CINCINNATI - Many women fear having a baby means going from stylish to scrubs.
In her book "No Mom Jeans," author Melissa Fiendell, mom to 9-month-old Weston and 3-year-old Mackenzie, says women don't have to sacrifice their pre-motherhood moxie when they bring home a baby.
"As I was struggling to figure out how to take care of this new little person, I was also trying to figure out how to take care of me," said Fiendell of Cincinnati.
So she set out to find simple yet stylish ways to make motherhood look good and feel good. She says the scarf is an absolute go-to essential.
"They can camouflage a post-baby tummy. They can be an impromptu stroller blanket when you are going for a walk. I use mine to mop up a little baby spit up when I'm caught without anything else, and I've even used it as a nursing shield," said Fiendell.
Next on her list is a survival tool that makes taking a shower more fun for mom and baby. Fiendell says you should purchase a clear shower curtain.
"I just put the little baby seat in front of the shower. We can play peek-a-boo. We can interact and I can usually get 10 or 15 minutes instead of the usual "new mom" two or three minutes," she said.
After following Fiendell's first tips, you may feel like the queen of the castle again, but the house might look like a kingdom for the kids. Fiendell says you can keep your home decor fashionably chic and child friendly all at the same time.
"So we've done a very neutral white high chair, very neutral white play table for the kids and even a neutral and brown kitchen that our kids love to play in that I don't hate looking at," Fiendell said with a laugh.
With some creativity, even the homes accent pieces will amuse the little ones.
"I used decorative balls that I can use as a nice centerpiece that my kids love to push around. My son loved to look at black and white photos when he was little which were already hanging in our home. Some of our floor cushions you know are great for our son to pull up on and really play on," Fiendell said.
No matter who you are, before you were a mom, you were a woman--and you can get back in touch with your sizzling self.
1. Take a 30 minute happy hour & let go of the guilt--30 minutes for yourself makes you better for your family. You must put on your oxygen mask first!
2. Keep one space in the house child-free. Could be a library, man cave, bathtub, reading nook etc.
3. Try to get out of the house every day. To help you along, schedule time with your husband, friends, family, and yourself in a calendar.
4. Sweets & treats: You can have whatever you want--but you have to leave the house to get it. How badly do you really want that ice cream?
5. Eat soup! Super healthy and way easier to prepare and eat (sip it through a cup for an easy one hand meal). vs. salad.
6. "Snack-er-cise." Find ways to move your body for a few minutes multiple times per day. For example contract your abs at red lights, do pushups over baby playing on the playmat, do lunges while you have your baby in the carrier.
1. Keep it simple. Keep your beauty bag stocked with your five essential products that you use every day. Stash everything else in another bin and save experimenting with it for special occasions when you have more time.
2. Throw out old, gross underwear--it's like building on a bad foundation. New and clean will make you feel prettier and fresher.
3. Keep up with the maintenance--it makes every day easier & gives you something to look forward to
4. Schedule & bundle your beauty. For example every Monday during the first 30 minutes of nap time deep condition your hair, tweeze your brows, and file your nails.
5. Create big bright eyes! While you are sleep deprived light, cream shadow, eye brightening crème/highlighter and white eyeliner can be a new mom's best friend.
6. Must have items: a) Black leggings - go with anything, good on every size woman, and can be dressed up or down b) Dresses - super simple one piece outfit with no waistline c) Scarfs - camouflages a not-quite toned tummy, creates an impromptu baby blanket, burp cloth or nursing shield, plus adds a fashionable layer to your outfit.