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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Good (Day 10)

So yesterday, I sort of stepped on some of your toes, but today, I’m stepping on my own toes. Because I’ve really been struggling with getting dressed in the morning.

In fact, to be 100% honest, I’ve worn my workout clothes almost all day everyday this week and I only got a few showers in. Ick, I know, but I’m just being truthful here.

If you just were utterly horrified with me, you have every right to be. Because it’s not how I want to be living either. Nor is it the kind of example I want to be setting for my kids.

Yes, I could make the excuse that we started our new homeschooling schedule and P90X this week, but those are just that — excuses. The real reason I’ve been struggling with getting dressed in the morning lies in the fact that I’m not making it a priority.

My days are full, no doubt, but I find time to blog and I find time to read. So that means I could also find time to shower and get dressed in something other than workout clothes! Instead, it seems that this past week I’ve been having my morning quiet time, heading downstairs to exercise with my husband, and then I get busy with taking care of my children’s needs, homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, blogging and all the other things that fill up my day — and all of a sudden, it’s almost dinner time and I’m still in my workout clothes.

I know that when I take a shower and get dressed in something that makes me feel great, including hair and makeup, I feel so much better about myself, I’m able to head out the door at a moment’s notice, I don’t fear the doorbell ringing (!), and I seem to be more productive, too. But knowing these things is not enough, I need to crack down and actually do something about it.

So today, instead of sharing with you some tips and practical ideas like I’ve done every day in this series so far, I’m coming to you for help: What advice and tips do you have for someone like me who struggles to get a shower in and get dressed every morning if I’m not going anywhere that day?

{And I know that those of you who have to be up, dressed, out the door, and to work at 6 a.m. or earlier are probably cracking up at my dilemma since you can’t imagine how someone couldn’t just get up and get dressed. I know, I know, it sounds so simple in theory…!}

I’ll share my plan of action for how I’m going to seek to improve in this area on Monday.

My Day 9 Project Update

Bedtime: I made it to bed by 10 p.m. last night — 30 minutes after my bedtime. Hopefully, I’ll do better next week!

My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done!

Wake Up Time: 5:20 a.m.

Day 10 Project

1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.

2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!

3. Did you get in some exercise yesterday and eat a nutritious breakfast? If not, make a commitment today to a specific way you’re going to incorporate exercise and a nutritious breakfast into your day.

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  • Whoo!! I will join you as a worst offender of a similar nature, so don’t be scared! I usually stay in my pajamas and glasses. The contacts, clothes, and make-up almost NEVER come out.

    Sometimes, though, I get up when my husband gets up and get dressed and ready with him so he sees me looking decent, that’s a little motivating, when I’m willing to wake up at the same time as him. I usually can’t find a good enough reason when it’s just me and my son, so I use “looking good for my husband” as an excuse to get dressed. Or, you could do a photo a day challenge, and that should get you motivated. I know if I’m gonna have my picture taken, there’s no way I would skip a shower and a little pizzazz.

  • Robert says:

    Well , what I’ve found is that , in the morning , nothing makes me feel better and wide awake , ready to go than a shower almost right after getting up , putting on nice clean clothes and you’re ready for the day , even if you don’t have to go anywhere , if you do , not you’re 30 minutes ahead , compared to if you don’t do any of these things . The time is just an added benefit to the way an early shower makes you feel , plus the feeling and scent of fresh and clean clothes you can’t beat it !

  • Julie says:

    It might be too simple, but I set my clothes out (shoes and everything) the night before as part of my night routine. I also shower at night (usually). This helps me get going quickly in the morning and leaves me with makeup and hair only for the morning. I am the same as you, though. I would stay in workout clothes all day. Then I started thinking about it from my husband’s point of view and started making a very concious effort to change.

    • jo says:

      I take a shower in the afternoon/evening too. It totally helps to relax me then I don’t have to worry about wet hair the next morning. It’s hard at first but saves lots of time especially if you have young kids who wake up early.

    • s.pipes says:

      Putting clothes out the night before is what changed the same bad habit for me. So, even if I work out in the morning, having my nicer clothes out staring at me every time I go through our bedroom to potty bugs me until they are happily on my body. If that fails I always try to get my makeup on before hubby gets home from work.

  • “I don’t have time” = “it’s not a priority.” My one challenge with getting dressed, though, is that sometimes I run around lunch time. So if I get all decked out in the AM it’s just going to fall apart when I sweat later. I know, another reason to exercise first. Great series, btw.

  • Kim says:

    I just read an article on Psychology Today that discussed a study about clothes! Specifically, how when people were dressed in a doctor’s coat, they felt more doctor like (ie, hardworking, exact, etc). Dressed in white painter’s clothes, more like a painter (creative, laidback, etc). So not surprising you feel different when you are not dressed in workout clothes!

    For me, I don’t shower until the end of the day. Between the chores, playing with the kids in the park and the like; I find it unproductive to shower in the morning. But that’s just me, I was a geologist in my former life so I don’t mind being dirty until the end of the day.

    I do work on getting dressed because I want to convey a good image as a stay at home mom. There are a lot of stereotypes (SAHMs are lazy, gold-diggers, etc) that I’d prefer NOT to give credit to. And there’s been times when UPS or someone has come to the door. The worst was when my father in law AND brother in law came to the door at like, 11am and I was still in my jammies. Ooops! I know they don’t judge but I was SO EMBARRASSED that I haven’t had extended jammie time unless I’ve been sick or it’s the weekend.

    Perhaps laying out your clothes with the other tools you need for your morning routine would help? Or perhaps “rewarding” yourself for getting dressed with coffee or whatever your morning luxury is (mine is tea). Or having someone come over and catch you in your workout clothes (UPS, in-laws, whoever would be the most mortifying for you, ha).

    God bless your efforts!

  • vicki harris says:

    I’m a full time employee and single mom of a teenager. My shower is just about the ONLY time during any given day that I have that is totally for me it’s to be cherished. I get up at 530 to take the shower before I wake my son up…he has to eat, have his medicine and be ready to go by the time I leave at 645 as I have to leave the house by then to get to work….so I would say, do that first….take that time to have your alone time…now IF I could stay in my pjs all day, I would….I LOVE my pjs and frankly on Sunday I’m hard pressed to get out of them…it’s the only day I have that I don’t have anything I have to do..

    good luck

  • roni walsh says:

    i am busy SAHM of 4 children. I wake up and get everyone out the door and then begin my household chores of making beds, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. I stay in my pj’s to do these things – why get showered and dressed when you are just going to get sweaty and dirty doing housework? On the days I know I am going out – grocery shopping, errands, lunch, up to school to volunteer, etc. I wake up and throw a load of laundry on, clean up breakfast dishes, straighten and make beds. Then I shower and get dressed.

    If I were homeschooling, i would wake up early to do my chores and have my dinner planned. Then before school time begins, I would shower and get dressed.

  • Don’t we all have something we know we should do but don’t do it?! Maybe you could try laying out your outfit (jewelry and all) the night before? Maybe you could put it on top of your computer? Maybe you should envision 20 years from now and seeing your children doing this and realize you want to be a different example to them now? Remind yourself of all the things you are doing well, give yourself some grace, and know that no matter how many days it’s gone NOT-according-to-plan, today is the day it can all change. Blessings,

    • Katie Haney says:

      All of those are really good ideas!! And on top of that, it’s a way to bless your husband when he comes home– I know my hubby loves me no matter what, but he definitely notices when I put an extra effort in and am wearing clothes other than workout clothes or pj’s and have my hair and makeup done when he comes home! 🙂

    • Katie Haney says:

      Getting dressed and taking care of myself is a way to bless my husband when he comes home– I know my hubby loves me no matter what, but he definitely notices when I put an extra effort in and am wearing clothes other than workout clothes or pj’s and have my hair and makeup done when he comes home! 🙂 Just because we’re married and have a baby now doesn’t mean I don’t have to put an effort in to look good for him anymore. He works hard to take care of himself and I want to do the same! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Shower the night before and then just wet your hair in the morning. Not having to do the *entire* routine at once helps me get it done in the morning.

  • Hilary says:

    I work at 5am everyday. Maybe getting up 20 minutes earlier to start you work our. Will give you the extra 20 minutes you need later to shower and get dressed.

  • Savings Viking says:

    If I’m not going anywhere that day, why worry about getting dressed? My kids and I stay in jammies most of the day and none of us feel bad about it. I get my shower at night, before bed. There’s less laundry for us to do and no pressure to get things going in a rush. On days we do have places to go, it’s no big deal to just get dressed and go do it.

    I think this is something you don’t need to be worried about. Pick your battles: you can’t win everything, and it is prideful to think you can. Be happy that you’re able to get out of bed; there are hundreds of people across the country too depressed and sad to even do that.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree why dirty more clothes if you are staying home.

    • Nora says:

      Do it for yourself is important but for your husband too. Remember when you use to look nice to win him over. We’ll go back to that. After along day at work I want my husband to come home to a nice looking wife. Hair done smelling good and looking nice.

      • Thanks Nora! This is just the thing I needed to hear 🙂 Lately I haven’t been worrying about my looks and my husband has been noticing. It’s nice to get that extra cute glance from him when I get a shower in and get primped for the day. What a great reminder!!

      • Jenny says:

        I think about this too. There are plenty of professional women around him at work and in public that are looking cute everyday…..I’m NOT worried about him having a wandering eye, but why not help him out by giving him something to look forward to seeing after work??

      • Savings Viking says:

        I didn’t do anything to “win over” my husband other than being exactly who I am. He knew what I was like when he married me, and we’re going strong 10 years with 3 children. I never did my hair or wore makeup when I was dating him; why would I start now? He loves me for me, not for my appearance.

        • Stacey says:

          I totally agree, Savings Viking! My hubby and I have been happily married for over 21 years. He actually prefers no make up to make up, but doesn’t mind when I do wear it. I’m not big on eye shadow, eye liners, etc., but often times I’ll do foundation, blush and mascara. He loves me for who I, not just for how I look! I thank the Lord for this wonderful man!

          • Sarah says:

            I think it all depends on what kind of husband you married! My compromise is to stay in “cozy clothes” all day but shower and get fixed up as often as possible for him in the evening. Just treat it like you are going out on a date – you don’t have to go anywhere to look nice, but you also don’t need to be “fixed up” while he’s gone all day. Why not be “freshly” primped in time for him to get home?

        • Sarah says:

          I encourage you to read “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn. The whole book is amazing, but the chapter about this topic was hard for me to read, totally convicting, and now has completely changed how I understand my husband and how I can best love him.

      • This may sound silly but I have a few “at home” dresses that I wear. They are cotton sundresses that I got on clearance. I don’t mind doing housework in them but they help me look a little more pulled together. Dresses are so easy because you can take them on/off easily in case they get soiled. My dresses are just as comfortable as workout clothes but look a lot better.

        Also, consider trying out a few hairstyles that are simple for you to pull together. I have long hair and need to keep it up when I’m cooking or out of my face when I’m doing housework. I just put it into a quick bun and I am easily pulled together. My husband prefers my hair down so when he gets home I just un do it. I save the hot rollers for the weekend or for days when I’m not doing as much around the house.

        For makeup consider a bb cream or tinted moistizer, lip balm, and mascara as a base.

        • Whitney says:

          I so agree! I love wearing dresses in the summer (a little cold around here for them in Ohio in winter) because they look put together and you don’t have to match anything!

    • Julie says:

      You’re already getting up early. I don’t know about you, but lots of people prefer to shower after exercise. Is there something your children can do in the morning by themselves while you shower and dress? Quiet time in their rooms? A video or TV show? Coloring?

