New dress, new shoes, knee problems; The beauty perils of motherhood

“Who on earth are you Whatsapping pictures of your knees to?”

It has become somewhat of a ‘private joke’ between some of us supermums. We had been discussing  why becoming a mother does crazy stuff to your knees? What IS that all about? It would seem that apart from the, ahem, ‘obvious’ bodily parts taking somewhat of a battering in the process of becoming a Mum, the continued assault of nappy changes, bath time, crawling through tunnels at soft play,  wiping up spag bol from the floor under the high chair etc has left our knees, pitifully on their knees. Each bearing a discoloured, dry, tough as old boots patch which remind me a little of my dear old pet tortoises little legs. RIP Joey Essex.

No new dress, no new shoes, are going to distract from that tortoise knee situation.

I even brought in a gardening cushion from the shed once in attempt to help them out, but it just slowed down my military mum processes too much, so it had to go.

Now, I should probably say up front, Mum Muddling Through is never going to be a beauty blog. In fact, I have two styles of make up which are as follows:

  1. None
  2. Going on a night out

Which sadly means I am either totally under doing the whole evening look, or I can only apologise for the glittery shimmer putting you off your lunch / meeting / day out with the kids. Although, who am I kidding, the last few times I’ve stuck on a bit of Touche eclat & mascara have been to go to kids birthday parties – clearly the highlight of my social calendar these days.

On the positive side, it means I never have one of those awkward moments when I’m asked if I’m okay / ill because I haven’t got ‘my face on’ (I probably just look a bit peaky the majority of the time).

My first encounters with make up were a reluctant attempt to get involved with the rest of the girls at around age fifteen…it involved clear mascara and having to repeatedly tell people I didn’t have an eye infection causing encrusted crystals on my lashes. It was a ground swallow me up moment, and a most disastrous 15 year old attempt of playing it cool.

Fast forward twenty years and I’m glad to say things have improved. Whilst I’m certainly not up to speed on the latest make up trends (contouring? I’ve heard of it?) my make up bag of trusty old favourites doesn’t let me down. Okay, so maybe it’s got a little bit heavy on the old side, but you’ll be glad to hear the Rimmel Heather Shimmer went in the bin with the clear mascara.

I’ve already told you about the post baby hair loss situation. Well, now being 15 months after the main event, we still seem to have waves of hair loss that leave me with a varying length hairline, cunningly disguised my rather fabulous hairdresser. (Who, please god, can never leave the country, dare think about a career break, etc etc). My doctor suggests this is not due to the production of children, but stress. Which I dispute, is therefore due to the production of children.

In terms of skin care, I accepted the need for moisturising anti-wrinkle creams in my twenties, in an a ‘prevention is better than cure’ type approach. Three years of broken sleep has, I feel, undone all that good investment. I feel robbed.

As for my hands. My poor, poor hands. They actually bled in the first weeks of motherhood – too much washing up, washing hands, washing little people. I had invested in some heavily scented high end hand soap which was quickly replaced with a bar of Johnsons baby soap, and I could never be (and still cannot be) more than two feet away from a tube of heavy duty hand cream.

Whilst I have continued to try and moisturise, at this bitter time of year, hands of a ninety year old on my thirty four year old arms are somewhat the norm. I recall a mutual friend telling me after her third baby, that her hands seemed to have aged an extra decade with each child. Only now, can I appreciate what the hell she was going on about.

Last summer a pop-up beauty stall in our local mall practically gave me a tub of sea salt scrub in sympathy, after the sales rep tried to sell me some hand cream. I have to say though, that was good shit…in fact for a short time I was  revelling in having hands as soft as a babys bum again. I really must dig that stuff out …

But the knees, the knees remain my war wounds. Just when I thought I could look good in an outfit which covered up the mum tum & saggy boobs, the bare pins are now also a no show zone.

