1. When you haven’t showered in two days, and you have no time for one, make yourself feel clean and pretty by doing a quick shave of your underarms, dabbing on a little perfume, and donning a smidgen of lipgloss. You’ll feel like a new woman.
2. Put on a bra, woman. Nothing will bring you down in the morning like the feeling of your girls hanging low. Not a sports bra. A real bra. A pretty bra. Don’t cheat on this one.
3. Invest in a good “waterless shampoo”, aka, white powder marketed especially for soaking up extra oils in unwashed hair. It will do in a pinch when you only have 15 minutes to get yourself and your kids out the door.
4. Please wear clean underwear. I find that whatever I tell my 3 year old, I too should do. I know you just put some clean panties on before you crawled into bed last night, but it’s a good idea, anyhow.
5. Wear jewelry. Even if make-up didn’t make its way onto your face, a pair of dangly, shiny earrings will distract from your dark under-eye circles.
6. Send your husband a flirty email or text. It will make you feel like you are still having sex on a regular basis, and perhaps your husband will send one back to you and you will feel like you are indeed still a woman, and not just a frazzled mommy.
7. Brush your teeth. I know a lot of these bits of advice seem to be centered around hygiene, but lets face it; hygiene has become secondary in these difficult times.
8. If you don’t get out for anything else, at least get out for a pedicure periodically. Nothing makes me feel more unattractive than when my feet look like I’ve been wandering around in the desert for 40 years. A clean coat of polish and a good scrubbing can go a long way in making you feel like a functioning member of society.
9. Go on a date with your husband.... without your kids. I don’t care if you have to bribe your neighbor to watch them while they sleep, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!! None of this stay-home “dinner and a movie” stuff involving Chinese take-out and a Netflix. You need to be out, be seen, and have a reason to put a decent outfit together.
10. And last but not least, keep a picture of yourself around the house (on the fridge, on your desk, wherever you will see it throughout the day), of yourself BEFORE kids. Make sure it’s a picture that you love; you were having a great hair day, you were on a fantastic date, you were feeling skinny, whatever. You need to be reminded throughout the day that you are more than this over-caffeinated, unshaven, stinky (yes, I said it) mommy. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is amazing and your kids will make you smile and you will not be able to imagine your life without them... however, it is a good thing to remember that you are also a fabulous and beautiful woman.
Now, go put on a bra.