Making the Choice As A Young Mother {Day Five}

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Making the choice to get dressed as a new mom!

Have you made the choice? Are you committed to the task? The end of week one is over and I hope you all have stuck it out with me!!

I’ve read some interesting comments floating around Facebook regarding this series. It has gotten me thinking of difference seasons of life that you might be in, and I want to address two of those situations.

The Young Mother

You have a baby who spits up 10 times a day, not only all over you but the house. You are frazzled from dealing with your first child, the laundry, and trying to at least keep some sort of relationship together with your husband. Getting dressed? Who has time for that? You just are going to get spit up on anyway, what is the point? Sweat pants work just fine.

Or how about this one? You have a toddler and a baby. Between trying to juggle the baby and keeping the toddler from darting out the door, you have totally given up on the concept of getting dressed. Most days your husband comes home to see you in the clothes you had on when he left (your pajamas). The only time you get dressed is when you have to actually leave the house, and then it feels like such a huge deal!

I’ve been there, in both of those situations.ย Add to that a huge adrenal fatigue issue, which left me exhausted, emotional, and wanting nothing more than to stay in bed for the day.

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I have bittersweet memories of this picture. My hair was a mess, and I needed a shower desperately. I was exhausted, but hey, we have to put on the happy mommy look for the camera, right? While some days I was happy, this was the hardest time in my married life. My second son was born exactly two years apart from our oldest child. He spit up horribly. I was too exhausted to even get all the furniture wiped up. I remember staring at spit up on the bottom of our dresser for a year. I was in such a daze I couldn’t even get a rag to wipe it up. When I finally cleaned it up, it was almost emotional for me. I had arrived. Things were getting better.

Still to this day, though, I remember that when I would take a few extra minutes to actually get dressed at the start of the day, I felt better about myself and my days. When I could greet my husband at the door with a smile on my face, and a presentable appearance, it made a world of difference in our marriage. This may sound harsh, but we need to think about others besides just ourself during this time! Our husband did not bargain to be married to a slob simply because a child was born.

However,ย with that being said there is a period where grace needs to be given. I always give myself three months after a baby is born to simply survive. Half the day it seems I’m sitting on the couch nursing, and the other part of the day is just trying to get school done and food on the table. The house is usually not nearly as clean as I like, but we are enjoying the newborn stage, and after five children I understand how fast it flies. After a few weeks of having a baby, I’m normally dressed for the day, but there are no special touches yet. Just getting dressed is a huge accomplishment with a newborn! And that is ok.

In sharp contrast to the picture above, this was taken a few weeks after our youngest daughter was born.

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I was dressed, my hair was pulled back in a flexi clip and I had some earrings on. There are two huge differences between the time of our second and our fifth. My health had finally improved quite a bit, and I had truly learned how much better I felt about myself and my days when I took 10 minutes to stop and get dressed from head to toe.

The Farm Girl Mom:

Another common excuse I read for not paying any attention to your appearance comes from ladies who live on farms. They have to get up super early in the morning and do chores, carry buckets of grain around, scoop out poop, and overall just do some dirty jobs. Who wants to get all nice looking before doing that? I certainly wouldn’t!

While I’ve lived in the country a lot, I’ve never had to get up early and do chores. So I’m speaking hypothetically here of what I would do if I did live on a farm. I would get up and throw on some old jeans or a jean skirt. While the 100% skirt wearing ladies might not like this, I personally don’t have a problem wearing jeans to do chores on a farm in the early morning!. You can do chores in skirts also, it’s whatever you feel comfortable with! ย A faded t-shirt, mud boots, and out the door I go to do my chores. I’m not trying to be a Mary Jane in a lovely calico apron and lace skirt on when I have to go feed the pigs. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a time for practical, and a time for femininity.

However its what I do when I come inside that is important! I don’t stay in those old clothes all day long! I run in my room, grab my everyday clothes that match, are ironed and tidy, (for me it would be a skirt and shirt) and put on whatever accessory I want to wear for the day that coordinates with the outfit. Since my flexi clip was in my hair to keep it pulled out of my face while I feed the pigs, I don’t have to worry about fixing my hair again. In 10 minutes time I look like a completely different woman!

Can any of you moms relate to either of these scenarios? How do you think a mom should respond to the new mom syndrome, or the farm girlย dilemma?ย 

I promised everyone I would offer a link up on each Friday this month. If you have blogged at all about the Frumps to Pumps challenge please share the link below. This is strictly for ladies who are doing this challenge, and our regular link up will be live on Monday again.

As a special “Hurray!” for reaching the end of the week, I am doing a giveaway each Friday! Today I’m giving away a Flexi Clip in the choice of your size! Go to this post to enter.

