Recently I've been trying my hardest to get dressed every day. I know to most people that task seems simple enough (like, heller, just wake up and throw some clothes on idiot!) but after having three babies in four years, I can't just waltz into my closet, pull something off the rack and be ready to take on the day.
That scenario looks much more like "Open closet door. Stand there for several minutes trying to remember why you walked into your closet in the first place. Leave and nurse crying baby. Break up brotherly fight. Return to closet. Pull four pairs of jeans from hangers. Throw two on the floor of the closet after only being able to pull them up to your knees. Throw one into the hamper because of an indistinguishable stain on the knee (spit up? frosting?). Jump up and down forty-seven times to pull on the fourth pair. Contemplate maternity jeans... And already an hour has passed and you're sweating, still topless and it's time to make lunch."
Therefore, pouring myself into black yoga pants, a nursing tank and an open cardigan (also known as The Uniform of The Nursing And Exhausted Mother) became my Normal. But now I'm tired of that normal and I've begun to notice that kind of normal day in and day out isn't good for my sanity.
I guess what I should have said is that I've been trying my hardest to get dressed up every day. And I've been trying my hardest to do this because it makes me a better wife and a nicer mother.
Now, it's taken me quite a few months to get to this place. Not only did I have to emerge from the dark and foggy haze of Newborndom where I could hardly put one leg in front of the other each morning let alone put those legs into something other than yesterday's yoga pants, but I also needed to get to a place where I felt comfortable and confident enough with my post-baby body to want to show it off in something other than forgiving cotton.
After two months of completely re-hauling my eating habits, I emerged on the other side of the funk. The funk that comes with being in that middle place after having a baby. The one where Tired meets Nothing Fits and Hormones occasionally comes to crash the party. I dropped the extra post-baby weight, old clothes started fitting again and I was less exhausted. Still tired, mind you, but not so exhausted each morning that I wanted to drown myself in my mug of lukewarm coffee.
Getting dressed in the mornings became easier. Instead of having only two pairs of pants to choose from, I now have five or six. My options are still a bit limited when it comes to shirts and tops because I am still nursing frequently throughout the day but I try to remind myself that this is a good problem to have- that I won't always have lopsided porn star boobs and one day I won't have to judge my t-shirt purchases by how easily I can stretch the neck down to whip a breast out.
What I've realized about getting dressed up each morning is that it makes me a better wife and mother by giving me the motivation I need to go out and get shit done. I'm much more inclined to finish a lengthy to-do list if I'm dressed in something other than pajamas. For example, I won't cringe as deeply when I run into my child's pre-school teacher at Kohl's when I'm wearing something I can't sleep in. Sure the bags under my eyes might give her a good scare but at least I won't walk away from our encounter trying to imagine the myriad of questionable thoughts running through her head.
I also seem to yell less when I'm dressed up. Why? Because chances are I've taken the boys somewhere fun which means they've spent less time in the house, less time driving each other crazy, less time throwing Legos all over the family room and crunching up Goldfish into the floor and more time expending energy and making a mess somewhere else. Preferably somewhere where I didn't have to vacuum up after them.
And it's kind of nice to see my husband's face light up the way that it does when at the end of a long day he walks through the door and sees me in something other than what he saw me in ten hours ago when he left the house.
As I said earlier, my transformation didn't happen over night and I still have plenty of days where I reach for yoga pants over something a bit stiffer and muffin-top-accentuating. Yoga pants days are good for my soul (and the circulation of my lower half) too but even on those days I realized I don't have to walk around looking homeless, which is pretty much how I looked for the first three months of each of my kids' lives.
On those days I'll wake up a bit earlier, despite how painful that might be and spend a little extra time on my hair and make up. It's on those days that I remind myself of that age old saying, "a little goes a long way." A little mascara, a little bronzer and a touch of lip color make a big difference and won't send friends and neighbors running in the opposite direction. On these days I don't mind running into friends at the park or opening the door to an annoying and unexpected salesman because I know my appearance won't have them questioning whether or not they need to call child and family services.
If you're curious as to what's got me kicking ass and taking names most days, here's a few staple wardrobe pieces I've been wearing on heavy rotation lately as well as my go-to face products!
Speaking of quick and easy, I've recently become a major fan of Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. Whether I'm spending the day in yoga pants or boyfriend jeans, it's become a staple addition to my morning routine. Even my husband noticed the difference and that's saying a lot because, as he says, "guys never check out a girl's eyelashes."
Check out the difference below in my own Before and After's!
The application process took a little bit of practice until I could figure out the right balance of my own mascara, transplanting gel, fiber application and gel reapplication. The more I played with the product, however, the longer and fuller my lashes became! With a price tag of $29.00 I feel it's absolutely justified because not only will it last a long time but it eliminates having to wear liner and use a lash curler most days! At the end of the day I simply use warm water and a dab of eye makeup remover to take them off.