Thursday, September 20, 2007
Keeping Up Appearances
As many of you know, I’ve spent the past 8 days in Las Vegas on business. The trip has gone better than I anticipated; in large part because Snuggle Bug is handling my absence quite well and therefore I feel less guilty and distraught about being gone. As a result, I’ve been able to relax and enjoy myself a bit during the hours that I’m not working.

This past week I’ve caught up on some sleep and I’ve actually had the luxury of quiet time to read a book, take a bubble bath, and pay a bit more attention to my appearance. I’ve been thinking about the paying more attention to my appearance bit and I wanted to discuss this with you all. Be prepared for a long post as I process this all within my own mind.

The Juggling Act
In my personal experience, I often feel rushed and overwhelmed with juggling a full-time job, efforts to spend quality time with my son when I’m not at work, devote attention to my husband, and keep the house from falling apart around me. What little time is left over I try to carve out for a little “me” time. This “me time” usually involves reading a book, blogging, or maybe catching a movie with a friend.

Not Taking Care of Me
Unfortunately with juggling all these balls, what has a tendency to go by the wayside is my efforts to pay more attention to my appearance. Often times I rush out the door with my hair brushed but not styled (scraping it up into a pony tail or a messy bun does not count as styling) and now that I’m starting to get gray at the roots, I sometimes don’t color as often as I need to. My make-up is usually non-existent.

My outfits for work are business casual in nature, but sometimes just barely. When I get home from work, I usually throw on a causal pair of shorts and a t-shirt and the same pair of comfy but not very stylish sandals that I always wear.

Now, I’m fortunate to have a husband that doesn’t complain. He thinks I look “fine” even when I don’t think that I do. And my son is too young yet to care or to feel embarrassed by his mama’s appearance.

The Negative Effects
But not taking time with my appearance make me feel down. I don’t feel attractive, I feel frumpy. I worry that there will come a time when Snuggle Bug will be embarrassed by his frumpy mother. I can’t help but admire other women who seem to make an effort with their appearance because they look trendy, confident, and happier.

Making a Change
With the extra “me time” that I’ve had here in Las Vegas I decided to take some of that time to spruce up a bit. I’ve worn my hair down over my shoulders and curled it every day (I colored it again before I left home). I’ve made an effort with my outfits and I even purchased a couple of modestly short little dresses that make me feel good when I wear them and some stylish colored shades (3 pairs) while here to coordinate with my outfits. I’ve worn shoes other than my lame sandals. I’ve even put on a little makeup, including a colored lip gloss that suits me well. I’ve made an effort to get more rest so that I don’t feel so haggard and rundown!

The Positive Results from Taking Care of Me
Do you know what’s resulted from my efforts? I feel great! I’m walking with a spring in my step. I’m feeling confident and attractive again. I’m smiling more. I’m remembering that I can be an attractive, vibrant woman with just a little effort! And I’m getting more attention too. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve become aware that I’m getting noticed in harmless ways by men that I come across in my everyday interactions, even at work. They’re going out of their way to chat with me, make eye contact, or give me a smile. I love my husband and he’s all I need but sometimes it’s flattering just to be noticed and feel validated as an attractive woman. Does that make sense?

All of this is no new revelation to me; it’s more of a reminder of how good it can feel to make the effort to take care of myself each day. And when I’m feeling recharged and better about myself, I think I make a better wife and mother too!

My List of Improvements
When I return home I hope not to fall back into my old ways. I’d like to make the time to pay more attention to myself and work on looking and feeling less frumpy each day!

In fact, here’s my list of what makes me feel good about myself that I’d like to continue to work on:

• fixing my hair
• wearing a little makeup
• polishing my toenails (it’s amazing how pampered I feel with that)
• trying to find cuter outfits/shoes to wear
• getting more sleep
• exercising more
• eating healthier

So if you’ve made it through my lengthy ramblings, I have a few of questions for you. What makes you feel good about yourself? Do you make a regular effort with your appearance or do you put yourself last in light of all the roles you juggle on a daily basis? If so, what would it take to motivate you to make a change for the better?

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6:30 AM
16 comments


16 Comments:
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

This is great- good for you, and a good topic, too!
I am so guilty of neglecting myself this way on a daily basis...in my case, I home school so put time in energy in so many directions other than myself!
I do spend extra time with hair and makeup before a special get together, group meeting, and church...and always put on a tiny bit of makeup before going to the store...but I do neglect my hair for those trips- and clothes, for that matter! And don't get me started about my nails... both the fingernails and toes!

You're so right...just a few extra little things could make us feel so much more put together and better about ourselves!

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger April said...

Yep, I am in dead last place at my house to do things for me. My stray gray hairs are so in need of color right now I almost hate to go to the beach next week with it looking this way - but I just don't hae the time with everything else going on. I did go buy some new, cute, clothes to take to the beach. I totally feel frumpy. But I'm working on that with my weekly bike ride now and love searching for those bargains for new, cute clothes.

Hey- if you have time, go over to my site and check out the links I've posted. This family really needs some prayers right now. You can pass along the link to their site so your readers can pray for this family too if you'd like.

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Bev said...

