Having children is wonderful, but from the time you put on your first pair of unattractive paneled pants to the realization that you’ve been covered in spit-up for hours straight, you realize that being a grown-up isn’t the same as looking or feeling like an adult. Some new mums bounce back from childbirth and infant-raising easily. But others take a longer route to recovery, not because they love the sweats and unshowered look, but because it can be a challenge to balance all that mums do in a day and take care of themselves, too.
How Does It Feel to Be Adult?
It will likely take a few weeks to surface from around-the clock feedings and completely sleepless nights. You can’t do much for six weeks, anyhow, so it’s easy to slip into a state of pajamas and ponytails. But at some point, the swelling will have gone down and the stretch marks will have faded enough that you realize you’re looking a bit more normal again. If you gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, this can take a bit longer to happen, but as things find the right place again on your body, you will notice a body more similar to the one you started this journey with.
And as you see yourself take shape again, you’ll also feel a shift in your mind. You’ll want to ditch the stained, possibly dirty, clothing you’ve been living in for days it seems and take a hot, luxurious shower. You’ll want new clothing that isn’t maternity wear and you’ll want to look (dare you think it?) cute again. This is the point where you usually take a full-stock look at yourself and what you’ve become. Your hair might have changed colors and textures and your face could well look different. Your body will be put together in a different way and will feel differently to you.
Take stock of both the outside and the inside. Not only do you look different, you feel different, too. Your priorities might have changed a bit now that you’re a mum and while looking cute is important, it can be hard to look fabulous every day. Think about ways you can balance your obligations throughout the day with your desire to look and feel like a grown-up.
If you love nights out at the movies, you might be out of luck for a little while unless you have a very agreeable newborn or a great babysitter. Most likely you’ll just need to make some compromises. Have a regular movie night with your partner in your home once the baby is asleep to stay reasonably current with movies. Alternate listening to Baby Einstein CDs and the latest songs you like on the stereo. Or really, cut out the kiddie music until it’s requested during the toddler years.
Think about the things that really give you pleasure. Do you love to garden or to scrapbook? Are you one for socializing with friends or a voracious reader? You might not be able to give yourself over to your hobby quite as much as before now that you’re a mum, but scheduling time for your hobby on a daily or weekly basis will at least let you enjoy it as much as possible. It is possible to blend your interests with your little one as well. She might enjoy sitting outside in a bouncy seat while you weed and prune. Lying in bed beside a napping baby gives you plenty of time to read, and pretty soon you can socialize over playdates with your friends and their babies.
The hardest part of mothering for many women is taking time to pamper themselves and to look good. These mums need a bit more time than others to find their way to a beauty shop for a new style and color session. It’s easy to sacrifice yourself on behalf of others, but make it a point to look presentable, if not attractive every day. Get your hair done in a trendy style that is easy to maintain every morning. Buy comfortable, yet attractive clothing that fits your new body. Wearing sweats or clothing that is too tight isn’t comfortable and will actually make you feel less comfortable about your new body than you’d think. If your size has gone up, don’t worry. Buy a few key items that are stylish and attractive and keep at it weight wise. Buying new pieces isn’t giving into extra weight; it’s a survival technique to be sure you’re looking great while you’re losing it. Keep on losing weight and soon you’ll be able to buy even more pieces in your original size.
If high heels and flat irons aren’t in your current mummy repertoire, find simply solutions. A new hairstyle that takes advantage of your natural waves or a style that looks great pulled back is easily done. A collection of tailored capri pants, walking shorts and jeans look great with comfortable, yet stylish shirts and flats. Mix and match solids and patterns to build a full wardrobe with just a few pieces and you’ll look great no matter what you grab – even if you wind up covered with a bit of muck every day.