Looking Presentable Is A Real Hassle

Having kids really changes a person’s priorities.  I think those of you with toddlers or who remember having toddlers will relate.  If you are thinking of someday having toddlers, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

A very long time ago, back when we were dual-income-no-kid people, I remember going to work wearing a put together outfit, brand new from my weekend shopping trip.  I had flawless French manicured finger nails and matching toes.  A working mother of two somewhat snorted at me and said “Well, you can tell SHE doesn’t have kids!”  A conversation ensued and some co-workers insisted that it wasn’t about being a parent, you should take care of yourself either way. I agreed and thought that if I became a mother someday I would CERTAINLY still take care of my appearance.  I mean REALLY, how are kids an excuse to have unmanicured nails?

Fast forward a decade and 3 kids later…

My idea of a manicure is taking the nail clippers and evening out the jagged edges.  A pedicure is once a month putting another layer of nail polish on top of all the other chipped layers. Sure, it doesn’t look great, but I don’t think I stand still long enough for anyone to notice.

I pretty much always let my hair air dry and I tell myself it looks pretty good because it has some natural curl to it.  Until I look in the mirror and realize it looks like a ragged mop head. I still have some pride, so I quickly remedy the mop situation with a pony tail or chic messy bun.  Hopefully I have a nice fabric band to use, but in a pinch the rubber band that came wrapped around the mail will do.

The lighting in my bathroom must be magical because I can usually convince myself that I look pretty decent without makeup.  Then I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror outside of the house and recoil in horror at my own zombie-like reflection.  At that point if I can get to my car, I start searching under the seats and in the compartments, trying to figure out where I left my makeup bag because I cannot remember for sure the last time I used it.

I have some pretty nice clothes, but am hesitant to actually wear them.  Knowing that whatever I choose will have banana smeared on it within 30 minutes is enough to make me pick sweatpants and a 2 sizes too big t-shirt every time.  Then of course there is the trick of just wearing work out clothes because I am totally planning to work out.  Really.  At least maybe.

Of course I do feel better when I make an effort to look nice.  So when I have somewhere to go I carefully calculate how much energy I should put into my appearance based on several factors.  Such as, how many people am I going to see?  Will I see anyone who I know or who I might see again?  What will everyone else likely be wearing so I can be sure I don’t look the worst?

And what happens when I do try to look presentable? While I am drying my hair, baby Dash turns on the bathtub water and  throws all contents of the cabinets in the tub.  Of course I try to stop him.  I turn off the water about 20 times, going back and forth, making sure he doesn’t burn himself and I don’t electrocute both of us with the hairdryer in the bathtub.

While I do my makeup, Dash takes my hairdryer out of the cabinet and pours baby shampoo in it.  So, the next time I try to look presentable I will smell like burnt soap.  I look in the mirror to see if despite it all I at least look fit to function in society.  My smokey eye look is more like I walked through a cloud of smoke.  Grey eyeshadow is somehow all over my face.  Too much looking at Dash and not enough looking in the mirror.  Could I get up early and be perfectly coiffed before anyone else gets out of bed, you may ask?  The answer is no.  No I cannot.


And this is why I am now THAT mother.  The one with the matted hair and under eye circles, shuffling through Target in her hoodie sweatshirt and pants that have peanut butter finger prints on them.  The one who young childless women snort at and say “I’m NEVER going to look like THAT when I have kids!”

Just wait and see.  They’ll get you too, my pretties, they’ll get you too.





  1. I don’t have kids, but I recall (before having muchas Mommy friends) that I was one of THOSE childless women. I have since grown to appreciate just how hard it can be. Though, I draw the line at Not brushing the hair. C’mon. Ponytails are quick and easy. Kudos for at least using what you have.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Mrs. Yeater! 🙂 Yup, no excuse to not brush your hair. Unless your children have hidden your hairbrush, that has happened here a few times, lol!

  2. Sherrrill says:

    Just read your “looking presentable” blog and laughed out loud. You tell the tale with truth and humor, but seriously, you young girls don’t know how beautiful you are, sans makeup and all. Just wait till you see the Granny face looking back at you from the mirror. The mommy time is the best, when you are the center of their universe and the kids eyes are filled with love. Enjoy it while it lasts!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Mom! You still look great though! Yes, the boys do not care what I look like (although Mr. Finn said the other day that “Mommy’s hair is ALWAYS messy!”) I just tell myself I wouldn’t want to set the bar too high for their future wives, ha ha. 🙂


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