Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What to Wear: A Mom's Dilemna: Feeling Guilty About Looking Good?

Last week I received the following email from my blog reader Star.

 I wonder how many of you feel the same way? Read on:

This is my dilemna. I am a stay at home, home schooling mom of four children. My husband and I made a decision years ago to sacrifice the second income for our children. I still believe that is the right decision and do not feel God has called us out of that. Our children range in age from 13 to 2.
However, I have struggled for years with self image. I see ladies at church who look beautiful and put together and I long to be that. I see them, and my immediate thought is, "well, if I could spend that kind of money..." I'm sure you know where this is going. I know I could...I have just made a decision that, for now, prevents that. Most of the time I feel okay with that. I would feel horrible if I spent a ton of money on an outfit and then my children couldn't participate in an activity or go hang out with their friends on occasion.

I guess my question is...what do you tell people in my situation? For example, you recently answered a make up question and commented on primer helping a lot. I immediately thought that is what I need, I have been so frustrated with how my make up has looked lately. That thought was immediately followed up with...I can't buy primer. I feel guilty buying new mascara every two months. I scrape the sides of the foundation and scoop up every last spot of powder before buying new blush...I can't add another expense to my make up needs. I will then feel a little sorry for myself and then "spank" myself for being selfish because obviously make up is NOT a need and I am much better off than many people.


You may address this question in your book, which I am totally asking for for Christmas, but I am sure there are many other ladies in my position. My husband says I am just not normal, that most women would just go buy it and not worry about it, but I believe there are many more like me. It is a continual struggle and I would just love to hear maybe your guidance, your "must haves" your ideas...I know we need to care for ourselves as mommas, but we also need to be good stewards of our money and it just seems so selfish to worry about primer when I can care for my children or help others in desperate need.  Love, Star

Wow.
 I get lots of emails and I do try to answer each of them, but sometimes I just can't. However, this is one that I really felt needed to be answered for more than just the writer's benefit...I believe there are MANY of you who feel the same way, even if just a little bit. So here we go. Stay with me.

First of all, you have to realize that it's OKAY to take care of yourself. In fact, it's important to do that.
YOU are the image of what your children see as a WOMAN. Does this make sense?
The way you TREAT YOURSELF is how your daughters will treat THEMSELVES.
 It's even how your sons will believe that women are to treat themselves (and perhaps be treated? Hmmm.

I think as a society, we've come to believe that in order to look good, we have to spend alot. That's a myth. It's just not true.
It's kind of the same theory as a woman thinking she has to dress sexy to be sexy. Again, not true. And I can show you examples. Just not today.

So how do you convince yourself that it's okay, and how much is okay?

First of all, I'd be the first to agree with you that primer is an extra. It's NOT a necessary. In fact, the last time I ran out, I just didn't buy it again. It's not in my budget this time around. I even bought a less expensive foundation this time ($8 Walmart, Revlon PhotoReady) and actually like it better than my regular $14 foundation. And you know what the kicker is? I don't need primer with it like I did my old one. Now what's that about?

So here's the "NO GUILT" RULES,
 the must-have's and/or the must do's:
  (ways to do it with little money and little guilt.)

1. You must, must, must take care of yourself. Rule #1. And you must, must, must spend a little money and time on this. I didn't say alot of money, I said a little. The readers I'm talking to don't even spend a little. YOU have to realize that it's okay to look good. Let me ask you this: Did you take care of yourself BEFORE you were married? Before you had kids?
2. Make sure your hair is in a cute style...one you get compliments on and one that you don't have to mess too much with. If you can't afford a good cut and color, then ask a friend to color it for you (lots of DIY kits are great!) and figure out something to barter with to get a great hair cut...can you clean her house once a month? Scrapbook for her? Cook her a meal? Bake dozens of cookies for her? I know you can be creative here! A nice cut and color will do WONDERS for your self image.

3. Look at yourself in a full length mirror. What challenge area do you most need to disquise? A fluffy tummy? A bountiful booty? Dress to camouflage...if you need a shaper, then get one that works for this challenge area and wear it. Sucking in your fluffiness will make you look a whole lot better than letting it all hang out.
And it's easier than holding your breath. Smile.

4. When was the last time you bought a new bra and a few new pair of panties? Ah, just as I thought. You don't need to spend alot, but you do need to spend something.
The last couple pair of panties that I bought came from Walmart (it's the budget thing again, but hey, they work...and they fit...smile again..and they're pretty too (AND they're in my colors! Go figure.) As for a bra, please make sure it fits you properly. Your bust should sit halfway between your shoulders and your elbows.
They should be up and in, not down and out.
Got it?

