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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