Dressing Nice Again

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For 10 years after having children I never felt like I fit half the clothes in my closet. I was one of those nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant commercials. I literally had clothes that fit when I was just a few months pregnant and not showing (but too big for normal clothes), pregnant, clothes that were better while nursing, and then clothes for after the baby was weaned but before I was pregnant again. Having four babies in six years made my wardrobe always in a flux. Easter was my one time of the year I splurged on clothes so that I felt nice for one day. Crazy I know, but I didn’t want to buy any clothes because I didn’t know what my size would be the next month.

Then I turned 30. I had just had my last baby in August, and my birthday was in November. I thought I was doing pretty good with the fact I was turning 30 since I had no major crying fits or dark depression. Then I went to Cato’s with my friends and spent $290, and I had probably spent $290 TOTAL on clothes for myself in the past 10 years. Well…maybe I spent more than that…but not much more. I didn’t know what was the matter with me and chalked it up to being happy about it being my birthday. Then that January I stepped into Victoria Secret for the first time (no judging) and spent $190 at the Semi-Annual Sale. I don’t think I owned a matching pair of underwear before then as I had been in a nursing bra over half of the past 10 years anyhow, and had picked up cheap pretty underwear from TJ Max here and there.

I felt SO guilty spending that much money on myself, but I felt SO good in those clothes. What’s more, my husband didn’t flip out about the money. In fact, he loved my new clothes as he is far more a fashionista than I. My motto for years had been “As long as it is comfortable I don’t care what it looks like.” However, I learned you can look cute and attractive while being comfortable, and even better, it helps you feel like yourself again after having babies. My husband appreciated me dressing up so much, he now takes me every birthday on a spending spree for clothes and helps me pick out outfits we both like. I now own…. ehm…. several pairs of matching pretty underwear that help me feel more like a wife than a mom.

Does that mean I can’t have a frumpy day? No. We all have days we feel bad or are just tired, but that shouldn’t be every day. Yoga pants are the new sweat pants, and we think we can get away with wearing them since they are tighter. Guys do appreciate tight, but they also appreciate variety and a woman who spends time on her appearance. I notice when my husband looks good, and he notices when I look nice as well.

I can hear a lot of you now. “The kids will just cover it in snot by the time he gets home.” (I hear ya), or maybe you’re thinking, “If I get a shower I consider the day a success.” Also, “I’m barely surviving on such little sleep” (I get that too), or maybe you work all day and want out of your work clothes as soon as possible (I don’t blame you). However, I’m just saying maybe we could change into a nice (non-stained) shirt and cute jeans before he gets home, or stay in our nice clothes until he gets home to appreciate it (bonus: he can watch you change!). Even if you can’t change that snotty shirt, wearing pretty underwear underneath your clothes make you feel a lot more attractive than regular ones and gives him something to look forward to.

If we don’t try to catch our husband’s eye someone else will. If you have had a baby recently (or maybe not so recently) and don’t feel sexy in your clothes, go out and buy one outfit you both like and you feel I’m giving you permission to shop! good in, and add a matching pair of underwear. Seriously… Today. What woman doesn’t like permission to shop, and every woman needs a “date” outfit, unmarried or married.

Now, for those of you like me who are protesting that their pocketbook won’t allow it, I’m sure you can find an extra $50. Say no to a few more groceries, go fewer places for a week, pinch those pennies. I don’t have money in abundance either. We are on a strict budget. You don’t have to go to Victoria Secret… go to Walmart… or TJ Max if you need to, but the effort alone will mean a great deal to your man.

So, if you are willing, this is your assignment this month:

  1. Go through your closet and find an outfit that makes you feel cute. If you don’t have one, buy one.
  2. Wear something other than yoga pants one day this week.
  3. Wear or buy a sexy matching set of underwear.
  4. Comb your hair right before your husband gets home.
  5. Put on your favorite piece of makeup – mine is mascara. Bonus points for doing up your whole face.
  6. Spritz on some smell good, it helps cover up the not so nice smells of the day (i.e. spit up/breastmilk smell or grease smell clinging to your clothes after cooking.) 😉 We are attracted to things that smell nice, why wouldn’t our husbands be? I know mine is.

