The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Mom Hair

I finally understand why new mothers cut their hair a few months after giving birth. My hair, too, is falling out. It's just one of many physical changes a woman's body goes through in returning her to herself, but one that everyone can see.

I think of it as a kind of mourning, like autumn trees letting go of their leaves now that the flowering is done.

My baby daughter Scarlett's hair is growing just as mine is going.

Mine is beginning to look like the hairline of my father in the shape of a capital M. I wear it like he wore it when he lost it – short, down and slightly forward – hiding the growing patches of white as scalp claims more real estate like the desert.

It's disconcerting to see hundreds of strands litter my open books, my pillowcase, the empty bathtub. They cling to the towel, the backs of my shirts and my hands. I even find them in the folds of my baby's skin, and in her mouth. I'll turn around, feeling somebody touch my arm, only to find it was a falling hair.

Not that I would have traded my life-changing experience in the ultimate female Olympics for something as decorative as hair.

Pregnancy and childbirth are miracles of the body, and when I look into Scarlett's chubby, happy face, all my anxiety goes away. But when I look in the mirror. . .

The loss of my hair reminds me that I'm now a mother. The hormones of pregnancy are tapering, the stretch marks are turning silver, my body begins to winter, letting go of everything it stored. The dark line of longitude that divided my belly's globe, expressing the animal of myself, is gradually being erased.

As for my hair, the women tell me it'll grow back someday. When that day comes, I'll wake up dormant, my body again thin and pretty, but empty.

By Mary Wang


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