Recently a yahoo columnist did a piece on being trapped in a frumpy style. She took four women of different ages and had their husbands do a make over on them. Where as with many women this could have been disastrous, for these four women it was a pleasant change. Reading this article got me thinking about how easy it is to get stuck in a fashion rut. http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/women-let-men-dress-them-with-mixed-results-2468584/#photoViewer=1
About three years ago (shortly after the arrival of my second child) I saw three of the most beautiful, well dressed, well groomed children I had ever seen. The little girls hair was done beautifully and their clothes matched from the ribbons in their hair all the way down to their purple boots. In stark contrast their mother was wrinkled, hair swept back in a clip and no makeup.
I remember thinking what a tragedy it was that this poor woman seemed to put all her time and energy into her children and took none for herself. I was even more surprised when a little while later I passed a mirror and realized my shirt was not ironed, my hair was haphazard and I had forgotten to brush my teeth that morning.
Too easily as mothers we forget to care for ourselves. Before I had kids, I worked in an environment where it was important to look nice. I remember feeling very independent and confident. I was never home and when and I was, it was only a time of relaxation in comfy sweats or pajamas. When I became a mother and spent all my time at home, I found all I was hard wired to wear was sweats and grubby jeans.
That day was a turning point for me. I went home and threw away all my sweats and old college T-shirts. I started spending money on fun, cute, casual, clothes that I could feel good about wearing and would still meet my needs around the house.
With two kids 17 months apart I didn’t have much time, but I would feel so much better about myself on the days I took 15 minutes to do my hair and makeup. Even more surprising was the revelation that when I felt good about myself, I got more done that day. And, whereas my husband says I look pretty without makeup, I found I even got a whole lot more attention from him when I at least put on a little eye liner.
I started to think differently about the old 1950′s stereotypical stay at home mother dressed in the high heels, pearls and perfect hair just to vacuum the floor. Maybe she didn’t dress like that because she was being forced into a sexist, discriminated, existence. Maybe she understood the concept that putting on her lipstick each morning would give her the confidence she needed to make it to the end of the day.
So started my new motto:
“I have a lot to do and it will get done better if I look good doing it.”