisturized skin, recently facial-ed. 

Seriously, WHAT is she wearing? 

Are they Blundstone boots? With jeans and a sundress?

Has she got anything in that wardrobe with any shape?

Did she actually look at herself before she got in the car? (No, she didn't.)

And I mean, really. Where IS that novel? Where's the PhD? Where's the big job, the world changer, the mover and shaker, the girl most likely? And I'm sure that whole outfit is Kmart and Vinnies. (It is.)

Where's the girl who drank soy lattes and furiously scribbled verse? That's not really her, sitting by the swimming pool for another swimming lesson? Is that her in daggy pants at the school pick up? Pushing a trolley in the supermarket, putting on another load of laundry, dosing out junior panadol and breaking up an argument over who sits in what chair at the dinner table? 

And, really, you should see her house. Piles of washing. Toys all over the floor. The children skating across the floor on board books. I saw a guest actually pause once before sitting down on a chair that was evidently occupied by someone eating Weetbix earlier. 

You know once, she would have been able to tell you exactly how much she weighed. Now she knows how much all her children weigh and just that she intends to lose 10 kilograms. 

Which illustrates my point: she really has let herself go

She can't remember when she last had an undisturbed nights sleep but she is laughing out loud and loudly at the baby blowing raspberries. 

She hasn't worn a nice pair of heels in months, but her heart is bursting because she caught her children being randomly kind to each other. 

She has nothing to show for herself at the end of the day but she's whisking eggs in pure joy. 

She's blinking in amazement that her children can independently take themselves off to the toilet. 

She let herself go, let the self-imposed rules and restrictions, all the insecurities, the vacuous meaningless nonsensical self-centeredness go, and she found she was happier than she'd ever been in her whole life. 


43 Comments on “gosh she’s really let herself go

March 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Thank you for making me smile. I often wonder where she went too ๐Ÿ™‚

green ink
March 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I absolutely love this Fi. You are all kinds of awesome, and your writing is always a joy to read. xxx

March 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm

that brought tears to my eyes Fi

life moves in very unexpected ways. Is it for a reason? yes, it is so that we can make the most of it.

love you guys


International Woman of Mystery
March 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Oh. so. beautiful. I’m weeping. At the loveliness of this but maybe a little bit too at the bits that I’ve let go. That I didn’t really want to.

March 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm

bravo fi.

Christie, Describe Happy
March 3, 2011 at 3:32 am

I feel like I could happily be right there with you. Such a beautiful image captured in words!

March 3, 2011 at 4:26 am

love it. And actually, I really like the boots,to ! ๐Ÿ™‚

March 3, 2011 at 8:29 am

oh I know that girl. there is one like that here! great post.

March 3, 2011 at 9:08 am

What an incredible post. Tht woman isn’t missing, she’s just been superceded by a better model.

Linda Woodrow
March 3, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have a story. I had ducked out to the shops in my little country town one day when a stranger stopped me in the street and said, “You know, you are such an inspiration to me”. I felt mildly chuffed until she added. “I haven’t shaved my legs either, but I’d never dare to go out with them like that”. Yay for boots

March 3, 2011 at 11:25 am

That was beautiful! I am crying tears of joy! I know exactly what you mean, and it is wonderful…Thank you so much for articulating how I feel.

March 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

A friend recently asked me if I could tell her a bit about my perspective on pre vs post (post sounds a bit off, but you know what I mean) baby life… I wrote a rather long reply and reflected on it a lot along the way, but I very much like the way you put it here. I’ve never spent that much on a haircut, but could rattle off a list of my own in no time, happily replacing most of the things lost with much more beautiful and meaningful new ones~ This was lovely to read, thank you!

March 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I know what you mean – how our priorities change! One thing that strikes me is that some of the letting go is about the confidence that seemed to come in my 30’s. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time in my 20’s stressing about what people thought about me and just got on with doing what I wanted. If letting ourselves go means an easier and more fulfilling life, bring it on!

March 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Beautifully written – and echoes everything about mothers. And everything about me. Love it. Thank you so much.

March 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

That’s my story too. As an immaculately turned out, ambitious, high achieving young Engineer, I never would have imagined myself as a home educating mom, living on a farm, and the simple life that entails. I love it. Letting go was the best thing I ever did. Well done for this beautiful post.

March 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm


March 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I adore this post! Isn’t it amazing how we can find ourselves when we worry a bit less about ourselves?

Such good transformation brings such happiness…$250 haircuts could never do that!