    • Ashley says:

      I will never get dressed, hair and makeup done if I’m not going anywhere! No way, no how!
      I cannot function in my home if I’m in jeans, a bra and a nice shirt!

    • Whitney says:

      No way am I staying in pajamas all day. I always at least wear something flattering, even if it’s just a t-shirt and shorts. I think I owe it to my husband to look nice when he comes home. I try to remember to spray some perfume when he says he’s on his way home, sometimes I’ll even change shirts to something cuter. This takes less than a minute and isn’t much effort. He loves me no matter how I’m dressed, but I like to do that for him. Keeps the romance alive!

    • Lori says:

      I agree with you, if you’re not going any where why worry about getting dressed and putting on makeup!

      And all the replies about looking good for your husbands, sorry but we don’t live in the 1950’s any more. We should be concerned about the important things that truly matter.

      • Crystal says:

        I know you might disagree with me (we’ve got lots of people here from very diverse backgrounds and we love and welcome you all!), but I feel like making our marriages a priority *is* truly something that matters. Taking a little extra time to show our husbands that we care about our appearance is one way to keep the sparks flying in our marriages. 😉 And I’ve never met a husband who didn’t like it when his wife put forth a little time to make herself more presentable.

        I, for one, have been really inspired by all the comments from women who are encouraging us wives to remember not to let ourselves go just because we are stay-at-home moms — thanks for saying it, ladies. You’re challenging and inspiring me — and I truly appreciate it!

        • DJ says:

          Totally agree with the comments about looking nice for your husband! Men are very visual. Sometimes that’s hard for us to understand as women, but it’s just one more way God made us different! 🙂

        • cassi says:

          I have to say that I enjoy that extra little twinkle in my hubby’s eye when he gets home and notices that I put in some extra effort. I agree that it is a simple way to keep that spark 🙂

        • Crystal, I recommended reading the book Letters to Karen. It’s the letters of a minister to his daughter on marriage, after she is engaged. One of the letters talks just about this.

          The minister said he was talking with a woman one day at home, and she excused herself (essentially telling him it was time to leave) so that she could go fix her hair and lipstick before her husband came home. He wrote how important this was.

          I find that I feel much better about myself when I am showered, dressed, and have my hair and makeup done.

          That said, in the summer I like wet hair for a while (it feels wonderful when it’s 110º outside and 80º inside!).

          I am not one to stay in pajamas (though my husband works from home in his pajamas and prefers it!) but ironically I have been in mine all day today, since I’ve been up since 3 because of the baby. I’ve been taking an online live class today, and my children have been sick today, so I’ve never had a chance to make it out of pajamas! (I didn’t want to miss my class!) It’s not my preference, though, so I’m going to see if I can get a quick shower before dinner. Having a shower makes me feel so much better.

          I always insist the children get dressed each day, but my husband thinks they might as well stay in pajamas all day. It’s certainly a matter of preference. I like how “I” feel, though, and that helps my mood tremendously. For the children, it means their pajamas are still clean come bedtime! I’d rather they have something to wear to bed, and be dresses all day as well.

        • Kimber says:

          I totally agree and I am working on the same thing! I want my husband to look forward to coming home to me. :o)

        • Alicia says:

          I also agree that men are very visual, in the same way that we as women crave affection and emotional connection with our men! It’s important to put a priority on pleasing each other! Also, to think about it from another point of view, would you want to come home to a stinky husband in boxers and a dirty tee shirt? Not saying that’s what any of the women here do , but just something to think about!

        • Ac says:

          This topic is an opportunity to take advantage of previous advice you’ve given…ask your husband what he thinks. I worked outside the home in corporate America wearing suits, hose, heels, full makeup, sleek hairstyle every day for over 10 years. A few years ago I was blessed to have the opportunity to keep this job but work from home full time. I now wear running shorts or yoga pants with tee shirts pretty much every weekday. I asked my husband once if he would prefer that I “fix-up” every day and he said he wouldn’t. I’ve even gone through times when I would get up every day, do makeup, hair, cute clothes and he honestly could care less. We’re both really practical people and not spending time getting dressed up everyday gives me more time to do other things. SO…for this season in my life, I’ll stick with clean (I DO take a shower every day! :-)) and comfy clothes most days and fashionable for church and social events. I’ve never stayed in my jammies all day, though. I get dressed and do my exercise first thing in the morning. If I have teleconferences, I put on a dress blouse with my running shorts because they can only see from the chest up anyway. 😀

      • I understand it’s not the 1950’s, and know that not everybody will agree with the idea of looking nice for their husbands……but honestly, don’t we prefer a little effort from them as well? I don’t think I’m shallow, but I prefer it when he is bathed and wearing clean clothes too. It just happens that he already has to take care of himself because he works outside the home. We love each other no matter what, but it’s a little easier to keep the romance alive when we take care of ourselves a little better!

    • Katie D. says:

      I see where you’re coming from Savings Viking. I really do enjoy the fact that there is less laundry when I’m working from home and in workout clothes or one of many many comfy sundresses in the summer. However, I agree with Crystal. I’ve spent several months doing this routine-no makeup (which began because I seem to be allergic to most mascaras/eye makeup) and then I would just put my hair in a pony tail. I am also blessed to have a hubby that truly loves me for me-unconditionally. I have to admit though, it feels good when he asks me if I’m wearing a new dress or outfit! Or he’ll casually say, you look really nice today. Men notice these things and just knowing that they like it is worth the effort.

      Moreso though, for me it goes beyond my husband. I want to do it for myself. Funny enough just tonight I started pulling out some of what I own and looking for new ways to wear the pieces-taking photos of new outfits I like. It makes a gal feel good when she knows she’s wearing a cute effort and I think it says a lot about how much one cares about themselves. I used to work in corporate sales and it was said that if you smiled while speaking on the phone the other person (the buyer) could hear it. I think the same holds true for getting dressed in something decent-it changes the way you feel about yourself. You instantly feel more confident, successful and overall better about yourself and who doesn’t want that. I think that is worth the extra bit of dirty laundry and effort.

      I can relate to other readers who were surprised by the UPS guy or someone needing my signature, etc., at the door. It is mortifying being in your jammies around 11am or noon. I know I’m working from home but it just looks lazy, unkempt and frumpy.

  • holly says:

    You just have to make it a priority right after your morning workout to get showered and dressed. It is such a great way to start your day 🙂 We all have lazy pajama days, but if you do it every day it can reallystart to change the way you feel about youself.

    • lori says:

      I’ve got to say I agree with Holly wholeheartedly. I can’t start my day without a shower. If I skip it, I feel like a zombie the rest of the day. It’s a great place to brainstorm, outline an article, make a plan for the day – even pray. I’m thankful every morning for my hot shower. There are some days when I take a shower knowing full well that I’m just going to get messed up cleaning or gardening, but it just makes me feel better overall. Plus, I’m not completely mortified if the UPS man happens to knock on the door or a neighbor stops by.

      • Jill says:

        I skipped my shower, getting dressed in real clothes, doing my makeup and hair today due to being up w an ill baby most of the night. I’ve felt terrible all day. Not only bc of my lack of sleep but because I don’t feel refreshed!

  • I take a shower and get dressed every day because, besides just wanting to look nice for my husband when he gets home from work, I’m super sweaty after my workout and it grosses me out! Lol! It’s a pain to shower, blow dry, and put on make up every day, but I feel so much better afterwards and I’m sure I look better too.

    You’re so good at starting new and beneficial habits, that I’m sure you’ll have no problem with this one too! Good luck 🙂

  • I take a shower and get dressed every day because, besides just wanting to look nice for my husband when he gets home from work, I’m super sweaty after my workout and it grosses me out! Lol! It’s a pain to shower, blow dry hair, and put on make up every day, but I feel so much better afterwards and I’m sure I look better too.

    You’re so good at starting new and beneficial habits, that I’m sure you’ll have no problem with this one too! Good luck 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    I love this confession. We stay at home moms of little ones often have the same problem. Good to know I’m not the only one that has this problem. I am not the one to be giving advice on this subject. But often when I get in a “Smelly” funk I just enlist the help of my husband and say I need to go take a shower and just do it. Maybe Jesse and you can work something out and he will be glad to not have you in workout clothes when he gets home. LOL

  • Heather says:

    I hate the whole shower/get dressed thing (so boring, doing it day after day . . . ), but I force myself. There was a time when I lived in places with only tubs, so at least I get a hot shower now.

    The main thing for me is that my 3 year old cannot be trusted unwatched while I am in the shower, and my older kids are in school. So if I don’t get one in before my husband goes to work at 8:00, I don’t get one. It makes the morning kind of crazy, but that’s okay.

  • Libby says:

    Crystal– I’ve been totally struggling with that for the past few years too!!! I just didn’t know how I could make quiet time + exercise + shower work etc. work before the kids woke up in the morning! First, I tried to move quiet time to the evening, but that didn’t work. I’d not get to it, be too tired- and I missed that dose of much needed strength in the morning!


    About a month ago, my husband decided he wanted to start working out too. So, me- who doesn’t like to work out/shower at night, decided to support him and work out with him. To my surprise, IT IS THE ANSWER TO MY DILEMMA!!! We mostly try to make it a family affair. There is a soccer field not far from our house, so we take the kids (ages 2&3) there and let them run around while we jog laps and do sprints racing each other– it’s so much fun!. Or, we will treat the kids to ice cream and run with the jogging stroller to the Dairy Queen that is about a mile away. Or, we let each other take a quick jog after the kids go to sleep. Then, I’ve moved to showering at night – which I now LOVE. I get an extra 5 minutes (I can actually shave now!) and some good alone time to “de-frag” at the end of the day.

    One side note: I cut my hair short, which I vowed never to do, yet is AMAZING the time it has freed up for me. My husband said he only liked it long… but he said he likes it WAY better short now. My guess is because I actually can manage to fix it nice it in a little time and still have time to make the rest of me look good as well!!

    Now, I can get up in the morning, get dressed/make-up and fix my super easy hair without a shower in the morning. I’ve not just improved my exercise, but the whole family dynamic is better.

    So- my advice, think outside the box! Not how can you fit it in the morning…but maybe fit it in another part of the day??

    • Allie says:

      love this!

    • Stacey says:

      Good for you! I love how you realize that not everyone has to do things the same way. For some, getting everything done in the morning seems best to them, but it’s not best for everyone. Life if definitely not a one-size-fits all. You’re doing what works best for you, and it sounds like fun, too! 🙂

    • Savings Viking says:

      Good on you! I love showers at night because I like the feeling of going to bed clean on clean sheets.

      • Liz says:

        I guess that is my question- if people are showering in the morning, are they saying they don’t shower at night before bed?! I live in the south and just walking outside makes you sweat due to humidity. I think it more gross not to shower before bed than to skip a shower in the a.m.!!

    • Elizabeth Kitch says:

      I just have to say it….I love this idea because if I were to shower after the kiddos went to sleep, I would be far more likely to feel “sexy” instead of grungy after a long day. I’m sure my hubby would like the switch in routine!!!

  • I’d say, wait to shower until after working out ( I know when I work out I get all gross and sweaty and do NOT want to walk around in that all day) and pretend like you’re going somewhere even if you aren’t.
    That way you get dressed and a shower (although I have to be honest, if I don’t work out, I only take showers every 4 days or so) .
    Is there any way you could simplify your post-shower routine?
    Let your hair air dry, or wear just the basics on makeup if you feel like you’re spending too much time in the bathroom getting ready for the day.
    I try to do makeup and “real” clothes every day even when I”m staying home but lets face it, sometimes its just nice to wear workout clothes or jammies all day! 🙂

  • Jimi says:

    As I mentioned on yesterday’s post, I’ve bombed the last two days. But, I’m going to get back to it tonight, hopefully.

