A true fact – between the ages of 16 and 3 years and four months ago I don’t think there was one day that I left the house without mascara. I’m not a particularly high maintenance woman. I am far too lazy for body brushing, exfoliation or to be honest any kind of skincare regime. It’s all in the title really – ‘regime’ – it sounds a little too authoritarian for me. I have the same thing with the La Leche League – I vaguely studied history in University (in small gaps between drinking, snogging and watching Cruel Intentions and/or Heat depending who controlled the remote) and I know enough to be concerned about any organisation that calls itself a ‘League’. I bet Paolo di Cannio has beautifully clear skin and judges people if they don’t breastfeed their kids until they go to University. I do however also have teensy, tinsy, stubby little pale eye lashes – and personal vanity used to beat my lazy nature.
But since the birth of my first baby it is just a small victory to be out of the house. The application of make-up is now a luxury that I generally don’t have time for. I put a bit of slap on maybe three days a week, basically the days I go to work, and I do this on the bus. This is not fun make up application either. This isn’t quirky eye shadow or sparkly fingernails. This is 15 layers of touché éclat to hide the bags that come down to my jowls. This is make-up to make you feel human not pretty.
If I am clean that is a bonus. By clean I basically mean clothes that I have been able to remove dirt from either by scratching or wiping with a baby wipe. The children these days simply wander up to me and wipe whatever shite is on their hands or under their nose off onto my jeans. They basically view me less as a mother and more a piece of kitchen roll. My first dude had reflux and so I spent about 30% of my time covered in vomit. Previous to babies you sniff clothes armpits to see if they are dirty – after babies you sniff the shoulders.
I have also had a fringe cut since number two – this is not a fashion statement, it simply means I don’t really need to pluck my eyebrows. This foolproof plan is only scuppered when faced with a stiff breeze. Then I realise I look a little like this.
There are mums out there who make more of an effort than me obviously, my neighbour used to get up at five to have time to sort herself out before the kids woke up. This is commitment to the cause that I just don’t have. Particularly as I know that basically now no one looks at me when I have the kids with me. I am merely an extension of my children. I end up in conversations where people know the ages, names and medical history of my two children and nothing about me. In a way it’s quite handy sometimes as you can use them as shields a bit to deflect attention away from you. But in the long run it’s not a good idea to enjoy being invisible.
This is one of the many reasons why I still love a fucking rollicking good night out. It’s good to be selfish again for just one night. To take a bit of time to look as good and impractical as you can. Take the entire wardrobe out and leave it on the bed. Look at me- I’m in white/ I have dangly earrings on/spangly heels! I realise I sound like a member of TOWIE with that description by the way. I actually think I probably have more fun with my clothes than I used to. I seem to have lost the desire to be particularly attractive and just enjoy getting dressed up – if the result is attractive too then that’s sort of a bonus. I recently wore footless leopard print tights out. They were given to me as a bit of a joke 6 years ago and fuck it why not. I have limited budget so don’t buy much but when I do get anything new it tends to be loud. A brocade red jacket – sweeet, an extraordinary cardigan – yes please! a short neon dress – maybe.. after a few warmer uppers. When I bought the dress the hot 16 year old assistant told me she had it in navy but didn’t think she could carry off the pink. The world is massively arse over tit when out of the two of us it’s the slightly tubby 30 (and some additional years) mother of two that chooses to wear that outfit.
But if a night out is not your bag – do whatever turns you on as long as it’s about you and only you. A bit of time for yourself is not something you should feel guilty about. It’ll make you a better mother/father in the long run (as long as what makes you happy is not gambling the kids Christmas present money and or taking heroin). And I am fairly sure that a good way to not look too shit, is to look happy.