How I Do It: Get Myself Ready

Find out how you can fit in getting ready each day as a busy mom with young children. Get actionable tips from a mom of three!

Mom getting ready

I get fully ready probably 360 days of the year. The other five I am either sick or taking a lazy day. This is how I do it.

What: Shower, make-up, hair, dressed
When: Early morning
Where: At my house
Why: To feel good and be ready for anything
How: Simplify

What: Shower, Dressed, Make-up, Hair

Each day, I shower, do my make-up, do my hair, and get dressed. I have a small but tried-and-true routine. I have never really been a type to not get ready. My mom was always someone who got fully ready each day, so that was my example in life.

Oh, I also include making my bed in getting ready for the day. I make my bed while I get ready (like when waiting for a curling iron to warm up).

 Read: Honest L’ANGE Hair Products Review

When: Early Morning

This is the final thing I do before my children are all up for the day. I am often just starting to get ready shortly after Brayden and Kaitlyn wake up (between 7-7:30 each day). If I am left uninterrupted, I usually get fully ready in 30 minutes. If I am really taking my time, take a nice long shower, shave, slowly do everything, it takes me an hour. I just never really have an hour to spend on getting ready, so I am fast. 

But you can see why I get up at 6 AM each day. I can exercise, study scriptures, and shower all before breakfast time.

I have not always gotten ready in the early morning. When my kids were younger and I just had one or two of them, I often got ready during independent play or I showered with them and finished getting ready while they played in the tub (I just had everything in the bathroom with me before we got in). I have a friend who showers before bed every night. Find the time of day that works best for you.

Where: At My House

This is pretty obvious…but this category is there from previous “how I do it” posts so I will stay consistent 🙂

Why: To Feel Good and be Ready For Anything

There are lots of good reasons to get ready each day. One is that you feel better. When Brayden was a baby, it was a challenge to say the least to get ready each day. There were days 7 PM rolled around and I realized I hadn’t even brushed my teeth that day, not to mention showered. As I got used to being a mom and learned how to consistently get ready quickly each day, I was able to shower and get ready each day. 

By the time I had Kaitlyn, I showered and got dressed every day. Same with McKenna. It helped me feel so much better! It woke me up and helped me feel more rejuvenated for the day. I should add that when I was in postpartum stage, my clothes were usually comfortable–so not jeans most days. Just nice, comfortable pants and clothes that were comfortable for me each day. 

I also like to be ready for anything. I think this is slightly more important with children who are out of the home than with children who are all home all day. If I get a call that Brayden needs me at school, I am ready to walk out the door that minute. But I also found this valuable when my children were all home. I was ready to go on a walk at any given minute. I was fine with walking outside to play at any given minute. If I remembered some random errand that needed to be done, I was ready to go. 

So that is me–I like to be ready for the day. Think about what level of ready you would like to reach each day, why, and then move on to your battle plan–the how.

How: Simplify

The shortest answer I can give on how I get ready is I simplify. But that doesn’t offer much information, so I will give you lots of details. Let’s take each thing one at a time.

Showering. I shower every day. But I don’t wash my hair every day. I wash my hair currently 3 times a week most weeks. Never less, but sometimes 4-5. Before I had kids, I washed my hair every day. That adds a lot of time to how long you need to get ready! Not only in washing and rinsing, but in blow drying. I am sure many of you have read and heard the same things I have about not washing every day–it strips your hair of natural oils etc etc, so I moved to every other day but 4 days a week. A few months ago, I moved it down to 3 days a week. Very easy. More on that later. I shave 2-3 times per week in the shower. I wash my face and body. 

Sadly, my showers are typically about 5 minutes long. I say sadly because that is one of my favorite things to do in a day. But I have to be speedy these days. I guess I use less water, right? I have dry skin and dry weather, so I get out and dry off and immediately lotion my entire body. I use Jergens Ultra Healing lotion

Dressed. I get dressed for the day. For some, it might be easiest to choose what you will wear the night before and set it out. I dress on how I am feeling that day, so I choose that day. There isn’t anything special here. I choose quickly and get dressed and move on.

