I’ve never been one to stare at my reflection for hours on end or spend a fortune on haircuts and manicures, but I’ve also attempted to have a modicum of pride in my appearance. Lately, however, I’ve realised that a few balls have dropped in the juggling act of looking after myself. Here’s my guide to being an unkempt mum.
I’ve had the same hairdryer and straighteners for a good 10-15 years, I couldn’t actually even tell you where they are since we moved last June. I wash my hair daily in an attempt to avoid the greasy look that my locks achieve when left to their own devices, but that’s where it ends.
I have approximately one hair cut a year, I lost my brush a fortnight ago and am yet to replace it (it’ll turn up), I leave the house most days with wet hair and my ‘style’ is dominated by the stupid fringe of regrowth from postpartum hair loss.
I’ve always made quite a bit of effort with make up and it’s still something that I wear daily. These days though, I put on my war paint in one of 3 situations:
- On the sofa with the kids climbing all over me
- In the car while Phil drives
- In the car whilst parked outside the shops/playgroup/war zone (soft play) with the kids asleep in the back
The result of this is that I’ve virtually given up with eyeliner due to the huge potential for sticking the pencil in my eye. I tell myself I’m saving it for an evening look on date nights and nights out. Hahahahaha. Nights out?!?!
*Whispers* I’m nearly a year postpartum and still wearing maternity tops. They’re good and baggy for breastfeeding.
*Still whispering* I asses the level of baby puke/snot/banana smudges over my clothes carefully in the debate as to whether to wear them for a second day in a row. Okay third. Week.
I’m terrible at clothes shopping and have become even worse of late. I recently went shopping for new tops and spent a whole £31, of which £5 was for a pair of PJs and £11 was on Martha. Admittedly £15 does get you 4 tops in Primark but still. I popped to Tesco today and fell in love with a black denim dungaree dress. I then rejected the notion of spending £20 on one item of F&F clothing and put it back.
I’m quite an emotional person anyway, always have been, but it’s at a whole new level now.
When I’m pushing a double pram containing exactly zero children, carrying my crying baby, and my toddler runs out into the middle of the car park, I actually feel that unbrushed hair rising into some sort of Wurzel Gummage homage as I scream “I SAID STOP!!!!!!!” through the tears of fear, anger and exhaustion.
I’ve gone from emotional but organised and relatively ‘on it’, to haggard screaming wreck who cries in car parks when her kids don’t play ball. My public persona is disastrous so it’s lucky I’m not well known. Or I probably am locally, as the empty pushchair pushing weirdo with wet hair and feral children.
Oh I was so healthy during Toby’s pregnancy, I loved vegetables so much and my Graze box subscription was my favourite thing ever to help ease the nausea. We didn’t eat perfectly, but I cooked to a weekly or fortnightly meal plan, we ate a balanced diet and enjoyed everything in moderation.
Now? A meal plan consists of deciding how many packs of Quorn chicken pieces, Linda McCartney sausages and mushroom bakes I can squeeze in alongside the 2kg bags of frozen broccoli in our tiny freezers. I then cook whichever one falls out first when I open the door of the freezer.
I also drink too much coffee. Way too much coffee.
Has parenthood affected you in these ways too? I think it’s fairly inevitable when you’re sleep deprived, juggling two very young children, working and attempting to hold the odd adult conversation, but I do miss being in control just a tiny bit.
Now, where could that hairbrush have gotten to?