Whole Parenting Family

Staying (becoming?) hot (haut?) for your husband

20 weeks with no 3

It is a state of mind, ladies. Says the 20 week pregnant woman. Finding out gender on Friday! Where was I when I was this pregnant with SweetPea–(oh, wait, that was 33 weeks)?

And it wasn’t until my recent trip to ny to help my sister Molly with her new baby girl (LOVE HER!!!) that I realized this. It’s a state of mind. Walking the Brooklyn streets to run errands for my sister, or up to the doctor’s office with her, I marveled. The women in Brooklyn look chic. In their snowcoats. With their boots and hats on. Pushing a stroller, dragging a doggie, or sipping a latte. They looked like they either cared about their appearance, or they thought they were hot stuff despite it. Lesson learned for me: believe you’re hot. Do it.

So that means if you’re wearing yoga pants and a nursing bra (despite ceasing nursing months and months ago) (oh, yeah, the non-underwire one), care enough to add earrings. And a normal shirt. Not one that requires ironing after you wear it, mind you. But not one that has holes or stains, or an unflattering midsection.

If you’re newly pregnant, relax. You get a pass. If you’re newly a parent, relax. You do too. The rest of us do not. I repeat: do not get a pass.

Beyond the basics of hygiene, thanks to my Tia Ali for the space heater in my bathroom that enables more frequent showers, and dressing yourself beyond the look of a waif or workout queen, remember the mental battle.

Part of my realization took place when I found myself repeatedly saying “I just look so terrible” to any available person: my sister, brother-in-law (sainted man), husband via FaceTime, girlfriend I ran into at the airport. I had to stop and think: why do I think I look so bad? And do I look that bad? Because 1) I do and 2) I think of myself as frumpy mom house frau.

Maybe I could pull off this look if I delusionally thought I did look decent. Or say, I made an effort to look decent and stopped telling myself I look like a beaten down, tired, apathetic housewife who just wants to survive til 6:30 when AA comes home and I can collapse upstairs.

You see Facebook or Instagram photos of your mommy friends and think “why does she always look so good? Why make the rest of us feel like crap?” Clearly (hopefully) that’s not her motivation. She’s probably trying to rise above her beaten down feelings, you know, the ones your fingers are prune from swimming in. Good for her.

Now get about the business of becoming hot for your poor neglected husband. Not just on your annual date night to his company holiday party, but bi-weekly (too much? Bi-monthly?). It’s not about your weight, lack of hair coloring, or nail condition. It’s really truly about thinking you’re still the hot babe he married. Wear your baby evidence (weight, stripes, wrinkles) with pride and be a mama who still roars. (Too much? Maybe too much. I’m going to make myself a hot cocoa.)


  1. Jacqui on December 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I find sometimes all I really need is to blow dry my hair (even if it’s day three of not washing it) and put on some mascara. It can be so hard though! If I have to head out, I know that between getting myself and baby ready, it’s going to delay my outing by two hours. It becomes a game of how little can I get by with.

    I usually try to get one day during the week where I do the whole shower, blow dry, make up thing. Even if I can’t get to it until Iggy’s afternoon nap time, I feel so much better.

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Great tricks!! How little we can get by with is totally clutch. Whole shower/blow dry/make up! That sounds like amazement. I did scrub my feet last night in the bathtub after the kids were done. I’m not going to tell you how much dead slough off skin there was. Yikes!

  2. Kate on December 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Gender on Friday! Do you have a guess?? My ultrasound is Christmas Eve (19 weeks) and we are finding out this time. My official call (based on nothing) is girl.

    Also, my secret to keeping up appearances after becoming a mother is that I never did it in the first place so no one call tell the difference. 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 19, 2013 at 5:16 am

      I have no instincts in this department. SuperBoy insists its a boy; that’s all we got. And we have a girl name we love . . . so ahhh!!!

      I love your secret!!!

  3. Jane on December 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Haha! I love the ending to this post. You are a tiger Nell! A sexy tiger! And AA is a lucky man. Enjoy that cocoa. Xo

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 19, 2013 at 5:16 am

      The cocoa has been my pregnancy treat! And it takes one to know one, tiger mama 😉

  4. Kate on December 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    P.S. You look fantastic. I look fine but I am enormous. No one would ever believe you’re due before me!

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 19, 2013 at 5:17 am

      It’s the throwing up!! I wish I were a nice fat happy pregnant 20 weeker!!

      • Kate on December 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

        Aw. Fat and happy coming your way soon, my friend! I’ve actually gained a bit less than this point last time (8 lb so far) but for some reason the belly became enormous immediately, like before I’d gained anything at all. I guess those lovely abs I used to have aren’t doing their thing anymore. Maybe I’ll do some situps next year. Or maybe not. 🙂

  5. Natasha on December 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Great post! I think that this realization is a mommy-milestone. I remember the moment (and it was far further into the mommy game than you are) when I realized that I didn’t have to give in to the inevitability of always looking as exhausted as I felt. Earrings are awesome for giving the impression that you didn’t just roll out of bed. So is lip gloss or a little mascara. I think it’s okay to expect the people around you to be able to handle a bit of reality, but the thing is that when reality gets hard, it’s easier to be who you want to be when you don’t feel completely dejected about the way you look.

    All that said, I don’t know why you are posting this since you look fabulous!! 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 19, 2013 at 5:18 am

      It is all about accepting it (exhaustion) but not letting it defeat you, right? The chapped lips in the winter up here are killer. I do need some colored lip balm or gloss–excellent suggestion! And you ALWAYS have the best earrings on, so I’m going to take up on that band wagon right now!!!

  6. Lydia on December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Oh Nell! We are like one mind these days. I’ve been thinking the same things. I’ve realized a couple of things: 1) Feeling good about how I look starts with a shower and non stretchy pants. 2) No one is going to look after me but me. I just got my hair cut after way too long. I’m not sure what I was waiting for. No one else cares about that but me and I feel so much better having it done! I needed to remind myself to be a grown up and take care of myself! 3) it’s ok that I’m not a nailpolish person, or a full face makeup person, or a dress person. I was the same girl 10 years ago and I was cute then! Just be me, but me somewhat groomed. And smiling. That always helps :-).

    • Natural Mama Nell on December 19, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Shower! Non-stretchy pants! And yes, so long as we embrace it’s ultimately for us to feel and be more human. I never was a makeup girl either, and that’s okay with our husbands who married us as non-makeuper’s, right? Somewhat groomed and smiling. That should be cross stitched and on a wall hanging for tired moms!! ps. You always look fab!

  7. […] sleep has wrecked my face and puffed out my eyes for infinity. I’m thinking that, once again, I have to believe I’m beautiful and feel confident in order to embrace my new body // new reality. My perception of myself is […]

  8. Jennifer on September 25, 2014 at 4:19 am

    To all the tiger mommies out there (or aspiring-mommies, like me 🙂
    You gotta read FASCINATING WOMANHOOD. If you google Fascinating Womanhood pdf you will find a treasure of gold for yourself and for your marriage. Do it!!!

  9. After The Great Stretching - on April 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    […] sleep has wrecked my face and puffed out my eyes for infinity. I’m thinking that, once again, I have to believe I’m beautiful and feel confident in order to embrace my new body // new reality. My perception of myself is […]

  10. […] Staying Hot for Your Husband […]

  11. Elizabeth @ Coppertop Kitchen on May 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

    YES MA’AM.

    • Natural Mama Nell on June 1, 2015 at 9:35 am

      HAHA! Yes!