Whole Parenting Family

Why Moms May Not Look Like Normal People


I had a revelation yesterday. It was at my Catholic Moms group. We meet in the Bride’s Room of our parish, something like 8-14 moms, 15-30 kids. The kids wreak havoc and we chat about various topics. Yesterday was “self care for the busy mom.” Wait for it; the revelation is coming. We talked about spiritual retreats, date night by yourself at Target, how our craft night was a re-charger, and yes, pedicures.

I confessed I hadn’t taken off  my french pedicure toe nail polish from being a bridesmaid at my DC sweet girlfriend’s wedding in . . .  APRIL. There was a dull silence in any otherwise loud room. Most people looked a little shocked. Disgusted? Amused? Definitely confused as to why my hygiene was so lacking. The truth is, I don’t have any toe nail polish remover and never remember to get it at the store. Gross? Maybe. Definitely. So I went out and bought some last night, and repainted my nails deep purple. Kinda a Rumsey Rouge as a shoutout to my sweet friend Emily.

Revelation: moms prioritize different things. For me, it’s almost never appearance and hygiene. And I need to beef things up in that department. I was impressed by my girlfriends who came yesterday to group showered, hair blow dried, and looking lovely. They weren’t peacocking around. They aren’t vain women. They simply looked presentable and lovely! Now that can’t be all of us everyday, but I really put zero effort into it. And I should care more. And I should have removed my toe nail polish from 6 months ago. Because that is gross.

Hint: that’s my revelation. 

I didn’t mean to shock my friends. (And I confessed to Shea I was wearing what I had slept in–I DID brush my teeth!!) (And in my defense, I had been up since 4am without a chance to shower before AA left at 6:30, got the kids to a doc appt and then to group.) I hope they can get past it and not reconsider coming over, eating food I’ve prepared, or leaving their children with me (as my mom suggested over hot tea this morning “Oh, NELL, save those things for your SISTERS and SARAH!!!!”).

10 reasons why your mom friends may not look like normal people:

1) Their children were up all night, alternating crying and pooping.

2) Their shower is broken and washing your hair in the bath still means it looks unwashed.

3) They hate bathing in the cold, drafty, Minnesota winter weather in an old house. (Yes, Tia Ali, I will get a space heater someday for the bathroom!)

4) As they were leaving the house, someone wiped smoothie all over their yoga pants, which they may or may not have slept in.

5) Their husband works late nights & early mornings, or they’re a single parent whose partner isn’t present. God bless you. I DO NOT KNOW how you do it. Single parents are my heroes.

6) Blow drying hair, putting on makeup or contact lenses, applying deodorant sounds like so much time you could be laying in bed, or forcing your children to try to go to the bathroom before you leave the house.

7) Mascara applied never comes off. NEVER. Despite several different eye makeup removers. Raccoon eyes for days is the result.

8) Shopping for grownup clothing budget was eaten when they decided to spring for organic cotton sweaters for their children (Love you, Toto Knits!)

9) If you’re not working outside the home, the bar for appearance can be lowered. In my case, I was never great about looking fabulous at work to begin with and now that I’m home, it’s downright shameful! 🙂

10) Their hormones are crazy, pregnant, lactating, or no. I plan on this being a lifelong excuse.

Thanks for putting up with my embarrassing lack of foot hygiene, lovely ladies in my moms’ group!


  1. Jacqui on October 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Oh, I was so envious of your sweat pants. Had I not had a long day of visits planned, I would also have been there in my pjs. Funny thing, I was going to just where a t-shirt and yoga pants because I thought to myself “self, remember how comfy Nell looked last month? Let’s do that”.

    We all have our 6-months-of-the-same-nail-polish. I go through about 2 outfits a week. Sundays outfit, and the one I wear the rest of the week. I also have a pile o’ returns that I’ve really been meaning to get to…

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

      And I was so in admiration of your beautiful hair & outfit!! Hahaha–I’m so glad to be inspiring sweats! Um, I really believe in yoga pants & a tank all week, and then tights & a tank for mass? Is that bad??

      • Jacqui on October 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

        Haha, I haven’t worn jeans since I was preggo. I still live in my maternity leggings. Love them!

  2. Jeanne on October 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

    A friend of mine who is a mommy got a babysitter for her kids so she can go to the gala. At the gala, she proudly showed off the chocolate pudding smudges down her champagne colored dress. One of her kids yelled, “Mommy! You are SO BEAUTIFUL!” and hugged her legs. Next thing she noticed was the chocolate pudding hands.

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

      This is SO fabulous!!!!!

  3. Jess on October 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Had to laugh at this, as I just removed toe nail polish from July this week. You’re in good company.

    I could never make it to work without snot on at least one shoulder. I had to remind myself that someday, I will not have this problem. Because someday (too soon!), my little booger face is going to be off and running instead of perpetually perched on my hip.

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Is it okay to say I’m relieved I’m not alone??

      Snot shoulder = sign of a good mom. You’re right. Boogers and dirty hands are a great stage!

  4. Andrea on October 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

    You’re not alone! If left to my own devices I will shower 1-2 times/week. I actually recently made a weekly checklist for myself that includes certain self-care items, namely taking vitamins, doing yoga, and showering THREE times/week. I have to admit that I have not met my goals every week 🙂

    And since I do actually work “outside the home” (from home, 3 days/week, but often have to go out and look presentable), that’s my main motivation to get haircuts and use a blowdryer (within reason, haha).

    Also I wear the clothes that I sleep in ALL THE TIME. Though usually that has more to do with the fact that I’ve given up on changing for bed and just go to sleep in whatever I’m wearing. If I leave the house I trade my yoga pants for jeans, then change back pretty much as soon as I walk in the door.

    • Natural Mama Nell on October 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      I love it!! A weekly checklist is such a good idea. I am going to make one now. You always look presentable when I see you!

      Why change for bed, right???? Luuuuuuuv that I’m not alone in this terribly practical phenomena.