When I decided to get work done on my face two years following my divorce, I didn’t think twice about what my daughters would think.
After all, my confidence had been shattered after a nasty series of fights with my ex-husband. Following the legal headaches and endless back-and-forth, I was worried so much about me that I was willing to do just about anything to rebuild myself from the ground up.
I thought long and hard about whether or not I really needed cosmetic surgery and facial injections. In the grand scheme of things, a nose job and botox are no big real, right?
In retrospect, it was a great decision. My confidence went through the roof. Dating was no longer nerve-racking. I finally felt good about myself after years stuck in a loveless marriage.
“But what will my daughters think?”
While I knew that I was totally justified in my decision to get work done, how could I possibly explain it to my kids? At first, I figured that I was overthinking the inevitable conversation about me going under the knife.
I wasn’t worried so much about Erin, my seven-year-old. Beyond being as sweet as could be, I had done everything in my power to raise her to be open-minded.
“The doctor’s going to fix my nose,” I told her. “I’ll be a bit bruised up, but there’s no need to worry. I might look like different afterward, but I’ll still the same old me.”
I had a knot in my stomach as I awaited her response.
“But what’s wrong with your nose, mommy?”
“Well,” I said. “It’s a little crooked. The operation will make me feel better.”
“As long as you’re happy, I’m happy,” she said.
My heart just about melted.
Yet I know talking to Erin would be easy. I was much more concerned about talking it over with Stacie, by fifteen-year-old, fearful that I would leave her with body image issues.
Negative thoughts clouded my mind. I imagined Stacie looking in the mirror thinking “Well, if mom needs cosmetic surgery, I guess I probably do, too.”
I remember when I sat her down to explain what was going on. After a long-winded explanation of the procedure, she sat silent.
“So, you’re getting a nose job?”
Again, she was quiet for a moment before breaking the silence:
“That’s no big deal. My English teacher got a nose job last year, actually. She looks way better. If it’s what you want, go for it. You do you.”
Months later when I first went in for botox following my nose job, both Erin and Stacie were equally receptive me receiving the treatment. By standing firm in my decision to deal with my wrinkles and thinking of the treatment like business as usual, my kids seemed to understand my perspective.
While I still feel that my initial worry was justified, I think that mothers looking to get work done should simply be open with their kids about why they’re going under the knife. In a day and age where such procedures are commonplace, it really isn’t that big of a deal.
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies when it comes time to have serious conversations with our kids. Be upfront, be open. In the words of my daughter, sometimes you just have to “do you.”