Monday, February 2, 2009

Don't want to be a pajama mama

This is a picture of me holding little Shira, on the day she was born. Now you all know how I look after two sleepless nights of contractions and labor, just a couple of hours after having given birth, and wearing a hospital nightdress :o)

I felt a dramatic difference on the day of my release, when I changed back into my own clothes, combed my hair, and put on some make-up. All of a sudden, I was a different person.

These days, when schedules are temporarily cast away as I care for my newborn around the clock, it can be sometimes tempting to remain lounging in my pajamas all day long - especially if I'm waiting for an opportunity to take a much needed nap. Still, I make it a priority to get dressed, wash my face and comb my hair first thing in the morning. It makes me feel so much more productive and put together. Before my husband comes home, I usually try to put on a touch of light make-up.

I feel that making an effort to look, at the very least, presentable, is a way to honor my husband, my little girl, myself, and any visitors that might stop by. I realize it might be easier for me now, with just one baby, but I do think that looking decent helps to preserve a sense of dignity.

... Days pass, like other moms here testified, in a blur, and nights, mornings and evenings blend together. I know each moment is precious and won't return, so I try to forget the unwashed floors and unfolded laundry.

At least we don't live off sandwiches or store-bought pizza - our wonderful neighbours brought enough food for a small army. With just the two of us, I think it will last at least a couple of weeks, until I hopefully settle into some sort of routine of simple cooking.


Traci said...

Yes, it is so tempting to not get dressed, especially when you KNOW you aren't going to leave the house. I make an effort every morning to get dressed first thing since I've had so many times before where I've had to rush out of the house for an emergency and had to get dressed first. You are starting a great habit! Your daughter is beautiful and so are skinny thing!!!

Coffee Catholic said...

I was trapped in hideous hospital gowns for TEN DAYS!!! Ugh. I was never happier to get home and get back into my own clothes and get shoes on my feet! And fix my hair up so it wasn't perpetual bed-hair.

I love the hospital sheets in your photo! How cheerful! I only had white, white, white... so boring!

Even though I was still basically bed-ridden upon my return home at least I could get up from bed and greet people (and my husband!) while fully clothed. That really makes a huge difference!

That is such a sweet photo of you and Shira. What a blessing!! We'll have to exchange some *real* baby photos once both of us finds the time!

**HUGS** and God bless!


lady jane said...

Oh Anna - you look radiant in your new motherhood image. :o)

My recovery after the birth of my daughter was a bit longer than I had anticipated. Surgery and toxemia complicated things. Months before Lizzie was born I purchased a lovely nightgown of a powder pink/peach tone and a flowy type robe to match. Wearing those items along with a pretty ribbon in my hair and a fresh scrubbed face, I felt almost human. ;o) Honestly though, I do believe it helped my outlook and recovery. I felt completely feminine, especially holding my precious wee bundle of a daughter.

Blessings to you and your dear family.


Sasha said...

Don't worry - I really think you look OK even in this picture. And I laso think it's important to look good at home and not wear things that make you look fat or untidy. Good 4 u!

Tracy said...

You look beautiful even after two sleepless nights! I do agree that getting dressed makes a big difference. Plus, who wants to be caught off guard by visitors?

Tracy said...

You look lovely!! There is nothing more beautiful then a women and her newborn.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet picture of you and your little blessing.

I have always brought my own gowns/clothing to the hospital with me, it has always made me feel better. The nurses think I'm weird, but that's okay. I also feel much more presentable if a visitor stops by. Not once after 5 kids have I ruined a gown/clothing. I always wash my hair/face and do my best to look nicer in the hospital. I too make an effort to dress and clean up everyday once I get home. It may not be much, but it gives me such a boost!

Anonymous said...

I can relate. I remember when it was tempting to just stay in my pyjamas (it still is sometimes!!).
I also remember that making time to brush my teeth was also a challenge; some days it would be evening and I still hadn't brushed them.

At the end of June, I get to look forward to it all again. And by the way, that is a nice picture of you!
Grace in Canada

Dragon Petals said...

