SMILE because...

Your day goes the way the corners of your mouth turn.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"That's a bad word in our house."

That word, is FRUMPY.

Why is it a bad word in our house you may ask? Because my dear husband is tired of hearing me use it in reference to myself. So he banned me from saying it at all.

Just so you know...
Web definition of frumpy: an unattractive woman who wears dowdy old-fashioned clothes.
Husband's definition of frumpy: a saggy old woman.
My definition of frumpy is the same as the web definition, but with lots of laziness and lack of motivation added in.

Why do I use frumpy so often to describe myself? Because it just fits how I feel some days. No, most days. Hear me out--Most days, I do not wear make up. And my hair usually gets pulled back into an unattractive ponytail. I only shower every other day, sometimes every 3 or more. I pretty much hate my wardrobe. Almost all of it. It's either old, doesn't fit right, or makes me feel frumpy. And that's all three definitions of the word.

So what have I done about it?
Nothing. Well, nothing besides gripe and complain and dream of becoming one of those cute, fun, fashionable moms with great hobbies that I see everywhere I go. Example: go look in the mirror--you're probably one of them!

SO. My new goal, again, because I've made this goal about a million times and have failed every time, is to slowly and surely work my way OUT of frumpy-ness. Maybe if I blog about it I'll feel more pressure to keep at it and actually do so for more than 3 days. Yeah, that's about what my record is thus far. Sad, I know.

Now, I need to be realistic, because I'm not a SUPER MOM. Really. I thought that was supposed to come naturally once you became a mother. The SUPER part of ME must have missed that memo.

Back to my realistic aspirations... If I am really determined, I think I can:
1.) READ MY SCRIPTURES! DAILY!! Family scripture study doesn't count.
2.) Be sure to shower at least every other day. I could shower at night before bed. Just thought of that.
3.) Wear make up and do my hair more days in the week than I don't. So at the least, that's 4 days a week!
4.) When doing laundry, set aside the clothes I consider frumpy, and get rid of them. Then, slowly and one at a time, add pieces that I really like.
5.) Go walking/jogging at the new track with Jopes and the kids every night possible. We went down there tonight to let Joseph run around, and decided it was very do-able for both of us to get exercise that way if we take Everlit in the stroller, and rotate--one of us runs around the track while the other walks with Joseph and Everlit, then we relay switch so that the other gets to run around. Do it for as long or as little as we (or the kids) can handle! Oh, and some nights we'll go swimming instead, because we've done that a couple times, and now Joseph asks for it every day.
6.) Make sure at least ONE room is clean before Jopes gets home from work, with one exception day a week. Because quite frankly, some days, I just don't get anything done but watch the kids.

What do you think? Got any tips for me on how you stay out of the frumpy zone?
How about on keeping your house clean?? Anyone who's ever been to my house knows I need help with that.


  1. Oh my friend! Isn't that the life of a mom with two kids about 17 months apart? Haha! Jon has banned that word too. It sounds like our life is the same, except I think I have more laundry than you! Admittedly this isn't the most glamerous phase of life, but it IS important. So let's do it together! 4 days a week shower, hair and makeup! One thing I do is let Lucy play in the water while I take a shower and put Molly in the jumper. So at least 2 out of the 3 of us are clean when it's all done.

    Here is one tip that I have actually live by and it helps me get the most done during the day and that is...If something needs to be done and it can be done in less than 2 minutes. Just do it right then. Example: take out the trash, fold a few towels, send a thank you card, loading the breakfast dishes.

    It's worked for me. My house is not sparkling clean but it's also not in total chaos (most of the time) because I try to live by my 2 minute rule. Because really with 2 little you have more than 2 minutes at a time to do ANYTHING? I think not.

    And if Joseph is like Lucy, they like to pull things out, but they also like to put things away. So try to make it a game sometimes to clean up as fast as you can.

    Good luck sister! :)

  2. p.s.

    from your pictures, you're still cute as a button!

  3. Wow. This is amazing coming from you!
    When i think of one of those cute little young moms that's so creative and crafty and sweet and perfectly patient, you are one of the first ones to come to mind!

