There is little that will instantly set my teeth on edge like the idea of a "Mommy Makeover." For the blissfully unaware, this term refers to a series of surgeries (generally a tummy tuck and breast lift/augmentation/reduction, and has now grown to include vaginal rejuvenations) that's directly marketed to women who are perhaps feeling insecure in a changing body. Yes, your body and your life changes after you have a child. I mean, duh! But I think the only mommy makeovers we need are the ones that make our lives easier and more comfortable postpartum.
Look, it's not that I don't think women should be able to do whatever the hell they want with their bodies, whenever they want to do it. But the idea that there's a way a woman should not only look but should want to look after childbirth is just really, really yucky to me. Everyone needs to find their own kind of beautiful in life, including after birth — their own balance between the lives they lived and the bodies they lived in before delivery and after — and that's going to look different for everyone.
Some of the things I believe to be a worthwhile "mommy makeover" aren't going to be right for everyone. Like, maybe fashion doesn't interest you even a little bit and the idea of spending a moment of thought or money on it is ridiculous. That's great! Ignore those suggestions. But these are some of the things that helped me feel like me as I transitioned to a new way of living:
This is going to be useful for all the magazines and advertisements that tell you what you should be doing to get your body to look like what it should look like. If you wanted you could go with a pooper-scooper instead, because they're all complete and total dog sh*t, but I feel like a shredder really eliminates that nonsense more thoroughly. Besides, running around, naked and stretch-marked in ensuing confetti is really empowering and fun.
All The Leggings
Zippers? Girl you don't have time zippers anymore. And, like, even if you do why take the time? Treat yourself to pants with some motherlovin' stretch to them. This is 2019, friends. We can have it all.
At this stage in life, with a new baby in tow, I recommend getting middle-of-the-road leggings. Because you will probably be living in these things when you're not at work, so you don't want anything chintzy. At the same time, your baby will take a crap on them. So, like motherhood itself, this is about balance.
Personally, I like Uniqlo's deceptive-looking leggings, only because you can trick the world into thinking you're wearing "real pants," but your comfortable ass will know the truth.
A Good Pair Of Boots
I used to joke about the "mom uniform" of leggings, a tunic shirt, and knee or thigh-high boots but, you know what? It's practical AF. Even a really crappy pair of leggings (which is still a better option than real pants) can be gussied up with a nice pair of boots! How can you even tell they're crappy? They're mostly being covered by your awesome shoes. Pair it with a decent shirt and you're set!
A Decent Jacket
Like a good pair of boots, a good jacket (or coat in the winter) is something you can throw over an otherwise unremarkable outfit to make it look as though you've put serious thought into your look. And if you zip or button that coat, no one has to know you're wearing a Garfield t-shirt that you've had since seventh grade and no bra. Because just look at that chic coat! Ooooh! Mama got it going on!
All The Hair Pins
Because there is a lot you need as a new mom, but one thing you really don't need is hair falling in your eyes. Invest in all the hairpins. Delight as your partner complains that they're finding hair pins "everywhere." Troll them hard on this one, too. You have a while before your baby is going to be crawling around and they become a choking hazard so just go nuts until then. (I thought my husband's "there are bobby pins everywhere" complaints were exaggeration until one day he found one in the dishwasher.)
Hair pins are one thing I actually go name brand on, even if I don't go terribly fancy, so I recommend several packs of Goody Slide Proof Bobby Pins.
A Bigass Bag
Here's a secret "they" don't want you to know: you don't actually really need a diaper bag. Or, rather, you don't need a diaper bag that's sold as a diaper bag. You can just get a regular big-ass purse and use that. When I was pregnant with my first, I did a lot of research on "the best diaper bag" and once the one I chose arrived, I very quickly realized that it was just a big purse with a ton of pockets.
So here's my recommendation: get thee to TJ Maxx, find a large bag you really like, and make that your diaper bag. Fashion meets function meets you didn't spend too much money because you're a Maxxinista.
A Good Skincare Routine
This isn't to be beautiful or glamorous or wrinkle-free or anything, but I feel like if you're good to your skin your skin will be good to you. Besides, there's something to be said for the restorative and mentally centering power of having any kind of self-care ritual. Like, I may not be able to get to the spa, but I can take 10 minutes at the end of the day to do a step-by-step skincare routine that leaves me feeling clean and pampered.
I'm a big fan of Aster & Bay's entire skincare line, which is oil-based, vegan, and cruelty-free. (And, lucky us, they have a "travel kit" available that gives you a mini-sized version of the whole routine.) I was initially worried about washing my face with oil, but it makes me feel like a particularly decadent Roman emperor.
Because you might not always have time to shower and top knots will only take you so far. But the world doesn't have to know your greasy little secret! I'm a big fan of Lush's No Drought dry shampoo. Just sprinkle some of the nice-smelling powder in your hands, work it in your scalp and hair, and no one needs to know that you haven't bathed in, well, a while.
Just embrace the fact that, no, thongs aren't "more comfortable." Swathe your entire bottom in a nice, breathable cotton. Seriously, I don't even have a brand to recommend, but I can tell you that the best and most comfortable underwear comes in packs of eight or more. Treat yo'self by slumming it a little bit.
A Few Favorite Nail Polishes
I'm a girl who loves accessories, so earrings, necklaces, and really any kind of jewelry makes me happy. I also love makeup, especially lipstick. But here's the thing: babies love pulling on jewelry (especially painful in the earring department). And makeup? It rubs off on your kid. Like, mine had semi-permanent lipstick marks on their heads for a good portion of their infant lives and it was not a cute look.
So what's a colorful soul like me to do, all drab and undecorated? Focus on nail polish, of course. It's something you can do once and it'll last for a while, it brings a pop of color to your life, and your baby won't choke on it!
And yet, since even a quick self-manicure can be interrupted by a baby's erratic schedule, I recommend Sally Hansen's line of Insta-Dri colors, which dry within a couple of minutes.
And I mean just really huge sunglasses that take up three-quarters of your face. If no one can see your eyes, no one will be able to tell how tired you are. You may feel like you're going to pass out but everyone looking at you will be like, "OMG is that an Olsen Twin? Wooooooow! Fancy! So mysterious! I bet she's going on a private jet somewhere any minute."
Live the dream.