Hi Delicious Ambiguity readers,
I am Bonnie from the blog, HOUSE OF GRACE.
I feel so honored to be a guest blogger here on Yummy Mummy Week! In honor of Yummy Mummy week, Jenn asked me to write about mothers looking and feeling your best after having children.
I have struggled in this area on and off since having my first baby when I was 21 years old. Since becoming a mother and taking on new responsibly, I have often found that I put myself last. My baby/babies, my house, the meals, my husband and everything else would come first. I actually was hurting myself being not giving myself the attention that it needed. I feel like when I take care of myself, I am actually happier! I am a better wife, mother and person. I don't take a lot of time but a little work goes a long way.
I made this guide to help mothers look and feel great about themselves after having kids....
The Ultimate Mom’s Guide to Looking Good After Having Kids
Have good hygiene.
Take care of yourself by showering daily. (I personally shower at night after the kids go to bed and then let my hair air dry. That saves me a lot of time in the morning plus it is really hard to shower with the kids awake.) Brush and floss your teeth regularly for a beautiful smile. (I use baking soda and peroxide.) Remember to use lotion for soft, smooth skin! Brush your hair daily and try to spiff it up when you go out on dates or meetings.
Take care of your hair.
Wash your hair about 3-6 times a week - it varies how much you should wash your hair depending on your hair type. Wash it with a shampoo that is healthy for your hair. I wash mine about every other day. I usually like it better the second day. After I gave birth, all 3 times, I lost A LOT of hair especially on the top of my head (every time I took a shower, I felt like I was going bald because of the amount of hair falling out) and I had to use a nourishing scalp treatment to help to grow back.
Be sure to use a good shampoo and conditioner made for your hair type that is a cleansing system that invigorates the scalp and leaves hair feeling clean and manageable.
Make sure to get a hair cut about every 2/3 months to avoid split ends. This can be hard to do, even with my sister being a hair stylist, I sometime fall behind. But I always feel great after a fresh stylish cut.
Brush and style your hair, but avoid straightening it too much. I try not to blow dry too often and I mostly straighten around my face and let the rest of my hair go wavy for the beachy look.
As an extra treat, you can apply olive oil to your hair. Apply the oil at the ends, leave it for a about fifteen minutes and wash it of. After this you can dry and style it the way you want.
Shaving yourself these days is sometimes considered hygienic and for most mothers a luxury, but did you know that it helps you get rid off bad odors? It is important to shave your legs,bikini line, and armpit hair plus your husband will thank you! Armpit hair holds odor longer than skin, and you don't want to smell bad. If shaving is too annoying you could try hair removal cream, but it can irritate the skin.
Take care of your face and skin.
Taking care of your skin and face can be hard because everyone's skin is different. You can have oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, or acne. Which is why it is important to experiment with different face care products that fits you.
For your face: Always use a morning treatment with SPF. I personally use Enfuselle Time Repair A.M. SPF 15. For your evening needs, make sure you use a high quality repairing cream. I use Enfuselle C & E Repair P.M.
For normal or dry skin: I recommend a Hydrating Cleansing Lotion that is mild and skin conditioning that gently uplifts makeup and pollutants and a an alcohol-free Hydrating Toner that evaporates quickly without drying skin. For really dry skin that needs extra attention, I recommend a Hydrating Moisturizer.
For normal to oily skin: I recommend a Purifying Cleanser Gel. The wrong cleanser can remove more than dirt. It can remove your skin's emollient-rich protective layer as well. Purifying Cleansing Gel nurtures skin the right way - removing dirt, dead skin cells, excess sebum, and environmental pollutants while leaving your skin protected. I would then recommend a good Purifying Toner that cleanses, invigorates, and refines with licorice, ginseng, and witch hazel extracts. At the same time, it minimizes the appearance of pores and eliminates excess oil.
Doing makeup is something that can make you look better. Use a makeup that works for your skin. I love the all natural line called Minerelles. They are all natural, talc free, fragrance free, they allow the skin to breathe, defends against UV damage, contains nourishing moisturizers, has long-lasting color with sheer, even coverage and it is healthier for your skin than wearing no makeup at all.
Picking the right shade of foundation is very, very important. On top of my foundation, I use a little bit of powder. I then use eyeshadow and eyeliner on the top of my eyelid and along my lash-line. It defines your eye, and makes them pop. Depending on what color your hair, eyes, and skin are, you will have to get different shades. Try using lip balm, and occasionally lip gloss. Too much makeup looks horrible, so don't over do it. Make sure you feel good about your face. It takes me less than 10 minutes to do my daily make-up. I don’t like to spend too much time each morning.
Get in shape.
(after running my 5k, three months after having my third child)
Exercise and tone up your body! Find an exercise that works for you. I enjoy running and signed up for a 5K to help me stay motivated. I also enjoy going on walks with the kids. As a Certified Personal Trainer, I recommend at least 30 minutes, five times a week. This can be met by taking the kids on a brisk walk. Exercising will not only help you look better, but feel better too. Add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. It keeps you healthy and improves skin and hair too. Try limiting your fast food intake. Increase your consumption of food items that are rich in proteins. Dietary food supplements and minerals can help when a normal healthy diet is not possible or if you become deficient in some way. Avoid processed foods as well as those food items that have too much sugar in them. If you are overweight, try to lose those extra pounds, by sticking to a healthy diet and indulging in exercise. No crash dieting please! Try to get at least 7-8 hours sleep on a daily basis. It will help you feel younger as well as extremely refreshed.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Your body needs water in able to keep it properly hydrated. Without water, our bodies immune system can weaken and it will affect our chemical and pH balances. It is essential for proper digestion, circulation and blood vessel flexibility. It also helps to remove toxins from the body and digestive tract. So it is a major consideration to our skins health. Filtered water is the best.
Get dressed daily. (I know that this seems obvious to most, but some SAHM’s need this reminder.) Keep your clothes clean, smart and trendy! It is important to feel good about your body. After having kids and staying at home with them, I always want to put on my black yoga pants (you know what I am talking about) but I try to buy at least one good pair of jeans that I feel comfortable in. I also try to buy a couple of new articles of clothing each season to stay cute and stylish. Having some trendy jewelry can also add to the outfit. It is amazing how earrings or a necklace can really change my mood. Also, wearing a cute shoe or sandal can make you feel great. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is buy a good bra. I love Victoria’s Secret’s bras. I will never buy another brand again. Make sure that you get fitted. My size keeps changing depending on if I am pregnant, breastfeeding, both or neither.
Walk with your head up, abs tight, back straight, and shoulders loose and back, this shows confidence (even if you're not). After being pregnant and breastfeeding, I found myself slouching a lot. I had to keep reminding myself to keep good posture. Also, it makes you look slimmer. Be sure to be confident, happy, outgoing, and fun. Smile!
Make sure that you keep your nails clean and filed. Sometimes I paint my nails pink but I mostly like a clear, shinny coat. You can also get manicure or pedicure. Make time for a mineral mask or exfoliation. Get your hair colored or highlighted if you are into that. Read a good uplifting book or take personal time for prayer. Take a relaxing bath.
I hope that this list is helpful. I find that when I feel better about myself, I am a happier person which means a happier mom. So, please take this Mother’s Day to remind yourself to take care of yourself and make time for YOU! You deserve it!!!
Happy Mother’s Day!