    And, it’s encouraging to know that I already have today’s challenge accomplished, since I go to work each day. It’s been so nice to have my work clothes all laid out, ironed and ready to go, though, and that certainly makes getting dressed easier in the mornings. I don’t know that I have any other tips/tricks. When I was staying at home, I definitely struggled with this.

  • Jen says:

    Love this 😉 Some days are like that for me too.

    You could always invest in some nice new workout clothes that can double as an outfit for days when it does and you end up out of the house 😉 Maybe something Jesse helps you pick out so it is “pleasing to him” as well when he gets home… ifykwim!

    • Carrie says:

      Seriously, have you seen the cute workout clothes at Athleta? OK, they’re pricey, but think of all the money you’ll be saving on not showering and washing extra clothes, lol.

  • MK Jorgenson says:

    Do you need a full-out shower every day? Or after every workout? Maybe a quick wipe down with a wet washcloth or a one-minute rinse off would suffice somedays…or every day if you had time to do a full shower in the evening.

    If the showering/washing part only took a minute, getting dressed wouldn’t take much longer. Also, as far as hair goes, I find that doing anything special (beyond a ponytail or some form of “up”) in the morning doesn’t last or work for me. If I want to do something nice with my hair for my husband to see, I wait until the afternoon. Maybe it’s silly, but it works for me!

  • Karrie says:

    Weeeeeell… I guess I’ll be the one. After you finish working out with your husband, shower with him, too! Duh! = ) He won’t mind. You always say you want accountability, well he can be your accountability. 🙂

  • Lindsey says:

    You can always try to get up 20 minutes earlier so that at the end of your workout you can spend that 20 minutes showering and getting dressed…but as we all know…kids can sometimes wake up earlier than expected…or someone wet the bed…or someone threw up…or the baby is just fussy…or whatever. I get up earlier than the kids to read my Bible and do a 30 minute workout video. If they are not awake then I jump in the shower, blow dry my hair, and throw on some makeup. And yes, I do lay out my outfit the night before. If the kids are awake, I put on a 20 minute cartoon for them, with the littlest one strapped in the excersaucer eating cheerios. I usually make it something educational like Leapfrog, and the toddler gets a bottle of milk so she doesn’t get hungry. We have a TV in our room, which is right off the bathroom, so I can hear what is going on while I’m getting ready. Usually everyone stays happy. That buys my the 20 minutes I need to get myself looking cute.

  • Amanda says:

    I lay my outfit out the night before and take a shower immediately after working out. Putting in a little bit of extra effort makes me feel great about myself. My husband notices as well! 😉

  • Mary Ellen says:

    I always shower at night. I don’t like going to a dirty bed every night, plus it is one less thing to get done in the morning. Plus, your bed isn’t as dirty, so you won’t necessarily have to launder it as much either.

    As for getting dressed in the morning? I guess it has always been in my routine. I wake up, brush teeth, brush hair, put on deodorant, get dressed and make my bed before ever stepping foot out of my bedroom.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      Or…. since I workout during afternoon nap time, I shower after that. I can’t imagine not showering. If you don’t need a shower after working out – you aren’t working hard enough! 😉

    • Wendy says:

      I agree with the laundy thing. I think it’s gross to go to bed without showering and by showering every night before bed, I only have to change my sheets every 2 weeks. It saves money.

      • I’m always a little sweaty when I wake up so I feel gross anyway. I thought everyone did that. The guy at the Sleep Number store the other day told me that on average people sweat 8 oz a night. I don’t know where he got his stats from though. Anyway, that’s why I can’t shower at night, otherwise I would!

  • Wendy says:

    Get your shower the night before, right before bed. You can always just wash your hair in the morning. What’s wrong with workout clothes? When I’m just staying at home, I’m always in something I’m comfortable in. I have my old clothes and my “wearing around the house clothes.” That way I don’t get my nicer clothes dirty so workout clothes is definitely getting dressed if all your doing is staying home. I don’t worry about putting on make-up every day either. Make-up is expensive and not something I want to waste on just sitting around the house. My husband likes me better w/o make up anyway and I’m sure yours does too 🙂

    • Deidre says:

      I always feel better when I shower, get dressed in ‘real’ clothes, and do my normal morning routine, I always accomplish more each day when I’m not in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Since you enjoy reading so much pick out an audiobook that is specifically for the shower. You can listen to it each morning for 5-10 minutes and you’ll jump start your day with a shower and a little reading time.

  • Mel says:

    I’m struggling with this a bit now that I’m not working, but after realizing how much better I feel – and how much more productive I am – fully dressed and with my hair brushed, I’m making it a priority again. Here are some tips that work for me:

    1. Shower at night. I started doing this years ago to save my hair from blow drying, and it has helped so much both in the health of my hair and my morning routine. I use the “sock bun” method on my hair, too, so in the morning I basically shake it out, run a wide-tooth comb through it, and I’m done.

    2. Pinterest and Polyvore = inspiration. I love putting together cute outfits, but after a while I get stuck in a rut. Enter Pinterest & Polyvore with literally THOUSANDS of ideas. I’ve been known to pull up a picture of an outfit I want to wear and leave it on my laptop screen so I see it first thing in the morning. (Here’s my Pinterest board:

    3. Own clothes you love. I’m not very happy with my body right now, so getting dressed can be a struggle in self-condemnation. As I move forward with my health and fitness goals, I’m also removing clothes from my closet/dresser that make me feel fat or frumpy right now and putting them in storage. The end result should be a wardrobe of clothes that I feel pretty good in and am happy to wear. (P.S. Jersey dresses are a staple for me. This summer I bought maxis from Target in 4 different colors and pretty much lived in them. They’re stylish, can be dressed up or down, and soooooo comfy. It’s like you’re wearing pj’s all day, but you get compliments on your outfit!)

  • Tiffany says:

    Well… advice for you here. All I can say is that after running in the mornings (in hot, muggy TX), a shower is a must; however, I normally take a quick 15 min shower, put on clean running clothes, and leave my hair wet–even when we’re going somewhere! What can I say, shorts and a t-shirt are my wardrobe as a mom of 3. BUT, one thing I always try and do before I leave the house is slap on some mascara and lipstick. It does wonders!

  • Jane says:

    Don’t sweat the sweat’s! We all have ups & downs. Try to plan ahead like I see you do often for other not as priority projects or make it one of them. 😉 Your still awesome to me. Good luck.

  • Libby says:

    I exercise almost every morning and this used to be such an issue for me. I can even trace grumpy and crabby feelings to not ever getting dressed for the day. I am so much more productive happy and relaxed when I have that behind me. What works the best? Doing it right away. I wake up, exercise, make breakfast for the kids and then jump in the shower. I have it on good authority from my hairdresser that it is so hard on hair to wash it every day, so I do it every other and then make do with dry shampoo or a pulled back style in-between. It doesn’t take long and what I spend in time doing it I more than make up in productivity. Good luck!

  • Julie says:

    For me waking up and jumping straight into the shower is how I wake up. Them I have my quiet time while I cool down. Then I fix my hair/makeup for the day. I also used to put on comfy clothes and would only change if we were going somewhere. But I realized I have more energy and “work” mindset than if I’m in my “comfies”. 😉 It’s also nice to be able to head out early if needed.
    Now I don’t have the morning exercise routine like you do ( nap time works best in my house), but just washing your face and freshening up your underarms with baby wipes, I’ve found, makes me feel fresh again! I like the advice to think outside the box. Just experiment with different routines, different times of the day to shower, to see what works best for you!
    I also agree that taking care of our apperence is a huge way to bless our husbands as well. I don’t know about you, but if my hubby decided to skip showers, have stubble, and wear sweats to work that might not go over so well, with me or the boss! Lol
    Pray about it and I’m sure you will find the motivation, Crystal! 🙂

  • Dee Wolters says:

    When I started home schooling 17+ years ago I received a piece of advice from a home school mom I really respect: everyday: get up, shower, get dressed and do school. I have tried to do that. These days with only 2 high school students left at home my days look a lot different than they did when I had 4 preschoolers… Now I get up, put on work out clothes, quickly check email, then head out for a 2+ mile walk. When I get home I really read emails, blogs, etc. eat breakfast, and do any heavy cleaning planned for the day. THEN I shower and get dressed. Some days getting dressed does not look a lot different than what I had on before- t shirt and shorts, but I am clean and usually put on a bit of make up. We live on a farm, so things get dirty here quickly, but I try not to use that as an excuse.

    Bottom line, getting dressed does not mean dressing up if that is not what will be the best for what is on your schedule- and budget. We all have “stay home” clothes and “going to town” clothes. We have just a couple of outfits that are ok for going to town, so we save money on clothes. Same for me. And I am just more productive when I feel like I am dressed comfortably. I like to think of getting dressed as clean and neat. Today that was jean shorts and t shirt because I had some slightly dirty things to do, but at least I started to day clean and neat.

    Enjoy your little ones and don’t sweat all the small stuff.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for your words. Always nice to hear from a mom who has been there before and help put priorities in perspective:)

    • Jessica says:

      Your schedule now is similar to what I do now. Sometimes, if I’m showered and dressed, I feel like going shopping instead of cleaning the bathroom or going to workout and that is a another problem! Who wants to stay home and clean when you are ready to go out! So showering typically happens around noon. Exercise and dirty work is done in the AM. Errands are done in the PM. If the kids are home from preschool, they get to watch a TV show while I shower. They get so excited they keep asking me if I need a shower! Lol.

  • Nancy says:

    I work from home and know exactly what you mean! The comment about fearing having to answer the door cracked me up…yup, I hear ya! We need something like an automatic car wash, George Jetson style. It washes, dries, dresses and makes up your hair in 10 minutes! I just know the longer I wait or procrasinate, the harder it gets to get ready. I just decide that (at least during the week days) that I shower immediately after exercising in the a.m., the two are linked together, no changing it. Maybe you and hubby can adjust your workout a few minutes so he can watch the kids while you go right to the shower? You can still put your sweats back on, but at least you’ll be ready. I like the comment about having some nicer comfy clothes to hang out in and go out in….that’s my style.You are so creative, perhaps it’s a challenge for you now, so you can figure it out to help the rest of us later (or at least help us stick with it)! Best to you and thank you for all you do.

  • Michelle says:

    These are some great ideas for you. I have just a couple of added suggestions. I struggle with the same thing and have found a few helpful tips for me. Take a quick shower…5 min. or less just to freshen up, if I wash my hair, I just blow dry my bangs and put the rest in a braid (they are pretty trendy right now!) Or shower/shave at night before bed. Also, that dry shampoo is pretty nifty item (got a freebie!) if you just want to freshen up and skip the hair washing. Hope it helps 🙂 And btw, thanks for the honesty…

  • Adrienne says:

    I cleaned out my closet about six months ago. Everything that still fit but was not loved/worn, I put up. Everything that didn’t fit and/or I totally disliked was donated.

    Now my closet makes smile and getting dressed is fun instead of a chore.

  • Casey says:

    I’ve struggled with this since the birth of my 2 year old as well! When she was first born, I showered during her nap and no big deal. Some days I was dabbing on makeup as my hubby backed in the driveway. 🙂 Now that he works nights, though, it is a little tougher. For a while, I just took my daughter in the bathroom with me and let her play, or took a bath with her in the evenings. Now that I can pretty much trust her to not wake up her Daddy by banging on the door and have just about mastered a short (at least for me) shower, she gets treated to watching an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I get dressed so we both look nice when my hubby wakes up. I will admit that on the mornings after a long night ends up in sleeping late and we need to run an errand quickly before lunch, I will either skip a shower that day or take one late at night. As far as getting completely dressed I wouldn’t worry about it too much on very busy and hectic stay-at-home days. As long as you are showered and made an effort to brush your hair and throw on some minimal make-up, there’s nothing wrong with work-out clothes occasionally. At least you got out of you pajamas, and somedays that’s a big accomplishment! By the way, have you ever heard of dry shampoo? You spray it on like hair spray, let dry and brush out and it soaks up any oil in your hair. I’ve resorted to this on a few no-time-for-a-shower days and at least you look like you washed your hair!