Challenge For Today:

1. Get dressed!

2. Think about what is holding you back from committing to change?

3. As, your husband if he prefers you spending 10 extra minutes a day to look a little more presentable. Tell him you want an honest answer! ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Read “Frumps to Pumps” Chapter five.

 

 


Comments

  1. Kim Crawford says:

    Funny you should mention the farm chores. I got all dressed, hair done, makeup on, then I had to carry a bag of chicken feed out for my son so he could feed his chickens. This is when a nice apron comes in handy! The joys of motherhood on a farm!

  2. It is 6:15ish and I’ve been up, showered (and scrubbed the shower area clean), dressed, brushed teeth, put on deodorant, fixed my hair leaving it down but pulled back in a headband, put on a scarf instead of a necklace (to cover a hole/stain in an otherwise lovely shirt), changed my earrings to dangly ones, listened to an inspirational song, made my darling husband’s lunch, kissed him goodbye, started a load of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, fed and watered the animals, and am contemplating what I’m going to serve for meals today.

    I need to do crockpot something or others so I can get the roosters ready for the stewpot this afternoon and not have to worry about meals. Cut out 2 different dress patterns yesterday and now I need to replace the needle on my sewing machine as I broke it. ๐Ÿ™ Heading to the living room now to clean up before I get our daughter up in 15 minutes. Yeah, having my shoes on before I walk out of my bedroom door definitely makes me feel like being productive.

    I’ve let myself go and it’s the big reason I put on so much weight. When I pinpointed WHY I quit getting up and going in the mornings (1st & subsequent miscarriages), I realized that’s when my MASSIVE weight gain began. I’m really trying to find myself again, and this is kinda helping me. My daughter & two other kids I care for asked me this morning if we were going to a special adventure today. Made me take a moment and think about what I’ve been presenting to them that won’t benefit them in the future. Going to try to change to better their lives too.

  3. I enjoy looking nice. I’ve never been one to live in raggy t-shirts or sweats. I am a busy mom to seven, and money has been extremely tight for the past few years. I usually wear dark colored vnecks from Gap and some nice jeans. I wear this because black won’t show stains and the jeans are practical. I don’t own any nice clothing and the funds are not there for anything new…and haven’t been for some time. I’m also in the process of losing weight, so I don’t want to buy something in my current size at this time.

    Any suggestions for someone who wants to look nice, yet struggles because of budget? We have no extra…and are barely making ends meet as it is. I shop for the kids at consignment sales, so there is no extravagance there. I do get tired of wearing the same things over and over again…but I’ve done what is needed for our family’s finances!

    • I think this is a huge issue here too! I often look at my closet and realize that I am wearing the same clothing that I was wearing 5-9 years ago!

      I look in second hand stores and often the clothing just doesn’t fit right, wasn’t washed right etc. But occasionally you find something that will work and I have been inspired to call upon my altering knowledge to make things fit or like new.

      However, time is an issue!

    • Accessories! Add a fun necklace or scarf, earrings, bracelet. It’s amazing how “put together” one looks just by adding a nice accessory!

    • I’ve had a whole lot of success purchasing nice clothes at op shops for very little. Even just a nice shirt which may only cost $1 can make you feel so happy & of course if it’s that cheap it means I’m happy to wear it while working ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. As a farm girl with four kids, getting dressed twice in the morning is not an option due to time. If I have a task that can dirty my clothes, I have several aprons hanging in the pantry to cover up before the dirty chore.

    I have been known to tote water and food in the bottom of the stroller to manage baby and chores at ones, so everything has to be multipurpose in my life!

  5. Thank you for this! I was motivated to get dressed before breakfast today (which never happens!) I came downstairs and my husband was shocked. I have been spending many days in pajamas because I am pregnant and at home with a toddler… but today I had a positive attitude and did it!

  6. I am loving the Frumps to Pumps Challenge.

    It is indeed a challenge, especially at different stages of life. I am the mom of three little ones (ages 3, 2, 1 – they’re all 15 months apart). I love it, but scheduling plans has been hard for me in this stage of life. It is easier now that my baby is a year old and sleeps through the night, but that could change anytime.

    So far I’ve been able to get dress from head to toe (sometimes I’ve forgotten the shoes) by 8 am! There may be days this doesn’t happen, but it’s a goal. If we shoot at nothing, we will definitely miss the target. Yet, if we attempt to shoot the target, at least we tried. Somedays bulls-eye; other days, when everything seems to go wrong, we can just smile and keep on keepin’ on.

    Two Tips that have helped me this week:
    1. Have the ironing board in my bedroom.
    2. Wear an apron while cooking or juggling messy kids.