Make-up. By the time Brayden was about 18 months old, I was getting dressed and showered every day. I even did my make-up each day, but I really had a hard time seeing the point to doing my make-up each day. I rarely saw anyone other than Brayden until my husband came home at 4:30 PM. By that point, the make-up was pretty much all rubbed off! 

I did find a product from Mary Kay called Eye Primer. It goes on before your eye shadow and helps keep your eye shadow in place all day. It really does work! It makes getting ready worth it. They also have lip primer, but I don’t find that as effective as the eye primer. 

I have always been a simple make-up girl. I have never worn foundation or mascara. I wear eye shadow, eye liner, blush, and lip gloss–usually lip smackers. Yes, lip smackers. I tried using more grown-up lip gloss for a while but I like my lip smackers. I also often use Lansinoh ointment on my lips. LOVE it. But it doesn’t fit in my pocket. So these things don’t take long to apply. I often now in the winter use a loose mineral powder from Mary Kay. I can do all of my make-up easily in under 5 minutes. 

When I was growing up, my mom always encouraged me to wear as little make-up as possible. She didn’t think I needed it and told me once I started, I would never stop. Even on my wedding day, I did not wear mascara or extra make-up, though I do wear colored lip gloss on special days like that. And on Sunday. 

Anyway, so my way of simplifying is to only wear what I find necessary. I think most women have their “must” items on the make-up list. On a daily basis, just wear your person “musts.” Your personal must list might be nothing, and I think that is just fine. Do what is important to you to feel good. 

Hair: The final step is hair. If I washed my hair, I blow dry it, then plug in my curling iron/flat iron, brush my teeth, make my bed, and then style my hair. 

Like I said earlier, I wash my hair three times a week. If you wash every day, try cutting one day a week out. At first, your hair will be greasy as you cut out washings, but it really does get used to it and it gets so you aren’t so greasy. When I shower, I just pull it up with a clip. I used to wear a shower cap, but I find it unnecessary. I know some people who don’t wash every day will still wash their bangs if they have them. Others don’t wash, but will get wet and dry bangs over again. 

If you want to not wash your hair every day, you will find it very helpful if you keep your hair trimmed. Healthy hair will look great on day two, but severely damaged hair often looks really bad on anything other than day one. A great thing is if you are not washing every day, you also aren’t drying every day, which means less heat damage to your hair so it will stay healthy longer. 

 Another tip for every other day stuff is to have some variety of hair dos. Day one I am pretty much always down. Day two, I typically go half up. Day three, I go all up. I don’t just do ponytails, though. I want to look like I spent some time on my hair and like I intentionally made my hair look the way it looks–not like I had no time so I threw it up. I do ponytails some days, though. I am not anti-pony tail. I am just a person who likes variety. And doing other things doesn’t take me any longer than a pony tail.

 And of course, dry shampoo helps a lot. We love the Batiste Dry Shampoo.

The hardest thing about doing your hair different ways is the ideas of what to do and how to execute it, not the actual execution. We live in a fabulous day where there are blogs and youtube videos a plenty full of great hair ideas. One of my favorite blogs for hair for moms is Twist Me Pretty. She did a 30 hairstyles in 30 days thing on her blog, so lots of fun ideas! I also have some ideas on my hair board on Pinterest (for moms and girls), so you can check that out here if you are interested. You can even just pick a handful of ideas you like and do  them over a couple of weeks. Oh, something that makes these hair-dos turn out better is to have a mirror behind you. Some of you might have mirrors that fold out. If not, you can try hanging a mirror on the door or wall across from your mirror. You can also hold a hand mirror up to see what it looks like. 

 Another idea for hair is to use simple accessories. Adding a headband to your simple do will make it look more interesting and intentional. But be you. You don’t want to feel silly in an accessory that isn’t you at all. 

 All in all, my hair typically takes about 15 minutes to do. 

 Final Touches: I know those of you who do flylady get dressed to the shoes. I don’t like that because A) I don’t like to wear shoes on my carpet if I don’t have to and B) I like to wear slippers in cold weather–I like coziness, not shoes :). But if shoes works for you, do shoes. I know my mom does shoes. 

