Do too many of us women “let ourselves go” once we’re married?
Last night we held a bridal shower for close family and close family friends at my house for my oldest daughter, and we got talking afterwards.
And today I’m in a chatty mood, so I thought I’d share some of our thoughts, some of our conversations, and a few pictures.
But first, I want to update you on my photo challenge. I told you yesterday about the Ultimate Digital Photography Bundle that’s on sale until June 29 at midnight EST, and it can help you capture those amazing images of your kids and your vacations and your family that you want to document. So fun!
One of the things I’m trying to do is to learn to edit my photos better, so I totally love the iPhone Only Photography book that’s part of the bundle.
I showed you a landscape pic I took over the weekend:
And yesterday I read about how to edit photos, and I tried just a few things for about three minutes. I love the colour of the sky and the water now; I don’t like the sun and the trees. But it’s so much fun just playing around with this stuff and figuring out what all the filters do.
And they teach you how to edit part of the photo without editing the whole photo–so you can change the colour on just a part of it if you’re happy with the rest. I’m going to take another stab at the sun on this photo to see if I can make it less yellow–while keeping the bright blue in the sky and the water.
Tonight I want to read through one of the books on how to capture more memories, and I hope to share with you something tomorrow!
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about photography, or wanted to figure out what in the world all those settings and buttons are on your camera, don’t miss the Bundle. It’s such a great deal–and the ecourses alone are assume. They’re easy to work through and you really will see immediate results.
Already pretty good at photography? Here’s your chance to learn more with the Intermediate version or even the Professional version. It’s a ton of resources for one low price–and it’s an awfully fun summer project!
Last night, at the shower, we played a game I made up called “match these romantic quotes to movies”. It was actually pretty fun–I might write a post on things to do at wedding showers after all this is over and provide a download. Becca’s had about 4 showers, so we’ve had lots of samples of different games I could share with you!
But at the end of the end of the evening we got talking with Donna, a friend of mine but also an especially close friend of the girls since she was their youth leader for years.
(Seriously–can you see why I need the photography bundle? Why are my photos always blurry?!?!)
Donna’s a newlywed herself. During the shower I was passing around a notebook so that everyone could write in marriage advice (Katie’s to her sister: “Don’t get pregnant on your honeymoon!“). And as we discussed all of it after most people had left, we got talking about how far too many women let themselves go.
Now I am not trying to shame anyone this morning.
I know that many of us deal with weight issues. I know that many of us are exhausted with little kids, and really–everyone should get a pass while the kids are under 18 months old. Seriously. It’s tough.
But at some point you’ve got to let yourself be a woman again.
Rebecca said last night, “Of course your husband is supposed to love you no matter what and always find you beautiful no matter what. But do you really want to test the ‘no matter what’?” She’s got a point. I mean, how would we feel if he tested it for us?
When we say those vows, we’re not just vowing to stay committed our whole lives. We’re vowing to create an assume, dynamic marriage our whole lives–inasmuch as it depends on us.
And I think that means making some effort to show that you still take pride in yourself and in your husband.
You still think of yourself as a woman first. You still respect yourself.
And always wearing yoga pants or sweat pants and shapeless t-shirts and shapeless ponytails or stringy hair just doesn’t do that.
It really doesn’t.
I wrote a blog series a few years ago called “Fight the Frump”, and on day 1 I showed how I can make myself look perfectly presentable–nice clothes, jewelry, basic makeup, fluffed up hair–in under 4 minutes. It doesn’t take a lot of time.
Behold the before and after pics:
That’s it–just four minutes.
In fact, it takes no more time in the morning to put on a flattering top as it does to put on a shapeless t-shirt. It takes no more time to put on a pair of jeans that fit nicely than it does to put on a pair of sweat pants (okay, maybe you have to do up a zipper with a pair of jeans. But that’s not too much to ask). And, in fact, in the summer it takes less time to put on a pretty sundress than it does to put on ugly shorts and a baggy t-shirt!
And when you take care in your appearance, you feel more motivated throughout the day.
You walk with an extra spring in your step! It’s like Flylady, the housekeeping wizard, always says: “Put on your shoes!” When you have shoes on, you feel like you’re at work. And then you actually get stuff done.
This isn’t even a weight issue. There are enough clothing choices available that you can find clothes that flatter–just watch a few episodes of What Not to Wear. It’s all about whether or not we’re willing to put in the effort.
Whenever I talk about this I inevitably have women say, “my husband doesn’t like me to dress up. He likes the girl next door look with no makeup and with jeans, not skirts or girly things.” And perhaps that’s true. Some people can pull it off nicely. But honestly: look at those two pictures. Which one would most husbands feel more comfortable with? Which one would a husband feel proud to walk out of the house with?
I think men should think we’re beautiful even without makeup, but that doesn’t mean that we should never put in an effort for him to say, “I want you to see that I still want to look good for you. Sure, you’ve promised you’ll love me no matter what, but I love myself, too, I love our marriage, and I want you to be super proud!”
That’s just one bit of marriage advice we talked about, but I think it’s an important one.
Here’s one little thing that I do, that I thought of after writing all these posts on fighting the frump! (Blogging about marriage really does make you more intentional about your own marriage!). Every night, about 15 minutes before Keith gets home, I go upstairs and put on a bit of makeup and change into a really nice shirt or a sundress, if I’ve been wearing more leisurely clothes earlier. I just like to greet him at the door looking my best. Not because I’m an object, and not because I’m being shallow, but because it’s part of how I can honour him.
What about you? Do you struggle with letting yourself go? Do you find this is a common problem with women that you know? How do you “fight the frump”? Let me know in the comments!