  7. I too find myself much more happier and put-together feeling if I get dressed and ready for the day early on. I find my issue is my hair. If I wear my hair down, I have a huge headache by the end of the day because my son pulls on it (6 months old). If I put it up, I just look boring. I’ll figure it out one day I suppose!! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a good post, thanks for sharing!

    Blessings,
    Nicole

  8. I also live on a farm and have been wondering how to incorporate this challenge into my life. On our farm, the chores are never-ending, you don’t just do the dirty chores in the morning and you’re done. It’s a constant going in and out and doing hard, dirty work. Add on top of that 3 children ages 5, 3, and 17 months and being pregnant and you just feel constantly dirty and unfeminine. Practicality is essential. So, I have begun wearing pants and a shirt all day and on town days I really make the effort to look nice. My girls and I wear our skirts and I put on some makeup -no jewelry as my husband doesn’t like it. I would love to hear other’s advice and experience on this tho as the farming thing is still fairly new to me.

    • I was just considering adding the comment about chores not only being a morning occupation. I do find the stash of pretty (and not so pretty) aprons by the door helps me keep my clothes clean!

    • I am reading back through the comments here after I left mine & I agree about the chores. I routinely have morning, noon & evening farmyard chores at least plus any others that come up!

      • I need to try aprons, but that doesn’t keep manure from getting flung up your skirt Lol plus I do a lot of climbing over things (fences and such) which is why I just feel like skirts are just not appropriate at this time. I’m still trying to figure it all out tho and I appreciate all comments!

  9. The first is definitely me right now. We have a two and a half year old and a seven and a half week old, and I’m often feeling lucky if I can manage to just get the girls dressed. It’s almost 9 am, and the toddler’s still in her pajamas watching PBS while I nurse the baby in a milk stained t-shirt and pajama pants. It doesn’t help that despite weighing less than I did when I got pregnant, most of my skirts with buttons don’t fit right yet, but my maternity bottoms are mostly too big and frustrate me since they make me look still pregnant. Yesterday I took a shower after lunch when I put our older daughter down for a nap only to get “dressed” in skirted workout pants and a tshirt. I really need to work on trying harder since bare minimum my girls need a better example, and my husband shouldn’t have to spend the last few days before he deploys looking at me in sloppy clothes and unbrushed hair.

  10. I don’t mind dressing for hubby. I just wish he would do the same. Oh and shave to mister!

  11. My husband would not care if I spent an extra 10 minutes getting ready, but I already always get dressed head to toe right away in the am because I need to wear compression stockings. I have long, thick hair like you do, and my husband would probably like it if I wore my hair down more often instead of always up….maybe this winter when it’s not so hot. I am also completely in the newborn stage–we just welcomed our sixth child to the family (less than 2 weeks ago), and his 2 and 4 year old sisters are having a difficult transition ๐Ÿ™

  12. Great post! The one thing I would add is that when you are a new mom, I try to encourage new moms the first week or even two, to not get dressed too much. It can tell your body you need to be resting that first week or two and to stay comfortable as we have a tendency here in the US, to do too much too soon.

    My mom taught me that you get dressed when you get out of bed, so I try to never start the day ever, in my pj’s. If I know I will be cleaning, I may choose clothing that is more grungy, but not my pj’s.

    As far as farm chores, something we used to do was wear an old skirt, jumper with an overcoat over our clothes. That way, it protected our clothes during choring and then we could take it off and still be clean.

  13. Jennifer Husmann says:

    I love your blog and this challenge! You are a lot of fun to follow and ive enjoyed your sweet spirit and Godly wisdom, I cannot believe we are the same age! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am exactly where you were when your first photo was taken. I have a 20 month old and a one month old. I wake up at 530 with my coffee and read my bible and pray and nurse my daughter. Then she dozes while I get dressed 630-7. I could stay in bed and snuggle with her and read my devotional for much longer but i have learned that if I’m not done with quiet time by 630 I will not meet my morning goals. At 7 my hubby gets up and eats breakfast and gets ready for work and my son usually wakes up at around that time. I make my hubbys lunch, make the bed and tidy the kitchen. My son and I are eating breakfast by 730 usually while nursing my daughter. My husband leaves at 730 am sharp and our day has officially begun.

  14. As a real life farmwife, I work it like this: If I am going somewhere for the day I wear a big apron over my good “town” clothes to do my farm chores. If I am staying home I make sure I am still in decent ‘farm clothes’ & just keep them on all day. You see on a farm the chores don’t just happen in the morning, but all day. For example if you can get some gardening or canning in then you don’t want to be in your nice town clothes either. I love to be dressed up & have never spent a day of my life in my pjs (unless I’m sick), but on a farm if you are working you have to be realistic. Oh & yes, I wear skirts 95% of the time on the farm & it works too (can even jump fences & ride motorbikes in them, although not as modestly as jeans). Interesting topic though ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I really enjoy your specific posts about the challenges of keeping our appearance neat as women and mothers.