Oh, I completely understand. That's my saving grace even on the most hectic of days. After getting up in the morning, I change and dress the babies, and immediately make the bed (mostly so I don't have the temptation of getting back in it!) and get dressed and do my hair and make-up. Some ladies have a rule about never leaving off their lipstick; I have a rule of never leaving off my eyeliner. I just don't feel like myself without it, and it helps me keep sane to start the day with it!

I actually have a semi-amusing story about that. I had my daughter at home, unassisted. We hung out and bonded for an hour or so, and then my husband called for an ambulance to give us a ride to the hospital. (Long story of why that happened, we were perfectly fine but the doctors wouldn't see us without that ambulance ride, go figure.) When the ambulance crew came running in to "rescue" us, the new Daddy was cuddling the comfortable, happy babe on our couch, and I was already dressed, my hair done, and I was just finishing up applying make up in the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, they cried, "where is the mother??" - for some reason they couldn't wrap their minds around that I, as "put together" as I was, could be her! They were all a bit confused when the whole story came out, but they got a kick out of it. It was a pretty funny experience.

Anonymous said...

Those hospital gowns are...ahem...SO attractive, aren't they?!? You looked lovely, just the same. :o)

You are right about the days & nights blurring together. It won't always be like that, & you do need the time to become acquainted with Shira. Yes, it is too bad about the housework being left undone, but you will find your way, Anna, a little at a time.

And may God bless your neighbors! It really is amazing how simply having prepared food (delivered!) during this time can remove much of the stress a new mother can feel.

thinking of you,

Thia said...

You look wonderful! After my first, I could barely walk, but with my next two, as soon as all the initial company left and my husband left, I'd settle the baby down (they sleep so wonderfully those first few days) and clean myself up and put my own clothes on, even in the hospital. Made a huge difference.

Bethany Hudson said...

I agree with you, Anna: putting in that tiny bit of extra effort does wonders! I did the same with my daughter: though I wouldn't always actually get dressed in the mornings, because I would often wait until her first nap so that I could shower, and I'd be less likely to want to shower if I was already dressed. More than a fully-dressed mother, a fully-cleaned mother is vital! But, I always washed my face and brushed my hair first thing in the morning, for sure. And as much as I don't put a lot of stead in make-up (most women around here don't wear it), nothing brightens up your face and makes you feel a little better looking when you still have all the postpartum chub like a quick touch of mascara and a hint of blush.

Mrs.KAOS said...

Dear New Mother Anna,
You look radiant in the photo you shared. Congratulations on your first child, you are truly blessed. And thank you for sharing your life with all of us. As an ill prepared new(ish) wife and not yet mother your blog has been an inspiration of femininity and home life.


Betsy said...

For what it's worth, I'll take your hospital's nightdress over ours any day! Ours are a blue/purple with little squiggly goofy things and they look just awful. But in all honesty, I'm pretty content with getting the hospital's ugly nightgowns dirty instead of ruining my own clothes! It was a very wonderful feeling to change into my own comfy yoga pants and tee-shirt the next day!

Tammy said...

I think you look sweet in that photo. What a precious little baby!

You are right, it is good to look presentable if at all possible. It makes a huge difference to me. Even when I've been ill, I seem to actually feel better when I shower and put on a fresh dress.

Have a blessed day recuperating and caring for your new little one. :o)

Tammy said...

I noticed your flickr photo - are those your baby's toes?


Jennifer said...

Growing up, we always had to have our beds made and we were dresses before breakfast. So it's a habit now for me and it is something that I require our children to do, as well (although, since all bedrooms are upstairs, the bed making doesn't always get done). It's never been a temptation for me to not get dressed. Besides, I've never liked 11 o'clock coming around and I'm still in my nightgown.

I don't wear make-up and I wear a head covering (I don't style my hear), but I certainly do brush it and get it up and out of my way just after I'm dressed.

Except for with my first child (she was a c-section), I always look forward to that first bath. My husband has made it a habit to wash my hair for me and it's such a special time for just the two of us. I don't typically like baths, but right after labor, it's not a good idea to be standing up under warm/hot water. It can lead to fainting, even if you are feeling good.

Jennifer D

Maria said...

I was just wondering, I know you have posted about trying to decide between cloth diapers and regular diapers....which ones are you currently using?

Tereza said...

I'm the exact same way and hate staying in my pajamas!

Rebecca Grider said...

