Morning routines for moms are tough. Working while mom-ing is tough. What’s the saying?
They expect us to raise children like we don’t have jobs, work like we aren’t raising children, and look fabulous the whole time???
Not only is it unfair, it’s exhausting. But despite the exhaustion, we do want to look good, right? I think, in part, it’s because we don’t want to be judged (hey! there goes Whitnee, she really let herself go since having the baby, wonder if she’s still up to the task here at work), and also because we just want to look good. Whether we like it or not, we care how we look and we know it influences those around us and our own feelings about ourselves.
I’m less concerned with those around us and more concerned with us. To be clear, how I feel about me is most important to me, and thankfully, how I feel about me is also what I can most easily influence. Going back to work after maternity leave, I found I needed to reset my morning routine. I just didn’t have the same hours/minutes in the morning to make it work. Simplification was the key. I don’t mean no makeup, no pizzazz, no caring. I just mean streamlining to focus on the 20% of things that will give the most bang for the buck rather than assuming I really need the whole 100% of my morning routine to be at my best.
Rather than just trying to do pieces of my old routine, I created a new simple routine for clothes, makeup, and hair. Becoming a mom means becoming a new you. Embrace it and start fresh with a simple morning routine! Here are some recommendations to help you simplify your morning routine.
- Get a capsule wardrobe. This simply means, downsizing your closet and ensuring that most of your items go together. When you do this, there isn’t too much to think about when it comes time to dressing yourself. Here is a really great article I found on how to do this: https://bemorewithless.com/how-to-build-a-capsule-wardrobe/
- Pick a work uniform. Another option is to flash back to school days and wear a uniform. Wearing a uniform doesn’t have to be boring. The key is to pick clothes that you feel amazing in. The first week, people may wonder if you are doing the walk-of-shame to work, but by the second week, they’ll just focus on you. And, you will look amazing because your clothes fit well, you feel great in them, and you are not carrying the burden of wardrobe stress and morning decision havoc. There are two main options to make this work:
- Just wear 1 thing. Seriously, pick one outfit. Buy several of the same pieces and just wear those over and over. If you really need to mix it up, buy some statement jewelry and swap that out each day. Fretting over which necklace to wear is a lot less stressful and time consuming than fretting over an entire outfit. It worked for Steve Jobs, so why won’t it work for you?
- Get a series of coordinated clothing. Pick 3-4 interchangeable pieces, buy multiples, and then know that whatever you grab out off the rack will work. I have 5 of the same black nursing dress. I throw a different jacket on top, sometimes tights or sometimes not, Vans or boots, and I’m ready to go.
- One last tip, if you don’t have one already, get a steamer—or an iron for the birds; and by birds, I mean people with lots of time. Steaming is faster. Trust me.
- Use a Rental Service. If you’ve got the means, just have outfits shipped to you each week. A few such services other moms have recommended include Rent the Runway, Le Tote and Stich Fix.
- Less is more, keep it simple. Just like your clothing, have 1-3 go-to looks and stick to those. Keep them as simple as possible by focusing on where you get the most bang for your buck.
- Is it your eyes? Your lips? Your eyebrows? Choose one area to spend some time on and then let the rest go. One tip that seems to work for many women is to spend time on eyeliner and then slap on some lipstick before you get to work. You can change the shade of your lipstick depending on what your day holds.
- Find a style that you can put together in 90 seconds or less on most days. Even better, find a style that you can put together in 90 seconds or less, AND wear for multiple days. You do not need perfectly blown out hair to look good. I know it feels nice but there must be other styles that feel great too. Top knots are the new shabby chic of hairstyles. Low pony tails are highly respectable, and if you sleep in a scarf, a good French braid can last for, at least, two days.
At the end of the day, your confidence is what matters. Confidence makes you look great, so:
Own Your Power
- Stand up straight. Your mother was right, good posture is more becoming. There is something about standing tall that changes your mood and brings strong energy.
- Only wear what you love. Donate everything else. If you put something on and you don’t feel great in it, toss it. You will be 1000 times happier and more confident wearing the same 3 outfits you love than wearing 10 outfits you don’t.
- Remember, you birthed a baby and are now raising a small human (while probably holding a relationship too). That is some serious SH*T you are accomplishing. Reflect on the power in that and let it shine from you.
The adage is true; you look your best when you feel your best. It’s really your confidence that will help you shine when you’re feeling run-down and worn out at work. I know it’s hard to always feel your best, so simplify your routine and, most importantly, stand tall and remember you are someone’s mother AND you are holding down a job. You are a miracle. Stand straight. Walk in your power.
You are amazing. Own it.