Style your way into motherhood
It was 6 months after I gave birth to our first born. A sweet, big blue eyed, miniature version of me. She was sleeping through the night, about 10-12 hours, nursing, and hitting all the milestones on the dot. It had been 6 months since we moved away from our families and into the neighboring state. I had managed to network my way into a few events and was living my dream of being a stay at home mom.
I should have felt blissful, excited and grateful. Instead, I felt exhausted, anxious and angry. Then came my old friend, guilt. Guilt has an overbearing way of making all my other emotions seem inferior. She is the one that breaks my spirit. Creeps into my bones and poisons my blood. I discovered after having children it’s called “mom guilt.” You’ve heard of it? I bet you have either felt the pangs of it or are currently having coffee or tea with her.
I stay home so I can be the primary caregiver. I also have a calling to empower women to become the best version of themselves. My husband deserves a wife who is the best version of herself. I want to balance it all in perfect harmony. A few hours a day spent focused on each role I’m called to in my life. When I realized that balance in life is not a scale where 10lbs equals 10lbs but more like a teeter-totter, my angst and anxiety started to shift. Sometimes things go up and other things go down to make it work as it was intended. I started implementing basic steps into my routine to help simplify my life and elevate my productivity. These steps seemed ridiculous to schedule but once I started doing them, I was able to feel like I had control in one area of my life.
- Shower before 12p.
- Put on “real” pants.
- Organize your shirts by color, sleeve length. Place your camisoles and nursing tanks in an easy to grab location.
- Organize your fashion pieces such as blazers, cardigans, vests, kimonos, jean jacket, printed tops, dresses near your solid colored tops.
- Lay your favorite necklaces, earrings and bracelets in a tray in your closet, dresser drawer or jewelry armoire.
- Style is simple. In three steps you can have a pulled together look. Take your neutral solid tops, your fashion completer (kimono, vest, cardigan, seasonal trend) and add accenting details with accessories.
These steps do not need to be done perfectly. Grace over perfection. However, use it as a resource to build a foundation for high functioning. Let me go in detail on these steps to provide more clarity.
- Showering during a time frame that makes sense for your schedule. If you’re a stay at home mom and you want to shower alone, you could shower after the kids go to bed and use the morning to freshen up by washing your face and brushing your hair. The point is to schedule a time to get ready for the day regardless of what you have going on. For me, this meant showering before 12p. Once I started this one SIMPLE habit, I felt like I had more control over the day. I was less grumpy and felt more alert.
- Real pants can be leggings, a dress, a skirt, jeans, joggers, etc. Make it a point to change out of your pajamas. “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” as author of Secrets of a Well Dressed Brand, Toi Sweeney says. You are the CEO or CSO (chief servant officer) of your household. You’re raising tiny humans and you want them to respect you. Respect yourself and them by showing them that you care about looking put together. No, a 6 month old doesn’t care if your hair is brushed but it makes you feel less frazzled. After my shower, I made it a point to dress like I was going to work. When I got dressed in real clothes I felt like I was more prepared for last minute errands and play dates. The anxiety of trying to get somewhere on time while looking like I had my life together wasn’t just a far off dream. If you’re a yoga pants and tee kind of mom, you can still have a pulled together look. A minimum of 3 accessories will easily boost your confidence and elevate your style. Headbands, hat, sunglasses, and bags can give you a boost of confidence even in Athleisure attire.
- & 4. are going to nip the decision fatigue in the bud. We don’t have time to stand in our closet every day trying to figure out what to wear. You’ll spend maybe an hour or less moving your solid tops and your fashion pieces in an easy to grab spot in your closet or dresser.5. Jewelry? You’re thinking your toddler is going (or has) ripped your earring out of your ear. Hear me out. Just like teaching your child not to put a charger cord in their mouth, you can teach your child not to pull on your hair and jewelry. When you’re going through that at first, avoid the hoops and fragile chains. Go for leather wrap bracelets, chokers, sturdy hand-knotted beaded necklaces, studs, and magnetic clasps. Once baby understands that it’s ok to touch and not to pull, you can be more adventurous. Besides, jewelry is the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off when you get home to ensure longevity.
6. Consider this your uniform. Solid top, fashion detail, accessories. Style is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Every woman has style, don’t think for a second you’re excluded. Having this formula took my time for getting ready from an hour and a half to 45 minutes (with a shower and kids). Not to mention lessening the anxiety and overpacking I did for trips! I use Pinterest as a resource and pin styles I can mimic. This helps me shop intentionally, as well and saves me time and money. You can also look into capsule wardrobes if you’re into minimalism and being budget savvy while maintaining the current fashion trends.
Shopping from your own closet and curating new outfits from your current wardrobe will not only save you money and time but it will make you feel more confident. A friend of mine once said, “You flirt more when you feel like you look good.” So if you’re married, your marriage will be stronger. If you’re not, your friendships will be.
When we look good, we feel good. When we feel good, we want to look good. It’s kind of like what came first, the chicken or the egg? If you’re riding the hot mess express, try implementing these basic steps of getting ready and watch yourself become more productive, confident and “Guilt” disappear.
Alysha has spent the last 8 years as a style coach and business mentor. She has earned numerous rewards for sales and mentoring programs within Premier Designs. Alysha is extremely passionate about helping others own their style by sharing her experiences, insight, fashion and leadership resources through in person and virtual style events, fundraisers, and style consults.