Feeling and looking beautiful is likely the LAST thing on your mind when your day begins at 6am with a fussy hungry baby and a toddler who may have just wet the bed. Weather you are staying home each day to raise your family or juggling kids in the morning to then rush off to work, there are many reasons why starting your day off looking your best and is more important then you think. Here are a few reasons why to squeeze "Pretty" into your daily morning routine.
1) LOOK GOOD = FEEL GOOD (aka: Fake it till you make it!)
Have you ever been sick and felt absolutely miserable in bed, then suddenly after a hot shower, a good hair washing and some fresh clothes you feel at least 50% better? Did your health status actually change? No! It's the same thing when you are a mother of little ones and often feel like a not-so-hot MESS. If you can put yourself first for a solid 10 minute, self-care routine it can set you up for your day in a great way. Routine you ask???
- Quick Shower!! even a 3 minute rinse can do the trick and when time permits, washing your hair & shaving your legs are GAME CHANGERS!!! Starting your day off feeling fresh and new truly helps set up the day for success. I know it's easiest sometimes to shower at night after baby is sleeping but the morning sets the tone for your day in such a great way. This is so important that I often bring both babies in the shower with me to play in the water just so I can shower without worrying about them crawling/running around my bedroom without me.
-5 minute Makeup Routine- It's amazing what a little lip/cheek tint, concealer to hide those dark under-eye circles and a nice coat of mascara does for your face! Invest in just a couple great products and make them your daily favorites. When you catch your reflection in the rear view mirror of the car while running around town and smile at yourself cuz you look great, you will be thankful you made the effort.
-5 minute HAIR- We are lucky to live in a world where there are 1000 styles for "messy" hair that look great and take only a few minutes. I will teach you a few of these favorites for curler or straight hair in my HOW TO videos (stay tuned).
2) FEEL Good = LOOK Good (love your body with food & excercise)
Let me paint a picture of what this SHOULD look like. You make yourself breakfast & lunch each day when preparing food for the little ones or you take a real lunch break from work to eat something healthy. You also know that your body feels strong, relaxed and energized when you do some form of exercise that you love (yoga, spinning, hiking, etc...) Yet, the reality is that we tend to put everyone's needs ahead of our own. I see this all the time, baby is chubby and well fed, kids are thriving and growing, husband is well taken care of and Mommy.....well, she is SUFFERING! The crazy thing is that we do it ourselves. We forget to eat because we are so busy taking care of everyone else or even worst we simply grab whatever is fast and easy which is usually not healthy at all.
Exercise? HA!!! Personally I am WAYYYY too tired to exercise and Lord knows I need the little bit of energy I have just to get through the day (even after 2 cups of coffee). Not to mention my entire household has been sick for months...and I have carpal tunnel pain in my wrists from carrying my fat baby around....and far too much on my to-do list to simply take an hour and workout....and wait, am I supposed to pay a babysitter $20+ to watch the kids so I can then go pay more money for a spinning class, plus drive time, plus parking? The list just goes on and on with excuses, and they are all pretty good ones. The truth is, where there is a will, there is a way and in the wonderful world of technology you can pay as little as $5 a MONTH to have unlimited access to many different classes that you can do in your PJ's, in any room of your house, in front of your computer or smart phone. One of my personal favorites right now is www.MyYogaWorks.com where you can choose quick classes at all levels of skill and duration of time. There are sessions as short as 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30....whatever you want! So stop making excuses and get your butt moving again! Once you start, you'll be so happy you did!
3) Looking Good Matters (even though it sounds shallow, I know!)
One complaint I hear so often from new Moms is that they feel like complete slobs in their new rolls as "Mommy". They complain that there is no time to look put-together, then they justify their new "Hot Mess Mom" look by saying "What's the point, I'm home most of the day anyway and have nobody to impress", or "Everyone at work knows I have a baby now so why try to look good". Here is what I say to that Mommy...IMPRESS YOURSELF!!! The most important person to impress is yourself because self love and admiration effects everyone around you. You are not earning some ugly-badge-of-honor by looking like a train wreck and sadly you won't get any sympathy points either from people. For the most part, people are too preoccupied with their own world to care WHY you look so rough and although you might have been awake all night breastfeeding your baby or tending to a feverish child, what people notice is the effort you put forth in the morning to at least look presentable. This is a tough truth I know, but it's simply the world we live in. On the other hand, those who love you, want to see you look good both for your own self-esteem and because, well.....they just love your pretty face. So give it a try, put in a tiny bit more effort and see how it makes you feel. It can't hurt.
4) Your husband or partner deserves the best of you and although they know how hard you are working to balance life, kids, home, health, they still enjoy seeing a little of your "Old Self" under your new Momiform. Sure, they think you are a beautiful person in this new role, but this does not mean that the importance of physical attraction should be pushed aside just because you are now in "Mommy mode". Try and remember what used to make you look and feel fresh, free and rested. If you used to be a lipstick queen or rock your big curly hair, bringing back those past styles & looks can help you feel a little more like the frisky, fun and flirty woman you used to be and may just earn you a wink or pat on the ass from your significant other. And I don't know about you but nothing makes me smile more then a flirtatious smile, a sweet compliment or sexy kiss from my hubby!!!!
5) Showing your kids that you value YOURSELF is valuable. I just saw a great post shared by my friend and fellow #prettyintelligentmama Rachael Maskell who founded #mumboss, a podcast dedicated to empowering Moms with support & insight to be their best selves. The quote came from her latest episode with Dr. Kelly Brogan @kellybroganmd and simply stated "The best thing I can do for my children is work on myself." This quote holds so many wonderful truths to it and a few that come to mind are as follows.
-When you take the time to get ready (aka: look pretty) you are showing your children that you value how you present yourself to them, your spouse and the world that you live it. You simply say "I matter" and because our little monkeys see & do as we do...this is our chance to model a behavior of self-care & self-love.
-when you take time to care for yourself, eat well & exercise, you are showing your children that you value your health, your body and that you want to live a life that is thriving....not just surviving.
-when you take time for yourself, you teach your children that they are NOT the sole, center of the universe and that your own personal time, energy and health also matter. I have personally seen some very selfish children come from completely awesome, loving and selfless parents and I refuse to make this same mistake. There is a balance between giving to yourself and giving to others and both must be in harmony to have a healthy household....just my belief.
I hope that in reading this you feel a little more inspired to put yourself back up on that pedestal where you belong, and apply a little lipstick while you are up there! Yes, it's easy to say that looking "pretty" is just not that important when you compare it to all the other things that needs our time and attention. All I ask is that you do not dismiss yourself and the importance of nurturing your self esteem. You may not be able to drop our baby weight as fast as we want or afford a new wardrobe but if a fresh hair cut, manicure or mascara makes you feel even 10% inspired to keep nurturing your well being, then I say GO FOR IT!!!