4.  Cleaned out your closet lately? You probably have a lot of things in there that you JUST SHOULDN'T WEAR. Get rid of them. Organize your closet (If you've got my book, it will tell you how, if not, just give it your best shot, you'll do fine) by color and style. If you haven't worn something in over a year, get rid of it. Today.
See, here's the thing. We mostly think we don't have a lot of things to wear because we have more clothes than we know what to do with and none of them goes with anything else. So clean out.
Go to my website and click on FREE STUFF. You can download a Wardrobe Plan Sheet that will help you know what you need. This isn't an essentials list, but it is an organizational chart that will help get your wardrobe in order by mixing and matching...all you need is a FEW pieces that go together.

5. If you've worked the Plan Sheet then you know what you need. Fill in the blanks. Keep a list of the items you need in your purse and keep an eye out for them...don't go buy them all at once. It's really no fun that way.

6. Make sure you have a GREAT pair of Jeans. A pair that fits you really well, in a dark wash. (Riders by Lee has fabulous ones. My friend Marlo just got a pair and they are AMAZING and were around $20.) If all else fails, these will go with everything. Add a couple of sweaters and you'll have a few cute outfits.

7. You MUST have a great HANDBAG. This is your statement piece and will tell the world that you've got style! Buy it in a POP color or in a shade close to your hair color. It will go with everything. Make sure you buy one in a size that is good for you. Do you consider yourself small, then buy a small-medium size bag. Do you consider yourself medium in size? Then go medium to large. And if you are a Rock Star like me (large) then the bigger the better!

8. Buy some new shoes. Each season I recommend buying some new shoes that show your style and fit your lifestyle. Go to Payless and find some for under $25. Seriously. Or Target. You don't have to spend a fortune on them, but they must be comfortable. If boots are your thing, then get those. The booty (ankle) boot is the popular thing right now. Match your hair as best you can with your shoe. Brunettes go brown, Black hair go black, blondes go camel or light brown. Got it?
 
9. Wear some jewelry. If you know my 16 point rule, then follow it. If you don't, then go to your local bookstore and read my book while you're in there. They usually have seats for this kind of thing. If you can't afford to buy it, you can at least borrow it for an hour or so in the bookstore, right?
Or call your local library and ask them to get it in.
Or ask for it for Christmas like Star.
 
10. Finally, take a bubble bath. Take your bible along and look up the following verse. Then feast on it. Check it out:
 
Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Girls, You gotta love a God who encourages us to change the way we think.
You MUST take care of YOU. You must begin to THINK that it's okay.
Everyone around you will be the better for it.
Including your kids. And your husband.

Will you do this favor for me? Will you look in the mirror today and thank our precious Lord for making you amazing? And will you promise to take care of your temple and not neglect yourself? Display your inner beauty on the outside. Consider it a reflection of the Lord. Drop the guilt my friends. The enemy wants you to stay guilty. But Jesus already took the hit for that. Ahhhhh, I love me some Jesus. How about you?

A message to Star: Will you consider doing some of the above and taking some before and after pics of yourself? I'd love to feature you on a Monday Makeover post in October.

And speaking of Monday Makeover, our FIRST guest poster will be Sue Tipler! Make sure to come back next Monday to read her story.

I have a gift to give away today.
My friend Rachel Olsen wrote this amazing book called It's No Secret:
Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.
I simply loved this book. I think you will too. I recommend you visit her today too and let her know I sent you. If you do that, I'll enter you twice.
It's fun to get random comments so I want to surprise her! Shhhh!!!!

To win, just comment below about which one of the above 10 things you need to do for yourself. And while you're at it, let us know if you ever feel guilty and tell us how you're going to STOP it!
Love you girls...Looking forward to MONDAY!!!!

Shari






66 comments:

Susan said...

I guess I need to clean out my closet. I have some colors in there I should not wear. I am trying to get away from black. You were at Blue Ridge View Baptist Church in Pickens, SC about a year and a half ago and you were great! I bought your new book and just started reading it. I do finally have a Rock Star purse, because the one I had before was teeny, and I am 5'9" tall. I will work on the rest of the list slowly. I think shoes will be next, because they are fun!

The Calm of His Presence said...

I can relate to Star. My husband & I made the same decision to sacrifice so I could stay home with our kids. I too want to take care of everyone else before taking care of myself. For years my husband told me I was beautiful and encouraged me to spend a little money on myself to stay up-to-date with my clothing. I felt guilty for spending money on myself when my children needed cloths.

A few months ago I read your book. My outlook changed as I read the book. I realize I don't have to spend a fortune to look nice. I just need to put a little effort into finding one item that I know makes me look good and I feel excited about wearing. This past weekend I went shopping for school cloths for my kids. While out I found the most incredible deep cranberry dress shoes. The best thing... they were on sale! I wore them on Sunday to church and felt like a million bucks. It just took that one thing to make a difference in the way I saw myself.

Thank you Shari for your book. I have recommended it many times to my friends.

Anonymous said...

