Sometimes people assume that being a mom of six automatically means that I’m always frazzled, and that style + beauty are last on my list of priorities. I am no fussy, glamorous mom, but I’m often asked about how I "look so nice" going about my domestic and business-from-home life. My answer usually involves something about how inefficient I can be some days and how I never got out of sweats just the other day. But the truth is, I do make conscious choices about preparing for my day, choices I've learned, that can make all the difference.
This is not a post about unobtainable beauty regiments and idealistic rituals. I'm simply sharing the two most important ways I personally care for myself each day so that I can care for my husband and six sons. A busy mom's tendency is to roll out of bed and begin meeting needs and checking off boxes. We think our efficiency determines our productivity, but in reality, our attitude and mindset have more to do with our productivity as moms than our schedules.
For me, preparing myself for the day isn't fancy, but it is intentional. Caring for myself helps me care for my family. As we enter the busy back-to-school season, these are my two secret weapons to being my best for my family.
1. Spend time preparing my heart
This is where I start because this is what I underestimate the most. It’s so easy to overlook things of the heart and nourishing your soul because oftentimes, the results are not immediate and can feel like a luxury when we wake up to such long lists to accomplish in a day. But, I’ve come to find that this simple beginning is an investment that pays dividends throughout the day. It might look different for each person, but the principle is the same:
What we take in heart-wise will most influence our output work-wise.
It’s not enough to wish to grow in patience, endurance, wisdom, and love for God…it is cultivated through intentionally feasting on the Word of God and communing with Him. Maybe that means you sing, listen to audio bible, journal, read, paint, or take a walk while you pray, but remember that He meets us in His word when we are willing to quiet our hearts to listen and receive. Creating room to breath, think, and grow internally will always benefit the work we do throughout the day...even if it's not 3 hours...
2. Preparing to be presentable
I love an old pair of sweats and a messy ponytail as much as the next girl, but not getting dressed or leaving my hair undone has never armed me with a better attitude or helped me be more productive. When I get dressed like my day is significant, I usually value it as such.
When I take the time to put together an outfit or throw on a simple dress, and style my hair (even if it's just taking the extra 10 minutes to blow dry with a round brush), I send the message to myself, my kids and whomever I might meet that day that I'm showing up with my best. It’s not about trends, as much as it’s really about embracing (and begin grateful for) our natural beauty, and feeling like the best version of ourselves, right where we are. As a mom of six, I've known seasons where I was lucky to change into a shirt that wasn't covered in spit up or sticky fingerprints — there's grace for those days, friends!
I think the key is this: We just need to keep pushing ourselves toward being more intentional and not more apathetic. I don't want life to happen to me but rather be proactive about it, and for me, it begins with how I present myself.
Here's what I've found as a busy mom: Discouragement sneaks up on us so easily but can so often be diverted with a simple routine to let our feelings follow our determination, rather than the other way around. Be blessed, friends. Little by little...we are growing day by day...
(This post was originally posted and featured at SheKnows.)
Because of grace,