Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Putting Your Best Mommy Foot Forward

Have you happened to catch any of the new Suave commericals or print ads, encouraging moms to "Say Yes to Beautiful" because "Motherhood isn't always pretty"?

Genius, Suave, Genius.

You can read an article about some of the research behind this campaign here.

Let me say that I am a firm believer in the idea that Mommies need to make an effort each and every day on themselves. I know I feel better when I have on clean clothes (nothing fancy here..some basic shirts and pants do the trick), some make-up, and my hair is styled. I have put on my uniform and am ready to tackle the day.

In our daily activities of park-visiting, library stops, and grocery store runs, I often see mommies toting around children who are dressed preciously in Gymboree's latest line while Mom has barely managed to find a t-shirt and a old pair of yoga pants that match (I am not knocking the yoga pants thing...I own quite the collection myself.) I understand that it is hard for any Mom to find ten minutes to change out of the PJs, brush the teeth, and pull the hair back into a ponytail....much less more time to actually apply make-up or run a warm iron over a shirt. Many mornings I apply my make-up at the breakfast table while we are munching on waffles or am attempting to brush my hair into some sort of style while two small children feel the need to pull everything out of the cabinets of my bathroom. Often times when I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the end of the day, I gasp at the sight. Instead of my usual reflection, I see a girl who looks like she must have spent the majority of her day dumpster-diving rather than parenting. The combed hair of earlier usually contains remnants of several flavors of baby food, the pressed clothes are now filled with wrinkles from little hands begging to be picked up, and the eyeliner carefully applied hours before is now smudged in dark circles under my eyes. Yeah, Suave, Motherhood isn't pretty. Despite the fact that at the end of the day I appear to have been at war, I think the effort is worth it.

I want my children to know that I take an appropriate amount of pride in my appearance and attempt to put my best self out there almost every day, even if all I have done that day is clean up spilled apple juice 62 times and kissed a few scraps and bruises. I grew up with a stay-at-home mom who always did the hair and make-up thing even if her main task on any particular day was to shuttle three kids back and forth from swim practice or school. At the time, I likely did not give a second thought to the fact that my mom made an effort to look presentable every day (with the exception of her windsuit which she had no less than 37 windsuits of different colors in her closet. My brothers and I did get a big laugh out of that. To her credit, I believe it was the style at the time and every other mother in the school pick-up line was likely sporting the same attire. Fortunately, she rid her closet of the windsuit when they went out of style). Today I appreciate that small, quiet example (among many others)that she set for us.

As Mother's Day approaches and all of us Mommies are blessed with 24 hours centered around us and the women in our lives, take a few minutes to encourage yourself to "Say Yes to Beautiful". Taking care of yourself benefits not only you but your entire family. Print out this blog post for the ol husband as a BIG HINT that he needs to throw some gift certificates to Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, or even The Gap into your Mother's Day gift. (Tobe needs no hint because the boy is great about keeping my closet full). Slap on a little lip gloss, run a brush through your hair, scrape the inevitable sticky substance off your pants, and feel perky about the "you" that is being presented to the world.


Because I am on the topic of commercials and motherhood, has anyone caught the Juicy Juice commercial put out for Mother's Day? It made me tear up last night when it came on...almost enough to purchase non-organic juice for my children in support of such a sentiment.

Two children stories to share as well:
1. Last night we went to visit dear, dear friends who just welcomed baby number three into their family. As of today, Isaac has no recollection of ever seeing this new little baby. He claims there was no baby in the hospital room. Evelyn however LOVED the baby. She squealed, clapped, and became all giddy when Tobe showed her the baby. While I was holding him, Evelyn kept pointing and signing "more" in hopes of getting her little hands on him. Too sweet, that girl of ours.
2. Thomas the Train visits our town twice a year. We missed his last visit, but this has not stopped Isaac from claiming he hears Thomas whenever we hear the whistle of a regular train. However, Isaac believes his name is not "Thomas the Train" but "Thomas Butrain" in his first name is Thomas and his last name is Butrain. Hysterical.


Amy said...

We, too, hear "Thomas" every time a train whistles by. Occasionally, though, it is "Henry" (the green train).

Ahh, the windsuit era. I can picture your mom now:-)

I am growing out my hair so I can return to the simple ponytail days. Having to fix my hair each morning requires more time than I have:-) Though, I do my best to be out of pjs each morning (with a few exceptions)!

Amy said...

GREAT post!! Thank you so much for the encouragement you have given me today!!

Now, I must go get in the shower!!:)

Jennifer said...

I agree that we must make time for ourselves and attempt to look decent each day. I went through a little stage where I was the mom in the yoga pants/no make-up and my kids were decked in the Gymbo outfits. I quickly realized that my hubby sure doesn't want to work hard all day and come home to THAT so I do try really hard to dress it up more. I still crack up at the SAHM's that are decked from head to toe to drop kids off at preschool. I strive to find that balance. Thanks for the reminder that it's not just for us but for our kids as well.

Have a great MD!!