* Parent Experiment of the Month:
I am starting to let myself go. The process of letting your self go is much like the insanity of child birth: it starts off innocently enough, but eventually you find yourself looking back thinking, “What the hell happened?” And despite what various Oprah makeover shows might say, letting yourself go isn’t always because something tragic happens in life or because we simply got old too fast, but rather the gradual wear and tear of daily habits, never ending schedules and residual stress that starts to erode at our core on an almost invisible basis. In my case, when the going gets tough…. my accessories, dye job or mascara are the first to get going.
A few weeks ago I looked in the mirror and realized that I hadn’t worn a pair of earrings in weeks. My remaining Claire’s bracelets, necklaces and fuds (faux diamond studs)- survivors of the dangerous teething mouth of a toddler- had been completely dejected in my junk drawer, while my mascara was becoming an “only if there will be photographic evidence of the evening” sort of afterthought. And after nearly two decades of wearing point shoes, my high heel collection (which I have more than earned the right to wear with grace and poise) were no long beautiful symbols of sexuality and feminine empowerment, but rather horribly painful means to an end. An end that almost always ends with my heels being removed, my feet bleeding and my practical side summarizing that “stilettos and motherhood simply don’t mix”.
So why do I miss that indescribable feeling of feeling “cute”? That feeling we have as teenagers when you hair finally falls into the right place, your hormones are working in your favor and your rear-end is relatively panty-line free? It’s like Sex In The City and Pretty Women all rolled into one (minus the multi-million door New York loft and/or red light district minutiae), and only fellow women can understand the mentality. Fortunately, I decided to embark on a new experiment for the month: wearing a new accessory every single day, no matter what.
Sounds easy enough, right? But when you’re rushing out the door at 7 AM, racing off to teach dance in the evenings or simply hoarding blog posts in your house all day, the mere idea of caring about what jewelry you’re wearing is more than a little daunting. Luckily, I had my proud membership in the Shop Suey Society to motivate me on, not to mention a brand new pair of Stella Earrings. Between the beautiful harp like shape, delicate sparkle and Street Car Named Desire connotations, I couldn’t wait to wear these earrings out on the town. And even though the “town” usually implies grocery stores and pediatricians in my case, I found that they went with literally every outfit on earth.
The hardest part about wearing accessories without fail is my preference for hoodies and sweats. But even though I love casual clothing,Â simply setting this small goal for myself not only prompted me to put more care into my outfits overall, but also made me realize how good I feel when care and “myself” are actually in the same sentence. Much like Grateful Dead is a gateway drug to Phish, I began taking other small steps to feel like the woman I used to be: subtle amounts of self tanner, less ponytails and responsible high heel usage. Who knew that something as simple as earrings could create a tidal wave effect in making me feel “cute” again, without feeling negligent as a mother?
Create Your Own Experiment: Find one small action that you can do in the next month that allows you to care for yourself for a change. Whether wearing earrings every single day, buying flip-flops that aren’t Goodwill-ready or skipping pajama pants at all times, keep it simple. Better yet, follow my lead by getting these Stella Earrings from Shop Suey Boutique (they look luxurious but they’re only $14). Now you can feel pedigree without the pricetag…. fabulous!
* Speak Up: What do you want to change the most about your fashion or beauty routine?
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