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Am I fighting a losing battle with grooming whilst children are young?

(54 Posts)
teacher1984 Wed 09-Dec-15 20:15:17

I just can't keep it up no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I try to get organised, it seems impossible to fit it in and build a routine.

I know there are threads like this from time to time so posting something similar is probably pointless but I really really needed to vent this evening.

It's 8pm and I have just sat down. This evening I still have to unload the dishwasher & reload with what's lying about, wipe my worktops, hang up a load of wet washing, fold & put away some towels and order a couple of household things online.

I really need to wash my hair, dry and straighten (impossible to achieve this in the morning as doing so would wake my kid) so I look ok for school run tomorrow on top of all the jobs above.

I really just want to sit down & read mumsnet & zone out.

I haven't shaved in weeks, my hands and feet are a mess. I've cancelled 2 hair appointments now so hair looks awful.

I did make it to a HD brows appointment this week but I'd previously cancelled that twice.

I used to look good!

I have a new baby arriving in the spring and really really want to build a routine now that I can hope to maintain with a newborn.

If you have preschoolers and still look reasonable please please tell me how you do it? From 7am - 9pm every day my life is kids, housework, cooking, house admin. How do I fit myself into that?

I try so hard and never succeed!

SpendSpendSpend Wed 09-Dec-15 20:17:43

With regards to make up and hair looking nice etc, the key is to get up and do it before the child wakes.

WipsGlitter Wed 09-Dec-15 20:18:07

Stick to hair appointments.
Bath every night emergency the kids are in bed (kitchen done immediately after dinner)
I work as a ft wohm and do full hair and make up every day

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Wed 09-Dec-15 20:22:45

I get up at 6 so I can shower and do my hair. I do my nails at night when I'm watching TV - Rimmel 60 seconds takes literally 60 secondssmile make up takes a few minutes, if I'm really rushing I slap on some BB cream.

I think you just have to make time. I WFH two days a week so do all the washing then and never in the evening, I hate the thought of doing stuff in the evening after I've eaten. I cook after kids are asleep and DH clears up.

PretzelPrincess Wed 09-Dec-15 20:30:44

You have to make time for yourself. Or atleast prioritise what's important. I have 2 under 2 and think I manage to look well put together! Not as glam as I used to but getting there.
I've spent a bit of time looking for makeup products that work well for me so now I need fewer products and time to give me the same result.
Don't skip hair appointments! I have long hair to the small of my back and it's one of the hardest things to keep groomed. I'd gotten into a bad habit of washing it but not drying or brushing. It ended up a horrible knotted mess shock now I shower first thing before babies are up but won't blow dry until they are up and ready. It's already half dry by then so I need to spend less time doing it.

doceodocere Wed 09-Dec-15 20:38:09

I hear you, and I'm in a similar position; 2 preschoolers and a baby arriving in January. I'm currently sitting here with hairdye on, need to do this every 6 weeks for my grey roots

Never been a particularly glossy groomed person but I did used to have good hair and make up and a slightly alternative sense of style. Haven't seen it for a while now. 😢

In terms of time management, I always shower, wash hair and dry it in the evening. The dc have only recently started sleeping well and it was impossible to get up early enough to do it all before they were up to. I'm still in the habit and will keep it up till the new baby is about 3, in all likelihood! O also lay out all my clothes the night before.

I use a lot of moisturiser.

Make up I've pared down to the bare minimum; light foundation or bb cream, concealer, cream blusher and mascara can be applied in about 3-5 minutes. I do it at the table while the dc eat breakfast and I down a coffee, often with them staring at a kids show on the tablet - bad I know. It's not an ideal regime but it gets me out the door looking presentable and feeling like I can face the world. I go through phases of wearing red lipstick because it really suits me, but I'm not with the project at the moment.

I tend to do a general shearing and pruning at the weekend, very occasionally nails but I'm bad at that.

My clothes are a total fucking disaster. I need help with those but notuntil after this child arrives.

I'm interested to see what ideas this thread generates. I've no idea how some mothers always look great. How?!

mewkins Wed 09-Dec-15 20:39:00

I have a 5yo and 18mo and I get up at 7 each morning to have a shower, wash hair and do makeup. Oldest sleeps like a log and gets up at 8. Little one sometimes stirs 7.30 but I can leave him in his cot. I don't do anything else apart from get myself ready at this time. I work so do washing in the evening. I do hair appointments at the weekend and leave dc with dh.

teacher1984 Wed 09-Dec-15 20:50:32

I can't blow dry my hair in the morning as any noise wakes them for the day & they demand my attention - help on toilet, breakfast, play etc

Good to hear others are having to do hair in the evening - it's the last thing I want to do to be honest but hoping I can get into the routine of it. I can still manage a 2 min shower in the morning and do always apply foundation & mascara.

Weekends would be best for having a good old defuzz, foot pumice etc but it always seems like there is some place to be or urgent things to do at the moment that I never manage more than the basic hair & makeup.

I do need to rebook my hair appointment & stick to a 6/8 week ritual for that - but wondering how I will manage it whilst breastfeeding?

