My knees. I never used to give my knees a second thought. After some time of motherhood, I realized the development of some funny dry-ish patches....which then over time became rough perma-patches...which then over more time became majorly calloused, thickened caps. After becoming a mother, my knee modeling career was over (ahem, note - before it even started). My attempts at various formulas applied to my knees nightly have also been fruitless - hand cream, body cream, breastfeeding lanolin cream, vasoline, lip salve, you name it, has been applied to my knees. They are still in a quite unglamorous state!
The squatting, crawling, floor sitting, floor kneeling, general knee-bearing activities of being a mum are surely the cause of my knee issues in the last three years. And the more down and dirty mum-ing I did, the worse they got. There is a new mathematical definition that can be born from this association, The Mum's Knee Constant: the height and breadth of the calloused knee is directly proportional to the floor-dwelling mum-ing which occurs; the floor dwelling mum-ing factor, also being directly proportional and positively associated with the quality of floor dwelling time of child's play enhancement, but which also need factor in age and number of children. By this mathematical science, both the quality of mum-ing and age of children of said mum can be determined by the state of the knees in question. FACT.
I also believe there to be a mathematical constant associating back pain and pregnancy/motherhood; but this is a complex formula beyond me, as effort towards abdominal strength, pregnancy number, job type, number of siblings, and stupidity in carrying out inappropriate heavy tasks all play a role. There are actually a number of positively associated physical features that could be utilized to identify a mum, if required: dry cracked and split thumb tips, bleeding knuckles, dog poo shoe bottoms, bicycle pedal impacted bleeding bruised shins, unshaven legs, and facial nudity, to name a few. Although some mums seem to defy this last signature mumhood feature, and actually wear makeup (The whole lot! Mascara, lipstick, blush, foundation! Unbelieveable!) but they are a rare species, and must have a live-in nanny, or a partner that doesn't have to leave for work until 9 am....or they lock their kids in a dark muted box for 20 minutes a day. (!)
As I have been ranking high on the 'stupidity in carrying out inappropriate heavy tasks' scale, I have ended up at the physiotherapists to acquire my *ultra-glam* substitute abdominal muscles - a Maternity Belt. This contraption can now serve to replace my now three-baby-holding-nonexistent-abs, and hopefully cure my back issues. If only there were a similar device for my knees? This thing has three super thick super strong elastic components that stretch in a building scale up the lower half of my belly, secured with industrial velcro, all attached to a mega thick elastic panel up the back. BEAUTIFUL. Happily it can't really be seen beneath my clothes, aside from forcing the back of my trousers down plumber-style, nevermind, but it does create a very torpedo style bump. My bump was already pretty torpedo to begin with (more maths: the torpedo-ness of a baby bump is inversely proportional to the distance between a mum's bottom rib bone, and hip bone), and by calculative nature my rib-hip distance of only 12cm leaves only one direction for a baby to go - FORWARDS. So watch out when I approach, my belly button might have your eye out.
It is funny for me to think of just a few weeks back, describing myself as an oiled voluptuous goddess - how quickly I have become a calloused, back-device wearing, unshaven, knuckle bleeding ogre. Oh, and my skin has gone to shit, also. Add that to your visual, some nice patches of random unexpected acne. AND I have had to get antibiotics, even, for a crazy cyst on MY FACE!!!! AAAAAAACK!!!! How random? How unfortunate? How awful!? So actually I have had to become a mum who wears makeup, against my will, really, but it is to counteract the horror of how I might look without, until the antibiotics can cure me. I have been wearing mascara and actual face makeup, which I NEVER do, to work. And looked pretty good, actually, if I do say so myself....if only they knew what lurked beneath! HA!
Don't worry, I haven't had to use the dark muted box for the kids to do so - yet. I'm just a quick worker.
In the pregnancy books it talks about how women 'glow' and all that, but how some 'draw the short straw' and get terrible skin and horrible hair etc. Late pregnancy this time seems to have served me up a short straw - which seems unfair as my last two babies did not make me suffer like this at all!! I do see why the pregnancy books all have sections on how to 'look good in pregnancy', and why all those makeover shows feature mums who have 'let themselves go'. The physical toll of all this mumhood is pretty hard core. I mean, just look at the maths.