#4 - create order in my closet. My heart goes out to Star. I understand the overlapping priorities and little resources. Shari, you are beautiful inside and out - you handled her concerns with such love. I count it a blessing and look forward to reading your blogs. I hopped over to Rachel's blog today, too. Love you lady! mheard11@frontier.com

Christina S. said...

I need to also clean out my closet, which will thrill my husband. Perhaps I will also thin the herd of Vera Bradley purses and donate the clothes and purses to the local thrift shop where someone can but then a the discounted price and be blessed...
I would love the copy of Rachel's book!

Sara said...

I definitely need to clean out my closet as I transition from summer to fall/winter. I plan to consign some of my clothes to earn money for some new things.

Kim said...

This was such an awesome AND much needed post for us all to hear!!

Like so many others, our "budget" is tighter this year! I'm embracing the idea of thrifting and second hand stores. So, I'm making a habit to bring my color swatches with me, every where I go! That way, I'm ready to make a good and thrifty purchase!!

Jolene said...

I definitely need to get a hair cut and color - have been putting it off. I'm having a bad hair day today so this one hit home. I have a hard time fitting it into my busy schedule as the hairdresser I like is out of town. I'll make the call today Shari! :)

Susan Cannon said...

My daughter is also a stay at home mom on a budget, and she is very fashion savy. But she is a big consignment, Goodwill, and yard sale shopper. She knows the brands and that is what she looks for, and she comes out looking like a model. The secret to shopping this way is to be patient, and check out your items throughly for stains, etc.. She loves it and has taught me a thing or to. Now I enjoy going with her, and I find alot of good deals too.

beansnelson said...

I need to follow all of your rules. I have a severe fashion deficiency with strong frugal undertones. We are also on one income here at our home. In regards to rule #7, it took my my gray t-shirt & jeans loving husband to wrangle my ugly, worn & cheap purse off my shoulder before I purchased a nice, classic one. Unfortunately, I just found out about you this morning, now it looks like I need to go buy a brown one instead! AHHH!!! I will learn! Thank you for your great service to women like me. My husband will be thrilled to see me reading your book.

Christine Marie said...

This was such a great post today! Star I hope you read all the comments and know that you are not alone. I pray that you find the courage also to take the steps Shari listed. Personally, I think the haircut and color will give you a huge boost of confidence. You'll want to dress the rest of yourself up to match your hair. Ask around at your church to see if anyone in your women's ministry does a clothing swap. This would be an easy way to get some new things at no cost. Another idea is to go to yard sales. Some people frown at the thought of buying clothes ar a yard sale but let me tell you, my experience has been great. I have found designer clothes, some with the tags still on them! You just have to do the leg work.

Faith said...

Such a needed post. I am not a stay at home mom(sure wish I was), but we have budget issues due to other circumstances... so my problem with taking care of myself is two-fold... money and TIME. I would love to stay I will stop, but I know I will not. How am I supposed to go buy a bag? Seriously... I am not trying to be a downer, and the post really, really helped. You know what? Just while I was writing this, I realized that this post helped me to create a Christmas list, and on top of Shari's book, I will be asking for a purse and shoes, and maybe a gift card to Walmart to use for make up needs when they arise! Thanks Shari:) It really is nice to know what really does need to be done...

Anonymous said...

Great post. I need to get me a rock star bag, get me a nice hair color to complement my locks. My current hair color Bronze by Clairol has faded and I want something warm like a brown. I am like Star, I tend to scrimp when it comes to buying stuff for myself and if I do I feel guilty at times. I will take your suggestions and improve in this area. Thanks for all the beauty tips which you give with so much love and grace all at a cost of $0. Our own God given fashion consultant. Be blessed and have a wonderful and favor filled day.

Carol said...

My closet needs a good cleaning out. I don't like to throw anything away. (I have sweaters that I know are old 'cause I wore them at the last place I worked...and I left there in 2003! I saw a picture of myself from 1996and I was still wearing that knit top this summer!)I don't know what to buy and have trouble finding stuff I like. I'm reading your book and will keep what it says in mind as I shop. Blessing to Star. I'm fortunate to be past the tight budgeting place in life, but old habits die hard and I just can't bring myself to spend much on clothes.

God's Girl said...

Hi Shari! First I need to say thank you!!! "Meeting" you has made such a difference in my life. I'm happier because I feel better and I feel better because I'm looking better! :) And guess what everyone in my house seems to be a little happier including my husband. I run a preschool and daycare from home, so I care for 8 children every day, one of those little ones is my son, who has special needs. I recently started following your blog, got myself a cute pair of jeans ($19 at Kohls)and took your advice about facial hair (embarassing topic, but I love those eybrow shapers you recommended)! I noticed that once I started making little changes, the days with the kids seemed less stressful. I looked forward to getting up and putting on my make up and something cute. I've even gone so far as to fix my hair and spruce up my make up right after the kids leave, so that I look nice when my husband gets home. AMAZING!!! Well, now that you have started this process, the next step I will be taking is looking into a purse. Wait, a purse and not a diaper bag?!?! Oh what a day!!! I am going medium, with a "pop" color. I'm off to Target tonight. Wish me luck girls! I'm on a roll! :) Blessings to you all!

