I’m back at work after a month of full-time mothering, and I’m definitely carrying some scars. Particularly hair and fashion-related ones -“ when I got up yesterday morning to come to work, it was as though I hadn’t looked in the mirror for the past 28 days.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m not a bit of a scruff. I get my hair cut about once a year (usually soon after I see my hairdresser walking down Oxford St and she gives me the guilts) and my wardrobe is what could be generously described as 70s hoodlum chic, like Fonzie’s nephew Chachi Arcola’s in Happy Days: all boot-cut jeans and T-shirts.

But I’m not grotesque, and I’m an occasional recipient of a random lesbian glad-eye when walking around my neighbourhood. Lately, however, such random glad-eyes have been very thin on the ground.

I thought maybe it was the heterosexualising influence of having a baby strapped to my chest. Nothing says straight like motherhood, despite the current presbian boom. I also thought that, you know, my son’s such a spunk that everyone just looks at him.

Sure, motherhood gives me some extra licences, like, a licence to come to work with a bit of sponged-off spew on my T-shirt (not that I’m the first journalist to try that on), or with chronically blood-shot eyes.

I’ve also got a licence to break dates, kind of like a Get Out Of Jail Free card: Sorry girls, can’t make it to our planned quick drink. I know it’s 7:30pm, but I’m in bed, in my pyjamas.

Looking at myself in the mirror yesterday morning, I realised it had all gone too far. I looked, as any good mother might say, completely fucked.

Like the boring lesbian mums in The L Word, I needed some kind of intervention. Thankfully an ex-girlfriend had the foresight to book me in to the Korean Baths before the birth, and I’m in the torturous process of arranging
a haircut.

In the meantime I’ll blame my girlfriend. She’s lulled me into a false sense of security by emerging from giving birth looking fabulous -“ and has continued to look fabulous ever since.

It was a mistake, I guess, to substitute her fabulousness for a bit of time in front of the mirror. Oh well, at least I can always distract people with my beautiful family.

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