I guess, in all honesty I don’t scrub up too bad, given half the chance to get ready without tripping over small people and having more than four minutes to get ready. We have to take the small wins – a blow dry on the weekend when daddy’s around to divert the kids, a hot bubbly soak on a mid week evening, or a new outfit to make you feel a million dollars (on the mumsy spectrum anyway). #hidethebags.

With two daughters in the house, I’m sure the hair and beauty education isn’t over just yet…and there are always (thank god), skinny jeans.


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85 thoughts on “New dress, new shoes, knee problems; The beauty perils of motherhood

  1. min1980 Reply

    I’m totally with you on the make up. It’s actually embarrassing how bad I am at applying it. I only seem to wear it for work now anyway. I hear Rimmel Heather Shimmer is making a comeback though.

  2. Robyn Reply

    Gosh I’m going to have to check my knees now, I haven’t had a chance to even look at them for the past 15 months! I feel a bit drab most of the time, so when I do make an effort to do a bit of makeup I feel like a million bucks. I would make a bit of an effort on days at home, except it’ll just get messed up/rubbed off an nap time anyway…

  3. Coombe Mill Reply

    I have every sympathy for you with your hands, I remember this so well with my triplets, with 3 lots of nappy changes all the time my hands were in an awful state from endless washing. #MarvMonday

  4. Mum in Brum Reply

    I was just this week wondering what the hell has happened to my knees!? Mine are looking particularly bad at the moment as the rest of my legs have a slight tan and my knees are white! I’m not sure what happened there – maybe they’re too tough to tan these days. I’m so so bad at moisturising my hands – they are a state and bleed every winter. Every year I buy new gloves which either the dog/baby hides from me. So cruel. We went through a stage of wearing coloured mascara (bright blue or green) after the clear…ha! xx

  5. Mama Reply

    I’m always asked if I’m sick if I forget make up. Not very reassuring. Not to forget the awkward day I only remembered to apply mascara and eyeliner to one eye.


  6. […] New dress, new shoes and knee problems: The perils of motherhood […]...
  7. Love from clueless mum Reply

    I have those exact same make up looks. The going on a night out one has happened about twice in 18 months (and not for an actual night out I hasten to add!). And my knees have been far less forgiving for the whole carrying a child situation than I expected! #bestandworst

  8. Harry's Honest Mummy Reply

    I tick quite a few of those boxes. Rarely wear make up except on a night out – eczema as a kid on my face means I never really got in to all of that. Likewise my hands are in tatters from all the washing up, baths etc because I still have eczema on them (hasn’t looked this bad since I was in junior school). But I don’t suffer with my knees, instead I have this random patch of dry skin on the top of my foot near my ankle bone from sitting on the floor with my legs underneath me. It’s as tough as elephant skin. And it is so noticeable…unless I wear socks. Socks and high heels went out in the 80’s so I don’t think I can get away with it. Plus, I am not reviving my Material Girl look no matter how bad this patch gets! 🙂 #bestandworst

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha, brilliant! The idea of heels and socks that is…not the dry skin probs 🙂 X

  9. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    Bahaha I tried clear mascara and I actually still don’t get it? My knees are ok. I just find it’s more the lack of effort. I hardly straighten my hair. I need to splurge on a decent moisturiser and I need some better make up! I bet you look well glam when you go out! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  10. rhymingwithwine Reply

    Heather shimmer and clear mascara!! (Perhaps with a splash of Dewberry by any chance?) I’m sure we must have gone to the same school haha.

    My cleanse tone and moisturise routine has been replaced by a baby wipe, and eye make up remover is generally now more commonly my pillow. My hands are also no longer hands. I have chronic dermatitis due to the constant washing and wipeage. They don’t tell you this stuff in the baby books do they??

    Hope your knees get better soon lovely. Sending them some Milk Tray and a bunch of carnations.

