First off, disclaimer: I am not a blogger, a hair stylist, or a makeup artist. I am currently just a stay at home mom for the past 3.5 years, and that has taught me more life lessons than any other profession could.
All first time moms know, it is HARD to find yourself after having a baby. They need you. So much. And then they become toddlers. And you cannot pee alone, much less get your physical appearance together. But, and there is a but of course, when you do get yourself together – hair, makeup, anything beside pajamas – don’t you feel like you can take on the world? Or if not the world, at least take on the tiny humans you brought into this world?
Get up. Get dressed. Get things done.
So now that I am a wise, sage, mother of two (that’s a joke), I feel like I have a few handy tips to share. And they are: get up, get dressed, and get things done. This sounds silly. Who wants to get dressed if you are merely doing carpool drop off? Just trust me. The days that I get my outer self together, my inner person breathes a sigh of relief. There is just something unsettling about your head being crazy, going in ten million directions, and then you glimpse your reflection, and all you can think is “THAT girl needs a nap.” And we know moms rarely get naps, so your day continues, and on those rare bathroom breaks alone, you either dislike your tired reflection, or you just avoid it.
On the flip side, on the days I carve out the ten minutes to myself for makeup and hairspray, my whole perspective is improved. No, makeup will not change real hardships in life. But feeling more confident in how you look will improve your mental outlook, and of that I am sure, even though I should also add that I am not a psychiatrist.
Less yelling, more playing.
Since becoming a mom, one of my toughest hurdles is trying not to yell at my toddlers. I mean, I tell them that they can’t yell at one another. “Stop hitting your brother or I am going to spank you!” Does that even make sense? Touché tot, touché. My biggest challenges are mental, such as how to get my point across without being exactly what I don’t want my children to be. It is hard. You can feel so out of control. For me, the better mental state I start my day in, the better the rest of my day goes. Less yelling, more playing, and so many smiles. I share most of this on Instagram. I share the tears and the smiles because I think that helps other mothers see they are not alone. And since I brought up Instagram, let me just tell you about the moms I love to follow. I like to follow the ones that get up, get dressed and Get. Things. Done. If you’re still in pajamas at 4pm, I’ll still follow you, but I’ll also probably prod you to take more time for yourself. Because it’s not just “A happy wife makes a happy life,” it’s also “A happy mom makes happy children who become happy adults in society.” (Copyright that, it’s gonna spread, I can tell.)
They learn from example.
To drive my point home, I guess I’d say I do all of this because my babies will do as they see. Always. Shout all you want, try to instill different values, but if you don’t live them, chances are they won’t either. I want my children to see me take time to myself while also caring for them. I want them to see me take pride in my appearance, whether my shirt is from Forever 21 or Saks (totally don’t own Saks shirts, because, well, toddlers). And I want my children to wake up each morning excited to get dressed and take on a new day with confidence. Confident in their appearance and confident in their person.
Some of you may read this whole post and think it is just about physical appearance, and I guess you would be right. All I can say is, doing these little things, like taking 3 minutes to apply light makeup and taking another 3 minutes to actually brush and style my hair, even if it’s just into a ponytail … these things have helped me immensely, and I think they could help so many moms. But first, coffee in pajamas, and then we will take on the world. I promise.
About Michelle Melerine
I am a lifelong resident of New Orleans, having grown up in Chalmette, and now reside in Metairie. Married for 6 years to a husband who will literally only leave New Orleans come hurricane or high water, our hearts are at home in NOLA. We started our family soon after marriage, losing our first baby at 8 weeks and then giving birth to a daughter, Randi Claire and 17.5 months later a son, Max. Yes, we count the half of a month. As a stay at home mom, my days are long. They are not always easy, but they are filled with love every single second. Love for myself, my tiny family, and my city which has blessed my life with some pretty amazing people.