Before I had my kids, I took great care with my appearance. I’ve always been a girl who wears makeup, has regular hair appointments and attempts to keep up with clothing trends. I have never been one to wear pajama pants in public or go out with unwashed hair. It was partly vanity driving me but I was also raised to keep in mind that the way I take care of myself says something to the rest of the world and I wanted to give the impression that I had my act together. I definitely believed that people respected me more for making an effort and caring about how I look.
Once I became pregnant, it simply never entered my mind to change my standards with how I took care if myself. I was determined to not become a frumpy mom who does not take time to look decent before going somewhere. At a few points during my first pregnancy, mothers I was friends with would joke about having no time to get ready because they had children. Knowing my penchant for primping, they would teasingly tell me to enjoy being able to do my hair and makeup now before the baby comes. As if the placenta dropping meant I would lose the ability to operate my flat iron and pick out a cute outfit. These comments only made me more determined not to let things slide once my daughter was born. While I had no doubt my priorities would shift considerably never did it occur to me that one of those priorities would be the care and keeping of myself. After all, I’m still a person whether I’ve given birth or not. I was ready to sacrifice sleep and certain freedoms but I was not ready to sacrifice trips to Sephora and time in the morning to get myself together.
Once my daughter was born and after I had healed from my c-section I started venturing out in public again. If I needed to get ready and my husband was not around to take care of her I would put her in the bouncy seat or I would just plan my beauty time around her naps. I truly cannot remember struggling with this- like anything else that had to get done, I did it. I figured if I could carve out time for laundry, dishes and cooking then I could certainly save a few extra minutes to put on eyeliner and perfume. I had no interest in becoming a mommy martyr and sacrificing my self-esteem and happiness for my kids. Even once I had two under two I still managed. I just refused to leave my house feeling unattractive and sloppy. I felt I was worth the extra effort and I know it helped my attitude to look my best. It was just as easy to put on cute jeans and a scarf. No need for yoga pants and baggy t-shirts.
Now before you jump on me to defend your public pajamas, messy bun and makeup free face think about it-you can find time for everything else you do. Why not find time for getting ready beyond a layer of deodorant and stretchy pants? There are more benefits than just feeling good about yourself. When you take steps to maintain your appearance it will help your marriage too. It will help you to be confident, which I truly believe makes for a better sexual relationship with your partner. Let’s be real, here- if he sees you every day looking like you couldn’t care less how is that helping your relationship? I think too many women throw in the towel once they have kids and say “too bad, I don’t have time, he better deal with it”. I would be very unhappy if my husband decided to stop going to the gym, wearing cologne and getting haircuts. Of course looks aren’t everything but I love that he cares enough about me to try. I would be hurt if he did not and I wouldn’t blame him for feeling that way about me. It takes effort and I will tell any mom that will listen that I believe it is very important to keep up with your looks after having kids. I am completely positive that by taking care of myself and therefore, having a healthy self-image, I am a better mother and wife for it.