Is That Really Me? Losing Ourselves to Motherhood

It’s the same thing every day.

Fumble for my glasses on the nightstand.

Check email and Twitter on my iPhone.

Roll out of bed.


Look in the mirror.

See tired eyes, ponytail, and yoga pants.


Find coffee.

Gather Katie and Matthew, feed them a well-balanced breakfast.

Make zero time for my own.

Carefully select an outfit for Katie, complete with hair accessories and jewelry.

Dress Matthew like a precious little version of his daddy.

Look in the mirror.

Still see tired eyes, ponytail, and yoga pants.


This is the pattern of my morning.

Oftentimes, my entire day, if I’m honest.

But this past weekend, there was a break in that routine.

I showered, chose nice clothing, had my makeup done by a professional, and had my photos taken for the Blogger Body Calendar.

And experienced a small moment that I will never forget.

My amazingly talented friend, Yuliya, gave me a priceless gift.

She made me feel truly lovely.

She helped me to see myself.

She reminded me that beneath the day-to-day routine, I am still me.

My eyes are still bright blue and my smile is still genuine.

I am not just a mom.

I am still Nichole.

Thank you, Yuliya, for giving me a moment that has had such a tremendous impact on how I see myself.

This morning, instead of cringing, I held my head a bit higher.

I put on a bit of eye shadow and glossed my lips.

I am ever grateful to you, my friend…thank you for helping to truly see myself again.

Every woman should know what this feels like.

One of the many photos that Yuliya captured on Saturday, but not the photo I chose for the calendar. You’ll have to wait to see that one.


  1. supermomboots

    I love this photo. It is so gorgeous! And you are right. So often we don't make time for us once we become moms. I have realized this and I try. But 5 days out of 7 I still have my rolled right out of bed look still on at noon :( I am improving though. It used to be 7 days out of 7 ;)

  2. galitbreen

    Beautiful words, lovely sentiment, gorgeous you.

    Well done both of you!

  3. MamaWantsThis

    And aren't you a beauty?

    Now I totally want to get dolled up!

  4. sherrikuhn

    You know I love this my sweet friend… both the picture and the words. Every mom should experience this!

  5. Yuliya

    This is the best thank you possible.
    Also, I am so glad you glossed over the moment the next day when I tried to teach you how to do eye shadow…kettle pot called to say you're black.
    Much love to you and I hope you know how beautiful you are everyday.

  6. You ARE lovely!!! :)

  7. Leigh Ann

    What a beautiful photo. I'm so glad you had that opportunity. It's amazing how much better I can feel when I make more of an effort to get dressed as opposed to my normal T-shirt and running shorts.

  8. Kir

    You beautiful gorgeous girl…inside and out. I am so glad you were able to find that girl again, to bring her out and have her smile into the camera. I can see that incredible spirit of yours in your smile. Wowza!!!!!!

  9. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    This is so fantastic, and such a universal experience for women with young children. The thing to remember is that she is there. The sexy, vibrant woman with the blue eyes is there. And she will come back.

    As soon as the kids start dressing themselves and making their own meals.

    And they will. They will.

  10. John

    First, great picture – I get the feeling that you're always gorgeous, even without make up, in a ponytail and yoga pants, but yeah, that picture is truly great.

    Have you read or listened to Bossypants by Tina Fey? I love the idea of a writer that I read regularly getting to spend a "photo shoot" day as Tina describes – only, um, I'm pretty sure I'd go crazy if I had to sit through hours of makeup application.

  11. You are so lovely, and I don't mean the picture (though wowza lady, that is one gorgeous photo!)

    Yuliya is so talented; I don't know much about photography, but the light is just beautiful, your eyes are amazing, and I feel like she captured a moment with YOU. But don't shortchange yourself; you may not be made up and polished like that everyday, but you can't hide your beauty, because it comes from inside.

  12. Evonne

    It is so easy to lose who we are once we become a parent. I'm glad you had the opportunity to find yourself again. I love that picture!

  13. Alicia

    You look gorgeous!!!!! Absolutely beautiful! I became a mom 6 weeks ago, and I love being a mommy. I can totally relate to the pony, yoga pants, and tired eyes! Hugs Momma!

  14. Aleta

    You're beautiful! I'm so glad that you were able to find the time to do the photos and see yourself through the eyes of beauty. Gorgeous eyes!!

