You know those moms who always look perfectly put together? They wear makeup and have hairstyles and, except for the child at the hip, look completely un-motherish.
I’m not that woman.
I used to babysit for a work-at-home mom. She’d come downstairs to say hello to her two-year-old son, hugging him and asking how he was doing. Somehow she’d return upstairs completely clean after this interaction. Just looking at that kid covered me in peanut butter.
But I never give up. It’s easy to fall into a rut with your post-baby tummy making your old wardrobe ill-fitting and with a two-year-old pulling at you as you try to brush your hair, but I’ve learned a few tricks that help me from becoming “that mom” who obviously doesn’t care anymore.
1) Buy new clothes!
a. Once you’ve lost some of the weight, don’t wait until you get back to your pre-baby weight to buy anything new. Find things that can transition with you but still flatter you as you are now. I have become quite the fan of dresses with a high belt.
b. Get out of those maternity pants as soon as you are able, even if it means buying a pair of jeans in a size that makes you cry at first. Which brings me to my next point.
c. Don’t freak out about the numbers. Remember how, even before the baby, you’d be two sizes smaller at one store over the other?
2) Maybe it’s time to reinvent your style.
a. For some reason, it took the birth of my children for me to truly come into my own fashion sense and style. I think it might be because I rewarded myself with X amount of money to spend on clothing after I reached certain weight-loss goals, and I decided to spend it on things I really wanted—things that made me feel feminine and fun again.
b. Don’t let yourself make excuses anymore. If your fashion icon is Lucille Ball, go get yourself an I Love Lucy dress today!
c. Get help! I'm lucky to be around fashion students at O'More College of Design who give me advice and say YAY or NAY to an outfit I'm experimenting with. And there are professionals out there, like Lori Bumgarner of paNASH Style. You can hire her to make you look the best with what you've got. (And what you've got is good!) Visit her website!
3) Figure out little things you can do to make yourself feel pretty. Every day.
a. I take a daily shower. Sometimes kids are screaming while I get clean, but I feel more able to conquer the day after washing off yesterday.
b. I wear eye shadow and eye liner, even if I’m in workout clothes cleaning the house. When I look in the mirror as I wash my hands seventy times a day, I prefer the way I look with this one-minute investment. Worth it.
4) Don’t compare yourself to other moms.
a. This is, of course, important advise on all levels of mothering!
b. Maybe so-and-so looks exactly as she did before, only three weeks after her twins are born. Your body may change shape in some ways permanently, but it doesn’t mean you cannot look thin and fabulous with your new body. It also doesn’t mean you won’t get back to your old body eventually. It’s hard work, but those babies are worth it!
Yes, those babies are even worth the extra mom-accessories of leftover food and drool I find on my shirts. When I dress up these days, my two-year-old son says, “Mama, you’re beautiful.” The other day I was in yoga pants and a tee shirt when he said it: “Mama, you’re beautiful.” I looked at myself and almost protested, but then I realized—I’m his mama, and that does make me beautiful. All the time.
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