 My final touch I do is earrings. I have it in my head that earrings makes me look complete. You might have something that really finishes it all off for you. 

 So that is how I get ready from start to finish in about 30 minutes. It all hinges on how long my hair takes me. Getting ready for the day does not need to be a big affair. It doesn’t need to take you a long time. Oh, and I made a listmania list on Amazon with my favorite products. I am surprised I never made a listmania before…I think more of those are in my future! Here is the link (I think).

 Now share how you do it! When you get ready, what you do to make it faster, favorite blogs for ideas, favorite products, etc. 

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24 thoughts on “How I Do It: Get Myself Ready”

  1. Hi Val, Just wanted to let you know that your blog address is incorrect on your amazon page. I tried to get back to your blog but it didn't take me there. It is spelled Just wanted to let you know. I have fine hair and have tried not washing it every day and have never liked it the second day (or any day after the first). I tried this for about six months and always thought it still looked greasy and didn't feel good. I use all salon products on my hair. I'd love some advice from anyone who's had this issue. Thank you!

  2. Thanks Kim! I will fix that. And thanks for the question. These things are tricky since everyone is so different. I think I read somewhere that putting baby powder in the hair helps with the grease…but I don't know exactly how you get it out. Maybe a blow dryer? Or maybe you could spritz it with some water and blow dry it? Have you tried that?

  3. I have 2 children (4 months and 2 years) and work outside of the home with a long commute, so I have learned to be QUICK in the mornings. I have found that it is critical for me to get up and get TOTOALLY ready for the day before the children wake up (except for putting on work clothes due to nursing – beware of leaks and spit up!!) I have gotten my standard routine down to about 30 minutes, assuming I don't poke around at all and am not shaving my legs (which, sadly, only happens about once a week and probably less often in pants weather).I have very fine and (mostly) straight hair, so I do have to wash it every day like the commenter above, but the only styling I do is a 5 minute blow dry. I also stopped using any styling gel/mousse/cream etc and that helps my hair not look greasy at the end of the day. A little bit of finishing cream after blow drying is enough to keep the frizzies at bay as needed.I don't wear very much makeup, but my go-to items are an eyelash curler (much better than mascara!) and Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation- it is more like tinted sunscreen and goes on very smoothly. Although I usually wear a touch of blush and a quick eyeliner, just foundation and curling the lashes makes me look ready enough for work.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I agree–on days when I have to get out of the house early, it is so necessary that I am totally ready before kids are up.

  5. For the fine hair friends….I,too, have fine hair, but have you guys tried the Dry Shampoo, yet? I'm sure they make expensive brands, but Suave has a great one for around $3 and Tresemme has one for around $5. It's totally like Val's suggestion of baby powder, yet it's better! You spray in this powdery spray right at your greasy roots and use the heat from your hand to massage it in. It will give you VOLUME (a fine hair fantasy) and will get rid of that greasy look. Try it! Val, I love this! I need to get up earlier and be more intentional!

  6. I love your blog! I've followed it since my eldest was 9 weeks old and he'll be 4 soon! I love that you gave a shout out to Mary Kay products here. I recently discovered how awesome Mary Kay products are too. Thanks for writing such helpful info!

  7. Thank you so much for this post….I can't thank you enough This is exactly what I needed a good swift kick in the butt! Thank you so much!

  8. Val, I love the way you write things…so plain and practical!! Like the comment, "I wash my face and body." :)You just affirmed to me that I MUST be 100% ready for the day before the kids get up. On Thursday morning, I went to bible study and was up and ready and the morning went so smoothly. It was so peaceful…no rush, rush to get out the door with the 2 school kids and toddler. THANKS for the kudos to Mary Kay products too. I've been a consultant for 6 yrs and absolutely love the EYE PRIMER too.