  • I want to know on you plan your life to make it possible to not leave the house everyday!!!!

    I am so tired of being busy!!!

    • Crystal says:

      Just say “no”. Seriously. We have a rule of only 1-2 outside activities per child at a time and we try to group them (all ice-skating lessons at the same time, all swimming lessons at the same time, etc.)

      Homeschooling also helps me stay home more because I have to be home during school hours to teach everyone. 🙂

      I make it a goal to stay home *all day* at least 2-3 days per week. We didn’t do that this summer when we had swimming lessons everyday, so I’m excited to be back to a more normal routine this Fall. We’re only doing swimming twice a week, so that’s much easier.

      I find that if I’m running, running, running around, I start running myself ragged and our home seems to fall apart. I know other people love to be going and doing and can’t stand to stay home a lot, but I actually enjoy keeping a slow and simple pace so that I have more margin and can soak up the moments instead of rushing through them.

      • Gina says:

        I feel the same way, feel like I’m run ragged if we’re out too much. My kids are limited to ONE activity each, and right now they all go to the same place at the same time. It’s fine, and it’s part of our “every family does it different” philosophy. We also sit down to eat together every single night and are not running around to various practices and obligations. Decide what is most important and make it happen.

    • Lisa,

      I can go weeks at a time without leaving the house.

      I have SO many things that I want to do, and I cannot get them done if I am always gone. Being home is the KEY to my accomplishing all that I do.

      I keep a well-stocked pantry, which means I don’t have to go shopping every week, or even every month or two. Shopping wears me out and takes so much time!

      If I need to buy something that can be bought online, I’ll look around online and compare what I need from several different stores. It only takes a few minutes and no gas. Plus, I often get cash back, a clearance price and a coupon code discount!

      I homeschool, so now need to go to school and back.

      We don’t have tons of after-school activities. My oldest has piano; the piano teacher comes to the house. She comes in the morning every other week (thanks to my parents paying for lessons).

      Consider carpooling with others for activities like Scouts or church activities.

  • Jen says:

    I am also in the working group of women, but there are lots of great tips out there to make your getting-ready routine go faster. I don’t usually lay out my clothes, but I think about what I’m going to wear the next day when I brush my teeth at night. My bathroom is near my closet, so I just take the toothbrush in there and think – and it makes me brush longer =) Making choices takes up a lot of time in the am!

    Also, I would say that you don’t need to wash/blowout your hair everyday, and that can save a huge amount of time. I would recommend dry shampoo for days that you workout and sweat a lot but want to skip the full wash. Just put your hair up in a high bun so it doesn’t get wet and take a quick shower to scrub the rest of you. Or you can just rinse your hair and then put it in a loose bun or braid to dry – makes nice waves when you take it down later!

    One thing that motivates me is hearing what our soldiers go through to take a shower from my cousin who was in the army. Here’s a clip from one of their manuals that I found on google: “It is highly recommended that female Soldiers that are menstruating during field exercises or deployments have daily access to bathing facilities. This does not mean that there must be a fixed facility with hot and cold running water. A private place with sufficient drainage should be adequate for a “bird bath.” A full canteen of water is required for one Soldier and a 5-gallon container for multiple Soldiers. Provisions for heating water would be helpful, but this is not always possible.” Yikes!!! Gotta be thankful for what we have!!!

  • Andrea says:

    This is me! because my “getting ready” routine was way too intesive-long hair I curl after blowdrying 20mins after shower in am b/c hair is so thick, makeup incl eyeshadow, etc.
    It took me so long to get ready, I wouldn’t bother when I didn’t have to go anywhere, then never answer the door, etc. Then I realized how silly I was and should simply it all to 20min in morning total! and not feel I was lazy and not put together. I was too extreme- either took an hour or more and looked completely done upwith hair and makeup or do nothing on “homedays”.

    Starting in September for back2school, I scheduled from 5:30am to 6am after 5am exersice to quick shower daily (shampooing will be done night before so it’s dry in the morning-I wash it every other day) dress and hair and makeup all under 30 minutes! This means a quick curl, ponytail, and 5min quick makeup-eyeliner, mascara, blush over foundation! that’s it. Then I can lipgloss when I run out the door but I’m not going to stress it this fall about leaving the house with my hair down, eyeshadow on, etc.

    Is your getting ready prep too time-consuming too, Crystal? You always look super pretty in your vlogs, pics etc.

  • First of all, kudos for working out. 2nd, kudos for even desiring to ‘pull yourself together.’ As a Fitness Professional I encounter this issue often with clients, and now as a full time working mom of a 4month old I understand how excuses can easily creep up. Here is what I what suggest to a client…
    -Find meaning in your goal- why is it important to shower and dress (you already mentioned a few reasons bit just be super clear on those). Try to personalize at least a few of your reasons as opposed to just doing it to set a good example for kids or to look good for hubby.
    -Set yourself up to succeed. Have clothes picked out in advance. I now do 3 outfit changes a day teaching classes, training clients, then being a manager the rest of the day. Its a big stack but I literally get at least 3 days worth of outfits out in advance and have em piled in a nice stack ready for the next day.
    -Change the workout. I love P90X but there are much quicker and even more efficient workouts than P90X. Lookup ‘tabata’ or find a quick circuit routine you can do in your living room (you’re welcome to get in touch with me for specifics). You can cut the workout time a bit to have time to shower and change into the clothes you’ve already got waiting for you.
    Not so easy to write all this from my phone. Please contact me if you’d like more ideas. But you are doing GREAT in your commitment and dedication to your family and to your fitness- now it’s time to do he same with your hygiene 🙂

  • Bethany says:

    Suave’s Dry Shampoo from Walmart has saved me in so many ways. I’m so glad I discovered it. If you can just keep your hair pulled back and wash off your body in the shower, that only takes maybe 2 full minutes. Then, hop out and spray your roots with the dry shampoo. Makes your hair smell clean and you can skip a few washes and save time!

  • Diane says:

    I get so sweaty running not showering couldn’t cross my mind. Even if I workout indoors I get too sweaty to consider not showering. But I agree, just putting it in your routine, like right after you stretch, go right to the bathroom and shower would probably help.

    • Darlene Craig says:

      I make myself shower and put on nice clothes, cause I think I could open my door and publishers clearing house could be standing there. I do not want to be on television looking bad. Silly, but it works!

      • Pamela says:

        LOL! This might work for me.

        Sometimes when my house is really messy, I think to myself “What if someone came over RIGHT NOW…what would I want picked up first?”

        So then I quick clean up — starting with the entry (make sure the person can get in the door without stepping on toys), clear a few places to sit (get the newspaper off the couch), and make sure the bathroom is presentable. It usually gets me on a roll and I accomplish a great deal. Even makes me want to invite someone over! 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    I think you should cut yourself some slack! You do more in one day than I even think about and somedays I don’t get a shower or get hair and makeup done either! You are just putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. Isn’t that what mom’s do? The truth is you probably look great in those work out clothes. I see moms wearing work out clothes all the time and I just think… “good for them, they work out”. That should be a higher priority than how “fixed up” you are anyway. So I think your priority’s are in order… you do an amazing amount every day. And things like working out and reading may make you feel just as good as if you were cleaned up. If you worked outside the home everyday I’m sure you would get showered, dressed nicely and made-up every morning… because you wouldn’t have a choice. One of the joys of staying home is that you don’t have to be “made up” on the days you don’t want or need to be.

  • Jamie says:

    I struggled with the same thing for years. I felt like I spend all day in my gym clothes when I had no reason to “doll up”. Then I started longing for the days when I looked like the pulled together women at the store I was passing. Hair, done. Makeup, done. Clothes, real- not gym ready.

    To change this I added my morning shower and clothing to a task that was a priority for ME. I always get up and make a breakfast for me and the husband. I make a mess, I know I make a mess, but I clean the entire kitchen before moving on to the next task of the day.

    Now I add my shower and dressing to the end of that task. As soon as I finish loading the dishwasher, I peel off my flour covered clothes and hop in the shower.

    I find this to be what works best for me. I stared and kept it up because it was part or an important part of my day. Now, I just don’t feel like moving on to the next thing without it.

  • Kayla H says:

    I know exactly how you feel! I got up this morning at 6, walked a mile with a DVD and took a shower and got dressed. I was pretty proud of myself because 1) I haven’t been able to get up early because our 2 month old hasn’t slept well in the past few weeks and 2) I had been trying to get up and get some of my college homework done before the girls wake up and didn’t bother to exercise or take a shower until a lot later. I find though if I don’t get up and get moving first thing that I don’t move much all day. So even though I did not get any class work done this morning, I had a much better day, felt better, and the general atmosphere of my house was just a lot more positive and less frustrating than it has been in a week.

  • Jan says:

    I say don’t beat yourself up over not getting dressed. It’s just your time of life with little kids.

  • Su says:

    As someone wise once said to me(us–the readers): “Eat that frog”!

  • Rachael says:

    I’m a teacher so I work part of the year and stay home part of the year. It’s easier to not get dressed when I’m at home (obviously) but I generally do. I’m judicious about how much t.v. my kids watch, but I take my shower and me time when they watch one show on PBS kids each morning. This also helps them get motivated about getting dressed. Once they are ready for the day (dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, shoes on), they get to watch their show. This gives me thirty minutes to shower, do my hair, and makeup. I do a thorough shower in the evening, and a two minute rinse off in the morning just to wake myself up. After I’ve been up for a couple of hours and completed my morning routine, I really look forward to this thirty minutes of quiet time!

  • Heather says:

    I think I remember you saying once that you have coarse hair – if so, consider not washing every day, if you are. It took me awhile to adjust to the idea, but now I can see how much better it is for the hair. Saves time and shampoo also.

  • Karen says:

    It is one of things that is so easy that you can miss the answer. Do it in part. If I think about having the time to shower, dress, do makeup and hair, I never get to it. I, too, do miss some days and end up in my workout clothes smelling sweaty all day. I feel gross all day but especially when my husband gets home. I want to look nice and smell fresh and sweet. So like you said on the first day of “Make the Most of Your Mornings,” I lay out my clothes the night before. Next morning, I get up early, drink coffee, & dress to exercise (15 min), do quite time with God (15 min), exercise (45-60 min), fix breakfast for husband and visit before he leaves for work (20 min), shower & dress (10-15 min), wake kids then it is home school schedule until lunch break. We take 45-60 mins lunch so mixed in with their lunch & mine plus moving a load of laundry and returning necessary phone calls, I fix my hair (5 min) and put on makeup (10 min). Then back to school knowing I will look nice when hubby arrives or if we have any outside activities. Best wishes.
    And thank you so much for your blogs and sharing!

