I used to think, "I'll grow old gracefully". No skin stripping activity or Botox for me, and I will have gorgeous salt and pepper hair. Now just let me tell you a little something about my former life: I used to be a Beauty Editor... Well of course I would have this vision with all those wonder-potions at my fingertips.
Then I became a mummy.
Actually, before that, I became pregnant.
Being beautiful meant smiling without bleeding gums, as opposed to my former perfectly constructed blood-red lips with shiney, whitened teeth. It meant I could reach my toenails to paint them the latest gorgeous coral colour from Kit Cosmetics, as opposed to ending up with toe-talons after 6 or so months of not seeing them.
Being beautiful meant no pregnancy mask - and what a ridiculous term... a pregnancy mask is what I should have been wearing! And it meant a sleek sheeney decolletage created by Guerlain's shimmery dusting balls, versus one which was all swollen by growing milk glands (I'm sure they had something to do with my double chin).
But wait, there's more - you thought you looked shocking as a preggie mumma...
Welcome to sleep deprivation. Yes, it is not age that gives you wrinkles, it is children.
This is a phrase I used to hear from my mother when I was a teenager, but I now realise it happens far earlier in the process. Like, during labour.
I remember doing my make-up in the mirror at my mothers (ie, not a purposefully darkened bathroom like my own) and thinking, "I can attribute every one of these lines to every sleepless night I've had with my son" - who was at the time about 400 days old. Yes, I had that many lines.
And now I have TWO sons! My face is the map of Europe (Australia doesn't have near enough roads to qualify).
However, despite my shock and horror at looking 89 years old overnight, I still do try to make an effort before I walk out the door every day. I now invest in creams which promise to reduce me to a map of Australia (well actually my husband invests in them), I try and do my hair, somehow, and when it comes to my decolletage, I try and make sure the old breastpads are not poking above the line to say hello to all and sundry at the park.
It's the little things....