Mornings in our house are always an unpredictable hot mess. Not only do I need to get myself ready but there is a toddler and six-year-old. When I finally arrive to my office, I sit down and breathe. I pause for a moment in the peace and quiet because before I ever showed up to work I already ran a marathon.
Moms…you know. No matter how well you pre-plan and streamline, you never know what meltdown, lost item, pet disaster or diaper blow out is going to sabotage your efforts to have a calm morning.
With so many uncontrollables in my life, I needed to maximize the one thing I could control…me. I work with the business community, so I need to look professional. I do not have time to stand in front of a mirror and debate on whether this blouse or the other is a better fit for the pencil skirt or which pair of earrings coordinate the best.
I have mastered getting ready in 15 minutes and making it appear that I put in more time. Here are my hacks to how I can appear to look put together when we all know my morning was chaotic:
1. I only buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed
If it has to be ironed, it’s not ever going to be worn, so I might as well not waste my money. I also don’t like spending my discretionary income on dry cleaning. So I only purchase clothes I can wash, air dry and they are ready to go
2. I almost always wear a dress
I can walk to my closet and throw on a dress without having to spend any time laboring over what does and doesn’t match. It’s one decision to make
3. I only buy dresses that can be paired with black or nude heels or flats
I also don’t have the time to labor over which shoes I should wear. So I toss on a dress and look at the floor of my closet and ask myself “Black or nude? Flats or heels?” Done.
4. I get haircuts that are low maintenance.
I have no time for styling. So my hairstylist knows that if I can’t just brush it with my hairdryer brush and be done, I will never wear my hair down
5. I wear my hair in a bun most days
A bun is so easy. It looks professional but requires less than five minutes. I brush out the tangles and then swirl it into a French twist and use four or five bobby pins to secure it for the day
6. Dry shampoo
I wash my hair every 7-10 days. I use dry shampoo to get rid of the oils. When I wash it, I always do so at night so it can air dry while I sleep and not be a big chore in the morning
(Side note on 4, 5 and 6) For my Black mama friends, I recognize those points all applied to this basic white girl. So I did a search to find a working mom blogger who shared her hair tips that are better inspiration than I can give.
7. The same makeup
I LOVE make-up. I have two huge bins of it in my bathroom. But I do not have time to search through all the shades and find that missing lipstick that I know is in there somewhere. My makeup routine is
And a little black eyeshadow on my brows. Yes…I have used pencils. They’re fine. I just find that I grow through them quicker and the eye shadow is a softer look and lasts foreeeeeeeeeever
And I’m done. Well sorta. I still have to get the kids ready, pack the lunches, feed the pets and all the other things it takes to hit reverse in the driveway.
By the way…I timed myself this morning (the outfit pictured in this blog post). It was 17 minutes. And that’s because I got interrupted by an almost-two-year-old who decided to throw a tantrum at my feet because…I can’t even remember. That was 13 hours ago. I just remember I was up with him from 11:30pm-1:30am and it was the result of a tired child.
This is motherhood. As much as I would love to sit on my quiet couch and drink my hot tea and read my book again like I used to enjoy every morning, I’m not in that season of life right now. And I’m okay with that.