  • Abby says:

    I actually like to wear “sweats” in the winter time and yoga-type clothes in the summer time. I am not a fan of how constricting jeans feel and am much more productive in something comfortable. Therefore, I compromise with myself. I wear fashionable sweats (is that an oxymoron?!) and make sure my hair and makeup are done and then to top it off, I throw on a pair of hoop earrings or a matching necklace. Just having make up and jewelry on makes me feel pretty but I can also be productive since I am in “lay around” clothes. I do make sure that I am not wearing sluggish clothes and that my pants or shorts actually fit my body type. It’s very very hard for me to get up before the kids in the morning. (6:30 wake up times over here) I usually get a shower at night but I also do my hair so its not out of control. Even if you just have make up on while wearing your sweats, your day seems a lot better from the get go! 🙂

  • My advice would be sweat so hard in your workout that you cannot stand the thought of wearing your workout clothes another minute than you have to! Seriously that is what I do. I finish a run and my clothes are sopping wet! Yep I just admitted that I am a heavy sweater on a large blog! But it does work. On the days I don’t work out, well……

  • Shelly says:

    For me getting dressed is something I do right out of bed. If I exercise and that is an if I am working on to make it a yes I did exercise, I just change into exercise clothes and then back into my regular clothes. I always shower before bed because I have long hair and don’t like to have to blow it dry. So I shower before bed and my hair dries as I sleep. I don’t wear make up everyday so this is not something I have a time for each day.

    I think just finding a time to fit in getting dressed and taking a shower that works best for you and then make it a habit you do each day, Is the best way to make sure you get these things done.
    I was laughing as I read your post. I don’t have a hard time getting dressed but today I was wondering why I was so hungry about 10 am this morning and then it hit me I only had a few bites of bagel at breakfast and forgot to finish eating. I got sidetracked with other things I needed to get done. I think some days when you have so much to do it is easy to think I can do it later and before you know it, it is bedtime.

  • SandyH says:

    I have always showered in the morning, put on makeup and gotten dressed. Workout clothes count! The one thing I’ve always done, is set a mental ” deadline” of 10 am to shower and dress. Many mornings it was earlier than that, but not later. I’ve stuck to my “deadline” for years, with 4 kids, being a SAHM and even on weekends. My day just doesn’t “start” oficially until I’m dressed. I’ve worked for the past few years. But I have two days off a week, and on those days I keep my three year old grandson. He arrives at 8 am so. I am up early enough to get my shower out of the way befoer he gets here.

    When my kids were babies, if their morning nap didn’t concide with shower time, I put them in their little carrier and put it in the bathroom with me! I then took the world’s fastest shower, but hey, it’s still a shower!!

  • Camille says:

    For me I feel there is no sense in getting dressed until I shower so I use this plan. I plan to get up early enough to get a workout in and then shower and begin the rest of my day. If for some reason I fail to get up on time or get that workout in, I shower, dress, begin my day and then workout or walk in the evening so when I get all sweaty and icky I can just hop in and take a quick shower before bed. I figure if someone drops by unexpectedly later in the evening they deserve whatever they get and have to expect that someone wouldn’t look their best at the end of a tiring day. 😉

  • LK says:

    I just want to know how you fit in quiet time in the morning AND P90X before your kids wake up! Isn’t the P90X a really long program? We are currently doing Insanity every morning and I need to be actually exercising by 5:30 a.m. to finish before the children wake, and that doesn’t include a shower until after they are at school. If I want to do running or biking outside, I need to start even earlier because of the heat.

    Can you get a semi-private shower after breakfast or during some other break in your day? I used to put my children in the bathroom with me, with legos or coloring books (our bathroom is pretty large) and they would play while I peeked periodically around the shower curtain to make sure they were good. I did lock the door from the inside, to be sure the toddler didn’t run out where I couldn’t see him.

  • kathy says:

    First of all,you are not alone! I struggle with this as well. For different reasons ( health issues ) but the end result is the same. Suggestions : 1) try.a relaxing tin bath at night, especially with fall coming on
    2) Workout clothes can be cute AND comfy. Why not invest in. ( or put together from what you have ) some becoming outfits in colors you love? . Lay a set out the night before. When you awake, you will be bathed and can slip into something comfy and attractive to exercise with hubby in! You will no doubt have 5 minutes to spare in which you could add a bit of makeup. Lip gloss alone can do wonders.

  • Rachel says:

    I made it a priority from the time I decided to stay home with my son 2 years ago to shower and dress every day. I end up feeling so bad about myself if I stay in pajamas or workout stuff all day. I try to get up and showered/dressed before my son wakes up. Sometimes I will shower the night before if I know the next day is going to be especially hectic. To this day there has only been a handful of times I haven’t gotten showered and dressed.

  • Tara says:

    I was in bed last night way before my bedtime of 11:00pm (not feeling great), and I was up before my rise and shine time of 7:00am (up at 6:40am).

    Rocked my daily 5!

    Didn’t get any exercise yesterday, but I knew I had a big day today. Ate a low-calorie granola breakfast!

  • CJ says:

    I purchased a radio alarm clock and put it in my bathroom. It goes off at the same time every morning with the news followed by radio classifieds. My favorite program is a good motivator. That is when I go in to take my shower.

  • shannon says:

    I look at it from a different perspective…yes finding the time can be hard, but why not combine your shower with things you enjoy. I don’t drink coffee, but I love taking a cup of hot tea into the shower with me. Then turn on some praise music. Find a way to make it not feel like a ‘chore’ but pampering…..quickly.

  • susie says:

    What’s wrong with wearing excersize clotes all day? every time I put on jeans I have to take them off and put my yoga pants on to get something done!

  • Denise says:

    I’m a SAHM of 5 with 4 homeschooling this year. My husband is also fighting cancer homeopathically, which means I’m administering all his treatments. You’ll grow into it. You added a few things into an already busy schedule. Give yourself lots of grace, try a few fun ways to experiment on getting this one little deal back on track. You’ll get it and in a few weeks you’ll be laughing about it.

    We get as much ready the night before as we can. When the kids are asleep and I can think, I plan breakfast and lunch based on what I have and can make easily, I set out clothes for myself and my littler ones and a diaper for the baby. If there are any phone call I need to make, I write all that stuff down.

    Thinking the next day thru the night before helps me a lot. Good luck 🙂

  • Everyone gave great advice. I’m one of those who lays out their clothes out the night before, but I take it one step further and lay out the clothes in the bathroom. I have this curved wicker shelf where I can neatly lays out the clothes. On days I work out the clothes are right in front of my face when I go into the bathroom, and since I don’t want to wear clean clothes while I’m dirty, it’s a good incentive to jump into the shower. 🙂

  • RachaelP says:

    After having early rising young children, I decided to start showering at night so I could make sure it got done. Part of our morning routine is to walk or run and in the warmer months, I get sweaty. We get home, I get the children occupied and hop in the shower just to rinse off, get make up and clothes on. My hair is low maintenance so I don’t have to spend time fixing it in the morning. I feel so much better and get more done when I’m dressed!

  • Michelle says:

    This may sound really corny but getting a shower, getting dressed, doing my hair and (very minimal) makeup are a gift I give myself every morning (takes me 15-20 minutes).

    There have been different seasons in my life where it has been a challenge (I’m a military spouse of four young kids)….such as babies (I would put them in their car seat and place them near the shower on the bathroom floor; I’ve even put toddlers in highchairs/playpens in/near the bathroom), exercising (having a shower was part of my work-out time), bathtub only – no shower (got some of the fastest washes ever!), but it always makes me feel empowered and ready to handle whatever life gives me to deal with each day.

    As mentioned in a few other comments, I think you need to decide if it’s a priority for you and then, if it is, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen 🙂

  • Patti says:

    When I was young, a fellow employee told me she shaved her legs every day. I thought she was crazy but I started to do it, too, and I have never been able to go without it since. It means I am sick if I don’t !! And I HATE to have the flu or fevers with unshaved legs!! So I always take a daily shower. Sometimes I am a little later in the morning due to exercise but I always dress nicely and put on make- up. When I had a baby, it was a big step to get to that stage but I worked on it from the beginning. I have only stayed in pjs if I was really sick. I guess what I am saying is it is a habit and a way of appreciating your own self more than doing it for your husband. Feeling “put together” makes for good self-esteem . Good luck forming this good habit.

    • Nicole says:

      It is amazing all you do!!! I think it is great that you want to look nice for your husband and get dressed, but there are some days you have other priorities that come up before you get to shower and dress. I wouldn’t fret to much over it. Husbands also like how you look in workout clothes too, especially if they are cute ones ;-). You are doing an amazing job and many women would love to be able to do all the wonderful things you do now! Thank you for all your hard work, you have helped many families!!!

  • Emily Allen says:

    Oh boy, can I relate to this post. I am a stay at home mom and struggle with the same thing. I think the problem is that I think, “What’s the point? I’m not going anywhere/doing anything special today. But I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you don’t want to set that example for your kids, and I don’t either. Not to mention, I feel SO much better on the days I shower, put on something nice, fix my hair, and put on makeup! I had to figure out what obstacles were keeping me from doing this everyday.

    Number One: I have naturally wavy hair, but was blow drying it straight and using a flat iron every time I washed it. So, it took FOREVER. Now, I put a little curling cream in, use the diffuser on my hairdryer for 5 minutes and let the rest air dry. This makes me not mind doing my hair as much.

    Number Two: Just like exercise, the longer I put it off, the less likely it was to ever happen. So, now, as soon as I’m done with my workout, I jump right in the shower (most days). That only takes a few minutes. Then, as I get a few minutes here and there, I’ll fix my hair and put on makeup.

    It’s a struggle everyday, but I feel so much better on the days when I do get ready!

  • Angel says:

    I used to do the same thing. I finally got smart and started showering at night and I would even pick out my clothes the night before too. All of this would only.take about fifteen minutes or so. I also wouldn’t have to change the sheets as often either since I went to bed nice and clean. Best of luck.

  • mariah says:

    As an image consultant my advice is:

    1. If your daughters are girly and enjoy dressing up, enjoy a moment each morning and compliment eachother and what you’ve picked to wear. Don’t forget to add a fun accessory that your daughters will love on you. It’s a good way to practice compliments and accepting compliments. I do think that enjoying feminity is wonderful, when your heart is in the right place, its not vanity.

    2. Take any hats or bracelets or another charity accessory you have and put it on once fully dressed and pray for that organization at lunch. You can even pull an item out of a bag to make it surprising. Do this once in awhil
    3. Make sure your wardrobe consists of items that are the correct coloring for you, the roper fit, and your style. Also make sure you have pre selected outfits hanging together, to take the brain work out of it.

    4. Don’t forget it can be very simple. I take one day a week for 15 minutes to tweeze my eyebrows and trim my nails. I keep my finger nails unpolished or with clear polish and my toenails painted, cuz it makes me.happy. Just having a clean face with nice eyebrows and near to none acne is a huge benefit. All you need to do is put on mascara and lipstick, never go darker than your natural lip.color, or you’ll look old, fyi. Put on a simple outfit, with one pop of color or one accessory, and focus the most energy on your hair. With some research, you can have several go-to quick hair styles that look good and you continually switch up.

    Hope that helps. 😀

  • Kimber says:

    I’ve been working on this, too. I never really learned how to do my makeup very well, but I have quite a bit that I’ve been able to snag at CVS. I have a sweet friend who went to beauty school, so I offered a trade – I taught her a couponing class and she taught me a makeup class! I can now confidently – and quickly – apply some makeup. And honestly, I feel better about myself and get more done when I have pretty eyes!

  • Tonya says:

    I have your problem with the workout clothes. Or I should say “had” because I don’t anymore. I do really intense workouts and I can’t just go from working out to the shower because I’d still be hot after my shower and continue sweating. But, once I sit down, I tend to lose track of time reading, watching TV, playing on Pinterest/Facebook, whatever – I just zone out after I work out so I’m never doing anything productive.

    The thing is that once I sit down, I don’t get up. Soon, it’s lunchtime and I have to start making lunch before my husband gets home. Then I figure after lunch well I’m still in my workout clothes, I should go for another short jog and get an extra calorie burn in. Then the cycle restarts – I have to cool down and zone out and I lose track of time.