I have to laugh at my own incompetence when faced with your fortitude! Most of the state I live in has been shut down due to ice storms last week and I've been living in a succession of hotel rooms, friends' homes and now my parents' since I have no electricity, no heat and it's down to 19 degrees (F) at night (-7 C). And I've been a complete mess this whole time, barely able to get my hair brushed while filling in for stranded co-workers and barely getting to shower daily. And I have only myself to take care of. You have a baby and a husband and I'm sure you always look stunning. I feel like a slob next to you! :) Good for you!

Courtney said...

Anna- You look really good for not sleeping! And I agree with the getting dressed thing. Ive got an award for you on my blog by the way!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

I think you look great. Thank goodness for the good neighbors who brought meals for your family. I'm sure that was a big help.

S. Belle said...

I'm so glad that you have the motivation to shower and get dressed in the morning.

Getting showered and pretty helps me to feel much more efficient, and looking pretty and feminine helps my outlook too.

elena rulli said...

In my modest opinion, anna, you were absolutely cute in that picture :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

My midwife always insists that I just rest and do nothing for at least one week postpartum. She says that getting up and being too active after birth contributes to "female problems" later in life.

But, I've always found it tough to obey her. I'm the girl who is up and around town with the three day old baby. I went back to church when my first babies were three days old. It's always been full-speed ahead.

However, with the last three babies (numbers four, five and six) I've wised-up a bit. I now stay in my pajamas and robe (even though I do get up and shower) for at least the first week. Because if I don't get dressed, fixed up with make-up done then I won't be tempted to run around town, go to the grocery store, handle busines--basically I won't be full speed ahead. I'll stay tucked at home with the babies.

However, I totally agree with your premise that you do not want to be a pajama mama! I don't want to be one of those people either that only get dressed for others and not for her own family.

LDC said...

Your daughter is so beautiful!
This reminds me of something I've learned from (unfortunately) dealing with depression for several years -- one of the smallest, but best, things that can be done is simply taking the time to get clean and dressed well in the mornings. There were so many mornings when I just. couldn't. do it. And that just made me feel worse, of course. It is truly amazing, though, how much better I do feel when I *can* make those small efforts --- and even on a bad day, somehow I feel a little less bad if I look okay. Even my doctor emphasized to me the importance of taking those extra minutes to put on some light makeup in the morning - as a way of warding off the darkness, and to help bring in the light. (This is, of course, entirely unrelated, but I wanted to comment on how much those simple things really can help!!!)

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

I am the same way, I insist on getting dressed and pulling my hair back no matter what. I could hardly stand those first few days, but I still insisted on getting dressed in my normal clothes the morning after I gave birth, I hated those hospital gowns. It really helps your attitude throughout the day and definitely makes you feel more dignified, even if the house is a bit messy and you're constantly undressing a bit to feed a hungry newborn :-)

You look lovely by the way, even with no sleep for two days!

Elusive Wapiti said...

"I feel that making an effort to look, at the very least, presentable, is a way to honor my husband, my little girl, myself, and any visitors that might stop by."

Good on you! While you definitely have license to focus on other matters for the time being, I think that your efforts to be attractive will be much appreciated by your husband down the line.

Congratulations again, Mrs Anna

Sheri said...

Anna, I agree with you on this one dear friend. Sure, there have been days (like last week) when two of our little ones and myself were not feeling well, and thus were in PJs the entire day. But, most of the time, even with a newborn, I take the time to dress, fix my hair, and put on some make-up. It blesses me and all those around me!

And, you and Shira look precious together!!! Congratulations again!

Kim said...

I completely understand. With 3 little ones and one more (overdue) any day now...there are days where I feel like, and sometimes do, staying in my pajamas. But whenever I take the time to get showered and dressed I feel sooo much better. It gives me a lot more motivation. In fact, I'm still in my pajamas right now. I think I'll go take a shower. ;-)

Amanda said...

If you don't aim to get dressed then you never will. Sometimes you don't get all the things done you intend but you have to at least aim to be put together.

If I don't get a shower in the morning I don't feel energized for my day.

Karen said...

Yep. I have to make showering a priority and let my husband take the baby for a lil while each day. I also change my (normally very spit up on) shirt right before he gets home, and run a comb through my hair. It usually needs it!