I’ve written before about how one of the biggest changes that comes with welcoming a child — the loss of a sense of self. Your life as you knew it is over. Gone is the ability to stream movies all Sunday or nurse a hangover without obligation. Gone are impromptu happy hours and SXSW plans.
I don’t miss all of it. I miss seeing my friends more than just once a month, but I’m at a place in my life where a night on the couch with a full Netflix queue is a pretty top-notch evening in my book.
There’s one thing that I haven’t quite reconciled, though, and I’m trying my best to get a handle on it. Since leaving my job in the corporate world, I’ve worked primarily from home. I went from a three-hour daily commute and less than an hour with my child to being able to spend most of my day with him. The only problem? I usually look like I just rolled out of bed.
Without the need to get “dressed” for work, I’ve let a lot of my self-care go out the window. When my day starts with a walk to the park and ends on my laptop without any real break, it’s hard to justify a full makeup routine and blowout. So, I just ... don’t. Typically, you’ll find me in yoga pants and a messy bun, convincing myself that as a toddler parent, I get a pass.
There’s a multitude of mom-centric marketing geared towards the “DGAF” mom — complete a top knot, a cup of coffee, and the prerequisite Lululemon gear in rotation. From what little I know of it, Rachel Hollis’ book Girl, Wash Your Face, for example, epitomizes just this. (I haven’t read it, nor do I have any interest.) But the empowerment of the messy mom is lost on me. I’m not pulling off that cute “but first, coffee” look. Most days, I just look like a mess.
Let’s just say, I’m not exactly trying to seduce my husband on the regular, but it’s hard to feel sexy when you can’t remember the last time you wore real pants. When I wear makeup to my neighborhood coffee shop, the same baristas who usually have my coffee waiting by the time I reach the counter don’t even recognize me. It’s bleak. My toddler looks impeccable, and I look like the homeless woman that picks him up from school.
I used to take such pride in my appearance. A makeup junkie with a Madewell obsession, I was always dressed decently, jewelry and all. And I miss that version of myself. I have a closet full of clothes that don’t often see the light of day, and I’m trying to give them a moment in the sun.
Sure, I still have my mornings where rolling out of bed just in time to feed my hungry toddler is the only way. I’ll never get enough sleep. But if waking up a little bit earlier allows me to feel just a bit better about myself? Maybe it’s time to start a new schedule.