1. A Nice Bag (and NOT a diaper bag): Whether it's a chic Coach hobo, a Fossil tote, or something beautiful you eyed in a local boutique, every woman should have a nice bag. Carrying a beautiful purse feels like you have some style, even if you are just going to the grocery store or gym in your workout clothes. The nice bag suggests that you don't dress like this every single day and that you normally look like you could be a walking advertisement for Ann Taylor Loft. Every mother needs to carry essentials such as lip gloss, diaper wipes (no matter how old your kids are), toys, cell phones and emergency supplies like safety pins, pens, tampons, chapstik, and stain pens, so why shouldn't be in a beautiful purse that makes you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside every time you glimpse at it? Go ahead, spend a few extra bucks, and you'll feel like a new person!
2. Jeans: This one clothing item can make or break a Mom's day. Pre-pregnancy jeans likely have shrunk (no! our hips did NOT expand!), don't fit well, or are so old (you mean your kid is 8 and you're still wearing those??) that they don't even sell that style of wash in the stores any more. Trying to fit in to some old, too small, out of style jeans is an event that can send most women into a hysterical state of depression. So, hit the stores and find some nice jeans (do not obsess about the size on the jeans, just look at how ridiculously HOT you look!!). Add a sweater or a casual blazer, and you look nice for a playdate or appointment. Add some heels and a sparkly shirt, and you are ready for a night out. And, it's socially acceptable to wear jeans several times before washing (spit up, formula and food stains are not socially acceptable), so they can be thrown on in a hurry should your husband come home and announce that he's arranged for a babysitter to come in 45 minutes so he can take you out on a date (well, it's nice to dream, isn't it??). It's nice to feel like a hot woman every once in a while instead of a tired, frumpy household administrator.
3. A Cleaning Lady: If there is one thing no Mom likes to do, it is having to clean after spending all day working, chasing after kids, cooking dinner, doing laundry, running errands and providing for all general needs of all those living under the same roof (husbands, dogs and cats included). Every other week, someone will come to your house and clean away all the dirt and grime (provided you pick up all the clutter) that has accumulated from kids playing in dirt, dogs running through the house and husbands. The benefits include less arguing with your husband, more time to play with the kids, and a huge weight lifted off your chest now that you don't have to try to clean all the bathrooms, vacuum the floors and mop the kitchen at 11pm when the kids won't bother you because they are finally sleeping. There's no feeling matched by coming home to a clean house, and knowing you can relax for 30 seconds before the tornado of kids runs through it!
I challenge everyone to try AT LEAST one of these in the coming months, and splurging doesn't mean you have to spend $400, and it might mean you have to save somewhere else, but I promise that adding a pep in Mom's step and removing some stress does wonders for the whole family!