Learning to Say Goodbye to my Gym Clothes

So I made a confession when I first embarked on my 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life challenge that I hadn’t mopped my kitchen floor in over a month. I know I probably sicked some of you spic and span mamas out. You know you are a neat freak if the thought crossed your mind that you might just come over to my house and mop my kitchen floor for me just to help a sister out. (I know some of you well and don’t even deny that this didn’t cross your mind!) I’m sure that you were happy to read the next day that after letting toddlers play with pumpkin guts on said dirty kitchen floor that it did get a thorough mopping later that evening. I’m really not so undisciplined in all areas. I promise. Mopping is my demise.

However, since becoming a mom over a year ago, my life and priorities have shifted. A large part of my day is focused on feeding, cleaning, changing, and playing with my little man. (More recently keeping him from flushing his toys and my belongings down the toilet and climbing up onto the kitchen table. Such a boy.) Caring for him is one of my top priorities right now and that takes a lot of my time an energy. I also care for a friend’s adorable two year old little boy Monday-Friday mornings. Making sure that the two boys play nice sometimes takes double the energy, but I love it.

Another one of my top priorities is cooking healthy real food dinners for my family. Cooking real food isn’t always the quickest way to get dinner on the table, but I enjoy cooking and it gives me peace of mind knowing all of the ingredients that I have put into a meal. Also, not that my husband has asked this of me, but I like having dinner ready by the time he walks in the door from work so that we can sit down and enjoy a meal as a family before we put baby man to sleep at 7. Much of my afternoon most days is dedicated to alternating between preparing dinner and entertaining baby. (Unless I take advantage of my crock pot, or it’s a meal swap day, or it’s too hot to cook. The crazy October heat wave on the Central Coast has made for more than one days like that in the past few weeks!)

I also disciple a small group of girls, lead a small group, attend a small group, and direct the children’s ministry at my church. Those things are high on my priority list as well.

Spending time with other moms during the week is also a priority of mine. Being a mom all cooped up by yourself can be lonely and I don’t do well being alone all day, day in and day out. I NEED ADULT INTERACTION! I started a play group with one of my friends on Tuesday mornings in my town. I love getting to meet new moms and enjoy time catching up with and learning from older mama friends.

Now add this lovely creative writing outlet called a blog and I am one busy mama. I am always adding new things to my list of things I want to get involved in too! (Good thing I have wise people around me who help to remind me that I can’t do everything all at once. Oh but how I wish I could! Anyone else out there have this same problem?) It is always on my mind that I need to keep a good balance in my life. I can’t focus all of my attention on just one area because I know that in turn other areas will suffer.

With all of those other priorities making the top of my list, when was I ever going to find the time to do things like exercise, chores, my hair, my make-up, or even get dressed in more than sweats in a day? When I was younger, I claimed that I would never be one of those moms. You know, the ones who completely stop caring about how they look and put all of their time and attention toward their kids. (None of you have ever fallen into that, right? Right…) It happens. Even to those with the best of intentions and especially to those who willingly surrender to it.

I used to brag to new moms about my “I was just at the gym” clothing trick and urge them to use it too. My trick? I would throw my hair into a pony tail, put on cute matching gym clothes and run to the grocery store. (I apologize if you were on the receiving end of this “advice.”) I was convinced that I was fooling everyone into believing that I had just finished working out at the gym. Who was I fooling? Not my husband. That’s for sure. When he came home to a wife still in her PJ’s or “gym clothes” several times a week, I am pretty sure he was on to me. I most certainly did not work out every day (does walking to the donut shop count as exercise?) and I don’t even have a gym membership! Gym clothes are for the gym and it was time for me to say goodbye to them as my default solution for not wanting to get dressed for the day.

At some point in there I started reading Lindsey’s blog, The Pleated Poppy. There I stumble upon something called What I Wore Wednesday. Lindsey owns her own work from home business and homeschools her three children. A while back she came to the same realization as me. She had gone nearly a whole week without getting dressed. She knew that this wasn’t a good thing and decided to make a change.

Lindsey posts pictures of what she wore that last week on her What I Wore Wednesday link-up on her blog. She does this in order to stay accountable to her commitment to getting herself out of her sweats and PJ’s and dressed for the day. After all, not many people want to look at pictures of other stay-at-home or work-at-home moms in their yoga pants and husband’s baggy sweatshirt. After viewing her WIWW posts week after week, I was convinced that I needed a change too. Not so that I could impress other people with how well I could put myself together, but for myself. I know that I feel so much better when I take the time to get myself ready for the day. And I know that my husband appreciates coming home to a woman that more closely resembles the woman he married! Getting myself ready motivates me to get my day going and be productive. There is nothing like wearing lounge wear all day to set a better mood for, well, lounging all day.

I started to challenge myself to get dressed every day! (And no, I did not count junky jeans and a baggy sweatshirt as getting dressed.) I didn’t have to be fancy, but I just needed to take some time to spend on making myself look nice for the day. I honestly don’t spend much time on my hair and make-up. (They could probably both use some work!) But I make an effort to get dressed, put on some make-up, and do something to my hair (which usually ends up in an easy side braid or side bun.) It is amazing how taking that extra bit of time to make yourself look nice can change how you feel about yourself that day. I needed to do this for me (and maybe a little bit for my husband.) And it has so been worth it!

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I will be doing something that I have never got around to doing… I will be linking my weeks pictures of what I wore this past week with Lindsey’s What I Wore Wednesday link-up. So you have something to look forward to on Wednesday’s at the Brilliant Mom: What I Wore Wednesday! Will you do me a favor and keep me accountable by checking in with me on my post every Wednesday? And is there anyone up for joining me on this challenge? You can look for this logo on my blog and Facebook page Wednesday’s.

Now onto tackling those chores…

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