Mama Improvement Project- Feeling Pretty

When my second sweet bundle of joy arrived, I got sucked into the land of babies. My only focus was on my new little nurser (which is not nearly as sweet as it sounds, “new little nurser,” ha!), and my adorable toddler. The only time I took a shower was when it was gently suggested to me by my sweet husband. He always passed it off as I deserved time to myself. Smart man.

I stopped taking time to care for myself. I was eating everything in sight, and slathering on the Lanolin, but that was the extent of my self-care. It led me to feeling really down on myself. I was in the world of nursing tops and yoga pants and still, nothing looked right on me. I stopped wearing make-up completely because I figured, what’s the point? I never felt pretty because I wasn’t even trying.

Two years later, I can tell you, feeling pretty is so important for your mental health. It is for mine, anyway.

I want to point out here that I’m not talking about whether I’m attractive or not. I’m talking about making myself feel pretty. I understand that it is different for everyone, but I’m going to share a few things that have helped me improve my mood.

As a mother of two, I don’t always have the luxury of time, so I’m going to list things that you can do by the amount of time it takes.

30 seconds or less-

1. Jewelry

What better way to dress up any outfit than to add a favorite piece of jewelry. I don’t have my ears pierced (anymore), so earrings are out for me. If/when Miss Z decides she wants to pierce her ears, I’ll get mine done with her.

Lately, I’ve been wearing a necklace I received from Laurel Elliott**. I love it because it’s simple and it goes with practically everything I own. This little touch takes no time at all and it always gives me a boost. Every time I wear it, Miss Z tells me how pretty it is. I think she’s trying to hint that she wants it.Laurel Elliot NecklaceIf you’d like to check out more amazing pieces from Laurel Elliott, you can visit them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

2. Under-eye concealer

If I only have time for one thing to throw on my face, I go for the one that hides the pesky dark circles under my eyes.

3. Clothes that Fit

You’re getting dressed no matter what, might as well pick something that makes you feel good. It’s important to wear something that isn’t too tight or too loose. If it’s either, then you run the risk of feeling frumpy (speaking for myself).

5-10 minutes

4. Make-Up

I’ve gotten my “everyday” make-up routine down to 10 minutes or less. I’ve done this by narrowing it down to the essentials.

For me that includes-

*under eye concealer (I like Ulta’s brand)

*powder (Too Faced is my fave)

*eye shadow for my lids (one or two colors)

*mascara (I love Maybelline’s Royal Blue. I know it’s not the ’80’s anymore, but I love the look I get with the blue. I have dark eyelashes so it’s very subtle.)

*Lastly, if I’m feeling “saucy” I’ll add Carmex to give my lips some shine (Seriously, though.)Mother and son5. Pluck/Shape the Eyebrows

I didn’t start doing this until my son was about a year old. I don’t mean you have to go in and get them done every other week. Do it yourself. If you want, you could get it done professionally the first time, then just keep it up at home.

I always pluck here and there when the kids are either in the bath or when they’re brushing their teeth. For some reason, since I started plucking my eyebrows, I’ve felt much more “put together.”

30-45 minutes

6. Shower!!

Obviously a shower can be accomplished in less than 30 minutes. But when I can, I prefer to take my sweet time.

There aren’t many things out there that makes a person feel better about themselves than a nice hot shower-especially if it’s been a few days…

I tend to go several days between showers (ugh, I know), so when I do shower, I do the “works.” Shampoo, condition, body wash, body scrub, and shave (depending on how much time I actually have).

Shaving used to take me forever. I hate messing with shaving cream, it’s such a huge pain. But recently I discovered a razor that has soap on it already, so you don’t have to use shaving cream. It’s called Venus SpaBreeze, and it has cut my shaving time in half…now I do it more than just once a week. It’s a little on the pricey side, but you have to put some money down for a decent razor anyhow, and it’s so worth it!