Michelle Angelique said...

Oh Shari,
I love how you addressed Star's concerns. I am a single mom and I have understood the guilt of spending money on myself but settled that years ago by learning to shop at the second hand thirft stores. I proudly tell the women where I get my clothes and oh, the shocked and amazed looks on their faces! lol They are always so surprised because of the great quality of the clothes! I struggled for years with buying the accessories because they were a luxury expense but after reading your book I became bolder and more confident and so I have slowly shopped the thrift stores for beads that I can remake into my own amazing jewelry pieces and now I not only get tons of compliments on them but I have started a little business on the side making them for others.

You gave me the courage to finally accept that God loves me as me (fluff and all) and to stop being so critical of myself. I don't obsess over my weight anymore, and I feel so much more confident and amazing as Jesus' girl! I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle and be a good role model to my daughter, I pray that God will teach her now what took me so long to learn!

Bless you Shari for your obediance and willingness to be used to help all of us! I have shared your book and encouraged all the women in my life to embrace who God has created them to be! Smiles

allison morrison said...

Thanks so much! I know I need to take better care of myself. I'm discouraged because I have about 15 pounds of baby weight to lose. I mean my son is only 8 weeks old and I'm discouraged! I know it didn't come on overnight and it won't come off overnight...but it really is discouraging (did I say that already?)!
I can make an effort though while I'm in transition...a new haircut, some jewelry...
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Loved the advice today. I need to purge my closet. I've started it already as I swap from summer to winter. My children are older now and we have a bit more discretionary income but are still on a budget. I think I learned early on that if I take care of myself, I am a much better person to everyone else. I have always put on makeup every morning and dressed in something that matched - just so I felt good. And I usually end my day with a bubble bath.
Maybe a fun thing sometime would be for everyone to post their favorite drug store brand of make up, skin care or bath product.
Blessings on everyones day.

Megan said...

I need to look at myself in a full length mirror... but this scares me...

Katy-Anne said...

Can I leave some suggestions for some of your tips for Star? I'm a stay at home mom too and I love to look good. In fact, it frustrates me somewhat that people think I *LIKE* to look frumpy because I'm a stay at home mom. They try to guilt trip me that as a stay at home mom I couldn't possibly need any "nice clothes".

On point # 1, I think of Esther in the Bible who took a WHOLE YEAR to pamper herself and prepare herself for the king. It was obviously worth it and she was obviously attractive and did justice to herself because the king chose her out of all the other women. It is important to look beautiful for our husbands.

# 2. I don't cut or color my hair. I don't believe in cutting it and coloring it would be a nightmare for those of us that don't cut it. But even though I don't cut it, I find attractive long styles to put it in instead of just the standard bun on top of my head like most other non-hair cutting women I know. So even if you are in that category, buy some nice hair things and styling aids and do something cute with your long hair.

# 6. Again, if you are like me and are skirts only...then get a beautiful denim skirt instead of the jeans. And go and buy a NICE one from Cato or somewhere like that, not a worn out one from the thrift store. :) Thrift stores are fine but you just want to avoid it looking old and out of style. I personally don't have a lot of luck at thrift stores, but then again I'm plus size.

And on the make-up thing? I sell Avon, and therefore I get a discount. Consider selling Avon to your friends and in so doing, you earn a little extra pocket money, and hopefully enough money to pay for your own cosmetics. :) That's what I do. I also got my pair of winter boots and some clothes and jewelry from selling Avon.

Mariah said...

The haircut thing is my hardest part. I can do clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up, but hair??? Up-do's I can do, but I am stumped with a style to cut it to. Hmm...I really need to do that! :)It's only been 4 months(lol), but that's better than the year to year and a half it use to be between cuts. :D


BTW, I too am like Star, I feel the exact same way about buying things for myself. We live on a tight budget(one income), I homeschool my 3 kids. I'm only 24, not very accomplished in any skills, so I feel inadequate more than I think I should. I love to do fashion, but for me, right now, that's not helping the financial situation. Even though I love clothes and fashion, I don't buy anything for myself...so, just sayin' MOMS unite! We should have a serious group of ladies that can help each other crawl out of this mentality. I wouldn't be surprised if, you, Star, are a coupon-er, like me. :) We need to be Frugalistas and Fashionistas...haha we can do it!

visit me @ clothedwithlilies.blogspot.com

Jenifer said...