    Thanks for hosting xx

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha! No my friend, I was team White Musk! I could do a bottle a week…;-) xxx

      1. rhymingwithwine Reply

        Psst. I was white musk too but all the cool kids at our school wore Dewberry so I thought I’d better go with that. Didn’t know if it was safe to out myself as a white musk wearer online… but honestly it was loads nicer 😀 xx

  11. The Anxious Dragon Reply

    I am one of those awful people that thinks nothing of going out without a speck of makeup on, and I have still to buy my first pot of anti wrinkle cream (I fear it would be a case of bolting the stable door after the horse has gone now). I never show my little tree trunk legs off in public, but actually my knee’s are not that bad. #Coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Believe me Tracey, I am with you on the no make up thing. Sorting out my crazy hair however is a different story. I love that you managed a little bit of knee positivity in your reply! Have a fab weekend honey xxx

  12. islandliving365 Reply

    Rest In peace Joey Essex, best name for a tortoise ever! I actually can’t wear lipstick because it makes me look like a man in drag. I am that bad at it! I yearn to look like a fab, yummy Mummy but then I think I would probably hate it really.

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha, I am so with you on the lippy! I borrowed a friends BRIGHT RED lippy at Christmas after realising I’d forgotten my nude gloss…and my lips were so dry. Lets just say the photos were shocking and at one point one of the dads told me I had red lipstick on my teeth…Bad times!

  13. mackenzieglanville Reply

    oh yes the hands I have totally had this issue to, and my knees do get really dry if i neglect them. It’s summertime here so I’ve been getting around in some short skirts so they are being well moisturised at the moment, but over winter they dry out. I am a lover of make up though. #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Summer always sorts the legs out a bit to be fair – a bit of sunshine and TLC works wonders 🙂 PS v jel! x

  14. Becky, Cuddle Fairy Reply

    It really is shocking, isn’t it?! Our whole bodies take a beating as a mother. My hands were the same way & have developed a sensitivity since. I have to use sensitive soaps or else the red, bleeding cracks come back. I had such a laugh with the whats apping a photo of your knee lol Men would never understand such a thing! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      I considered adding the picture to the post Becky…but thought better of it – I may never live that down ha ha 🙂

  15. Emma Jones Reply

    I think my knees are OK ( must pay more attention) but rarely get my legs out. Skinny jeans & leggings for about 10 months of the year! I’m with you on the make up although recently bought some new stuff with a view to wearing more often I’m 37 now I reckon I need the help. But seriously who has time to do proper make up everyday!?! #coolmumclub lifeinthemumslane

    1. MMT Reply

      I started watching a make up tutorial on this morning today and switched off after stage 4…nope, that ain’t EVER gonna happen! 😉

  16. BecomeMum Reply

    I wore make-up for the first time two weeks ago. I put it on if I’m having a hard time getting out of the house – it makes me feel ‘ready’ although I rarely wear it. I have my old trusties too, and rarely change brands etc. Good on you for having nail polish too! You go mum! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      I have nail polish…but I am USELESS at putting it on ha ha!

  17. Nat Reply

    I am actually a big fan of make up but I haven’t really rolled with the punches. I slap it on and then look in the ‘big mirror’ sort of ‘oh well that doesn’t look like it used to’. I need to work on making up my new face, the one with the wrinkles and shadows. Fabulous post really enjoyed it!

    1. MMT Reply

      Glad you liked it lovely xx

  18. crummymummy1 Reply

    My hair is still falling out 15 months on too, and I’m still getting new growth in random places! Nice! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Phew! Not just me?! Your hair looked lovely and thick on This Morning 😉 Definitely missed your TV calling in life xx

      1. crummymummy1 Reply

        If I run my hand through it clumps fall out!!

        1. MMT Reply

          Glad none fell out on Phil or Holly! 🙂

          1. crummymummy1

            It was probably on the floor of hair & make up!!