So, what about you? How do you attempt to look nice? Do you splurge on yourself? How do you splurge on your marriage?

#mancrushmonday

Since I have been on social media I have seen women frequently post pictures of them and their man hash-tagging “#mancrushmonday”. While I am not a hash-tagger, I like the thought of crushing on our husbands. However, I think we can go a little further than just posting a picture of our man to show him off. Maybe we could actually show him, and not just the world, that we still have a crush on him.

Sometimes (well…a lot of the time) as a wife I forget to try to impress my husband. While we dated, I noticed his preferences and bent over backward to accommodate him. I noticed his favorite kind of gum, his favorite songs, and the clothes he appreciated me wearing.

Often, I delighted in serving him by cooking his favorite foods, making or buying him treats, and getting him drinks. Also, I searched for ways to spoil him by leaving him love notes, sending him packages, or by rubbing his back.

Regularly, I used to dress to impress him making sure I smelled nice and had clean shaven legs. If he liked an outfit, it became one I wore often. Granted, I didn’t have much fashion sense when we met, but he fell in love with me regardless. However, that doesn’t mean I should think, “Oh well, since he loved me then, I don’t have to try now.” Rather, it means I should try harder since I am not quite as mysterious as I once was. P.S. This also goes double for PJs.

Also, I used to write him love notes telling him how wonderful he was, and that I loved him.  Although, to be honest, these days I count it a success if I remember to tell him daily that I love him while looking him in the eye and kissing him over 5 seconds.

Consequently, these are the reasons why I have started guarding my Mondays and chose this day to focus on my husband.  With four kids, homeschooling, teaching piano, and photography, trying to do it every day sometimes is just too ambitious. So, I figured that I could at least give him one whole day a week though (to focus on him). Yes, I pay him attention other days other than Monday, it is just the day I go out of my way to be intentional.

Why Monday?
A. I have no piano lessons to teach that day.
B. No activities that we have to be at like violin, field trips, etc..
C.  It is my favorite day of the week, and it is the day I am the happiest.
D.  I have the most time that day.

So, I must be intentional about guarding my Mondays.  I’ve been asked to do a lot of things on Monday, but if it falls on that day my first response is normally “I’m sorry, no.” Ask anyone close to me, it takes a lot to get me to say yes to something on a Monday and it cannot be a reoccurring event.

I have figured out over the years that my husband’s love language is acts of service. So on Mondays I try to:

  1. Clean the house the best I do all week.
  2. Cook an involved meal that takes extra time. I don’t make tea often, but I do that day for him. The kids and I might even make a dessert if their daddy has had a hankering for something recently.
  3. Dress in a cute (sometimes sexy) outfit, do my hair and makeup, spritz on some smell good, and wear matching sexier underwear.
  4. Make sure the kids are dressed and clean, and make them pick up their toys.
  5. Wash his clothes and put them away.
  6. Light a candle to make the house smell nice, even though it sometimes gives me a headache. (He loves things to smell good)
  7. Throughout the day, I attempt to text him messages just to let him know I’m thinking about him.
  8. A long back rub that night taking the extra time to be intimate, and focusing on his needs. (and no I don’t just offer on Mondays)

Often in marriage, it’s so easy to lose sight of our mate and their needs. The whole point is just to be intentional about choosing and spoiling him. While we may not be able to afford to go out on a lot of dates, this is my way of showing him he is still important to me.

Can I encourage you to pick a day to spoil your mate? Choose whatever day best fits your schedule. Maybe your husband would regular note of encouragement or a small gift. Perhaps, he would like control of the remote, or to be able to watch the football game with no interruptions with his favorite snacks. Possibly, he might like to exercise together or work on a project as a couple. Do you know his love language? I encourage you to figure it out. He will love you for it!

18012854_1677939662217933_1569797825_oe2I challenge you this month to:

  1. Pick a day of the week to spoil your husband.
  2. Write down 3 things your husband will find special and do them on the day you pick.
  3. Dress nicer that day, spritz on some perfume, and shave those legs! 😉
  4. Cook something yummy for dinner, or at least pick up his favorite takeout.
  5. Tidy up the house, and make sure it smells pleasant.

 

What keeps your marriage thriving? I am always looking for new ideas!