It's such a battle - it just all feels like more chores to add to an already chore-filled day.

I'm still not getting how people are fitting in their housework outside of the evenings? When do you iron? 30 mins after dinner I'm starting bath, story, bed routine so I don't always have time to sort the kitchen before that routine starts sad

teacher1984 Wed 09-Dec-15 20:51:56

One evening a week I have to do online shop/meal plan. There are always jobs! Like tonight for instance I have to declutter my car ready to be valeted tomorrow morning (in prep for new babies arrival). It feels never ending.

thecrimsonpetal Wed 09-Dec-15 21:08:29

It does feel a battle all the time doesn't it.

I have a 3yo and a 9mo and I've been making an effort lately to try and be a bit more groomed. I hardly ever get time to style my hair, but as it's long I tend to just tie it back in a ponytail most of the time- I prioritise trying to get some makeup on over doing my hair. The plus side of styling my hair infrequently is that it is in much better condition and I can go longer between haircuts.

Realistically I don't get the time to paint my nails often at all- my DS isn't the most reliable sleeper so don't want to have wet nails then have him calling for me in the evening! I don't always have time to shave my legs etc, but for me, the thing that makes me feel a bit better is to keep everything in good condition and well moisturised. I find that if I do that, when I do have time to shave my legs, do my nails etc, I can look more groomed much more easily and quickly, if that makes sense, as my skin isn't dry, and nails are in a good condition etc. So I make sure I cleanse, tone, moisturise, then use body lotion, foot cream, lip balm, and try and use handcream/cuticle oil as much as possible, every single day. Keep nails and cuticles tidy. My eyebrows are a state and I've recently bought rapidbrow, praying this helps a bit!

I tend to rush around first thing after having a shower to get ready, put the kids in front of cbeebies whilst I do this. The only thing I tend to do once they are in bed is file nails/apply handcream etc. I don't do many jobs in the evening as I worry about waking them if I make noise, particularly DS! So I rush round to do dishwasher/clean kitchen after dinner. I try and keep things as up together and tidy around the house as I can, without doing any real cleaning as such, until DH is on his days off.

It's very hard with such young DC.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Wed 09-Dec-15 21:15:41

I don't iron! Fold and hang out of the machine carefully and you don't need to ironwink

RaptorsCantPlayPoker Wed 09-Dec-15 21:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mewkins Wed 09-Dec-15 21:20:50

I also don't iron anymore. I hang stuff up straight from the washing machine. Anything that needs decrumpling gets a blast with the hairdryer! I do a quick sweep/ hoover of the living room while dd is doing her homework (after the baby is in bed). Does your dp do any chores/washing/cooking?

mrsmugoo Wed 09-Dec-15 21:30:44

I have a 21 month old and one on the way. Run a business with 15 employees with my DH.

I get ready for the day before toddler gets up and have my baths/ showers / hair washes after he goes to bed. Occasionally use my babyliss big hair in the morning after a hair wash but mostly just tie it up!

We have a cleaner for the annoying cleaning then split the regular chores between us - I do food order/cooking/keeping kitchen/ dishwasher etc tidy. DH does hoovering & laundry. We don't bother with ironing!!

I get a few hours on a Friday when my parents take my toddler out and I usually either blitz any leftover tidying, batch cook something or dash out for a hair cut or waxing appt.

Time is precious!

WipsGlitter Wed 09-Dec-15 21:45:43

Do you have a DP? Can he not clean the kitchen while you do bath or vice versa. I iron as I go for my stuff, DPs shirts go to an ironing service.

Way time do your kids go to bed? Pick a night and make tha beauty night. I do Sunday as DP goes out - bath, nails, face mask etc.

goodnessgraciousgoudaoriginal Wed 09-Dec-15 21:54:53

Where is your DP in all this? (obviously assuming there you have one, sorry)

You should be splitting those chores between you, then that gives you a bit more time to chill.

I think you can still groom, but you have to compromise on some things, and be quite insistent that DP pulls his weight.

For example, instead of having a shower, shaving, then blow drying and straightening your hair, why not instead have a shower, shave, then rough dry your hair and put it into a rough bun to sleep in? Slightly messy waves are much easier than flat ironed hair, and much nicer than a greasy pony tail!

Prioritise beauty appointments. Getting your nails done is going to make nearly sod all difference to your general appearance. You might as well just use a good hand cream, and file them yourself whenever you get a moment. Do you really need an appointment for your eyebrows? Can you not just pluck them like the majority of people? It's an extra 5-10 minutes a week, true, but that's much less time than having an actual appointment.

Meanwhile, a hair appointment will probably make much more of an impact on your overall look, so well worth making time for.

unicorn501 Wed 09-Dec-15 21:58:49

My DC were always early risers so I've always had to shower etc after they wake up. I just used to shove the toddler in front of Cbeebies on the laptop in my bedroom and have the baby in the bathroom with me either in bouncy chair or crawling round on the floor with a few toys. It's possible! Hair straightening/make up etc just keep them in the bedroom with you with a few toys.