I am also a stay at home mom to four kids. My husband and I also go without the second income in order to raise our family in the way we feel God wants us to. I greatly appreciate all of the tips!

debbie r said...

I really need to get a GREAT pair of Jeans!! It's so hard for me to find a pair that will fit me right! I have a bountiful booty. : ) I love your blog and read it each week. Thank you so much for your tips!!!!!

Sharon said...

Great post! I need to get a good hair cut as well as clean out my closet. I seriously seriously need to clean out my closet and go shopping!! Sometimes, I just don't take the time to have "me time". Thanks for your tips.

Paula said...

Wonderful reply, Shari!

I particularly agree that it is NOT necessary to spend a lot of money to look great!
I find that hunting for bargains is half the fun of shopping!

One really practical help for me is checking out resale shops for gently used and like-new outfits, shoes, bags, etc. This is a FABULOUS way to find (often) designer pieces for Walmart prices!
I had to purchase literally an entire new wardrobe almost two years ago after losing over 50 lbs. Hitting resale shops was a GREAT way to supplement my shopping. Check out your area for some of these hidden gems!

Michele said...

Shari,
Thank you for always being an encouragement to myself & others. I have done some of the things on your list but still need to clean out my closet, buy new shoes, and take a bubble bath with God's Good Book.Think I would like to take the bath first.

Michele

Penny said...

Wow! I just found your blog and now I see that getting your book is on my to-do for me list!

This entire post brought tears to my eyes. I do live on a super tight budget.

My husband is the Senior Pastor of a small church in New Orleans. What a city! I rarely do for myself. Probably the bra & panties one started the tears aflowing! However, I do have a new handbag that I just adore! It was my 40th birthday present!

Thanks for this amazing word of encouragement. It's great to know that someone else buys their makeup at Walmart!!!

Thanks for encouraging us all!

Deb said...

I would have to say that I don't get my hair cut as much as I should and then I my hair starts to look sloppy. I also think I could use some new bras and panties. I will have to work on some of these things. Thanks for the great post.

Sarah said...

#8- New shoes. The ones I wear most often are at least 3 years old. Also, I've never thought about matching my hair color and shoes... I will have to try that. Thanks for the tips!

Cheryl said...

I could have written Star's email. I can certainly relate. I love your answer. I need to do everything you suggest, but mostly I need to clean out my closet, get a cute haircut, and thank Jesus for making me who I am.

Daphne said...

Shari, I am always blessed by your posts. It seems that I always read them just when I need them (even if it happens to be a few days after you've posted!) At this precise moment, I need #1 the most. We bought a new place about a month ago and I have completely let myself go because there is just so much work to do on the house! My fingernails are all broken, my hands are so dry I could use them as sandpaper, and I have worn my "painting clothes" more days than I care to admit! And I won't even start on the guilt...it's everywhere!! Thank you for the blessing of your words and care!

Cheri said...

Wow! Those are all great! I have definitely been encouraged, thank you! I think the bubble bath with the Bible sounds pretty good to me... I rarely do the bubble bath thing, but I'm thinking I need to start! :) I'm definitely on the "guilt" boat as well... thanks for reminding me to not give in to those lies. Blessings to you!

One More Equals Four said...

Shari, Thank you so much for answering this so thoroughly! Wow! I read through this at 5:30 this morning while waiting for it to get light enough to run. I cried through about half of it. I thought a lot about it while running. I must admit, I'm not totally there. In my head I know all of this makes sense but at the same time...I just can't fight the feeling of guilt at even the THOUGHT of buying a new handbag when I have one that works. Shoes, I do need but it is so hard to spend the money when my children have outgrown theirs and I have worn a whole through my running shoes and the thought of just buying cute ones seems frivolous...I'm a tough case! :)

I do know these things make sense. I am happy with my hair. I'm growing it out and have a lot of natural highlights (okay a lot of natural grey but it totally looks like highlights) I have a couple of pairs of jeans that I got last year that I think look good on me, so I am okay there. I guess my next step is to clean out the closet, which is in desperate need and then do the wardrobe planner...I will definitely let you know how that goes. I will try the before and after thing...I must admit the thought scares me to death but I am going to try! Thank you for your ministry, you are such a blessing!
Star

Kate Meyer said...

I need to go shoe shopping! I've been wearing the same shoes for about two years now because I hate to spend the money if the shoes still fit and are in decent condition. I admit it, I am a pinch-penny. I hadn't thought of matching hair color with handbags or shoes either. I suppose that is why I think my brown things look better on me instead of the others. Thank you so much for this wonderful advice!

~Brenda said...

Shari, your advice to Star is so loving and helpful; this shows you really care about women and their needs. I have always felt that by taking care of myself has made me a better mom to our son. I have been buying my cosmetics at Wal-Mart for many years.
I feel I am purchasing good name brands for a great price.

Elin said...

