This article was originally published on Role Reboot, you can read it here.
At the grocery store on Sunday, my heaping cart included enough food to last the four of us for a week as well as enough stuff to help feed my daughter’s swimming and diving team on Friday. Two women in their 40’s were in the checkout lane in front of me. They had shared a cart, and I thought, how nice it would be to shop with a friend or sister to make this huge, weekly chore seem easier.
As one of the women put a tower of Lean Cuisines on the belt I heard her say to the other woman, “You didn’t hear that she’s getting a divorce? He cheated. Which is horrible. But I do have to say, she really let herself go.” I looked down at myself. I stood in the grocery store wearing black yoga pants, a T-shirt, and a fleece pullover.
I hadn’t showered. My medium-length brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. I wore no makeup. I am susceptible to bouts of depression and I gain and lose huge amounts of weight with those mood cycles and right now I am very heavy. I stood there, a poster child for a wife and mother who had “let herself go.”
Thus far, on this Sunday, one of my “days off,” I had made my family pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and then wrote and edited for three and a half hours. I had scooped the cat’s litter box, fed the pets, updated the Google calendar with various practices, tournaments and concerts, helped arrange a carpool for an evening I had to work, taken my son (and picked him up) from his music lesson and dropped him back at home and then headed to the grocery store.
My husband’s day had consisted of cleaning up after breakfast, paying the bills, taking our teen daughter out to practice her freeway driving and then dropping her off at a special weekend swimming practice (during which he checked his work email on his phone).