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Feelin’ fine in just a few minutes time
March 23, 2011 5:00 am | by

A while back, we asked for “Real Mom Talk” topics and one mom suggested ‘how to look your best when you haven’t showered in days.’ When I read it aloud to the Cotton Babies offices, a mom immediately answered “Flat Iron!”

While a little tongue-in-cheek, it’s a great topic to discuss. It’s hard to feel your best when you are sleep deprived and your body is recovering from pregnancy and delivery. Add breastfeeding into the mix and it’s easy to feel as if your body is not your own. It’s taken some time, but with boldness, I learned to ask moms of multiple children their tips on how to feel “put together” and pretty when you feel flabby and frumpy. Some of these tips can even be used for those final weeks of pregnancy.
My favorite personal discovery was jewelry. Something about wearing a complimentary set with a necklace and earrings made me feel so much prettier and intentional when I left home, even if I was still wearing jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops. I’d pick up pieces in dollar stores, thrift stores and on clearance until I had a rainbow of choices to go with any outfit.
I asked some of the most beautiful women I know to share their tips on how they look and feel their best:
Bekah said, “Belly binding for the newborn days.” Cotton Babies has a variety of items including the Belly Bandit to help get your body back in shape after baby. You can see them all in our postpartum section.
“A little lipgloss, blush and mascara go a long way to help you look and feel put together (even if you weren’t able to shower that day),” responded Shannon and Jamie agreed.
Libby says, “SMILE!” If you are looking for a reason to smile, she suggests this blog post: Smile.

Heather said, “When I find an everyday a shirt I like, I’ll buy it in every color they have that is flattering to my skin tone. I have one go-to pair of sporty flats that can dress up or down. In short: keep it simple. Don’t put too much emphasis on how you look unless it effects how you feel.”

Feeling confident and put together can mean different things to different people. What do you do to feel your best and put your best foot forward when life leaves you feeling flustered and frazzled? Share your tips, let’s learn from each other.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • Anonymous said...
    March 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    A four o’clock mini-facial (think lotion and mascara),deodorant refresher and tooth brushing can do wonders in helping me make it through the rest of the day! And I agree with everyone who said to invest in a handful of postpartum outfits that fit your postpartum body. If you’re planning ahead you could even hit the thrift stores before the birth so you aren’t stuck at home with a newborn, staring at your closet and wondering what to wear to go clothes shopping 😉 Also, in my experience postpartum hair has very different needs from pregnant hair. Switching to a different type of conditioner has made my hair look so much better after a long showerless spell!

  • Melissa Duckett said...
    March 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    1) I agree with the jeans thing. When I made that purchase and could wear jeans again, I suddenly felt human.
    2) YES belly bandit. My stomach looked like a deflated balloon and between that and my lack of bladder control I thought I was going to lose it the minute I got home with the baby. So I wrapped up my tummy and felt pretty good. Yay!
    3) My personal suggestion is cute pjs. I make my own pj pants, but I definitely stocked up on cute sweat pants and pj pants so even though I was wearing what I slept in (and what I’d be sleeping in) I felt cute. And if I DID happen to get in a shower, I always made sure to go through the process of actually DOING my hair–that way it would look fresh longer, instead of letting it air dry and get poofy and weird.

  • Kristin said...
    March 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Take a nap when the little ones are napping. I look so much better when I’m well rested. Oh – and a GOOD undereye concealer and some rockin shoes 🙂

  • Dana said...
    March 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I immediately started to feel more energized once I started exercising again after my son was born. It was hard to get motivated at first but the pay off was so worth it– and it sounds weird to say that you get more energy by using energy but somehow it worked.

    Also, I love my Bare Minerals make-up! Something about it’s coverage and it’s look just boosts my self-esteem and turns me into the confident woman that I wish I was with no make-up.

    And lastly was a new bra! After pregnancy and nursing, my size was WAY off once I got out of the nursing bras… I made a point to take a little extra money, go to a really nice store, was fitted and got some new bras. It felt great to have a good fit and have some fun patterns and colors that they don’t make for nursing bras :0)

  • Elyse Anders said...
    March 23, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Headband and a ponytail and eyeliner.

    Also, when my son (now 3 1/2) was born, I half-joked that I wanted to join a gym just so I could use the daycare to get a shower in. When my daughter was born in May, I dreamed of showers… just getting 15 minutes alone with body was my naughtiest fantasy.

    For Christmas this year, my husband got me a gym membership.

    Now, I use the daycare to give myself exercise, decompress in the sauna and a shower.

    I still don’t get to shower at home very often, so when I’m feeling super gross, I know it’s time to hit the treadmill.

    Bonus: no one at the gym judges you for smelling a little sweaty. 🙂

  • Pamela said...
    March 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Suave dry shampoo and some eyeliner work wonders for me. And I found comfort in knowing that my baby couldn’t verbalize that I looked like a hot mess 🙂

  • Chelsea said...
    March 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I love wearing perfume for a quick pick me up, especially right before Hubby gets home from work – I spritz a little bit on… Affects my mood in a HUGE way!

  • Mrs. Haid said...
    March 23, 2011 at 9:24 am

    After a week of leaving the hospital, I felt so upset about my clothing and how it fit. It was a great decision to just to go Target and buy some summer dresses that I felt comfortable in. I knew that they were a temporary fix, but just having the peace of mind of having SOMETHING that fits and I liked let me get out of the house and accept visitors!

  • Jill said...
    March 23, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I realized I had an example of what I was talking about in one of my magazines. March issue of BHG in the fashion section. They suggest an ‘acid’ hue–think citrus–for a pop of color against jeans and blazer you already have.

  • Jill said...
    March 23, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Track suits are for the gym. Same with sweatshirts/yoga pants.

    Shop until you find a pair of jeans that LOOKS good, no matter if you think you’ll lose weight or whatever. If they look good now, great. I found a pair that looked good on me at Wal-Mart. $20. Find some decent slip on sneakers or shoes that look good under jeans, same with a shirt-vee neck looks great on everyone, and toss on a suit jacket from your work days or a corduroy or other ‘heavy’ fabric coat to balance out the look of the jeans. Earrings. During the winter you can hide under your puffy coat, but spring and fall you need something ‘go to’ to camouflage the mom bod. I found this combo worked pretty well for me–and is seasonless. Skip the jacket in the summer–or toss it in the car in case the AC is too cold somewhere. If you’re showing more than collarbone, consider a necklace, if not, it’s not needed, the earrings are good enough. Skip the watch and use your cell to tell the time.