7. Fix my hair

This part only takes me about 5 minutes, but I only have to do it if I shower. I don’t brush my hair very often because it makes it frizzy and then I look like a lion. I usually throw my hair up in a “mom bun,” or I let it air dry.  But, if I don’t do something with my bangs, they will turn into a ridiculous, curly mess. So no matter how rushed we are, if I have wet bangs, I will forego everything else to blow dry them.

These are just a few things I do to make myself feel pretty. I realize they’re all pretty obvious, but I went a very long time without doing any of them very often because I couldn’t justify taking time for myself. That was silly. I am important. I’m allowed to take a few moments to work on me. Even if I’m at home with the kids all day long, I’ve found I’m in a much better mood if I take even just a minute to make myself feel pretty.

Now its your turn! What do you do for yourself that boosts your mood or makes you feel pretty?

**Disclosure-I received product from Laurel Elliot in exchange for sharing my opinion. However, all thoughts are my own.

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August 21, 2015
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31 Comments

  • Reply Jill @ Maggie May's

    Such a timely post! I’ve been thinking about “sprucing up” more lately. It’s hard when you are in the trenches all day, but you are right, it is important.
    Your jewelry suggestion is great. Even though some jewelry just gets tugged on so it gets annoying, it really does add a pop of “I care” ha ha
    The only thing I would add is nail polish. Even though it’s the last thing I have time or desire to do at the end of the day…seeing the pop of color throughout the day brightens my mood.
    Oh, and a smile πŸ™‚ That probably does more than anything else!

    August 21, 2015 at 7:31 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Yes! I love wearing nail polish! I just never do because I forget to take the time to do it. Now I really want to put some on. I promise you, I will have some on by tomorrow! LOL!

      August 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    Such great tips here… they don’t take a lot of time.. but these little pick me ups can make a big difference!

    August 21, 2015 at 8:01 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks!! Its so true!

      August 21, 2015 at 11:58 am
  • Reply Rae

    I absolutely agree with you! It’s very hard to take care of yourself when you have a newborn. But it gets easier when the kiddos get older. Under-eye concealer for me is huge. I KNOW I’m always tired, but I definitely don’t need everyone else telling me I look tired πŸ˜‰ And just wearing what makes me feel good about myself is important. I think taking the time to do the things you’ve listed makes the kids happier too. We are their role models, after all <3

    August 21, 2015 at 8:08 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It has certainly gotten easier. It’s amazing how doing just one little thing can change our outlook. People have told me I look tired. Why? Why do they do that? LOL! You’re absolutely right, how we feel effects the kids too. They need to see us take care of ourselves and be happy.

      August 21, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Shelah

    You are so right. Everybody should spend some time on themselves. The Laurel Elliot jewelry is so pretty, it’s a great way to dress up a bit.

    August 21, 2015 at 9:05 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It took me way too long to figure that out. Thank you-I love it!

      August 21, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Shann Eva

    You are so right. With my first, I was the same way as you were with your two. I never got dressed, wore make-up, or did anything for myself. Now that the twins are toddlers, I’m finally back in the place of getting back to me. It took a long time, but it’s so worth it.

    August 21, 2015 at 10:43 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It takes so much time to get back to where we are. Now that I’m here and taking care of myself, I feel so much happier all the time!

      August 21, 2015 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Kristen

    I love the necklace and eyebrows are a big deal for me!

    August 21, 2015 at 10:55 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you!! They never were before, but now they’re a big deal for me too!

      August 21, 2015 at 11:56 am
  • Reply Caryn

    I agree. Taking a few minutes to feel pretty goes a long way. For me, it’s mascara. It makes me look years younger and hours more awake.

    August 21, 2015 at 1:33 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Yes-I love mascara! If I didn’t have the dark circles, mascara would be my go-to make up!

      August 21, 2015 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood

    That necklace is so pretty! I usually do makeup every day and I have it down to about five minutes. {If everyone cooperates anyways. ;)} I do under eye concealer, my eyes, mascara and fill in my eyebrows. Yours are gorgeous by the way. πŸ™‚
    I’ve been cutting down my wardrobe and making sure that I love everything in it. It’s so much easier in the morning, just grab a top and bottoms and pull them on.

