This what a no filter woman looks like

Here is my #NoFilter picture.

And here is what you don’t know about this picture:

I’ve not bathed in days and that’s no mom trope, I just plain haven’t had time and frankly, don’t care because I don’t stink and I’m not going anywhere, so why bother?

I’ve gained 30 pounds since my skinny pre-children years when my husband and I would make-out and play grab-ass (I miss those days!) But now my husband and I plan Date Nights and try to not rush around like lunatics in the morning out of respect for each other because those three and half minutes over coffee are how we get our “us time” these days. My 4YO likes to pat my belly and say, “Mom, I love your fat belly, it makes me happy because it is so squishy and soft and I can hug it.” And hot damn if that’s not the best compliment in the world, right?

My skin is splotchy, has gained a billion freckles, and without mascara, my eyes look small and weird. But, I kind of like it. In my 20’s and early 30’s, I wouldn’t have been caught dead without mascara and at least a hint of my favorite shade of red lipstick. “This is very French,” I told myself. I was an “artist” and “A Writer” after all. But motherhood smoothed that bullsh*t out and now I have this loved-in face with wrinkles popping up and freckles showing off and a double chin starting. And I kind of love it.

My hair is just now growing back from falling out after having my third child. The first time this happened, I was mortified because it was so obvious and I was so dumb and vain. The second time it happened, I was still a little nervous about it but had less time to devote to caring. But now? Now I love my hair. It’s weirdly dry, it’s uneven, it’s going gray, but who cares?!

Ladies, aging is not a bad thing. We get softer and plumper, we get gray and lose things like perfect skin and size nothing waistlines. Call me crazy, but I actually feel sexier and more grounded as I turn the corner into 40. You would think think that when I was 23 and size 4 and had dewy skin that I would have had the self-confidence to strut my way through the world, but it took the rough edges of a decade of marriage and the dizzying adventure of three babies to wake me up so that I could see what TOUGH looks likes, what SEXY AF looks like.

We ladies get finer and sexier with age. That whole “men get more distinguished” but women get…what…more hag like with age? Yeah, #NOPE I’m not living that BS notion and neither should you.

STRUT YOUR FINE SELVES, LADIES! Throw those mama hips around! Show off that gray hair! Those fine lines and freckles? We call that experience, show it off! That extra padding on your waistlines? Hell yeah, that’s way sexier because it makes you LOOK LIKE A WOMAN. #momlife #nofilter

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.