    Then one day last week I came home and decided to set the oven timer. I gave myself 15 minutes to cool down and then when the oven timer went off, I gave myself 1 minute to wrap up whatever I was doing and get in the shower. No excuses, I just had to do it!

    And it worked. I’m getting my shower in, I’m not losing track of time, I’m not still in my workout clothes when my daughter gets home from school and then I have to figure out how to shower and manage her (she has autism and can’t quite be left to her own devices yet).

    So I know you’re all about goal setting, I would encourage you to figure out in your schedule every day what time you want to be showered by and set your timer to remind you to wrap up your current project and get in the shower.

    And I like to waste time in the shower in the wonderful warm water (BAD I know!) so I use my music app on my phone and set it to random – I have 2 full songs to get showered and then no more, I have to get out. (3 songs if I need to shave.) It really helps me keep better track of my time spent doing tasks like that.

    Whatever you decide, I know it’ll be perfect for you. I notice a huge difference in how I approach my to do list when I’m showered and don’t look like something sweaty that the cat dragged in from the gym.

  • melissa n. says:

    Does anyone else have an issue with getting their “nice” clothes (not faded pjs or sweats) messy or ruined while home all day? I have several cheap but decent looking clothes, like the colored Merona tees from Target and my jeans, or khaki capris, or whatever, that get permanent stains from spills, grass stains from doing light yardwork while kids are playing, mud from grubby hands clutching me, chocolate from the underside of the table that I am cleaning, bleach stains from clorox accidents, etc. I find it SO much less time consuming and worrisome to wear my crummier stuff during the day, because I was spending lots of time and stress trying to remove stains from my nicer clothes. And I have broken several bracelets and necklaces over the years from snags as I run around after preschoolers at home. I’m not making excuses, I just want to know if I am super clumsy or what, because I don’t want to spend money replacing nicer clothes, but the alternative seems to be wearing the free t-shirt my husband got at some convention ( that is three sizes too big for me) that I don’t care if it gets messy, stained, or even ripped. Any suggestions?

    • Andrea says:

      Take a pillowcase (designate one for the yard & keep w/yard supplies) with you everytime you go to your yard for weeding, etc. and kneel on that! goodbye to grass stains and you can toss it in the washer as needed. . .and NO to the free oversized tee- guaranteed your hubby doesn’t find that attractive and it certainly won’t make you feel good either. Choose properly fitted clothes. : )

    • Ashley says:

      This is exactly why I don’t get dressed up…I wouldn’t have a single piece of nice clothing!

  • Emily says:

    no real solution here….it has been ingrained in me for decades (and I’m only 30) to take a shower and dress first thing in the morning. I feel so much better when I get dressed in something cute and do my hair. I don’t really wear much make up, just eye liner and mascara. It’s a MUST for me. Only doesn’t happen when I’m sick.

    Only one helpful thought….I recently started washing my hair only every other day. It solved my dry scalp problem, and every other day I can skip shampoo, conditioner, and blow drying. There’s a good 10 minutes there saved every other day. 🙂

  • jen says:

    I usually shower right after working out because I’m so sweaty. But I struggle with putting “real” clothes on if I’m not going anywhere. As a stay at home mom of 3 small kids, it seems like anytime I put anything nice on it immediately gets spit up on, or a snotty nose wiped on it, or I spill something while I’m cooking, you get the picture. Or if we’re playing outside, I’m much more reluctant to get down and play or do stuff like sidewalk chalk because I don’t want to mess up my good clothes. I do want to look nice but I find that I’m a better mom when I’m in old comfy clothes. Does anyone else struggle with this?

    • Mamaria says:

      Young moms need clothes that will withstand the messes small children make, but we also need to feel pretty and feminine.

      For me, it’s the difference between a big, baggy t-shirt and a t-shirt that fits nicely and has pretty details. Both are comfortable; the vomit and mucus can be washed out of both. But one makes me feel frumpy and chubby, while the other makes me feel ready for the challenges of small children but I still look nice.

  • Whitney says:

    I’ll admit – I groaned when I read that you get up at 5:20. That just seems so … early! But then I realized, I probably get up around that time most days to nurse my 10-month-old. My problem is that I then climb right back into bed for another hour (or more!) I absolutely agree that I get more accomplished when I’m dressed and ready to go by 7 am, and when I wait for my baby to go down for a nap before I take my shower (and bribe my 4 and 2 year old to stay quiet while I’m in there), it feels like half the day is already gone. Here’s my resolution: the next time the baby wakes up past 5, I’ll stay up, too. I won’t say I’ll be successful, but I’m going to pledge to try.

    • Lori in NC says:

      Darlin’, you’re giving nutrients to your child by nursing — your body may require a bit more rest right now to re-energize. It’s a-ok to get back in that bed for an hour cat nap in the morning.

      • Stacey says:

        Exactly! You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of that little one!
        There will be other days to tackle other things.

  • Krysten says:

    I shower at night. Then in the morning, it’s easy to just throw on clothes, comb my hair, and go. I don’t know how moms would ever be able to get in a shower in the morning.

    • Michelle says:

      I didn’t read all the replies, so someone might have said this- I would just start school 30 minutes later. I exercise in the morning too and then its time for breakfast, cleanup… but taking a shower break between chores and school has been helpful to me and my girls love the extra play time before we start school.

  • Robin says:

    Well…I can easily stay in my “just got out of bed” clothes all day. It is just easy when you don’t have to go anywhere. HOWEVER, I feel so much better when I get dressed, including hair and make-up. Now, I force myself to get in the shower and dressed right after I get the bed made, the kitchen picked up, a load of laundry in and my Bible Study finished. My girls are in high school, so that helps too.

    Here’s my dilemma. I cannot get myself to exercise. AT ALL! My husband is downstairs pumping iron or out running every morning. And I just don’t. Help!

    The getting to bed and finishing my 5 to-dos before bed is going great! And my to-do lists.

    Baby steps, right?

  • Steph says:

    If it weren’t for the fact that I ‘had’ to go to our activities, then I sometimes find that I’m still in my pjs at lunchtime lol. I definitely feel better when I’m dressed with nice clean clothes on, so most mornings I make an effort to do the before we start out ‘school day’…it works most of the time :0)

    By the way, I love reading your blog – this is my favourite and I have received so many great ideas and encouragement – so THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!

  • mac says:

    I am a sahm of 3. I NEVER get out of my pj’s unless it’s a workout day, then I NEVER get out of my workout clothes unless it’s a shower day. 😉 I say, whatever works for you works for you. Don’t judge.

  • I have started incorporating my quiet time with my shower/getting dressed time, which has really helped. I played praise music in the bathroom and worship in the shower and while doing my makeup. I started praying while getting dressed and making breakfast in the morning. I was worried at first about the task at hand taking over my thoughts, but I have found the opposite to be true!

  • I wish I had some good advice for you, but I struggle with this too.

    There’s a ton of great advice in the comments. You have the best readers!

  • Amy says:

    When I was pregnant with my daughter and my son was 2, he had a habit of getting up at 5am or earlier. When he is up, he wants my undivided attention and to be entertained his entire waking hours. I just couldn’t do it because I was so tired. I made a rule that he could not get out of bed until 7:30 and somehow it worked out and still works 6 years later. I know that if I am not showered and dressed by 7:30, then some chaos will follow. This summer, I have been a little more relaxed in it (I didn’t get dressed until 9:30 today).

  • Anna says:

    Maybe it is just me but I always shower and dress in the am no matter what my plans are for the day. I work outside the home but even when I stay home I in the summer I get dressed in the morning. I exercise every am but then eat breakfast and then shower and dress. I wear no make up and have a low maintenance hairstyle. I sometimes will wash my hair the night before to save a bit out time. For me it have been a habit since I was a child.

    Do you let the children stay in jammies all day or do they get up and get dressed??? What habit are you instilling in them?

    For me it is a habit to dress after I exercise in the am. I never do anything else until I exercise and walk including taking care of the kids. I guess that is the one thing I do for myself but really that is my routine and habit.

    • I am so much more productive if I get up, exercise and shower before my kids are out of bed. Most days it means getting up between 4:45 and 5:00 (eek!), but I absolutely love waking up on my own schedule and enjoying an hour of quiet before my family wakes up.

      Now that my kids are getting older, it also helps that they really start complaining if they wake up to a sweaty stinky mom in the kitchen making breakfast. So, I try to finish exercising by 6 and am in and out of the shower by 6:15. I’ve started waiting to put makeup on until later in the day, but just getting the shower part done early really allows me more freedom throughout the day, and since I know I’m in a hurry to get breakfast started I don’t waste time that early in the morning. (And every minute seems more and more precious each day as they grow older!)

  • Lori says:

    This is definately an area I’ve been struggling with lately. I have never been great at it but I was put on bedrest during my pregnancy, so I really wasn’t leaving the house or doing anything so it didn’t matter. I had the baby she’s almost 12 weeks old. I hate when people come to the house and I’m still in my pajamas, I know it would help wake me up but with a 2 year old and a newborn I struggle to find time to shower. 2 days a week I take Bible classes in the evening, and its a struggle to get ready in time to leave, as well as feed the baby and make sure everything is ready for the kids to go see grandma for a bit. I hate feeling so hectic when I’m heading out the door at 4:30pm. So I decided Monday no excuses I’m taking a shower when I get up. My husband and I have a running inside joke about me not showering daily. I think at first it grossed him out, but sadly now he’s used to it. Thats not the way it should be, no matter how busy I am. Do you require your children to be dressed to go to school? If I don’t get dressed I can’t make my 2 year get dressed, and I’m not sure if I should really make her or not to just play around the house. Baby can’t go outside so we stay inside to play.

  • J.B. says:

    This week my new work and class schedule started. So I kinda did this. I got dressed up pretty everyday.
    Ok this may be stepping on your toes, however, one of the most frustrating things my mother ever did was tell me to do something but she would never do it. I am assuming that you tell your children to get dressed. So what kind of example are you setting by not getting dressed?
    I only wear make up at weddings, job interviews, and on dates. most days my hair just goes into a pony tail.
    I really hope I don’t hurt your feelings. No one is perfect. Not even me. 🙂

  • Jennifer Stiko says:

    I love reading through all these comments!! It helps me come up with a better routine for myself 🙂

    But, if I know I”m not going anywhere for the day, I’ll usually just throw on a tshirt or tank top and athletic shorts to run around the house in. But, of course, if I’m going out, I’ll try to look a little “cuter.” For me, I’d rather save my cuter clothes for when I’m actually going out somewhere and people are going to see me. To me, as long as I’m not wearing my pj pants all day, I feel better 😉 And most days, even if I haven’t gone anywhere all day, I may run an errand after my daughter goes to bed, like going to the grocery store or Walmart or something which I’ll usually change clothes and put a bit of makeup on. So, my husband usually sees me a little “fixed up” everyday, even when I wear a tshirt and shorts all day. so, whatever works for each person!

  • Mamaria says:

    My attitude about my job as a wife, mom and homemaker is so much better if I get dressed in something nice every day. FlyLady is, as usual, right about this one–get dressed to hair and shoes every morning. Now I will preach myself a Severe Sermon to reinforce what I’ve been learning, and y’all can listen in.

    Here are a few ideas for all of us who struggle with making it a priority to Look Nice, but want to change:
    –Decide that jammies or workout clothes all day will Not Be an Option. I mean, going naked all day is, for most of us, automatically Not an Option, even if it would be the Ultimate in Simplicity.