    August 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you so much! You’re so sweet! πŸ˜€ I agree with the wardrobe! I did a capsule wardrobe a few months ago and it really has made things easier!

      August 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm
  • Reply Bree Talks

    Oh my goodness! I’m so there! Although I haven’t mastered it all yet, I’ve been trying to actually DO my hair once a week…..you know, where it’s not pulled up in a ponytail. And once baby was 3-4 months, I also got a Y membership to tone a little of those stretched out muscles. How I feel I look plays a large roll in how I feel period.These are great tips! Also, I bought my first necklace for myself (love yours) that I wore for a couple months straight, until a child ripped it off……guess I need a new one! πŸ˜‰

    August 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Tessa

    Feeling confident and pretty truly is so important. I notice a night and day difference in myself just based on days when I wear sweats all day versus days when I force myself to get ready. The “clothes that fit” item is the one I struggled with for so long! I just DID NOT want to give in and go buy a new wardrobe but so glad I eventually did.

    August 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Alana

    This is one of my favourite posts of mine. I have so few non-yoga clothes that fit, postpartum and nursing hormones have made my skin go a little wonky. As you know, I’ve eaten everything in site due to nursing and lack of sleep. My jewellery box is a place dust rests because my necklaces are tangled from little hands and I’ve just forgotten them. Just starting to do my hair more has made a difference in how I feel. Slowly, in part through your inspiration, I’m making improvements too. It really is showing me making effort even if I don’t feel happy with my physique makes a huge difference in how I feel!

    August 23, 2015 at 7:04 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you Alana! It took me quite a long time to get here. It is really hard to put in an effort when you aren’t happy with your physique. But the smallest effort changes everything!

      August 24, 2015 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Leslie

    I love your suggestions. I don’t have kids but I do think it’s important to make yourself feel pretty too. I’ve let this slip away from me too so your tips are perfect. Happy Sunday to you & your family!

    August 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you so much!! Yes, kids or not, feeling pretty and feeling good about yourself is important!

      August 25, 2015 at 9:14 pm
  • Reply Rose

    Great tips!! Feeling pretty and put together has a huge impact on my mental and emotional well-being too. My go-to to feel pretty is a comfy dress and earrings. It takes less time to put on a dress than a full outfit but it feels way fancier.

    August 24, 2015 at 8:30 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks! A dress is a great idea! I need to get some comfy ones, I used to love wearing dresses!

      August 24, 2015 at 8:39 am
  • Reply Melissa

    Love the picture of you with the sunglasses! Every three days, I wash my my hair and blow it out. It takes me about a half and hour each time but that way it looks nice for most of the week.

    August 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I should try that! I would love to wear my hair down more often now that my son doesn’t yank on it all the time!

      August 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm
  • Reply twitchetts.com

    It is so easy to take a back seat when we are always putting our kiddos first. These are some great reminders/tips!! I am good about a few of these…. I need to work on some others. I don’t wear too much make-up I hide my dark circles under my glasses πŸ™‚

    August 25, 2015 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Tianna

    I’m not a mom, but I think life sneaks up on us and it’s easy to get so carried away we just forget about ourselves. Thanks for these tips to remember to take time out to feel happy and good about ourselves πŸ™‚

    March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am
  • Reply Tiffany

    I find it’s all about the hair with me. If I’m having a bad hair day (or I haven’t taken time to do it) I don’t feel like myself! Great post!

    March 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Tricia

    Great tips! I always make sure I put on makeup and do my hair before every day. Even if I don’t shower until night I like to be somewhat presentable. My nails a little a bit over due, so I would really like to get a manicure/pedicure or just find the time to paint them myself.

    March 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks! Even just a few minutes of self-care helps a ton! I always get pedicures in the spring/summer. Looking forward to my first one this season!

      March 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

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