March 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Gorgeous you! Great post!
Love Sal xo

March 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Wow, I feel EXACTLY the same. That is why the internet is so good. We can share our joys and frustrations with motherhood but no-one can see us in our PJs, baby at the breast, stretchmarks on display…

March 4, 2011 at 5:00 am

Okay, I loved the post and am glad I’m learning about you now and not when you were getting $250 haircuts. I do have to take issue with one of your statements, though. At the end of the day, you have a lot to show for your work — and it sounds like they’re growing up in a great environment.

March 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

I LOVE this post sweet Fiona!! Oh my, oh my, how I often feel the same. I use to dress cute, wear makeup, and blow dry my hair. Oh, you should see me now – I’ve let myself go! ๐Ÿ™‚ But isn’t it so liberating? To stop all this fussing and thinking about what we look like? To not care? To just proceed on with what we have to do. I think so. Every now and then, I like get pretty and it’s fun, but on a daily basis, I just don’t have the gumption for it. This “is”who I am!

March 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

It’s called surrender. It’s the essence of motherhood. I know it well. And I agree with you – it feels good!

March 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

๐Ÿ™‚ laughing and smiling. thanks !

March 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

You’ve cheered me up no end in my shattered sweaty verging on depressed state.

March 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Awesome….what a wonderful life you lead. I would love to let myself go just like you have. I love your blog!

March 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

You wonderful, wonderful thing.

And you top it all off by making the rest of us feel a bit more wonderful, too!

March 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm

think I need to come visit you for about a month! xxxCate

rachel @ tea with lucy
March 5, 2011 at 12:43 am

couldn’t have said it better myself. bravo.

nothing like pure simple joy and deep to the bones happiness.

{first visit here, i love what i see}

Alex Nolan
March 5, 2011 at 4:14 am

Funny, isn’t it, that the thing commented on most is the $250 hair cut! That sounds a lot to me, but about the time when you were doing that, the exchange rate was about $2.50 to ยฃ1 so that would have meant ยฃ100 hair cut, which I have done! Crazy thoughts, but loving the new and improved Fi!

By the way, did you get the presents?! xxx

March 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

Oh you just made me laugh (skating on board books) and cry (your heart bursting because your kids were nice to each other). I’m a fellow traveller and while I sometimes miss my old (dining out, good hair, interesting work) life, I’d never trade this exhausting, chaotic but beautiful at-home life.

ps I hope you can hunt out some blackberries ๐Ÿ™‚

March 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

Perfectly put

March 7, 2011 at 9:36 am

This post is about me! Thank you for that:-)

March 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I love this post. It could be me except I’ve not managed to move to the country yet. I have definitely let myself go from my corporate over achiever days!

July 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Wow. I found you via Trisha, and have just read your posts on sourdough and yohgurt and am thoroughly inspired! This post left me with watery eyes. My kids give me such happiness too, despite toys all over the floor and never ending laundry. I still like lipstick though (and heels).

September 8, 2011 at 8:05 am

This is just such a fantastic post – I just read an article from the uk that mums are spending 10 more minutes getting themselves ready for the school drop off they do getting the child organized – silly. Some days I am lucky to be out of my pj’s to leave the house and I love that my neighbor who has small kids is often spotted out in her dressing gown to get the mail or put the rubbish.

September 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

I guess I see it not as letting myself go but more as letting it go – my Blunnies aren’t as clean as those however! Thanks for the post – it sums up the last 2 years of my life perfectly….

October 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Yay for her!!!!!:)

October 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Love love love! XXX

January 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I just decided to come back and read this because it fills me with a whole lot of joy. I want coffees and chats!

March 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

oh! I’m teary eyed too! you dont even know me and you nailed it!! love xx

August 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

A comment from a friend just reminded me of this post so I found it and read it aloud to
3 of my beautiful women friends. There were many laughs and ‘oh yes!’es’ exclaimed and I was again reminded about how beautifully you write. Thanks for the words, so well crafted, so real, so wonderful. I’ve re-read this post a number of times since you wrote it and each time I laugh and tear up and am reminded afresh of how crazy and delightfull and blessed my life is. Thank you.

August 10, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thank you Meg. You just made my week. Youre awesome. xxx

May 4, 2013 at 3:02 am

Lovely!! I was never that previous girl, always a little “eccentric” anyway. And I would absolutely march into the coffee shop and have a soy latte while wearing barn boots with a cotton dress. Sometimes I like to blend the worlds a little ๐Ÿ˜‰


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