The daily beauty rituals that helped me cope with the challenging first few months of motherhood
‘You won’t look like this in a few months’ time,’ a friend said to me over a coffee as we spoke about the baby growing in my tummy. ‘You just wait until the baby is here and makeup will be a thing of the past,’ she continued, waving a finger across my face.
Of course, my friend was speaking in jest, but I started to worry about how much of my former self would change with a very needy human in my charge. I’ve always enjoyed the ritual of skincare and makeup and love the way it can transform my mood in an instant. In fact, I consider it as much of an act of self-care as my daily workout and Headspace meditation. It isn’t all just about vanity.
In fact, once my baby did arrive, it became of even greater importance. When my clothes didn’t fit, my hair was falling out and my usual routine had been turned upside down, it helped me stay rooted to a part of my pre-baby self. I found that applying my makeup each morning and removing it each evening became a comforting habit that I never let slip – even if I never left the house or I’d had little to no sleep.
I was lucky in that the hormones made my skin glow, so I wasn’t exactly trowelling on the slap – but I’d never go without a quick cleanse, tinted moisturiser and flick of my signature liquid eyeliner. This tiny little ritual took literally a couple of minutes, but it gave me a day’s worth of power.
The evenings were probably the hardest part of the day as my energy reserves were running low and I could barely walk out of the room without the baby crying. My body was no longer my own and breastfeeding for hours at a time was exhausting. But slowly we started to get into more of a routine and I’d find a 15-minute window each evening where my baby would nap on my husband.
This time became so precious to me and I’d use it to sneak off to the bathroom and make myself feel new again. From a gorgeous cleanser, to an exfoliating body scrub, hydrating serum and moisturiser, I’d enjoy the quickest pampering session going – but boy, did it make a difference.
Now eight months’ on, I’m still making time to enjoy these little pockets of ‘me time’ – and you don’t get many of them with a babe on the brink of crawling. I make sure I take care of my skin and book in regular appointments at the hairdresser – one of my all-time favourite past times. I enjoy the process as much as the final aesthetic result.
Admittedly an evening shower or makeup application isn’t going to be every new mum’s priority, but I think cementing time to do what makes you feel good is vital – whether that’s reading a few pages of a book, taking ten minutes to do a yoga practise or applying your favourite red lipstick, for no one other than the baby.
Are you a new mum? Did you find that beauty and skincare has remained an important part of your daily routine? Or even if you aren’t a parent, what daily ritual could you never do without? Let me know by leaving a comment below.