Me at five months post second baby, May 2010.
I am a curator and my husband is an artist, we are both people who measure success based on our production and thus creative workaholics. Right now, we are both working (at a university as well as doing tons of independent projects) and splitting stay-at-home parenting duties, so the baby is with one of us 24/7. It is a constant battle for time, but Esmé is such an amazing little person we must be doing something right. I would say the only thing that I haven’t balanced at all is taking care of me. I am still nursing, so my boobs are still double size and I can’t seem to manage to get to the gym except during random moments of determination and bartering. I don’t fit into my previous wardrobe, so I feel unkempt, or worse, dull most times because I will only spend money on H&M staples. Where is the question in this, I am not sure. I guess I am looking for a mixture of moral support and post-pregnancy-having-no-time-don’t-know-if-I-can-ever-get-in-a-bikini-again fashion advice.
Hey Girl! Okay first things first, kudos to you and your BD on working out the balance of work and family. This is one of the biggest challenges, so regardless of your sartorial state you’ve got a good thing going. It’s easy for any mother to put everything else before herself, but ultimately if you’re not feeling good about your appearance you’re going to be a little bummed out and inevitably your self-esteem will suffer. Look, you may have gained a few pounds in all the wrong places, but there is an easy way to keep it cute as outlined in my four step plan. I’m going to suggest a few ideas to add a little zig to your zag and inject a bit of self-confidence back into your routine! Let’s go!
1. Weight—This is always the first order of business after having a baby—oh yea, besides the breast feeding, diapering and general freaking out. The weight we gain during pregnancy is the first thing you want to see go. Some ladies are lucky enough to bounce back. I was not one of them, so I sympathize with anyone who struggles to get their bod back. And let me say this, losing the weight is for NO ONE but yourself. You feeling happy with your post baby body is the key to confidence. Wether your still holding on to 10 or 30 pounds, get into something, walking, running, yoga, dancing around your living room….just start moving. If you’re finding it impossible to get to a gym try the Crunch classes on Netflix. Once you carve out a 1/2 hour to hour 3-4 times a week you’ll start to see results. If you stick with a regular exercise schedule you’ll see a huge improvement in 3-4 months.
2. Wardrobe—Pull it together. I’m a firm believer in “looking good is feeling good”. If you’re wearing a shitty outfit, you’ll feel like shit. From experience, I think depending on what you are doing, working or staying home, there is a proper outfit to wear accordingly. If you are going to work, take it up a notch. Work requires pulling on some tights, slipping on a cute little dress, ad a pair of cute boots, do your hair and make up in a simple yet sassy way and BAM! you’re good to go. Buy yourself a few new things to boost your confidence. Order some comfy moderately priced pieces from Karmaloop, 80′s Purple or Revolver. It’s really just a matter of an extra 15 minutes. Also this is key: for work ALWAYS get your look together the night before to avoid morning craze.
And listen, when it comes to your home wardrobe you’re not off the hook. It’s almost more important than work clothes, because the one person you want to impress most (besides yourself) is your baby daddy. No need for full drag here, but look cute around the house for christs sakes! Avoid moping around in droopy sweats and ratty t-shirts at all costs. This guy just witnessed a tiny child come out of your vagina, he may very well respect you but he also may be traumatized!! Don’t freak him out any more by being a shlub in the weeks and months after the birth. You can make yourself, and your BD, feel good by radiating cuteness, inside and out. May I suggest investing in some cute yoga pants (they’re comfy and guys like them cause they enhance the booty.)
Oh and one other thing. I wear Tripp skinny pants religiously. They run a little big and stretch, so if you get them order a size down. I’m like an 8 and I wear a 5/6. These are cheap and fit like a dream! I can’t live without the basic black.
3.Makeup—A little make up does wonders. I have an incredibly simple makeup routine and I never leave home without it. I do the it-doesn’t-look-like-she’s-wearing-makeup makeup. Here is what I use: concealer for under eye bagage and spots, a radiant all over tinted moisturizer, eyebrow powder to fill-in and define my brows, eyelash curler (a must), creme stick blush and light lipstick. Keep it simple and always slap on a little something something to stay looking even and fresh.
4. Hair—For goodness sakes either get a haircut that dry’s like a dream naturally to avoid extra styling time or figure out a style or two that compliments your look. Maybe, while you’re sorting it all out, you go with braids, or maybe a loose side bun. Just go with something that makes you appear to look like you have it together. Messy hair is kinda frowned upon in society, unless it’s a gorgeously tousled look with rockin’ outfit. It’s a fact. Put a black satin bow around a bun or try bangs. Try something new even if it’s just an upsweep. Try checking out a few you tube hairstyle tutorials to get inspired.
Bottom line—KEEP IT CUTE. That’s it. Having a baby is not a license to let ourselves go. Period. And let this be a little motivation, don’t you want Esmé to look back at pictures and see you as her style icon? Do it for you and do it for Esmé! That is all.
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