Some of you may remember a few months ago when I posted about how you don't have to be the frumpy mom. I took a lot of heat for it and obviously, I was not exactly successful in conveying my point-of-view on this topic. Allow me to clarify a few things. I do not think you have to be a supermodel to have a happy marriage and feel good about yourself. I do not think you should go to great lengths with personal upkeep solely to please your husband. I also do not think there is ANYTHING wrong with donning yoga pants and throwing your hair in a ponytail if that is what makes you happy. Everyone has their own version of happy and maintaining my physical appearance happens to be a large part of mine.
All of that said, I know that taking care of myself helps me in so many ways as a mother, wife and human being. I also don't view "letting yourself go" as solely having to do with your appearance. There was a lot to you before you had kids and that doesn't change because you became a mom- you likely had hobbies, interests and time to yourself and you still should. I am firmly in the camp of "happy mom, happy family" and I truly believe that when I feel good about myself, it helps me take care of everyone else too. There are so many things we make time for as mothers- why not make time for ourselves? Here are 10 ways I refuse to "let myself go" after having kids:
1. I Still Get My Hair Did
I know a lot of moms that go for a long time without a trip to the hair dresser because they want to save money. I have super long and very thick hair that takes a while to shampoo, cut, blow-dry and style and I still know of many salons where I can get all of that for under $50, including tip.
2. I Wear Natural And Flattering Make-Up
I know a lot of moms don't wear make-up at all and hey, you do you. But if you wore make-up pre-kids, there is no reason why you should not be able to wear it now if you want to. My routine is so fast- I get my entire face done in under five minutes. I do not look like a pageant contestant- just a more polished version of myself. Bonus- I buy face make-up that includes SPF, which everyone should have on anyway.
3. I Wear Bras That Fit
This is a big deal for new mothers. If you nursed in particular, you need to be fitted properly for new bras once your breasts settle into their non-milk-filled size. I know once I got bras that fit, it looked like I lost 10 pounds instantly and I walked a little taller. It makes a world of difference.
4. My Husband And I Schedule Workouts
I don't even always make it to the gym- sometimes, I'm doing a 20-minute work-out DVD in my living room while my husband starts dinner and keeps the kids at bay. The way my mind feels after a work-out helps my entire family, no question. It helps relax me and focus my thoughts. And obviously, there is no denying the health benefits of maintaining some kind of work-out routine.
5. I Take Quiet Time For Myself Daily
Whether it's sitting in front of the TV after the kids go to bed or scrolling through my iPad while they play after dinner, I make sure to take time to think and center myself. Even if it means putting off some household chores I find that I am more productive in the long run if I know I am going to have time to myself at some point every day.
6. My Sleep Is A Priority
I need sleep as much as my kids do if I am to maintain life as we know it. I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour and my husband and I trade off on weekends so we each get a chance to sleep in. I know so many families where mom is the default parent to get up with the kids every weekend and I think that sucks. Moms need sleep too!
7. I Wear Clothes That Fit
As I said before, kids do not need expensive or stylish wardrobes but an adult should have halfway decent clothes that fit properly since we do not finger paint and run around on the playground. Don't keep wearing old clothes that don't fit- go to the consignment shop, check out the sales at Kohl's and get thee some flattering outfits, no matter your size.
8. If I Want A Pedicure, I Get One
Or more often than not, I just do it myself to save money. There is something about having "done" feet that makes me feel like I have my act together. I hate glancing down at my nasty toes with chipped polish.
9. I Have A Skin Care Routine
It is as simple as making sure to wash my face before I go to bed and slap on some moisturizer but at least it's something. If I manage to make time to brush my kid's teeth, I can do this too.
10. I Maintain My Own Hobbies
I blog, I go kick-boxing, I read a lot and I watch football. Once my kids are grown up, it will be me and my husband all by our lonesome and I don't want to be scratching my head trying to remember what I did with myself before I had kids. I simply refuse to discount myself because I am a mother.