I think I need to to get a new hair style. Its been a while. And Star you're right, you're not alone. God bless.

Kristin Hansen said...

There were several things on that list I definitely need to do - but the biggest: new hand bag, matching my hair color. Second, shoes, also in my hair color! Question though: I have dark blonde hair & wear quite a bit of black for work...will shoes in my hair color go with my current work wardrobe??

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I think I could have written this letter to you! I also have 4 kids (2-7 years) and home school. This summer I worked hard and lost 15 pounds. Which means my wardrobe isn't really working for me any more. I bought your book and LOVE it!! Last Friday night I went shopping with a close friend who is about my same height and coloring and always looks put together. We had a great time, I bought some great pieces, and benefited from some good sales.

Unfortunately my husband wasn't thrilled with how much money I spent or that I bought more shoes. (My shoe size went up half a size after my last baby and I really NEEDED new shoes.) Since our discussion I've refused to accept the guilt for my purchases. Having clothes that fit properly really is important to my self-esteem and influences how others see me.

One thing I realized though is that my closet and drawers were full of items that don't fit. Of course my husband thinks I don't need anything when he sees a closet full of clothes! Only keeping what fits well helps him to see what I really have to work with.

Thanks for writing a great book and answering our questions!

Anonymous said...

I've been in the process of cleaning out the closet--need to keep at it! But I also need to start wearing some jewelry again. Got out of the habit when I went on a trip.
Carolina W.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate with Star's concerns! I need to do all ten steps but am going to start with the closet! Thanks for the advice and support!

Oh Dear said...

The handbag is the hardest for me...I need my hands to hold on to my little people so I don't want to carry a handbag or have it sliding off of my shoulder. I attach a small bag to me. I know it is not pretty but it totally works for me! Esp. since for the first time in 9 years I am not carrying a diaper bag!

Henna-Maria said...

This was interesting post. I find myself so out of the target group, but I still enjoyed it. Let me explain: I live in Central Asia and wear Central Asian dresses almoust all the time. The patterns, the colors, the styles... like an alien world!
I know I need new jeans with a good cut, but considering the times I would wear them next(probably next summer, visiting home country), it is not on my list yet!
Hair cutting part has always been hard for me. I like long hair, and my husband really likes long hair. I was about 21 years old when I had my hair cut shoulder length (or little shorter) and I did not like it at all! Since then I haven't had very many dramatic changes... I keep it long with some layers.
But as a mom of small kids I really need to remember Number 1!!!!

p.s. Have you read book 'Color me beautiful'? It is old, from 80's or early 90's. My mom has it and I used to read it with her and do color tests. People are divided into seasons, based on their natural colors: spring (warm), summer (cool), fall (warm), winter (cool). I am 'summer'(cool) based on this book, but when I tried to do your color test online I kept on falling into group (so not remember the names now) that recommended warm colors. Also, it would be helpful if your color test had NAMES for the color options, not just numbers. The pictures of course help, but a little description would help me a lot!

Leigh said...

I can totally relate to the writer. I work but are still strapped for money. I sacrifice things for myself all the time. I need to really clean out my closet of all the cloths I don't/can't wear and see what I have to start with. Thank you for your advice.

Lea said...

Shari,Just came over from Star's blog. WOW! you gave some amazing advice and I am so thrilled to find you and will be a regular visitor to your site now.

I will definitely be giving your book to my daughter and daughter in law for Christmas and of course, will get myself one in the process.

God's richest blessings to you as you minister to a very real need in woman's lives. Smiles to you!

Our Girls said...

I definitely need to clean out my closet! out with the old, in the with new ;)
I also need to get a nice haircut and maintain a nice hairstyle!!

Thanks for your advice!

janicejohnson said...

Hi Shari,
I too came over from Star's blog. Had to laugh about the handbag thing... last fall I finally broke down and bought a medium-large bag, feeling super bold because I had always carried smallish ones. Not long after, I discovered I had left a foldable umbrella in it FOR A WEEK, without realizing it was there! Never noticed it down in the depths. Yep, I guess my purse is big enough!
Love the advice, and I'll be back!

lisasmith said...

I just want to say I LOVE this post. Women need to take care of themselves... not overboard just taking care. I've been on every place of this spectrum. I love finding a balance and you are so right. When mama takes care of herself everybody in the family is happier. Simply because mama is happier =)

Diana said...

I think it would be easier to pick the ones I already do. :) What I really need to do is read your book.

My kids are grown and I'm on my own. Now, instead of the kids being my 'reason' for not doing for myself, I am afraid to spend money because I may need it for some future expense. I was married for 30 years and now divorced for almost 9. It's kind of scary knowing I am on my own, especially financially.

Melanie said...

#4 is what I need to do right now!

