It’s hard being a new mom. Strike that, it’s hard being a mom, period! So many demands, so much to do, so many people to please and mouths to feed and things to clean. Last on the list is making yourself feel like the beautiful woman who got the attention of your man and began this whole motherhood thing in the first place. Days go by without doing your hair, or putting on makeup, stretching out with yoga, or even just getting dressed.
Eventually seeing your haphazard reflection takes a toll and rather than just feeling busy, you start feeling frumpy. And when you feel frumpy, you start acting frumpy: eating poorly, not making time for exercise, wearing the same thing everyday and not even caring about how you look.
Mamas, take control and get your groove back! It isn’t selfish, it isn’t frivolous, it isn’t vain or petty. It’s important for your mental health to feel your best and to take time (albeit not much) for yourself. At my baby shower we played a game that required reading the Good Wife’s Guide from Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1955, and while I don’t agree with it all because, well, #feminism, I do think the points about making sure you look nice before Daddy comes home aren’t all bad. Because who doesn’t want to feel beautiful and desired, even with spit up on their clothing? And if looking good for your man isn’t motivating, than just do it for yourself so that when you’re in the checkout line and you see beautiful Kate Middleton looking like a goddess six months after having her third baby, you feel like you could be on that magazine cover, too.
So here are my tips for looking sexy even when you feel frumpy, and some pictures from our recent trip to Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and the Grande Canyon where I put these tips to good use:
one: shower. So basic, but so important. It’s refreshing and it gives you five minutes completely alone. My trick is to shower when the kids have finished eating breakfast or lunch but are still in their high chairs. That way they are immobile, safe, no choking hazards, they can’t bug me until I get them and I don’t have to worry about them.
two: do your hair and makeup. I’m not suggesting you need to be Instagram ready everyday, but do enough of your regular routine that you feel pretty and put together. My trick has been to put all my makeup into one of those makeup travel suitcases, the ones that open up like a fish tackle box. I bring it into their room while they are playing, or to the kitchen table when they’re eating. That way I can do my makeup without having to stand alone in the bathroom. For my hair, I’ve found that blow drying in the kid’s bathroom where I have a clear view into their room has been much easier than staying in the en suite. And dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend–you don’t need to redo your hair from scratch everyday!
three: where proper underwear. Seriously, this is a big one. Your underwear elastic and your bra are not supposed to create sausage rolls. We have those thanks to pregnancy without elastics, thank you very much! I swear, nylons are a girl’s best friend–they make your legs look fantastic, they smooth out your thighs, and if you hike them up high enough they even tame your tummy. We went to Vegas and when I tried on my dresses I was mortified; my boobs looked saggy, my knees and ankles discoloured from constantly playing on the floor, and the bodycon style did nothing to flatter my mom tummy. But toss in a pair of nylons, some boob taping a la Kim Kardashian, and a waist smoothing bodyshaper and I felt like a million bucks! I’m not saying you need to do this everyday because that would be crazy, but even a camisole and high waisted underwear can do wonders under jeans and a tshirt.
four: stop wearing yoga pants. What?! How can I say this, especially as a yoga teacher?! Kiss any collabs with LuLulemon goodbye, right?! Here’s what I mean: If your daily uniform consists of an oversized sweater and yoga pants, that’s totally fine for staying in the house so long as it doesn’t perpetuate you feeling frumpy. And if having workout clothes on all day makes it that much easier for you to exercise, than I’m all for it. But if you’re leaving the house and going out in public, it’s time that we, as a society, stop going out in our pajamas and yoga clothes. Just do some people watching at the airport and I think you will agree that people just don’t seem to put any effort into their appearances anymore. I know I’m old fashioned, but I wish we were more like our grannies and actually got dressed up to go out, like with hats and gloves and crinolines. Ok, ok, I’m not suggesting you need your Sunday best everyday. But I do think that simply putting on a nice pair of jeans and a pretty top to go out will make you feel so much more put together than if you’re sleeping and playing and grocery shopping in the same clothes. On our Vegas trip I put on a pretty dress and sandals for the airplane. I was just as comfy as if I had been in yoga pants, but I certainly felt like a beautiful woman and not an overtired Mom.
five. Make time to exercise. I know exercising is good for your health and physical well being. But let’s be honest, most of us exercise because we want to look good. That’s my motivation! But finding time to exercise as a mom is next to impossible. So you don’t find time, you make time. We don’t binge tv shows anymore, we have a one episode rule so that we go to bed at a decent time to allow us to exercise. And we make exercise a priority. I watch the kids so he can workout, he watches them so I can workout. (We are building a home gym with a playroom in it so workouts can happen anytime, but it’s not done yet!) You feel good when you look good, whether it’s at a Vegas pool party or just in the hallway at your kid’s school.
Ok, I’m preparing myself for comments telling me I am taking women a step back and am anti-feminist for suggesting we should worry about our looks. Or do you agree with me that feeling sexy is important as Moms? Comment below and let me know, and add your how to look sexy when you feel frumpy tips, too!
Black Lace Dress: Asos
Colourful Print Dress: Lilly Pulitzer
Suitcase: London Fog
Black Bathing Suit: Amazon