  19. Complicated Gorgeousness Reply

    Haha to the knees. And i still love White Musk (why oh why isn’t to trendy anymore). I find all you need for a night out is a big smile and a glass of wine (hides massive make up bag behind back) 😉 x

    1. MMT Reply

      And after all, who cares what we look like at the end of the night!! x

  20. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    THANK GOD! I thought it was just me with the knees. Hideous. And it doesn’t stop there. My shins are revolting – I blame the scooter for that! Oh the joys of motherhood my #coolmumclub co-host linky! xxx

    Talya –

    1. MMT Reply

      Trying to imagine how the scooter is affecting your shins? Are you chasing the kiddo? Dragging the scooter? Or a closet Mod at the weekends, falling off after too many vinos?! 😉 xxx

  21. Helen Reply

    You had me at tortoise knees and Rimmel Heather Shimmer oh and kneeling cushion. Rock n’ roll! We really are ‘blessed’ after childbirth in every possible way aren’t we? Let’s run to Superdrug and grab some Heather Shimmer and hit the tiles (for an hour then sleep)! Love it. xx #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      …and tops from Morgan? Maybe that was just my 90’s teen tribe…we could go on like this all day?! x

      1. Helen Reply

        Yes Morgan (it was well posh/slutty), loved a gold spangly number with lace up back from there. I used to work in Jeffrey Rogers – remember that? You couldn’t take a step without getting static off the very shiny tight black tops! Ahhh good times/bad fashion #coolmumclub

        1. MMT Reply

          Ah yes, the market slutty look was well worn round this corner of Kent! It was probably an improvement on the previous phase, of record label bomber jackets and record bags (that were bigger than us)…worn by 15 year old girls who mostly listened to Take That? What must we have looked like!!

  22. Hannah G Reply

    I’m just starting my second bout of hair loss after having baby no 2, my husband hates it as he’s forever finding my hair around the house! I’m sure he thinks I’m enjoying my receding hairline! #coolmumclub x

    1. MMT Reply

      Sounds familiar! I’ve asked the hubby to stop berating me for blocking the plug holes – so depressing!

  23. dadblogukJohn Adams Reply

    Must say I have fewer make up statuses than you. Moisturiser….and that’s it. My knees are fine, but it’s my back I notice. This is defo down to the fact I’m a SAHD and carrying kids / playing with kids etc. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub.

    1. MMT Reply

      I’m impressed with the moisturising John… You’re doing better than me with your skincare regime today!

  24. Catie: Imperfect Mum Reply

    I thought it was only me with tortoise knees. My Turkish bath experience this summer helped me out No end. They look much better now after a good scub. Too many quick showers and not enough long scrubs in the bath.

    1. MMT Reply

      Yep, I DEFINITELY think my knees need a spa day…them and the rest of my body and mind! xxx

  25. Morgan Prince Reply

    This is great. I did try for a while to do the make-up thing every day but it didn’t last long. My boys are 11 and 6 and I still have to get them up every day, make breakfast, nag, nag, and more nagging before they leave for school. There is certainly no time for putting on make-up everyday. I LIVE in my jeans – when they fit! I don’t know where I’d be without them, going on the school run in my pjs probably! 😉

    1. MMT Reply

      Oooh don;t do that you might end up on the news! A very current affairs comment ha ha. Thanks for reading, and congrats on getting in to the jeans, thats one up from leggins! xxx

  26. abirose1 Reply

    I’ve always had questionable looking knees (I’m like a baby, I look like I have no knee caps!) but what I can’t get used to are the unexplainable bruises that keep cropping up on them! Probably from kneeling to do bath time, changing his nappy and crawling around the floor with him! The bruises on my boobs however are more explainable (he likes to stroke/pinch me when he’s feeding) so my cleavage gets more bronzer on it than my cheeks! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      We have a little pincher here too! Thanks for reading and commenting xx

  27. Kat @ Eat.Love.Live Reply

    Yes!!! To all of this!!! And oh my, the hands! I feel better reading this because I thought I was the only one having a panic about my ageing hands x #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thats our hand modelling career out the window Kat 😉 xx