    Some days, i feel like that too. And i have used the word "frumpy" to describe myself, but Brett things it sounds more like a hobbit/frodo baggins reference. lol.
    Maybe it's a new mom thing. Especially with two. You're body's not quite the lovely fit thing it was in high school. You're energy level is zip some days. and every other minute, there's some one who needs taking care of. All you're able to do it put on the sweats, pull your hair in a ponytail, and pray to get a shower tomorrow. Lol.
    I don't feel so alone anymore. If a mom as cute and wonderful as you can feel this way some days, i don't feel as bad.
    I was kind of caught in a rut where i felt overwhelmed by all my frumpiness. But then i decided on doing some things for myself:
    -have some "me" time doing something creative.
    - try to shower FOR SURE every other day. (every day would be an impossibility) Nothing like a nice hot shower.
    - exrecise. i do yoga in the mornings. and i'll take long walks with the boys in the stroller. The 15 minutes of sunlight is important! we only have one car, and brett has it most of the time, so i actually walked to the grocery store yesterday (about a mile total there and back) and found it was veery doable.
    -temple. Wow. Temple! I hadn't been since Eli was born, and i went just last week. Man, i wanted to stay there for a week! just the peace and no stress and clarity i felt there was so wonderful. I came back feeling absolutely refreshed. That recharged my mom batteries a ton!

    I like your goal of getting cuter clothes and outfits. I look at some of my stuff and realize i've had it for WAYYYYYY too long, and could do a lot at dressing better. when i'm looking nice, i really feel a lot nicer and more confident.

    anyways. good luck with it all. being a mom is a HARD HARD job.
    But so worth it.

    But don't just be a mom. Be yourself too. that's important.

  4. I just have to say that you young mothers are my heros! You put your own desires behind the needs of your children.

    That is why you were trusted with them.

    Believe it or not, too soon these tough times, when few "2 minute" snatches of time are available, will be just a memory. At that point as your children look back they will never remember the showers, the clutter or the clothes. They will remember the smiles, the hugs, the reading, the playing and how much they love their Mom. They will know that they are loved not because you have said it but because you have shown it.

    Every piece of clutter or pony tail or old clothes to me is a witness that you have put the needs of others before your own. They are not scattered around because you are lazy. They are there because they are further down the priority list–and rightly so. Are scattered books more important than reading a book with a child? Are dirty dishes more important than a sad child that needs a hug?

    And when you do get 2 minutes and just want to collapse on the couch and literally do nothing, that in my mind is higher priority than the scattered books and toys. That is the time you can breathe and see the face of your finally sleeping "angels". That is when you get your second wind.

    Remember that someone that loves your children even more than you do chose you from everyone in the world to love them. And He knows your weaknesses and your strengths.

    I think if we could see with "celestial eyes" the frumpiness would actually transform into royal gowns and tiara's fit for queens.

  5. I love you Elizabeth! And I can surely relate as so many other moms can attest. Your feelings are so normal. I love your thoughts of things to do to help. The scriptures were especially helpful to me. I think when we are stretched to our limits, we reach out for help more readily. It's such an important time in your life and in the lives of your little ones that Satan will do anything he can to bring you down. It's exhausting! But it's also fleeting and precious. I know you are good at seeing those precious moments.

    I remember feeling quite overwhelmed most of the time, but somehow we keep going and growing and learning. I'll never forget a conference talk given by Elder Holland April 1997. It spoke straight to my heart and lifted me and carried me. Here's the link:,5232,23-1-64-16,00.html Listen to it or read it over and over. It helped me.

    Just know you're not alone and I for one, know how lucky little Jopes and Everlit are to have you! I also know how lucky Jopes is to have you. Their happy faces speak volumes! Keep a prayer in your heart and you will be helped and blessed in ways you will forever treasure.

    I love you!

  6. I feel the same way as Aisling - what a surprise coming from you, and yay! We are not alone! I think that is an example right there of how Satan works - he convinces us that everyone else has it together. What a lie.

    Joe and Diana, thank you so much for your kind words and reminders of this special but short time. You have lifted my spirits today.

