For #MotherlyStories

Growing up, I wanted everything that I didn’t have—and that included the knowledge of beauty and fashion.

I am the youngest out of eight children, with four older sisters and three older brothers.

My mom had me at 43, and she was always conservative when it came to her looks.

In fact, I barely ever saw her wear makeup or have her hair done.

Instead, I was able to learn from my sisters, who relished in beauty products and fashion.

I enjoyed every second of watching them get ready, from putting on their makeup to choosing their outfits.

In my little mind, I kept thinking about how I couldn’t wait to be able to do the same when I got to be their age.

They inspired me to become a makeup artist at such a young age just by observing them get ready.

My four sisters were older than me, so after 20+ years I witnessed their styles change as they started to get married and began to have children.

But then when they became mothers, I watched as they stopped putting on makeup or styling their hair. The demands of motherhood were too much for their detailed beauy routines. I was shocked.

I didn’t understand it at the time, and swore myself that when the time came for me to become a mother, nothing would change about the way that I looked.

(Life had other plans.)

Fast forward to August 4, 2009 when I had my first son, Sullivan.

Little did I know that at my 36-week prenatal visit they would suddenly send me to get induced because he was no longer growing inside of me.

I didn’t have my hospital bag packed, but I sure did have my makeup bag ready.

I would like to think that was typical for most makeup artists (right?!).

I ended up having to have a C-section, which made me too tired to present myself asI normally do.

Everything I had envisioned—from the delivery to the way I would look for pictures—did not happen, but that was okay.

I had a healthy baby, and that was all that mattered.

That day was an insight into how my life and style would change—something I before thought was impossible.

Becoming a mother changes most of us in so many different ways.

I have realized that I can still value the way I look, while not having enough time to always style my hair and apply a full face of makeup.

Our bodies shift in all sorts of different ways during and after pregnancy.

Our skin may not be as clear as it once was.

Sometimes we don’t feel as comfortable in our own skin as we use to — and that’s okay.

We are mothers, and we adjust accordingly.

I am now the mother of four children under the age of six, and I have yet to find time to get my body in the shape that I would like it to be.

I’ve learned to work with what I have by wearing looser clothing or wearing Spanx underneath anything form-fitting until I commit to getting myself in shape.

I’m adjusting to the new reality, and I’ve learned to be perfectly fine with that.

As mothers, we can be hard on ourselves.

It’s okay not to have that same body you once had, but if it’s a goal that you would like to set for yourself, go for it!

As a makeup artist, I use to wear a full face of makeup every single day, but now I have little ones needing more attention during the time that I have to get ready.

I’ve learned that even with my busy life of being a mom and running a business, I find happiness in getting myself ready.

I may not go full force on getting myself put together like I use to, but knowing that I am still passionate about fashion and beauty trends inspires me.

In other words, I’m different than I used to be.

I’m kinder to myself and more understanding of the choices of others.

But I still enjoy retaining a sense of that fashion and beauty-conscious woman I was—and still am.

I want to be able to raise wonderful children — and keep a little bit of my old self while doing so.