  15. polwig

    You are absolutely gorgeous even in glasses and yoga pants, you clean up nicely too.

  16. stressthynameisamber

    Such a beautiful photo and blog. Thank you for sharing.

  17. JaimesStory

    What a stunning photo. You're a beautiful girl Nichole, inside and out :)

  18. Beautiful picture of a stunning women inside..Thanks for sharing! =)

  19. Elena

    Nichole- this is stunning–the picture but also the words. So glad you had this experience that reminded you of you!

  20. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    What a gift! That Yuliya, such a giver.
    I hope you know that your friends see you just as lovely with the stained yoga pants and greasy pony tail. Its wonderful to feel glamorous for a moment. Its something else to be lovely inside and out….that's how WE see you.

  21. Rachel

    You my dear are freakin' gorgeous!!!!!!!!!


  22. temysmom

    I can't wait to see the finished calendar. So many incredible women are in it. The photo is beautiful, but it was easy since the subject was already stunning.

  23. Random Blogette

    Wow! I could already tell how beautiful you were from other photos but this photo shows just how gorgeous you really are!

  24. juliesaysyay

    Amazing shot, and an even better project. Hats off to both of you!

  25. Tonya

    The more I gaze at this photo, the more in love with it I am. This photo is gorgeous. You are gorgeous and Yuliya is amazing… she captured not only your outside beauty, but your inside beauty as well.

  26. Alena

    You are lovely and beautiful! I know everyone is all BHed out…but that's sorta how I felt when I came home. Every day while we were there we got up in the morning did our hair and make up. We put on clothes that were maybe not the most comfortable but made us feel good about ourselves. And it reminded me that looking like crap at home may be really easy and fast…it isn't good for ME. I need to remember that I'm Alena AND a Mom. Not just a Mom.

    I can't wait to see the picture you'll use!!

  27. Cheryl @ Mommypants


  28. Oh Nicole that brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for yet again putting into beautiful words the feelings so many of us moms experience. LOVE the pic. Can't wait to see the one you chose for the calendar!

  29. alicia

    Well said. And your morning sounds all too reminiscent of my own. :)

  30. Suz

    Love love love this photo! & you.

  31. tracy@sellabitmum

    So stunning my friend. I think that is part of what I loved about BlogHer – I could be more than just a mommy for a few days and no one got sticky hands on my skirts.

  32. Leighann

    Gorgeous Nichole.
    Can’t wait to see the one you chose!!

  33. Missy | Literal Mom

    So good! Absolutely love it.

  34. julie gardner

    So very gorgeous.

    Now, please. Be sure to eat breakfast too, my friend.

    (healthy is optional. ;-)

  35. Sierra

    Wow, you look stunning. I have a little girl crush :P

  36. BalancingMama

    Ooh, I saw your new avatar, but hadn't ventured over here yet. Great post to go with it also. You are lovely, my dear! :-)

  37. I noticed this pic on your tweet today and thought what a great new avatar, really striking. And seeing it larger, it most certainly is.

    School started up for us last Wednesday and for the first time, I was taking both kids to the two elementary campuses early in the morning. It's been almost a decade that I've had a kidlet with me 24/7 and I feel like I'm trying to figure out who I am beyond me as a Mama…after I make two breakfasts, two lunches, and pack two snacks, of course. lol Your post strikes right to the heart and I'm grateful for your writing it. :>

  38. We are always so hard on ourselves, aren't we? But your picture is gorgeous and I'm glad your friend was able to help you see that side of yourself again.

    As I sit here in my pj's, hair a mess, yesterday's mascara in raccoon-ish glory around my eyes….Sigh.

  39. Melissa

    Lovely photo Nichole, you look stunning. You are right, we should all give ourselves this gift so that our inner beauty really shines through as it so obviously does here in this incredible photo of you.

  40. Miryam

    Made me tear because I can relate…great post!

  41. midwestmomments

    Clearly you are new to Nichole's blog. She does just that all the time. That's why this post was so special. She took a day to rejuvenate herself and remember who she is as a whole person, not just a mother. Anyone who has kids can relate to this identity crisis, even parents from the 50's. It seems that you must have some anger that you feel the need to express by being rude to her. (I'm sure I'm inviting your attacks to me now.) It's fine to disagree, but please do so with some respect. Not just for Nichole, but for the rest of the readers.

  42. Lance

    Congratulations on the calendar and the recognition.

    well deserved.

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