  7. obviously, i can't completely relate because i don't have any kids but i think all girls go through phases of feeling frumpy.

    i would recommend going through your closet and getting rid of anything you haven't worn in a while (whether you give it away or just box it up and hide it is up to you! haha i have issues actually getting rid of things so i have a box downstairs of stuff i don't wear/use.)

    i've found that sometimes having less in your closet is better than having a bunch of things you wouldn't even consider putting on.

    i'd also recommend pampering yourself a bit. get a pedicure or a facial. that is always refreshing!

  8. You are all incredible, and in so many different ways! Thanks so much for your sweet comments and advice. I love reading them! And it helps to hear I'm normal for feeling the way I do some days, since I usually feel guilty for doing so, knowing I have the BEST job in the world and I wouldn't change that for anything.

    I've always wanted to be a wife and mother. Like really, my whole life, that's what my "when I grow up" has always been. And it still is everything I want. I have the BEST husband, and the MOST WONDERFUL children. I know I am lucky and so VERY blessed. My Heavenly Father has given me the most precious desires of my heart.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

    Steph- I like your 2 minute rule. So far, I have been doing pretty good with my goals! Of course, it's only been a couple days... :) I think we moms should start a blogging frumpy-no-more group... keep each other on track and encouraged with our own goals. :)

    Aisling and Rebecca- You're both so sweet!
    Aisling, I have added the Temple to my list. Well, it was actually one of my New Year's goals... to attend the temple once a month with Jopes (sadly, that's a great improvement for us).
    And Rebecca, you're right. It IS a lie that everyone else has it together, and I just need that reminder every now and then I guess. Thanks!

    Taralynn- Maybe I need to try that box thing. I've tried a couple times to get rid of things, and have a hard time, too. I think that I'm going to wear them, but then I don't. Thanks for the idea!

    Mom and Dad- You're both just awesome. I was born of goodly parents, and now I have double that! Thanks so much. I'm going to read that talk and keep working to be like the wonderful parents that raised me and my sweet husband. There's something about your Free/Jamison blood I think that makes it impossible for you to ever think anything bad about yourselves or anybody else... I want that. I'm glad my Jopes has it, and hope my kids get it, too! Love yoU!! And thanks, again.

  9. Awwww, this post just touched my soul, Elizabeth! I mean really... I really admire you for saying all that you did.

    I feel like I could've written your post exactly - word for word - along with a little bit more whiny"ness".

    I'm sorry that I don't have any solutions to offer you, I only wanted to say THANK YOU for writing what you did because I needed to hear that there's someone else out there feeling just like me (even though I would've never guessed you feel this way!).

    I feel frumpy all the time. I hardly wear makeup, I can't keep anything clean, I also shower every other day, and sometimes every 3 days (and rarely a ridiculous 4 days). I have no motivation to do my hair, and I wish I could always dress and look cute like so many other moms.

    I wish I had a talent or hobby that I could improve myself by doing... but I have no resources, and no money to buy resources whatsoever.

    I don't exercise even though I want to. The most I do is go on short walks when the weather is nice... but that's proving to be less affective as the months and years go by...

    My clothes are all years old, stained, holey, or too tight to wear now. *sigh*

    Anyway, I can just relate 100 percent! Wish we could still hang out, but thanks again for your post!

  10. I totally understand your feelings, Elizabeth. I've been in your shoes especially when my kids were younger. Believe it or not, I still have days when I don't want to shower, put make-up on, or do my hair because frankly I do not feel like doing any that! Plus, it is a waste of money to apply make up and hair products when I am not going anywhere. As your children grow older, you will have more time for yourself, but for now your personal needs get put on the back burner. My house was a huge disaster while my kids were toddlers and young children (it was terrible for me because I have OCD)! For the last few years, I have finally been able to tackle the deep cleaning, start scrap-booking, etc because both my children are in school all day long. Just make sure you do some "me" time for a couple minutes a day (scripture study, prayers, writing in a gratitude journal, etc). I think you are an amazing and patient Mom! Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mother and I am certain they know you love them!

  11. Thanks for sharing Elizabeth. I have had similar feelings this week. Its nice to know we are all normal :)