Saving money on fashion/make-up/hair care:

If you do the CVS or Walgreens' deals, you can often get hair color and makeup very inexpensively and most drug stores will let you return make up if you are not happy with it.

Clothing ~ I find great deals on clothes (some still with tags) at thrift stores. Wednesday I stopped at a thrift store I have never been in before and all clothing items were $1 (Wednesday special).
I got a "like new" pair of casual pants - Banana Republic brand and a very cute top for a total of $2!
Most of my summer wardrobe has come from thrifting. I have several Ann Taylor Loft pieces and they are either new with tags or look new. Most of those items cost me $2.50 because the thrift store I frequent has 1/2 price on clothing on Mondays.
I shop online at Soma for fabulous bras ~ I get them when they are on clearance. Since I have also shopped the clearance rack of Soma in the mall, I know the sizing runs true every time. You MUST have a good fitting bra!

I do not buy cheap shoes. I buy expensive shoes on sale and only very deep sales. Dillard's and Macy's often have great clearances on shoes. You just have to be patient and I am.

I color my hair myself...base color and highlights. My hairdresser who only charges $16 for a shampoo/cut/style tells me I do a great job at my color and she is very generous in sharing technique. The place I go is not a supercuts type place. It is an old fashioned "beauty shop" but it works for me. They have lower overhead and it is reflected in their prices.
(BTW, I homeschooled for several years and we made sacrifices, too, so I really "get" where Star is coming from.
And Shari, you are so right in how a mother models the way a woman should take care of herself. I think when you realize that your children are learning your "modeling" - daughters and sons alike, you begin to see caring for yourself in a different light.

Melanie said...

#4 is what I need to do right now!

Saving money on fashion/make-up/hair care:

If you do the CVS or Walgreens' deals, you can often get hair color and makeup very inexpensively and most drug stores will let you return make up if you are not happy with it.

Clothing ~ I find great deals on clothes (some still with tags) at thrift stores. Wednesday I stopped at a thrift store I have never been in before and all clothing items were $1 (Wednesday special).
I got a "like new" pair of casual pants - Banana Republic brand and a very cute top for a total of $2!
Most of my summer wardrobe has come from thrifting. I have several Ann Taylor Loft pieces and they are either new with tags or look new. Most of those items cost me $2.50 because the thrift store I frequent has 1/2 price on clothing on Mondays.
I shop online at Soma for fabulous bras ~ I get them when they are on clearance. Since I have also shopped the clearance rack of Soma in the mall, I know the sizing runs true every time. You MUST have a good fitting bra!

I do not buy cheap shoes. I buy expensive shoes on sale and only very deep sales. Dillard's and Macy's often have great clearances on shoes. You just have to be patient and I am.

I color my hair myself...base color and highlights. My hairdresser who only charges $16 for a shampoo/cut/style tells me I do a great job at my color and she is very generous in sharing technique. The place I go is not a supercuts type place. It is an old fashioned "beauty shop" but it works for me. They have lower overhead and it is reflected in their prices.
(BTW, I homeschooled for several years and we made sacrifices, too, so I really "get" where Star is coming from.
And Shari, you are so right in how a mother models the way a woman should take care of herself. I think when you realize that your children are learning your "modeling" - daughters and sons alike, you begin to see caring for yourself in a different light.

livadair said...

I could probably use some new shoes- I have had some of the same ones for longer than I should admit! :)

Anonymous said...

Shari,
Your comments in the past month have shown your love and caring for women and how God works through you! I am so happy to come read your blog every Wednesday and now I get to read on Mondays too! I need to clean out my closet and get rid of some things that I will never wear again. (This is how badly I need to clean my closet-I found a pair of Clarks clogs in there this morning that I must have purchased on sale late last winter and forgot that I had. I am thrilled that they match my haircolor and will look cute with my jeans!!)

tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, I need many of them!!! But the one I need right now is a cut and color!! I've got the color at the house, just haven't used it yet--and I'm at least 3 weeks past due! ARGH!

Thanks for this great post!

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca
tiggerdaisy@gmail.com

Amanda said...

I need a great pair of jeans! I just can't seem to find the right ones.

Jagette said...

Oh, my. I could use a couple of new bras. Have been putting it off for so long. Like your article.

proudgrits11 said...

Oooo, I need to do #5. I want to keep that list in my purse!! I'm actually chipping away at it a little at a time...I already got two pairs of jeans!! :) I also got two new tops and a little jacket, all in the right colors, per your suggestion! :) Shopping is so much easier once we know what looks good on us and flatter us!!
OK, as for the guilt....we absolutely need to get over putting EVERYone first and ourselves last. I blogged about this just now!!
http://proudgrits.blogspot.com/2010/10/fashion-love-it-or-hate-it-i-have-book.html
Thanks, Shari, for all you do and for reminding us to take care of ourselves!!!

Anonymous said...