  28. Told By Mum Reply

    I hate my legs and wouldn’t dream of exposing them so I’m afraid I have never really inspected my knees! But my poor hands are a mess. It’s trying to remember to put on hand cream that’s my problem!! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      And keep it on long enough before it’s washed off again!! x

  29. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    I never thought about the impact that motherhood has on our knees but you’re right. Hands now – yes, I can definitely identify with that. Thank goodness for decent hand cream! I’m with you on the make-up front too – it’s either none or going on a night out (or to a children’s birthday party!) for me as well – and yes, on the plus side no-one ever asks me if I’m ill because I forgot to put my face on! 🙂

    1. MMT Reply

      I wore make up to soft play today Louise! Not sure what that was all about but I felt particularly bedraggled, and hoped it might make me feel a bit better 😉 All dressed up, and no where to go! xxx

  30. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) Reply

    Hehe, love this! It’s especially relevant at the moment as I’ve spent all week complaining about my knee. I based it on the door frame while chasing an adventurous toddler and it’s battered and blue. Definitely no new dresses going on with it! x #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      I was just assessing my knee bruises in the bath! Occupational hazard I guess 😉

  31. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) Reply

    I don’t seem to have the knee problem and I love a bit of makeup and nail polish but I can definately relate to the dry cracked hands caused by so much cleaning and washing up. I can also relate to the hair problem. I have loads and loads of tufty bits due to my hair falling out and then growing back. My wardrobe could also do with a massive overhaul. I’ve somehow gone from skinny jeans and heels and fitted dresses and tights to baggy leggings and tops. Very mumsy! But then I don’t have the body I used to have lol.

    Visiting from your linky #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      I love a pair of skinny jeans but have to admit my body just doesn’t seem the right shape for them either? Wide hips, skinny legs means they’re ALWAYS too baggy round the waist OR the legs…can’t go wrong with a good old pair of Mum Leggins ha ha xxx

  32. reimerandruby Reply

    You’re not alone with the make-up thing… as much as I love seeing people with make-up on, but I’m so useless with it. And the knees and legs… just as well it’s cold here as I always wear trousers most of the time, so no need to expose these unwanted legs, lol… Lovely post! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks hun! Make up is so over rated 😉 xxx

  33. rainbowsR2beautiful (@rainbowsaretoo) Reply

    My skinny jeans are the only ones without holes in the knees. The others are no fashion statement, unless yogurt handprints are in this season, and I wouldn’t know. Yay motherhood. #coolmumsclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha, needless to say I skipped the ripped jeans trend of the past couple of years…by the time I sort my knees out and get a pair they’ll be ‘so last summer’! 😉 x

  34. everythingsrosieandgeorge Reply

    At least it isn’t just me who’s hair is falling out (2 years on) and hands are slowly turning to dust! I feel like doctors and beauty professionals put you out to pasture once you’ve had kids ‘oh you’re balding, the hand cream isn’t working..oh but you have kids, yeah there’s no more we can do for you here’. xx

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank God it’s not just me! Been googling early signs of alopecia…still not convinced I’m going to end up like an egg 😐
      So far so good, at least its sort of growing back!! x

  35. jortiz1978 Reply

    Oh how our bodies take a beating when we become mothers! I can totally feel ya on the knee situation. In terms of makeup, it;s a wonder if I get to throw on a little mascara before dashing out the door! I can see myself not even wanting to do that in the very near future!


    1. MMT Reply

      I am pretty dark haired so mascara never really been an issue for me…Hate going out without having at least tried to sort my hair out with the straighteners though – makes me feel all ‘undone’ all day! xxx

  36. Squirmy Popple Reply

    I’m the WORST at makeup. I sometimes manage a bit of mascara, but that’s about it. I almost never do my hair. I moisturise only when I remember. My hands are a dry, cracked mess too. In short, I look like a new mum. 🙂 #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Better than looking like an old Mum?! At least you have an excuse 😉 enjoy it while it lasts xxx Thanks for reading.