  9. Hi there, I actually have a babywise question…I wasn't sure where to post it, so I figured this was the best place for now. 🙂 So,a girlfriend of mine has a one year old and she nurses him to sleep for his naps and bedtime. He is an innconsistent napper and doesn't sleep well at night. He goes to bed around 9:30 and wakes about 6 or so. My question is, where should she start? Is there a book on how to start babywise later? I started babywise with my little guy right away(he is 11 months old) and he is an amazing sleeper and always has been. She is feeling discouraged…how can I help her? I know she is interested in babywise, but I get a sense that she is afraid of letting him cry it out. Thanks so much and by the way enjoyed this post, I am curious how I am going to tackle this when my son moves to one nap a day!

  10. How is it that your hair takes that little time to blow dry?? Mine takes 30 min at least. Probably because it's naturally curly and I have to dry it in sections to straighten it. If it weren't for my hair I could probably get ready in 45 min. But that doesn't include shaving. On days that I work I get up about 2 hours before I have to get the kids up to be ready on time! I just don't see how to cut any time! I'm so jealous. Plus on days I don't work I really want to sleep as much as I can (from getting up at 430am!) and the difference between getting up at 6 vs 7 is too tempting. I hate it though. Not being ready for the day makes it for a rough day of unproductive activities. I feel like I can't win either way!

  11. Val – I just love your blog. The whole time I was reading this post I thought "man, I wish she would link out to the products on amazon." and what do you know, listmania. awesome and thanks!

  12. (Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. I know you must get that a lot, but I really appreciate the time and effort you put into keeping it up. I first found it when I discovered my daughter had reflux but I wanted to do BabyWise. You have excellent pointers and advice on this topic, and after following that advice, Lydia is doing well with BabyWise. Inspired by you, I've created my own blog on Blogger, MotherOfLydiaPearl.) So here's what I do. I have a very similar routine to you. Lydia and I wake up between 7 & 7:30, have some giggle and snuggle time, (she is 4 months old now), and then she's down for a na no later than 9. I take the dog out, then do my thing for a little while online, have a couple glasses of water and my coffee, and head toward the bathroom. When my hair was super long, I used to wash it 3-4 times a week, but now that it is shorter, I wash it about 5 times a week or more. My FAVE product pretty much of all time (aside from Burt's Bees) is dry shampoo. Sprinkle a little of this stuff on and your hair looks as fresh and clean as yesterday! Baby powder does pretty much the same thing. I'm a simple makeup kinda girl, and I usually put it on most days. Mineral powder, blush, mascara, and sometimes a little eyeshadow. (BTW, eye primer rocks – my preferred brand is Too Faced.)I make the bed at some point in the morning, have breakfast, and clean up the house before my husband comes home for lunch at 11, when I usually have something hot ready for him to eat. I like to switch it up a bit, so I don't have a set order in which I do things, but these are the things I get done most every day before 11.Thanks again for your awesome blog, and God bless you and your family!

  13. BTW, I guess I should have read the other comments first. You don't have to get the baby powder (or dry shampoo) out. Just sprinkle (or spray, there are 2 kinds of dry shampoo) and then kinda pat it in, and it just soaks up the grease and fades right in. Be careful around your part, though. It can show up white on that area.

  14. Toni,I do have posts on starting late–see the index under "babywise potpopori" In short, she should start the Eat/wake/sleep cycle. She can rock him to sleep if she doesn't want to CIO–or she can look into things like the No Cry Sleep Solution (never read it but it might work) or the Baby Whisperers methods found in The Baby Whisperer Solves All your problems. Just don't nurse him to sleep. Keep me posted!

  15. LEM–really?!? That is terrible. My hair is naturally curly, too. I wonder if climate plays into it? I live in a really dry climate. Are you in humidity? You should really try out not washing your hair every day if you don't do that. Then you could wash Sunday, then go every other day or every two days eventually.

  16. Amy, so I usually do the linking to Amazon, but Amazon and Google are apparently in some issue with taxes in California…so they removed the easy way to link to amazon products–so it annoys me to link to amazon now! I hope they bring it back. If not, I will have to get back in the groove of linking manually. So listmania is my friend right now.

  17. Kristi, it is the best! So I use Lansinoh the entire time I nurse. So I finish nursing, put my lansinoh on, then put the excess on my lips.


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