Here she comes - she's walking toward you. Gorgeous smile, hair and figure (even after popping out a handful of children), and despite her glowing aura about her - admit it -you're secretly hating her.
It's a human flaw that a lot of women (not all) inherently possess jealousy. It's not an attractive trait by any means - but for some, it's a hidden attribute that brews ferociously inside of them.
Why is it that it that it's so easy to give the "hot mom" the eye roll as you turn to whisper to your friend something nasty about her - potentially a woman you've never met: "Just look at her. Who does she think she is? What good mother actually wears something like that?"
Is it wrong for that mother to take pride in her personal appearance? Is it wrong of her to look good and be fit?
Bottom line: A "beautiful" woman doesn't fit one mold of 5-feet 2-inches and 105 pounds, long blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect teeth and smile, fully accessorized in the best name brand clothing line and shoes.
Beautiful is a smiling, healthy, confident woman. A strong, energetic uplifting and inspiring woman. Beautiful is in the way she understands the hard work it takes to have something, well ... worth having.
There also is beauty in the way she takes care of not only her family, but herself. Her emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
Too often we do what we think is best in putting everyone else first, which, let's face it - is part of the job as Mom. But we become the selfless martyr, bitter and resentful for everything we do for others and not taking any time to do something important for ourselves.
Naturally we all want to not only feel good, but look good, too.
Learning to love and accept ourselves, admit to our shortcomings, and take a step forward in bettering our self, is not an easy task.
I am about to bring my fourth baby into this world. I gave birth in 2008, 2010, 2012 and now 2014. With each pregnancy I put on about 40 pounds and so my body has had to (and will again), work off a total of 160 extra pounds of pregnancy weight. Not only do our bodies endure so much mentally and emotionally, but it is physically taxing to go through so many changes, in the duration of carrying our baby.
Although this coming back after each baby proves to be more challenging every time, the best part is knowing I'm not alone.
I've had my ups and downs with weight gain and loss throughout the years and through the trials and errors, I have learned what works, and not just temporarily, but what sticks.
After becoming a wife and mother, I have put my own needs last.
And then I realized I needed something for me. I realized I deserved it. And so I decided to make some changes that would benefit not only myself, but my entire family, too.
I began working out. At first I had a few failed attempts at keeping up with some of my favorite workouts' schedule, but after falling off the horse two or three times, I became addicted to feeling good and held on tight.
There were days I completed a workout after pushing pause multiple times to change a diaper or help another toddler on the potty. I realized that not every workout would be completed before the babies woke up and that nap times always didn't go as planned or leave me the opening I needed.
But I learned to simply expect these curve balls. Each day I knew they'd be coming, but I became resilient to push through them. Each day after my workout was complete, I had such a natural high, it was amazing to quickly see my husband and children notice the difference in my mood and temperament. I was eating better, becoming healthier and stronger, but most importantly, I was happier, which in turn, was creating a much happier atmosphere in our home.
What is the last thing you did for yourself? For so many of us it's fear that we're too far off from our goals. It's simply not having the time or energy to put into it.
But I have learned that it is crucial we make us a priority.
Beginning to take the step in making a complete lifestyle change is not going to be easy but, once you are in it for the long haul, you will be thanking yourself for one of the best gifts you can possibly give - health and happiness.
As mothers who constantly are on the go, it's second nature to be ready for the daily obstacles that are thrown our way. Ultimately, this is our journey to greatness.
Remember nothing worth having comes easy. Step outside of your comfort zone. Your fuel, your fight, your desire must be greater than your desire to stay the same.
Do something today that your future self is going to thank you for. How many other fad diets, tricks and quick fixes have you tried?
If the plan doesn't work, change your plan, not your goal. Do not be discouraged by the past attempts that didn't pan out.
One of my favorite quotes from a man who failed many times, had hundreds of doubters, and thousands of obstacles. Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it."
Tell the nay sayers to step aside and watch you do it. And quite honestly, your biggest opponent is going to be the one staring back at you in the mirror.
It will be a learning process for "you both" as you're going to have the internal and external battles, but let the strong, empowering you, win.
Being the matriarch of the family holds so much responsibility, including setting an example of what being healthy actually means.
If you happen to be on the envious side of wishing you looked like someone else, realize that you already are beautiful.
Remember, we're all moms. We're all on the same team. We're all a work in progress to become the best version of ourselves that we possibly can be. And with that, comes a lifelong commitment.
Be the change. At first they'll ask you why you're doing it. And later ... they'll ask you how you did it.
Long is a local author and mother. Her column is published on the third Sunday of each month. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.