Getting everyone ready and out the door can sometimes feel like a race against time. In my house, there’s usually a lot of rushing, a lot of double checking, and a lot of last-minute things that need to be done that barely make the cut. Sadly, I am often one of those last-minute things. And I didn’t think too much of it until the other day. That’s when I realized that leaving only a few minutes for myself every time, had me entering into “hot mess” territory.
Let me explain.
This past Thursday, I was rushing to get my son to school on time. To add to that pressure, I had to hurry up and be outside to move my car by 8:00am, because it was street cleaning day on the Thursday side on my street. And I DID NOT want a ticket.
I had him dressed, lunch packed, homework folder ready with only a few minutes to spare (which is the time that I used to throw myself together). I just grabbed the first thing that I could find. A shirt and some jeans, a sweater, my mask, and we were out the door. We made it! I was so relieved. At first.
I pulled up down the street from my son’s elementary school and prepared to gather his things and do our usual morning walk to the school gate, when I realized that I hadn’t even bothered to fix my hair.
I reached behind the back of my head and found a very scrunched up, flattened and smashed up bun that was probably even more embarrassing than it sounds or felt. I’ll never know because I didn’t even look in the mirror. I also looked down and realized that my olive green jeans, pink sweater, and turquoise blouse weren’t exactly a great combination of colors to wear all at the same time. I felt like I was looking a mess. But I just took a big sigh and said to myself that there was nothing I could do about it at that point.
But do you know what I realized?
This is the scenario for me most days now. I rush to pack lunches and snacks; I get the kids dressed and only leave myself the few spare moments right up to when it’s time to leave. By that time, I’m already rushing and I just throw myself together and hope for the best. And about 85% of the time, I’m not happy with how I look, but there’s no time to do anything about it.
There was a time when I always felt cute walking out the door. A time when I spent time fixing my hair, trying on different outfits to see what I wanted to wear, and even putting on make-up.
This is rare for me now. I don’t prioritize it at all. I’ve put my own appearance on the backburner as if how I look and feel about myself isn’t important. What happened to me?
Maybe you’ve asked yourself the same thing. What happened? How did I get here? When did it get this bad? Maybe all of the hustle and bustle of motherhood and household management have left you leaving little time to get yourself ready in the morning. Or maybe it’s caused you to hold other things as a priority, while making yourself last on the list. I know that both of these are true for me.
Have you also caught yourself out in public with mismatched clothes or your hair in disarray? Just me?
Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can actually make sure that there is always time for ourselves.
Here are 4 simple tips to avoid leaving the house feeling a mess and actually feel good about the way that you look.
1. Start Your Day 30 Minutes to an Hour Earlier (Before the Kids Wake Up)
Starting our days earlier gives us time to take care of ourselves before we get into mom mode and start focusing on the kids. We can use this time to just focus on us and do anything we need to feel good and be ready for the day.
We can do things like read, exercise, shower and get dressed, all without feeling like we have to rush or drop what we’re doing to tend to someone else. And there’s no mom guilt when the little people are asleep.
I’m personally not a morning person, but it’s worth it just to have that special time for myself in the morning.
2. Make Sure There’s Time For Hair (and Make-up If You Wear It)
My hair has a kinky texture to it, so if I don’t plan accordingly, I can really cause myself some trouble (enter the smushed bun incident). So for me, my hair can definitely have an effect on my entire appearance even if the outfit is cute. But if my hair looks good enough, it can actually carry an outfit.
The point I’m trying to make is that hair is important. We can use that extra time we now have in the mornings to spend time doing our hair and make-up.
If you’re in a baby or toddler season, and you feel like you can’t even be bothered with your hair like that right now, this is when protective styles, or quick and simple styles should be your go-to. Or if you have a hair texture that will allow you to fix your hair the night before and still be good to go in the morning, do this.
As for make-up, you can keep it simple. Even just doing my eyebrows sometimes can make me feel a little more put together. You can do foundation and a little lipstick, or whatever you want. The main goal is to just feel good about how you look.
3. Plan the Night Before
We can pick out what we want to wear the night before, so that we can avoid running out of time and just grabbing the first pieces of clothing that we see in the morning. We can take time to actually put something together that we know we’ll feel cute in. And we can also prepare other things that we need to. Like packed snacks, lunches, backpacks, etc., so that we can free up some time for the next day. The more that we can take care of the night before, the easier our mornings will be.
This brings me to my next tip.
4. Wear Clothes that You Feel Good In
I’m at home most of the time with my kids. And let me just say that sweatpants, leggings and big t-shirts have become my best friends. They’re comfortable. But actually putting on a cute dress or cute jeans and a tee definitely brings a different vibe.
When you look good, you feel good. Am I saying that I’m packing up all of my sweats and leggings for good? Girl, no. But waking up in the morning, taking a shower and getting dressed, and then wearing something that I actually feel cute or beautiful in, makes me feel good. So, I plan to have more days like this. And you should too.
Being moms keeps us busy. And while a big part of our job is keeping our kids looking put together, it’s just as important for us to do the same for ourselves. Let’s put the days of just throwing ourselves together and leaving the house feeling a mess, behind us.
Just because we’re living the mom life now, doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t feel cute while we’re doing it. We should feel good about ourselves. So let’s start prioritizing time for ourselves so that we can make sure that we do.