It is common to hear:
"Wow, you look nice today, what's the special occasion?"
"But what's the point? I'm just home with my kids so why am I gonna do my makeup and dress up?"
"I just don't have time for that."
"I'll wait until the kids are older."
Now, am I saying that we can't have days where we stay in our sweats and ponytails all day? Emphatically, NO! Please hear me in this. We all need a break every now and then - I, of all people, get that. AND, I have days where I put back on my clean pajamas after my workout/shower. How's that for irony? =)
What I am saying is that this isn't the "norm" for me and I will tell you why. Growing up, I was homeschooled with my brothers and sisters so the common question I got was "Wow, you get to do school at home - does that mean you get to stay in your pajamas?" When I first heard that question, I thought it was silly because the thought had never entered my head. Why would I stay in my pajamas all day? You only do that if you are sick...The reason I had not thought of it was because my mother taught us from the beginning that we always got dressed in the morning. We had a routine of getting up, brushing our teeth, washing our face, brushing our hair (and for the girls, we did our hair in some sort of style usually complete with a bow), getting dressed and then going about our chores.
My own mother, who was raising 9 children, homeschooling all of them, making all our food from scratch and heavily involved in church, did her hair/makeup and clothes every day. I never have seen my mother wear pajamas during the day. I have never seen her not do her hair in some way. I have seen her occasionally go without makeup or do very little of it. She took care of herself everyday and taught us to do the same. This was because she knew a secret: when you put effort into your appearance, you feel better about yourself and it will affect your entire day and who you are. When you feel better about yourself, your confidence goes up, your attitude changes and you feel much more prepared to take on the challenges that a day presents.
My beautiful Mother with my Dad, Simon and his cousin
You have to dress for success - even as a Mom! I would say, ESPECIALLY as a Mom. We have little people who's attitudes and days are hugely affected by ours and they are watching us as an example. You are showing them that you are worth putting some effort into and therefore, they will know they are worth putting effort into themselves.
This is also a small way to show your husband that you are still a wife to him who cares about her looks for her husband. This is your love story and you want to put in effort when and where you can! Your story doesn't end after the wedding - it only just begins! One of my favorite memories of my mother is triggered by the smell of lipstick. I love that smell because when I was a child, she would kiss me goodbye (usually to go on a date with my Dad) and I could always smell the lipstick that she had freshly applied. She made sure to put in extra effort for date night and, without ever saying a word, was an example in that to me and has affected me more than I realized.
If you don't believe me that it will affect you or make a difference, I challenge you to put it to the test:
The Effort Test:
For one week, do your hair, apply some makeup (you can just wash your face and use mascara or something if you don't want to do a lot) and put on clothes (that aren't sweats or workout clothes). THEN, after the week is up, allow yourself to have a week of sweats and no effort with hair and makeup. Compare the two weeks and see if there are any obvious affects. Then please write me and tell me what you think! I would love to hear your story. Tag me in your photos on FB and use hashtag #theefforttest. This will be a lot of fun! =)
Have a great day!