  37. Agent Spitback Reply

    LOL.. I do the bare minimal, just to look decent…I am not too fussed with anything else…where do I find the time? I much rather be reading or watching a movie. So now you know my secrets to beauty – none too! Thanks for sharing with #abitoveverything

  38. thebrightnessofthesedays Reply

    I so relate to this!! I have scabby knees, bleeding knuckles (right now) and the post baby hair loss OMG! I even wrote a poem about it! ( but the one thing I’ve not given up on is my skin and make-up (we all have a line in the sand somewhere). If you don’t have one buy yourself a clarisonic and a super duper serum – they make such a massive difference you forget about all your scabby bits!! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Oooh I need to check that out…Thanks! My line lies with my GHDs…taming the hair I do have left, can’t leave the house without taming it into some sort of civilised state (natural curls aargh!) x

  39. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I’m glad it’s not just me with the knees!! Are you telling me that it’ll only get worse, as Baby Lighty starts the likes of soft play?! I’ve got all that to look forward to!! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub 🙂

    1. MMT Reply

      I’m afraid so…I started the exfoliating tonight…should be ready to get them out by July ha ha! xx

  40. Mrs Tubbs Reply

    As you know I love makeup. But I’m not addicted or anything. I also have parents knees. This is obviously a thing. I also have a dodgy shoulder …

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha – I did enjoy your make up post! Think we all feel a bit broken…#brokenmumsclub xxx

  41. Silly Mummy Reply

    Haha! Love it! I also feel like I have destroyed all the work I put in with the face creams in my twenties. & the hands. I don’t even mention the hands! #coolmumclub

  42. butterflymum83 Reply

    Oh my God, I’m giggling so hard right now because my bestie and I have always talked about the knee thing and thought we were the only ones! Mine are exactly the same. It’s so odd #coolmumclub

  43. My Petit Canard Reply

    I feel like im forever on my knees, changing nappies (previously), getting the little one dressed, tidying up..its never ending! I never really thought about what that did to my poor knees until now lol. I was more concerned about what was happening to my jeans, I certainly have burnt through enough of them since we had the little lady! My knees and my poor hands have definitely had it hard over the last few years, time for some tlc I think ;-). Emily #MarvMondays

  44. Becky Pink Reply

    Oh man, my hands are actually cracked and bleeding from all the washing, I only remember to put on hand cream after they have already got really bad. Here is an ultra-glamorous tip for you… put your hand cream on, then some cotton gloves before bed. It helps ‘lock’ the moisture in. It does make you look like a demented magician though. My knees are not in a good shape either and I do use a garden kneeler for bath time, those bathroom tiles are so unforgiving! Becky x #coolmumclub

  45. lizzie firstooth Reply

    Great post! My knees have disappeared into my legs since I’ve had children and I keep getting dry rough patches on all my joints. I’m in my twenties so I’m sure this isn’t right, or maybe it is? Who knows. p.s what was that magic cream you had?? My hands are in desperate need of rescuing

    1. MMT Reply

      Hey! It is called ‘obey your body’ and its a greasy kind of salt scrub (I’m sure greasy isn’t the right term! Probably a oil?) It is the nuts though! xx

  46. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Ha yep I’m hopeless with eye makeup. Been doing the same eye makeup for the last 30 years! My makeup really hasn’t changed much. Mac, mac, mac, And you’re one step ahead of me. THIRD time this evening I’ve read a reference to contouring! What the what? I’m opting out. Because. Too. Old. #abitofeverything

    P.S. just noticed I’m on your bloggy list! So chuffed but couldn’t comment on that actual page xx

    1. MMT Reply

      I’m a Mac girl too… Can’t go wrong! Hmm yes that reminds me I was going to try and work out how to enable that pages comments. On my to do list! X

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