    –Decide what Looking Nice will mean for you, and if it will Work for you. For me, jewelry and heels don’t work for everyday. I have three toddlers. I can manage a simple hairstyle and clean hair, a shirt and skirt that go together and fit comfortably and are suitable for child care and heavy cleaning, and a little perfume. I’m not a fashion plate, but neither do I have to be embarrassed to answer the door unexpectedly.

    –Life is too short to wear ratty clothing every day. And you are worth more than that. I buy several simple outfits (cute, comfortable t-shirt and cute, comfortable skirt) at the thrift store. If they get ripped or stained, I Throw Them Out without guilt and get another thrift store outfit.

    –Have a few of these designated “At Home” outfits that Look Nice and Don’t Cost Much. Hang the top and bottom on the same hanger, and put the outfits in a certain section of the closet. Then you don’t have to think in the morning; you just pick one of the three.

    –I do not have the money to replace the forest green carpet in the living room of my mobile home, but I can put up with that carpet and the other flaws in this imperfect house with a much better attitude if I can at least Look Nice while I’m living here. I’m also more motivated to do my job well.

    –It works well for me to make it a goal to do as much as possible before leaving my bedroom every morning. That means making my bed, washing my face, doing my hair, tidying the bathroom and bedroom, and getting dressed to shoes before I leaving my room.

    –There is no one right time to shower. I shower at night because it’s utter bliss to slip into bed all clean. Taking a shower in the morning makes me feel attacked, cold and unloved. I like other readers’ idea of a sponge bath after exercise. I think this may solve the exercise and shower dilemma for me.

    I commend you, Crystal, for your honesty. You accomplish so much, and I sometimes allow myself to feel condemned for not doing as much. I will be much comforted to remember that showers and getting dressed are a hurdle for you, too.

  • Tennille says:

    I have to start each day with a shower and getting dressed or I just don’t feel good. I have made it a habit. I get up by 5Am each day so that I am up before the kids. I have my shower done and then I am able to do devotion and emails and relaxation before they awake at 7AM. I am clean, dressed and refreshed for when they come down the steps.

  • Susan says:

    It’s kind of yucky to shower before you exercise. Sometimes I hit the shower when my little guy is getting dressed. Perhaps you could do the same. I set out clothes for him and often times he gets distracted playing in his room while I’m showering that it gives me a bit of extra time. Sometimes, I don’t get a shower in the morning, but I do make sure the make up goes on even with grub clothes and the teeth get brushed and hair fixed. I’m not too fixated on the clothes, they can be changed quickly, the face needs a bit more work. : )

  • Ashley says:

    Just buy cute workout clothes and call it good Crystal! Your kids may grow up to be marathoners or something, because they always saw the evidence of their mom being physically active. Eh?

    Or – don’t eat or serve breakfast until you are done up for the day. Your desire to feed your children breakfast will push you to get yourself together. Your children may not turn into marathoners though…

  • Carole says:

    I don’t understand the wimpy husbands who overlook their wives and children staying in pajamas all day. My late husband would have had a lot to say if I had done that. Shower or bathe the night before and just step into clothes in the morning. Or even skip a day on the bathing, that’s better than wearing pajamas all day.

  • Larissa says:

    The things that have worked best for me are to lay my clothes out the day before and when I get in the shower I take my 5 year old daughter with me (some people may not be comfortable with this, but it is the fastest and easiest way get her and myself moving in the morning). So I feel like I would be spending this time in the bathroom helping her wash her hair anyway, so I may as well be getting clean at the same time. When I do this and then take a couple of minutes to get dressed and put in contacts I feel like I am better prepared to deal with the day ahead and that puts me in much better spirits. BTW I try to do this everyday, but some days I just don’t. I do notice that I seem to have more patience and confidence in dealing with the morning rush on the days that I do get my early shower.

  • I actually go running before my quiet time so I shower before I sit down with my bible. If you are really wanting to keep your workout time where it is so you can do it with your husband, maybe you guys can start it 10 minutes earlier so you can hop into a quick shower after, get clothes on, then finish the make up and hair while they eat breakfast. Or maybe train them to eat well alone while you take a super fast shower and get ready. Not sure if that’s helpful but it’s all I could think of.

    • Dineen says:

      I’ve been reading this series and this is the first day I am “reporting”. Yesterday did *slightly* step on my toes as you put it, so I went to read the comments along with today’s. No, my rhythms don’t make me the most productive in the morning, but I have been inspired during this past week or so to improve my mornings. I may not be completely on track with Crystal’s plan, but I’ve gained a huge amount of peace with one change. Merely setting out my clothes and my daughter’s clothes for the day the night before has made a huge difference. Getting dressed sooner makes me much more productive and feel better about myself. As for wearing clothes that make you feel better about yourself, I recently purged my wardrobe of ill-fitting clothes and shirts with “mommy stains”. To preserve my clothes, I pulled out unused aprons and decorated one of them with a pretty flower brooch. Wearing the apron with the bright flower on it not only makes me feel like I am ready to get down to business, but makes me feel good too.
      These baby-steps have made huge improvements in how my home looks and functions.

  • Tracy says:

    Here’s a tip – in the mornings my brain is usually running with to-do’s, ideas, shopping lists, kid requests, etc. So I keep a notepad in the bathroom. Anything that pops into my head gets written on the notepad – no running to the computer, or the calendar, or the kitchen (yes, it takes some discipline!). I just keep getting reading, jot down my notes, and know that I’ll have time to address all of those issues later when I’m ready to tackle the day!

  • Ramona says:

    I always get dressed right away since the bathroom is right outside of my bedroom, it’s the first thing I do and a great way to wake up and get moving. I know it sounds simple stupid, but it’s worked for me for so long!
    If I give myself an excuse to go downstairs without doing that, I get caught up in doing this and doing that and the shower never happens. This way it’s done and that’s it!

  • Liz says:

    I have read just about all of the above comments, and there is some excellent advice. However, I DO know what helps me (as getting showered and dressed is NOT an easy thing for me, either), and I don’t believe it’s been mentioned yet: PRAY. Pray about it. Once you’ve decided that this IS a priority to you/your family, then simply pray and ask God to help you stick to it, as silly as it might sound. I know that whenever I try to do ANYTHING in my own power, I fail almost right away. Sometimes I forget that God WANTS us to go to Him about even the little things, such as this, and sometimes He will allow to us to keep failing, in an effort to bring us back to Him…I’m simply speaking about myself here, not you. Just thought I would share what helps me.

    • Liz says:

      I also forgot to add: Don’t THINK about it…at all. Have your “getting ready” steps listed on your checklist for the day and just keep knocking them out, without ever giving them any thought. After all, the night before you will have listed them and pre-determined their order of importance, so try not to do anything, or you might talk yourself out of some of the items on your list, or rearrange your list to have your “frogs” on the bottom, which we know those bottom few things don’t always/usually get done. Good luck!

  • Margarita says:

    I am a single mother and I am a little shocked at the comments of how many people have to work at finding time to get showered and dressed and they are married. I have never had an issue with this, I do not know if it is because I was raised in a military household (everyone was in the military), or if I am just naturally lucky. I know my showers daily usually never go past 5 minutes (shaving legs included) and washing hair, sometimes I will “sit” in the shower if it is a day that there is not much to do, but majority of them is 5 minutes. Even when I had newborns and was breastfeeding, I still got my showers in everyday. I think I read a comment on how you have to put it as a task and it will get done, I agree with this. I don’t see my showers as a task but I am programmed to just do it everyday. Then once in awhile I get time to just sit in a bubble bath, that is my me time. I think people over think “I just don’t have time”, (sometimes we are not as busy as it may seem, we just make ourselves believe this)when they really could and that they spend way to much time in the shower, if they start to cut down thier showering time you can get clean and save some money. Also there is no law or ten commandment written saying you have to wash your hair everyday, skip some days your hair and scalp might start to like it :0)

    • Crystal says:

      I think each of us have our areas that we struggle with — and our areas that we are really proficient in. And that’s the beauty of community: we can learn from those who are much better than us at the areas we’re weak in!

      Thanks so much for the encouragement and ideas!

    • Margarita says:

      Just wanted to add in, I homeschool, I am currently a college student, and have to take care of six other little people so that I can keep a roof over my head…and I still get in my showers. This is why I am so shocked.

  • lauren says:

    love this series!!

  • One time my husband came home in the middle of the day to surprise me and take me out for lunch during his break. I was still in pj’s and my hair needed to be done! That instance alone really motivated me to be ready “to go” at all times.

    Even if I can’t have my full shower, hair style, and make up– I try to wear comfortable clothes, use dry shampoo and wash my face. That way, I can quickly put on make up and head out the door if needed. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I do get dressed fairly late most days, because I can’t stand getting dressed without taking a shower. And I like to do most of my housework before showering.
    During the Summer, I usually end up bathing or showering twice, though, because of the humidity. If I take a walk later in the day or something, I have to bathe again at night before bed. Ha

  • Katie says:

    One thing that really helps me get myself in the shower is having soap, shampoo/ conditioner that smells good. I love getting in the shower when I know I’m going to like the smell and feel of the soap I’m using. I used to use anything I could get the cheapest but now I try to spend a little more on something I like. It’s a little thing but something that has really helped me out.

  • Susan says:

    I’ve just spend a chunk of time reading all these comments, and it’s been really interesting reading.

    Crystal, good for you for putting it out here. I’ve followed your blog for a long time, and it’s hard to picture you not as “put together” as you’d like. But then again, you surely dress nicely, hair and makeup done, etc., when you make videos or for photos that you post here. 🙂

    I’m one who has no difficuly getting showered, dressed and groomed every day, one of those people you mention in that last paragraph above. What? People struggle with getting showered and dressed? No one in my household stays in their jammies all day unless they’re sick; that’s just lazy! I reacted a lot like Margarita’s comment above, shocked that this would be difficutlt for anyone (unless they are sick or have a medical issue, of course; that’s a different story).

    But, well, uh, from your post and many of these, apparently it is difficult for some.

    So, I’m mulling this over as I read, and here’s what I think. First of all, I don’t think you should worry too much about wearing workout clothes all day. Some workout clothes are cute, comfortable, and modest enough for everyday wear, as long as you start out the day clean. If it’s spankies and a sports bra however, you night want to get dressed. Personally, I sweat so heavily that I immediately shower and change after exercising and can’t imagine not doing that, but if you are comfortable, so be it.

    Sloppy sweats and oversize, unisex t-shirts don’t flatter any of us, regardless of our size or shape. If that’s what you wear to work out, or do housework or whatever, fine. But we all feel better when we look better. Don’t we? And by “looking better” I don’t mean dressing up in really nice clothes and going all out with makeup. I just mean clean nice clothes that are comfortable and make us feel like that we look nice. Those cute womens t-shirts from Target that you often detail — perfectly nice for casual wear, instead of a big baggy t-shirt that looks sloppy, and as a result makes feel sloppy.

    Anyway … given that you asked for suggestions means that you do want to work on this area. So, my suggestions would be to adapt the same mindset that you do with other areas of your life — it’s not finished until it’s completely finished. I “know” you well enough to know that you you enjoy cooking for your family, and you also like your kitchen to be clean and clutter free. So, after cooking and eating, do you make it priority to clean up the kitchen or do you leave the dishes in the sink all day? I’m thinking you tidy up right away, pretty much automatically.

    When your homeschooling lessons are finished, so you clear off the table and return materials to that nice little bin there in your dining room, or do you leave it all over the table until dinner time when you’re forced to shove everything into a pile and move it out of the way so your family can eat?

    Likewise, perhaps you can think of taking a shower and getting dressed as the “cleanup” from your workout. Just like school isn’t finished until materials are put away, your morning workout isn’t finished until you’re showered and dressed.

    Just a thought.

