I am organized. I am efficient. I have my stuff together.

This is part of my daily mantra.

I include this in my mantra because there was a time when I was a hot mess. And while it was hard at the time, I learned so much about myself as a mother and as a woman that I wouldn’t take it back.

The moment I realized I was a hot mess is etched into my memory. It was my rock bottom moment.

I had just picked my son up from pre-k and he was wearing a sticker reminding parents of picture day the next day (thank you to his amazing teachers).

Seeing the picture day sticker, I realized that my son needed a haircut. Bad.

So we drove to the nearest Supercuts with a grumpy baby sister in tow for a quick haircut before dinner.

As he was getting settled in the salon chair, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I almost cried. I was wearing maternity pants, had baby boogers on my shirt, a messy top knot (not the cute kind), and no makeup. I looked exhausted and beaten.

And I was.

I had two kids under five. My 8-month-old was nursing like a newborn during yet another growth spurt and wasn’t sleeping through the night. I was working from home and we had just moved from the East Coast to the Midwest away from all our family and friends.

I realized how little I was taking care of myself. Brushing my teeth and putting on clean-ish clothes was the best I could manage on any given day. Between work, kids and a new home, I was frazzled and stressed.

I knew I wasn’t taking care of myself but I told myself I had babies and I wasn’t supposed to be taking care of myself right now.

But at that moment in the Supercuts mirror, I realized the way I looked was a reflection of how I felt on the inside.

When I got home I had a good long cry and then decided I needed to make some changes. I needed to start taking better care of myself.

I remember somebody telling me that in times of economic downturns, sales of lipstick and nail polish skyrocket. Whether this is true or not I have no idea, but the theory is that these small purchases help women feel better during times of stress.

So, the next day I woke up and put on a cute pair of jeans and a top without baby boogers on it. I did my makeup. The only people who saw me that day, and most days, were the teachers in the car line. But I wasn’t doing it for them. I was doing it for me. For the first time in what felt like forever, I felt better.

That little bit of positivity felt like so much. And it motivated me even more.

I threw my maternity pants out and drank more water. I did yoga for the first time since my oldest was born.

Instead of focusing on all the things that needed to get done, I started focusing on gratitude. Gratitude for the big things and the small things in my life.

And the amazing thing was that I started to feel better. I started to feel like myself again.

That one moment at Supercuts, when I saw myself as I really was, was a powerful moment in my life. Through the process of becoming myself after babies, I learned the power of gratitude and mindset. I learned that with enough mental fortitude we can talk ourselves out of, or into, anything. And a great lipstick can go a long way.

Jill

Jill is a work-at-home mom to two sweet and crazy kiddos. Her goal is inspire other moms to get organized and simplify their lives with uncomplicated strategies to manage their finances, home, and life. You can find all her tips and tricks at https://organizationaltoast.com.