I wrote a reply to this in my blog, but yes I have so neglected myself. After both children were born I just stopped doing anything for me and focused all on the children especiall since I am a stay at home mom!

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger La Dolce Vita with LeAnn said...

Your website if absolutely beautiful. I totally understand how taking time for yourself is pretty low on the list. I believe that most of us find ourselves in that same place. My children are all out of the home now, so I do have a little more time for myself. I do get my nails done every other week, and my hair colored every 7 weeks. I also belong to a wonderful bookclub that is my one big night out every month. Wow, I think I really do pamper myself. That seems like way indulgent!!! LOL

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Paige said...

I actually do work on my appearance. Not that I'm high maintenance or anything like that, but I do paint my nails and toenails, I get my hair cut every three months or so, I wear at least some makeup every day.

I'm trying to lose weight, so I'm now exercising every day, too, which helps me feel good about myself.

My 8 year old daughter is so cute...If I come into the room with fresh lipstick or something (usually because I'm going out) she says, "Mom, you look SO pretty!" Gotta love that!

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Miss Paula said...

Wow! I love the dress. I like the empire waistline!! Please tell me where you bought it!!

Oh, I went to Walgreens this morning to buy my hair dye, so I am off to get rid of growing out roots!!

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Happy Momma said...

Good for you! I need to do the same thing, hubby and I have been friends since I was in 5th grade and he was in 7th, I was all girl from that point on until we got married. I never left home without looking perfect, and I rarely wore running shorts unless I was running, these days...unless I am at church we will not discuss how I have been looking. The other day I got dressed up and hubby was SO EXCITED, he kept commenting on how good I looked, making me realize I need to pull it together. So I applaud you on your efforts, you can be an example to me!!!

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Sally said...

I have no kids yet, but I definitely scrape my hair into a messy bun EVERY SINGLE DAY for work. I work in a manufacturing plant, so it does no good to do my hair or wear good clothes. I do wear makeup every day, and I feel naked if my toes aren't painted...and I can't stand to see my roots, so my highlites get updated pretty regularly...we'll see what happens after kids arrive!

But, I love to do my hair and dress up and go out with Hubby or the girls...any chance I get!

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Being a full time SAHM...if I get a shower before 8am I feel like could conquer the world....I normally do though....and foot rubs make me feel like a million bucks.

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

I love polishing my toenails too. I usually wear makeup most days (a little, takes 3 minutes) but often I am unable to do my hair. I 'd like a haircut that does not require styling, but I'm not sure that is possible with curly hair.

Glad you enjoyed your trip!

 
At 8:33 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

I am glad you are taking more time for you. When your second child joins your family it will be even more important!

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

I did fall into a huge rut for years it seems...Well maybe not huge but I gained weight after my fourth baby (I was sick for about a year after he was born) and didn't care how I looked or rather didn't have time to care but my daughters did. In fact they encouraged me to buy less frumpy clothes but when you are buying for 4 children it is often Mom who comes in last for the clothing budget. Today I do get my nails done regularly. I have horrid nails so now that is a pampering I do. I also get pedicures once in awhile and my eye brows waxed. I wear make-up daily unless I am home alone. I walk. I so want to lose weight and I have a treadmill for when I can't walk outside. It does make a person feel so much better. I do color my hair. I have a little gray and it needs covering. I think what you are doing is fantastic! Hugs!

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger Jenn Lynn said...

I could SO relate to this post! In fact, its something that I've become very concientious of in recent months. But its so hard to break the habit of hair-up, make-up is optional, etc. *Sigh* I hate being that mom but I hope to reign it in someday. =)

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Ginny said...

Great post! The biggest thing I do, is I still wear makeup. Even if it is just some mascara, I feel better. To save time, I usually don't bother with foundation. I just wear some eyeshadow, eyeliner & mascara. Sometimes blush & powder. I don't really wear lipstick just because I have chapped lips. My make up takes me about 5 minutes & I feel so much better about myself! Good luck in learning to take care of yourself, it really is important for you & your family!!! You have already seen that it makes you feel better & that trickles down to your family enjoying the benefits as well.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger boysmum2 said...

Oh my god, you have just talked about me totally!
And like you I have just tried to make an effort to do little things for me. My boys are 2 & 4 and yes I am a frumpy mum, comfort before style.
I also see other mums and wonder when they find the time? So all those little things to do to make you feel better are so worth it.
I am feeling better, my hairdresser noticed and said I looked so happy at the moment, that masde me feel so great that someone had noticed.
Keep it going, I am about to move house and have chosen this new move as the time to try and get that little bit of baby weight off. Will keep you posted about how it goes.
It is not the attention we desire, but just the fact of being noticed and made to feel good.
Well done you for making the effort, I am glad I have and am feeling great for it.
Keep going, have just found your blog and am having fun catching up, even learning from you with what you have done on your blog and how I can jazz up my own blog.
Love the tour of your neighbourhood and will try to do one of our place before we leave and then another of where we will be in our new house.
Life goes on here in New Zealand just like it does there in the States.
keep going I am watching and am inspired, thank you.

 
At 11:56 PM, Anonymous sheryl said...

Good for you! It is important to care for ourselves and look and feel as good as we can. I love that dress (although, I'd probably look pregnant in it ;)
Have a great week!

 

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