A Mom’s Thoughts on Beauty and Self-Care
Moms, don’t forget that you deserve to feel beautiful, too! Here’s advice from Issa Litton on real beauty and making time for self-care.
In today’s world of selfies and social media, many people care about their looks and image -- and moms are no exception! Even literally on the birthing bed, they want to look presentable for that first photo with baby.
That first baby pic is just the beginning. It’s now possible for parents to document and broadcast every parenting moment, with mobile phones, cameras, online platforms, and broadband. That comes with the need to be camera-ready.
But here’s the truth: moms need to work a little harder to look good. Our skin and bodies are starting to show both the age and the stress of parenting. Stretchmarks, wrinkles, and dark circles are the “battle scars”. Unlike our younger selves, we can’t roll out of bed with perfect skin and claim #wokeuplikethis #nofilter #nomakeup.
Beauty isn’t just for social shares
However, I believe that we don’t just need to take better care of ourselves – we should do it. Not for social approval, but for ourselves. There’s no shame in wanting to be beautiful. We aren’t just moms or wives, but women.
Beauty routines help us celebrate our perfectly imperfect selves. There is beauty in us. Sometimes, those pictures (and the likes, comments and compliments) help us remember that. The bigger challenge is to take care of ourselves when no one is looking, except the woman looking back at us in the mirror.
Find a beauty and self-care routine that works for you
Realistically, moms have to budget time and money. But we’re lucky! Today, there are so many products, services and procedures that can help you make the most of our available resources.
Take your pick from the wide range of available beauty solutions, whether it’s in a bottle or pouch, non-invasive treatments, injectables, or surgery.
If you’re frugal and creative, you can always go for natural, DIY concoctions that use ingredients in your kitchen. If you’re earning or you have money to spare, you can invest in a daily/weekly/monthly routine, and occasional indulgences. You can even go all-out for a complete makeover.
We have it within our reach to tweak, maintain, slow down, and even completely change the effects of time or the physical assets we were born with. We choose what to do, how we do it, and how much to spend.
Beauty can be fun!
Parenting has swept us into responsibilities and routines. We can feel worn out, and lose our sense of humor or appreciation for simple joys. Our beauty routines can be that moment of play.
Don’t think of beauty as another thing on your to-do list! Make it fun. Do you remember the first time you smeared lipstick on your lips? Or fixed your hair in a way that just made you smile and stare at yourself longer in the mirror? Remember your first spa visit, mani-pedi session, and of course, the first time your eyebrows were groomed — kilay is life!
It’s a joy to discover what makes us feel beautiful. It’s also a powerful moment of self-discovery. We always look for ways to boost our child’s confidence – why can’t we do the same for ourselves? Beauty routines can change the way we see and feel about ourselves, and in turn affect how we present ourselves to the world.
Our approach to beauty changes as we grow older
Beauty isn’t constant. As we change, so do our bodies and beauty routines.
Sure, there are basic steps and habits that I established during my college days, like putting on sunblock every day and staying active. But as I grow older, I have to put in more effort and initiative to maintain the standards I set for myself. It’s not lost on me that I make a living on how I present myself and how I look -- so yes, there is pressure.
Right now, think of some simple changes you can make to your beauty routine. Think of them as Mom’s Beauty Resolutions – little investments that can help us look and feel better every day.
Personally, I’ve added eye cream and ANR serum to my daily routine. I get non-invasive treatments to help tighten my skin and get rid of cellulite, as I simply can’t put the same amount of time in my gym sessions.
Add some lifestyle resolutions, too. Moms struggle with stress and exhaustion that even industrial strength concealer can’t hide! Personally, I don’t have the energy I used to have. I need a good night’s sleep to recover from a full day, especially one that includes a workout. My waistline pays for my sweet tooth cravings, which are hard to keep at bay. I have to make smarter choices about what I eat, because I just don’t burn calories like I used to. Paying attention to what my body needs helps me control my stress levels and take care of myself.
Make changes, but also accept change
While it’s now possible to defy or delay aging, at the same time, I know and have accepted that I will not be what I used to be. I do what I can, and am happy with what I have. I am at relative peace with regards to where I am at this stage in my life -- even with the slight bulges, some wrinkles and sun spots, and other personal details I’ll keep to myself. I trust and hope most moms feel this way. We all have our own load to deal with, and other worries that matter more.
Beauty is not just about selfies, but self-care
Beauty routines – and whatever we do to nurture our appearance and confidence – are part of self-care. We deserve to feel beautiful. We have so many roles and responsibilities, especially as parents, that it is a disservice to not give ourselves our due.
However, as we think about what we can do for our confidence, we should go beyond what comes at “face value.” This is a chance to dig deep within ourselves, and iron out the issues and concerns on the inside -- as there is value and beauty there, too.
We are beautiful, but we are not just beautiful
On a parting note, as a mom, I actually hardly tell my girls they are pretty. I compliment them on how smart, strong, brave, and creative they are, and how funny or silly they can be. “Pretty” is not one of the top ten adjectives they hear from me. They hear it outside our home a lot, and their sometimes perplexed or embarrassed reactions are not lost on me. I know they’re not used to it. And I prefer it that way. They are blessed with so many other gifts, talents and skills that I believe hold more value and add to what’s on the surface.