    • Sommer says:

      I agree with Susan. You are such an inspiration…just make this another priority. I’m sure you’ll have it figured out in no time.

      I only one pair of jogging pants and two oversize t-shirts. I’ve found that if I don’t have access to ‘frump’ clothes, I want be tempted to wear them. My day typically starts with quiet time, breakfast, a shower and then I’m dressed! My dress down clothes are fitted t-shirts and dark wash jeans. While cleaning I simply slip my oversized T over my clothes. If it’s a deep cleaning then I just slip both the oversized T and sweats but once I’m done I put back on whatever I intended to wear for the day. It may sound like a lot but the whole wardrobe change only takes about 2-4 minutes. This is my ‘uniform’ if I staying in the house. The dark jeans help to hide the dirt from the day. If I’m going out, I may dress up a little more by adding appropriate accessories. In addition, I choose one day a week to wear a skirt or dress as a special treat to myself. I also only own one pair of sneakers which my husband insisted on purchasing during my last pregnancy b/c he doesn’t think flats are supportive enough. I usually wear ballet flats or flat sandals. Also, in the house I wear flip flops instead of slippers. I feel more productive this way!
      As a mom to 5 girls and 2 sons, I want to represent ALL aspects of positive motherhood. I want them to value ‘self-care’ as much as they value serving and caring for their families. Last year, was our first year homeschooling so I also require them to get dressed as if they were going “to school.” I will say that I ‘ve had to extend some grace toward myself in this area over the last five months due to the addition of b/g twins to our family. I’ve included one or two days per month as “pj days.” However, I let my husband know ahead of time so that he’s not startled when he returns home to find everyone still in their bed clothes. Even with my transition of being a new mom again, I find that if I’m dressed nice I feel better. Just add some lip gloss and earrings to activate my mommy powers!!
      I hope this helps. I would love to hear how you’ve progressed in the area.

  • Lauren says:

    I’m not sure if I have something new to add. There are days I struggle with this – I just get busy and put off my shower until “later” – and those are inevitably the days when someone will surprise me at the door! (Even if it is only the UPS guy, it is still embarassing). I also get up early but have different things pulling at me – I have 6 kids who go to 4 different schools (high school, middle school, elementary, and pre-school, plus at- home teaching/activities, so I am running around from the get-go.) This is what I do that works for me… I take a longer shower or bath at night, right before bed (shave legs, wash hair, etc.) My husband likes it when I come to bed freshly showered! And I almost never use a hair dryer on my head! In the morning, I put on something easy and comfy and get the “sweaty” things done first (work out, heavy chores, other things that will make me feel icky). Then I take a quick 2 minute shower just to wash off and feel clean again. ) I put my hair up & out of the way but if it gets wet again, oh well). Sometimes after dressing I don’t have time to do my hair and simple make-up, so might come back to it later. Knowing I don’t “have to” do the whole routine at once makes me more likely to at least get a shower in the morning and put on clean clothes. Then later, like when the kids are eating lunch or otherwise occupied, I can steal a few minutes to brush out or curl my hair and put on a little make-up so I am ready to face the rest of the day.

  • Marcelaine says:

    It saves me a lot of time to only wash my hair every three days. It probably takes at least fifteen minutes to wash and rinse all of my hair. Blow drying makes it enormous, so I also have to let it air dry, and then styling it after a shower takes a while. If I wash it less often, fixing it on the second and third day is much faster.

  • Courtney says:

    Showering right away in the morning is a huge priority for me, even on days when I’m not leaving the house. If I’m not clean with washed hair and shaved legs, I just feel gross!

    To save time, I tried washing my hair only every other day, but that just didn’t work for me. My hair feels so much better when it’s freshly washed that it’s worth the extra time to do it every day.

    I agree with the previous poster who said that spending a little bit extra for nicer soaps and shampoos is worth it. I noticed a big improvement in my skin and hair when I stopped using super-cheap soaps and shampoos/conditioners.

    Wearing workout clothes is perfectly fine, in my opinion – as long as they’re cute and clean.

  • Erin says:

    ahhh… the dilemma of moms everywhere. My only hope for getting myself pulled together and presentable for the day is a solid night routine. Dinner at 5, followed by exercise. My hubby and I enjoy working out together, so we often go for a run and take our 2 yr. old with us in the jogging stroller, or we drop her off at the kid’s club at our gym. When we get home its bedtime for the kiddo. My husband puts her to bed while I shower and blow dry, and then he showers too. I also layout clothes/jewelry for the next day. Then the next morning, it only takes about 10 minutes with a straightener or curling iron and another 10 minutes for make-up and dressing.

    • Joy says:

      I didn’t read through all the replies, so not sure if this was mentioned already or not. I know you are a minimalist Crystal when it comes to your clothes and other aspects of your life so you don’t have a large wardrobe to begin with. But maybe if you had some nice, new outfits to wear you might be more motivated to get dressed. Not saying you have to have a burgeoning closet full of clothes, but sometimes just a couple of nice outfits outside of T-shirt, jeans/shorts or workout clothes is all it takes to make you look forward to showering and getting dressed even if you are just staying at home. Maybe some fun, new accessories to jazz up what you already own? Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of wearing the same stuff everyday that it starts to become too comfortable and boring which leads to lack of motivation.

      I also agree with those who say you should try to look your best around your significant other. This applies to both men and women. And this is coming from me … a die hard feminist! It really does keep those home fires burning if you know what I mean. 😉 Trust me, I have been married almost 20 years. I think it’s fine to skip a day once a week like on the weekend or something, but really it will help your self-esteem if you put in the effort most of the week. Even if you have to take your shower the night before. 🙂

  • stephanie says:

    I use to have the same problem until I read about looking nice for your husband being a way to show him respect. If I get dressed to go to the store with strangers then why not put some makeup on and nice clothes for the man I love? Looking at it as an act of love is motivating!

  • FWIW, I could not get comments to load on Safari. Using Firefox now and I am seeing them all.

    I have no wisdom on the getting dressed front as it is not one of my areas of challenge. It just comes naturally to me. I don’t feel like myself if I don’t get dressed in the morning… and knowing that I won’t feel good if I don’t get dressed is what gets me into clothes and makeup. Sorry not to be helpful.

    So, my comment is to say THANK YOU for putting this series together. And, THANK YOU for starting with the evening routine. I have never had an evening routine before, nor realized how much of a difference it would make. I have been doing my evening routine for the last three days and it is making a huge difference in my peace of mind.

    I almost added a morning routine too, but going back to your old posts I read the advice to stick with something new for 3 weeks before adding the next thing. I am doing it! I have the date marked on my calendar and I plan to add my morning routine then. Usually I try to implement major changes all at once and end up crashing and burning. Working gradually is definitely working better. I am looking forward to my evening routine now, knowing how much of a difference it is making!

    I am not doing as well on the going to bed on time thing. Last night for the first time I got to bed when I was supposed to. I was proud of myself! And then… I read for half an hour, blowing right past my bedtime. I never read for fun during the day so this is probably going to be a continual challenge as I love to read. I probably need to get to bed a half hour early to have time to read in bed… which means I have to rethink our whole family bedtime routine… aaaggghhh… deep breath, one thing at a time. School starts tomorrow so I already know things will change up. Meanwhile, thanks again for giving me the inspiration to start an evening routine! I am so glad to have the comments to report in for my accountability.

  • Ami says:

    Take a shower at night. You probably don’t have to wash your hair everyday, so at least every other shower should be really fast and could be in the morning after exercise.

    This wouldn’t work for P-90x, but…I just exercise in my regular clothes if possible. I nearly always wear very comfortable and moderately durable long flowing dresses and skirts. I’ve done strength training workout videos and pilates in my dresses when no one is around. Those don’t get too sweaty. Now I’m 9 mos. pregnant, so that means I just put on tennis shoes and wear my dress for my walks outside.

    When I have run in the past, it’s usually at night because my husband leaves too early for work. Then it’s easy to change to run at the end of the day (can’t wear a long dress for that – so glad they make short little running skirts!), then take a shower before bed.

    I think with having 3 children and loving homemaking/homeschooling, I’ve given up on always staying very clean like I did before kids. I don’t think I’ll ever give up on pretty clothes and nice & neat hairstyles, though – it affects my attitude and productivity too much. The good news – you don’t have to be squeaky clean to wear pretty clothes! I love the variety in my days that makes me a little dirty (gardening, cooking, playing, cleaning and who knows what else!) and it feels like really living to put in a good day of physical labor and need a shower by bedtime.

  • I’ve been waking up at 3-3:30am for a long time! But, unlike you, I was forced to wake up early when I joined the army a few years ago. When I was done with training, it really didn’t stick until I actually started working for my old National Guard unit. I was trying to lose a little weight and stay in shape, so I would wake up at 4am, get to the gym by 5am, get home, eat breakfast, and head to work early to meet my boss for another work out. Then, during the day, we were actually authorized an hour to work out during work hrs so we would do another work out. LOL. This sounds like a lot, but it really only amounted to maybe an hour or a little over that for cardio, and some weight training/toning. I got real lazy my last year in the army due to working with a deploying unit, and I gained A LOT of weight that I am struggling to lose now.

    The only reason I wake up at 3-3:30am now is because my boyfriend wakes up that early to go to the gym. I was going with him, but I find that I like to relax before I go so I just wake up and do that. But, if I don’t work out first thing then I find that I won’t. Wish I hadn’t become to this lazy lifestyle I’m in now LOL! I am thinking about trying Turbo Fire after my vacation in Mid-September.

  • jc says:

    I’ve solved this whole debate by wearing clothing that feels like pajamas but don’t necessarily look like it 🙂 😉
    I shower at naptime because, right now, thats the only chance I have where I am not rushed. But that’s changing and now that the baby is getting older and moving out of our room, i’m going to try to get up and get my day started by showering, dressing, and even *gasp* wearing make-up (well, maybe).

  • daria says:

    – showering at night realllllly helps a smoother morning!
    – lipstick alone can make you feel better and more put together( and it usually sparks finishing your face:))
    -laying your clothes out at night

    although these seem to help if you are an afternoon exerciser. i find that my mornings are just too busy and its best to save something like exercise for the afternoon or nap time when things are quieter. that way in the a.m. i have enough time to wake up, make coffee, have devotions, and get dressed all before my toddler wakes up and she can have my undivided attention… when i try to schedule too many things i want to accomplish in the morning something suffers. good luck to you! cant wait to hear what you will try !!

  • Emma K says:

    My motivation for getting out of my pajamas or workout clothes is where we live. We live in onpost housing that is apartments. You never know when a kid, neighbor, or a friend will pop by. So for our family I try to have us all out of pajamas and into clothes by 9 am.

    Although since my son is starting kindergarten next week that will change because we are definitely not walking to school in pajamas 🙂

  • Amy Lauren says:

    I work from home now, and even though I don’t have kids, getting my workout in in the mornings forces me to shower and dress and I like that. I could never stay in my workout clothes long though, I run and sweat like crazy! The shower and coffee always make me feel better and get my day started right!

  • I have this same problem! I often stay in my yoga pants and tank tops all day and don’t get to a shower. My excuse was that I have 2 young kids still at home but that’s not an excuse. I am going to work on this too!

  • YES!! I’m so glad that there is someone out there who can relate to me! I struggle with this every. single. day. There always seems to be something else that take priority…because a shower almost feels selfish with everything else I to do sitting and waiting in front of me. I do feel guilty answering the door to the UPS man in sweats and a floppy bun but what makes me feel the worst is seeing kids walking home from school and I haven’t had a shower yet. Speaking of a shower, I have company coming tonight and I don’t have my shower yet. I’m going right now! 🙂

    Thanks for your always inspiring posts! You are a blessing!

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