Frumps to Pumps Challenge {and some ‘instaGrahams’}

I am on Day Two of the Frumps to Pumps Challenge. {Read it. Sarah Mae is good people. And not just because she has an awesome middle name.} I actually picked up the book thinking it was going to be about accessorizing. I thought, “I have some cute shoes. And some cute earrings. And some cute scarves. She will teach me how to be cute.” I was not expecting a book to help me figure out the reasons why I can stay (up to four days) in my pajamas in survival mode. And by that admission, you know that I did not read the ‘about the book’ anywhere. I knew nothing about it. It came in an ebundle.

Yet, picking it up was exactly what I needed. Earlier that day, Graham asked me, “Mama, how comes I got to wear real ‘cloves’ from mine real ‘cloves’ drawer, but yous wear ‘bajamas’ all day for 600 days?” It was a valid question. I make him brush his teeth in the morning, when sometimes I don’t even get around to brushing my own until right before Dave gets home. I make him wear clean underwear, while I sport a two-day old nursing cami with that wonderful sour breastmilk smell following me around

I am a hypocrite. In lots of things. But this was becoming ridiculous. So I loaded Sarah Mae’s book onto my phone, so I could read it while I nursed Bess. I was looking for some fashion tips.

Then BAM! This was in the introduction:

“I want to get dressed every morning. I want to look nice, feel better, and be more productive. I want my children to see their mama looking half-decent during the day. I want them to know that they are worth looking nice for, that their father is worth looking nice for, and that I am worth looking nice for.”

This was not a fashion book. This was a book about me.

I jumped on Facebook and wrote, “I am going to start wearing ‘real cloves’ everyday. To some, that sounds like a duh task. But to this mom, who has been in a slump for almost three weeks, it is a grand pronouncement. I, Lyndse Marie Ballew, will get dressed tomorrow.”

There. It was out there for all 12 people who read my Facebook to see.

And I did it! Here is my excited and accomplished ‘instaGraham’ to prove it…


I spent 8 minutes getting ready. “Mama, you look pretty for US today!”

I spend a majority of my time not even looking good enough to go to Aldi. Everyone has their own Aldi standard, but mine doesn’t include pajamas. I always wear lip gloss to Aldi. And I always wear shoes. Anyway, I realized part of my WHY. Why do I want to get up and get dressed everyday? Because I want my kids to know that they are more important to me than the people at Aldi. And, yes, today’s challenge is to write that down and stick it somewhere as a reminder for the times when I want to just stay in my pajamas all day. On second thought, I should have said something more spiritual. Like, “Jesus always wore his clothes when he did his ministry.” But, let’s keep it real. The first thing I thought was, “I should look better for my three blessings than I do for complete strangers at a place that makes me bag my own groceries.” {Please note that I appreciate that about Aldi. I love saving money. I can bag my own groceries for those kinds of savings…}

Honestly, my husband doesn’t even think about this task. He gets up every morning and gets ready for work. He couldn’t walk into the corporate headquarters of that Fortune 500 company in his pajamas more than once. {Because they would think it was a prank the first time and he would surely get away with it…but the second time. Well, that would be too much.} So why do I think my work is any less important? The work of training our children up in the way they should go. The work of keeping this household going. I spend my days making sure everyone else has clean clothes, while I wander around in pajama pants. I do own yoga pants, which have never seen yoga, but they barely even make it into rotation. I wore certified pajama pants for 12 days this month. Yikes.

The other part of my WHY statement is that I want to feel better about myself. I am three months post-partum with a body to prove it. My pajamas are not the most flattering clothes I own. Nothing really looks amazing on me right now, but at least my jeans have a bit of tummy-tucking action. So, again, not super spiritual, but I am being completely real with you. I want to look better. That is not a sin. And it’s not selfish.

I spent almost three weeks in a complete slump. I was getting into a not-so-good place mentally. And I just wanted to give up. I have a hormone imbalance, which wasn’t helped by a screaming newborn {who ended up being intolerant to dairy} and a toddler’s birthday {full of expectations unmet} and a preschooler with the will of steel. But I know that real clothes would have helped.

I told Dave about the challenge. Even though it felt completely silly to tell him that I was going to start getting dressed everyday. Like I was a three-year-old with a new skill. But I could tell from his eyes that he understood the deeper meaning in what I was saying. I was really saying, “I am not going to spend anymore time in this slump.”

Today I completed Day Two. Even with a newborn wanting to be at the breast all morning and a toddler screaming and fussing from teething pain and a preschooler yelling that his Legos weren’t doing the right thing. I did it. I made myself go and get dressed.

And I have the weary yet accomplished ‘instaGraham’ to prove it…



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One thought on “Frumps to Pumps Challenge {and some ‘instaGrahams’}

  1. […] and the polar bear on a sled ornament will distract you from the laundry and dishes and toys and pajamas and lack of organization abounding in our January home. This year has started off rough and we are […]


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