Chocolateteabag Wed 09-Dec-15 22:02:06

How about a mobile hairdresser coming to your house? Either around teatime or breakfast means hopefully your kids can be eating while you have hair cut?

And v easy to bf under a gown - but you might find it easier at home with less going on too

Can you try to get your kids more used to you drying your hair? basically get up & shower, then get everything else ready so that hairdrying is the last thing before you need them up. Then your hair should be pretty near dry too anyway?

teacher1984 Wed 09-Dec-15 22:06:23

WipsGlitter - no, DH currently does zero house related tasks as he's working very long hours in a very physical job. We have had 'the' argument several times over the last couple years and I do get frustrated with the single handed responsiblity of it all but I genuinely don't think he has anything left to give come hometime when he's been out the house 12 hours. I do mention that if he was single he'd have to do it but I kinda imagine he wouldn't do it! He'd be eating takeaways, using a washing/ironing service and living in a pigsty. In his defence he never has a bad comment to make about things not done around the house or my appearance.

Raptors - no, I don't have anyone to help at present. We are going to hire a cleaner in the new year, prior to baby's arrival to do the big stuff weekly - bathrooms x 2 and floors etc.

I feel annoyed that I'm still failing even though I do have some disposable income. I can just about afford the necessary appointments (hair, brows, occasional mani/pedi) and have some good tools to hand (just bought a parlux with the promise of a better/quicker blow dry, have the BBH and Loreal Steampod) but I'm still not making it all work. Always feel sorry for the ladies on here who don't even have the spare cash to make things better.

Thanks for those of you who have stressed the importance of the hair appointments - I definitely think this is true. A good cut and colour now would make the world of difference. I need quite a bit chopped off which will make drying quicker. I'll book that in the morning.

I have just washed and straightened my hair so feel like I'm winning now a little, thanks everyone. At least I'll be clean on the school run tomorrow smile

Loving all the suggestions, please keep them coming!

shirkingworking Wed 09-Dec-15 23:07:45

Following this with interest! DCs are 7, 6 and nearly 1 and I've never really managed it. Which isn't great as I work in the city in a 'smart' environment. People always comment on how nice I look on occasions I do blow-dry my hair... Must do it more often!! At least I can have (overpriced) manicures every now and then in my lunch break and get eyebrows done!

shutupandshop Wed 09-Dec-15 23:23:12

I keep my make up in downstairs loo, easier to keep an ear and instruct dcs. Having said that with 4 dcs and multiple health issues, I only really do make up for nights out now! I wash my hair every other day. One thing I have promised myself is to stick to hair app every 6 weeks .

Have you thought about a hairdressing coming to you when dh there?

nilbyname Wed 09-Dec-15 23:31:08

Best time saver tip-
When kids are in the bath, cleanse and moisturise your face and neck, put pjs on. You are in ten same room as them, so being watchful, but you can do some grooming.

Have a couple of go to up dos that look good for the school run, or now that it's proper cold, stick on a nice beanie.

Make appointments and stick to them! I have a standing 4 week eyebrow and 7 week hair appointment. Life saver- same time/day each rotation.

File nails, do toes in front of the TV. Keep hand cream sorts around the house and apply often.

Get a cleaner.

Pack school bags and work bags and packed lunches etc the night before to give you more time in the morning. Have a paired down make up routine for the school run.

I swipe the razor over my legs everyday in the shower. My arm pits too.

WeSailTonightForSingapore Wed 09-Dec-15 23:31:54

I used to get ready before my two year old woke up but now, its like he has a radar and wakes up literally seconds after me. Every. Time.

Tbh, the only reason I manage a shower, full make up, blow dry and getting dressed for work every morning is because dh is here and he loos after the ds whilst I get ready. When dh is not here, I have to resort to cartoons hmm.

I can get ready in about 20 mins now - used to take me an hour pre-dc!
How? I compromise by not doing proper outfits, just boring easy combos like jeans, tops etc, and I have been known to skip breakfast so I have time for makeup! (I can always eat at work, tbf)

WeSailTonightForSingapore Wed 09-Dec-15 23:40:36

Oh. Housework. I cook on the weekend, when we also do the big jobs like hoovering and laundry. Everything else gets done on a need basis. Luckily neither dh or I need shirts for work so not much ironing to do.

I work most evenings on stuff I never manage to finish like lecture prep,emails etc so housework is out of the question.

jamtartandcustard Thu 10-Dec-15 04:49:22

Not sure I look well groomed but I get my nails done every 3 weeks. Acrylics and painted so they always look good. Luckily messy buns are quite fashionable so quick 5min shower in the morning, 5 min blow dry and whizz it up on top of my head. Quick bit of foundation, blusher, lipstick and mascara and a spritz of perfume. Chuck on some skinnies, tank top and slip on the pumps and in good to go, takes 20 mins tops in the mornings. I used to also use hair pieces as well to look good on a bad hair day but lost them when I moved house (probably shoved in the loft in an unopened box)
My youngest is 3.

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