I know most women will scoff when I say this, but I am a teacher on a limited budget and do not have the money to spend on clothes. I buy most of my wardrobe at Goodwill and consignment stores. The clothes I buy are clothes I couldn't afford to pay full price for-J Jill, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, LL Bean. They are great. I also clothes swap with my co-workers.-kendra

JillnCo. said...

Let's see, I have a rock star diaper bag. I'm 5'2" and it's a big bag but I looooove it and my sisters gave it to me and I get complimentson it all the time. It's constantly full though so I guess Ishould clean it out more! Oh, and I should get a good pair of shoes. I have high arches and have a couple pairs of tennies but I know the shoes that fit me best and are cute but feel too GUILTY to spend the money on them. Having knees and feet that don't hurt at the end of the day would be worth it though! THank you for your blog, I'm going to wear my make-up and a watch today!

Me said...

Okay, I am just temporarily giving up. I cleaned my closet over the last two days. You are right I just had tons of pieces and many that go with one thing or really had no match. I have cleaned out a lot. But now I am stuck. I did my DCC enalysis when it first started. It said I was a clear. I was kind of excited about that, love bright colors and black (yay!) I even wore a dress the other day that wasn't in those colors (more of a soft) and someone told me how pale I looked. I wanted to get an idea of colors I should clean out so I got on and redid it today...it said soft. I did it again, soft. Now I don't know what to do...don't know what to keep and what to get rid of. I am overwhelmed so I am putting this on hold until Christmas when I hopefully will have the book. Maybe that will clear my mind a bit. You really are a blessing to those of us who are fashion challenged! :)
Star

gritsgirl721 said...

Star,
Another suggestion I have for you is somewhere like a "Plato's Closet." It is a consignment shop where they buy clothes and pay you immediately. The clothes have to be clean and no tears or spots but they pay decently and better than nothing. Look for something like that in your area. Also with 4 children you may be able to ask around and see if they have something like that for children's clothes also. If not don't forget a yard sale occasionally. Let your older children help or your parents. PRAY for God's blessing and favor on it. My brother recently made 600.00 on their yard sale. Hope it helps. I'm a teacher and I can tell you children DO care what their moms and dads look like!! Take Care,
Amanda
Olive Branch, Ms

Heidi said...

Thanks so much for the advice..what I really need to do is clean out my closet and get a new pair of jeans. I have had lots of luck with Lee Riders. For some reason I always get holes in the right knee of my jeans, guess I spend too much time kneeling. :)

Anonymous said...

What great advice you gave this week. I really need to clean out my closet & start looking for my colors when I shop. And the next time I need jeans I surely will look for the Riders. I've been trying to convince myself to try a new hairdo. You've just confirmed that for me. Blessings, LA

Trish D said...

Thanks for another great post! I think so many women can relate to this, SAHM or not. It's so hard to spend $ on ourselves...

I really need to clean out my closet and do the wardrobe plan. I'm currently working very hard to get healthier (including dropping some serious poundage) and in the weird place where clothes are loose but next size down are still a bit too tight. In the meantime, I'm trying to "jazz up" my clothes, even if they're baggy, with some sort of accessory. Baby steps, baby steps :)

ConnieH said...

Hi Shari, I'm visiting your blog before Renee Swope told me about a give away you were doing. I enjoyed reading your message today, and can happily report that I do do several of the things on your list of things we need to do for outselves. The one I really, really need to do though, is #4 - Create some order in my closet. There are many things in there that don't fit that are still hanging there. I riffle through the mess and wear the same things over and over again. I would love to be entered to win the book you are giving away, even though it's past Friday. :) Thanks for the opportunity!

Connie
connieh67@yahoo.com

Pajama Mama said...

What an awesome answer to a great letter. I'm a homeschooling mom on one income as well...and have the same exact thoughts and questions as Star. So Star, no, you are not alone.

I didn't know you had a free wardrobe worksheet thingy. I must print that out!!! I desperately need some new shoes for the Fall/winter. Flip flops won't cut it any more....even though I wore them yesterday bc it was 93 degrees here in south Georgia! But they have to be COMFORTABLE...my go-to shoes but cute. So that's my thing from the list I need to do.

Jeannie

Marla said...

I just came across your blog, so I'm probably too late for the drawing, but the two things I reaaly need to work on is getting a pair of great-fitting jeans and get measured for the correct bra size. I'm going to try to work these in this week. Thank you for your uplifting message. I'm subscribing to your blog so I don't miss your future posts. God bless.

koinonia572001@yahoo.com

Suzie Adams said...

I am needing a bubble bath! I used to take one every night after my kids were in bed ~ now they're older and I go to sleep before they do!! No candle lit bathes have been happening lately! I just lost 80lbs ~ and counting ~ and I need to get some new clothes that fit ~ but waiting until goal to spend much! :)