    It may seem like a funny topic, how hard can getting yourself ready in the morning be? I would have never given it a serious thought, at least until *I* became a new mom! I remember, too, how suddenly trying to juggle taking care of another (helpless) little person plus try to take care of myself truly was, on top of body changes, nursing issues, new-mom worries, less sleep, baby blues, etc.

    Getting a shower on a regular basis became a major hurdle in those days! (In hindsight, I would have given hubby the baby and requested firmly, but sweetly, that he give me 30 minutes in the evening. That’s a lesson for you first time moms, too, don’t you feel too guilty to ask for back-up! Babies need Daddy time, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also recall after having my first child, I realized I felt so yucky spending all day in the clothes I wore the night before. I felt a change was in order, so I made a little plan. I normally shop second hand, so I accumulated comfortable stretchy-pants and cotton tees in colors that cheered me up (I love comfort at home), and I kept a simple hairstyle. I had a few nicer outfits (non-stretchy pants lol) for when going out, ie: grocery shopping, library, parkday with friends.

    I would keep my routine simple and consistent, that way I was more likely to keep it up. I would wash my face, brush teeth quickly, put on moisturizer, deodorant and nice smelling lotion (“baby wipe bath” in case there was no time for a shower the night before or if I had leaked breastmilk the night before…TMI, but I know other Moms know what I’m sayin’!). In other words, I ALWAYS did this basic hygiene routine, and it only took 20 minutes or so. Even if the baby cried the whole time, I told myself to NOT feel guilty! I’d dress and spend a minute or two fixing my hair, and it *just felt good to be clean* and *feel like I was taken care of*.

    As for devotional, there was a time when I did not have time for it. Nope. So, I wrote scripture verses on 3×5 cards, slipped them into a plastic sheet protector, and taped that to the outside of my shower door. I could read those verses while I washing my hair! The plus side is that I memorized those verses really well!

    I also feel we women need to value and cherish ourselves as God does. He values our tireless work of mothering and being a wife and all else we do. He wants us to feel happy and taken care of. We can do that for ourselves. The simple things can make a big difference!

    Deborah, you are a wonderful encouragement and the new moms in this generation are so fortunate to read your posts. I know they would have really helped me when I was a new Mom, 10 years ago. It was fun to remember when life was harder–because I survived!! LOL. You are right, it does get better (My 5th is 16 months now.)

    Bless you!

    ~Eve

  16. I’m laughing…I’m reading this 5 days late, which tells you how my days go!
    I’m lucky if I can get dressed, so I need to do this challenge. I know the days I do get dressed, I’m much more likely to get things done, or at least have a better mental attitude!

    I’m also thankful, that right now…I don’t have farm chores to do!

  17. You’re right and I know it, because it’s been weighing on my mind and heart, as my husband’s wife. He’s super graceful and never complains, but I never want to kiss or hug him because I feel “ucky” when he gets home. Granted, nails are a big thing for my feminine feels, and at 9mo pregnant, the thought of my feet make everything worse, but I’m coming up on that dangerous hormonal/emotional shift, and I know the best thing I can do is start every morning with a shower, brushed teeth, and especially a bra. I guess earrings will have to suffice in lieu of nail color, for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. The problem I have is with my wardrobe. My body changed significantly after my children were born, even when getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. None of my pre-pregnancy clothes, particularly shirts (since now my chest is much larger post baby, even after they’re weaned) and we don’t have the money to spend on a new wardrobe for myself. Extra money goes to necessities and clothes or things for the kids. I was thankfully able to scrounge enough for a maternity wardrobe (that’s been used for three pregnancies!) but it’s incredibly depressing to wear these post-baby, and my body-image-damaged self just can’t do that. Plus, most of the clothes I have that actually DO fit are so worn I’m embarrassed to wear them. I guess the answer is just to spend some time at a thrift store or clearance rack post baby and just MAKE a few new items part of “necessary spending,” but that’s hard. I hate spending money on myself as a mom, even when it’s something I want. But I do understand … When I blow dry my hair and curl it, put makeup on, and dress nicely, I just FEEL so much better. It really is a good priority for everyone … Happy Momma, happy family! It’s just very difficult in that postpartum transition, where it seems like I don’t have ANY clothes that fit or look nice.

  19. Heather In Michigan says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this. Sort of. We recently closed on the sale of our home and noted the difference between how we dressed for the signing and how the young couple we sold to were dressed. We dressed for the event. Hubby wore a suit, I dressed to match him. We felt appropriate for the business at hand and in control of the situation professionally. I don’t think either of us would have felt the same dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.

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