Mid-Century May Baby Step 1: Get Up and Get Dressed

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The first baby step for any vintage housewife is to get up earlier than anyone else and take some time to fix herself up. Get up and get dressed is the most important step because it does 2 things:

  1. It focuses on self-care.
  2. It sets the tone for the whole day.

Why You Should Get Up and Get Dressed

First, it focuses on self-care. Sometimes you have to take care of yourself so that you have a reserve of positive emotional energy to take care of others. I know this from personal experience. I was horrible and making sure my basic needs were met, and I would get so drained by taking care of my kids that before the end of the day, I would just shut down and not be able to make myself do anything (usually right around when dinner needed to be made).

As an introvert, I also get a boost just from quiet. And I think every mom gets a boost from not being asked a million things by her kids! I need my quiet time to recharge my batteries, and I make a point of taking care of myself first, alone, first thing in the morning, because it makes me feel better all day.

Second, it sets the tone for the day. In my vintage homemaker’s books, even babies and bedridden patients get their pajamas changed in the morning and before bed. Changing from what you slept in into something else is a psychological tool to change your thinking, “Here’s a fresh start.” 

Not only that, but the purpose of dressing and making yourself look good is two-fold. You feel better about yourself. (Make a point of telling YOURSELF that you look pretty when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror!)

You also remind yourself that housekeeping is a JOB. It’s a tough, demanding, important, fulfilling job. And it’s even harder than being an employee, for the same reason that being self-employed is harder: there’s a lot more energy involved in planning and decision-making than in just doing the work.

How I Get Up and Get Dressed Every Morning with a Baby

Right now, I have a baby who still nurses exclusively. I nurse him at 6 a.m. I DON’T get up half an hour before him. Instead, I nurse him for half an hour, and then I change him, put him down in a dry bed, and do my beauty routine.

My older children and my husband (currently) don’t really get up until after 7. (I tell the kids to stay in bed until then!) So that gives me an hour mostly to myself. If I needed time without the baby, I’d get up at 5:30, but right now, this is working. It sets the tone for Baby, too, by making sure his needs are met and reminding him that he is loved.

How to Get Up and Get Dressed

So, the first step is to know what you’re going to wear. I like to have a vintage wardrobe, so I essentially have a uniform. I wear a house dress every day. (If I’m going out I change later. I also change for dinner.) I choose a button-front shirtdress style, because I can nurse a baby easily.

If you don’t have a “uniform,” then it’s a good idea to lay your clothes out the night before. It’s easier to decide then, and quicker decisions are housekeeping efficiency.

I also prep the coffee maker and lay out my beauty supplies before bed, so I don’t have to think about them either. Morning autopilot is a good thing. (I wish I had a vintage vanity, but I don’t yet. I use the bathroom sink.)

Post in the comments how you get up and get dressed!

Pin this image of a 40s housewife preparing for her bath for the Get Up and Get Dressed challenge.

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14 thoughts on “Mid-Century May Baby Step 1: Get Up and Get Dressed”

  1. Myra W. Simmons

    Hello! I just found your blog and I have enjoyed going back and reading older posts! I follow the Flylady system, so I have a definite morning routine. My children are grown and I do work outside the home (usually, but working at home right now LOL). I get up an hour before everyone else and this is what my routine looks like: shower and dress to shoes, swish and swipe the bathroom, put away the dishes which were hand washed the night before, start a load of laundry, prepare my husband’s breakfast and lunch before I wake him up for work, make the bed, sweep my foyer, feed the fish, open the curtains, lay out what will be for dinner, and if I have time, I do that day’s cleaning task before leaving for work. If not, I do it as part of my afternoon routine. I am a firm believer in schedules and routines, especially for children. I am a school teacher and trust me, the key to managing anything is a schedule and routine.

  2. I’m excited about this challenge! Such good reminders. My tiny is 4 months & teething so right now I get dressed while my oldest (4) potties & dresses, after our morning cuddle time (the baby has usually just eaten & is laying in his bassinet). I just grab a dress off the hanger, pull my hair into a ponytail & then brush my teeth when my kiddo is out of the bathroom. Not exactly ideal but it works for now! My “to myself” time is after breakfast when my big is playing, my tiny is asleep (on me) & I get to finish my coffee. Ahhh, coffee!

    I’m curious, where do you find your house dresses?

  3. I usually get up around 6 and throw on lounge clothes. I have a little free time till I make breakfast at 7 for a 7:30 breakfast with the family. Today I did put on a dress and makeup, but it was after breakfast. Tomorrow goal: I will get up and dress as soon as I get up. I will also spend time on my appearance.

    Background I use to follow a modified 1950 daily checklist couple of years ago and wore a dress almost everyday. We moved to a farm and I have let thing slip. Wanting to get back to vintage wearing self and a nice run house.

  4. I’m so excited for your #midcenturymay challenge. I agree. Setting time aside for oneself is so important. I set aside an hour each morning just for me and I set my clothes out the night before every single day. Not just my clothes either- hats, jewelry, make up, coat ( if I might need it). Everything. It saves so much time.

    Jennie from theuglydame.blogspot.com

    1. Hello! I’m looking forward to this challange! For my morning routine I get up at 6 and do my bible and prayer time. Then, by 6:30-6:45 I go for a brisk walk for 30 min. When I get home I do a workout routine since usually only my oldest (14) is up by then. Then I shower and get dressed for the day and start breakfast by 8. Schoolwork starts at 9 once everyone has eaten and tidied the kitchen.

  5. Hello there !
    I recently just found your blog and am absolutely obsessed with your content it is amazing and so useful, being a mommy myself things can be quite daunting but your schedule’s and meal menu’s are so useful!
    I can’t wait to read more of your content
    Thank you,
    Anna

  6. Currently, I get up at 6 and make my husband’s breakfast and pack his lunch, and then after he leaves for work I have my devotional time and get myself ready for the day. My little people don’t usually wake up until 7:30-8, so I have plenty of time to prepare my mind for the day. Haha.
    I think I will try to start getting up before my husband though, so that I have time to make myself more presentable before he leaves for work!

  7. Pingback: Introducing The Mid-Century May Challenge! ⋆ Mid-Century Modern Mommy

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