Years ago, when I was pregnant with our third, my hairdresser proclaimed she'd never have more than two children. In her limited experience, children age you and turn you into an old, dowdy, boring, housewife and mother. She went on to express her pity for those poor shabby women stuck at home with all those kids. Sigh.
I'll be honest, I went through a phase for a year or two where I didn't think it mattered how I looked. I even went out in public in my pj bottoms on a regular basis. They were comfortable, I had several kiddos, and I believed I just didn't have time to take care of myself properly. Besides, it really didn't matter, right? I wonder how many young women observed me in all my frumpy glory with my little brood of babies and thought to themselves, "I'm never going to have children if that's what is going to happen to me! Yikes!"
Does it really take that much more time to run a brush through our hair, put on a real outfit, and throw on a little mascara or lipstick? I have several friends with more children than I do. They are some of the most beautiful and confident women I know. They almost always look "put together" and they make it look effortless. What a wonderful example they set for younger moms. Over the years I've readjusted my thinking to realize that I am an example of motherhood to other women. I try to dress nicely, fix my hair, put on a little make-up and a pair of earrings as a way of saying, "Having a small army of offspring does not mean you have to let your self go. Be a proud, beautiful, put together mama. It is possible."