From cooking meals to meeting deadlines at the office and helping kids with their homework, there seems to be a plethora of tasks that need to be done by mothers on a daily basis. At times when our role as a parent and as a wife becomes too overwhelming, we let it consume us. We put our own needs last to the point that we tend to neglect taking care of ourselves.

I stumbled upon an old photograph of myself and I didn’t recognize the person that I saw. In the picture, I looked sophisticated with my hair neatly styled and my face carefully made up. I lingered on the photograph for a while and it painfully hit me — my style has gone from exquisitely chic to devastatingly dull. Ever since I became a mom, I never had too much time for myself because I was always chasing time.  Hence, I willingly traded my sexy heels with boring and plain flats because it’s easier to go here and there with very comfortable shoes. But now I am bothered by this end result because I realized that I am every bit frumpy.

You’ll know when you need to seriously take care of yourself when during an evening out; you’ll realize that your kids look cute and polished while you end up looking like you’ve just finished a 12 hour shift at the office. If you want to have some style despite being a doting and hardworking mom, you may want to give these tips a try:

1.    Dress up at least once a week. Dressing up can seem so effortless when you only have to think of yourself, but if you have dependent kids to think about, dressing up can be so laborious. Even if you don’t need to go somewhere fancy, try to dress your best at least once a week. Although it’s tempting to just grab your reliable sweat pants and comfy tops for a trip to the mall, try wearing something more fashionable. Mix and match the right pieces of clothing and take out those long forgotten heels from the box sometimes. If not, opt for stylish but comfortable flats because they are great substitutes to uncomfortable high heels.

2.    Wear make-up. Keep a simple make-up routine for quick errands because you will never know who you will bump into at the grocery store or at the mall. Putting on make-up is a good way of hiding eye bags and other skin imperfections and it can also make you look refreshing. For a night out with hubby, perk up your look by accentuating your eyes with darker eye shadow colors and by using mascara.

3.    Ditch the old look and experiment. If you’re a certified classic lady who can’t seem to handle wearing attractive earrings and colored shoes, it’s about time to unravel the inner fashionista in you. If you are always wearing a pony tail or if your hairstyle is still the same cut since you met your husband, then it may be time to try a new look. Don’t be afraid to try new looks because seriously, you’ve got nothing to lose. Try a new hair color or dress differently. Don’t wait until you’re 50 years old before mustering the courage to try a different hair color. You will only pass this stage in your life once, so enjoy it and be open to new things.

4.    Accessorize. Who says that accessories can’t be worn to the grocery store or to the park? Don’t accessorize only when you need to go to the office or if you need to attend a formal event. Instead of just wearing the usual stud earrings, wear something fun and stylish from time to time. Choose drop earrings with the right shape or angles that can enhance your facial features. Skip using the usual black or brown colored bags and choose those with more character. Don’t be afraid to wear loud accessories when you feel like it. At times, the right accessories can spice up a very classic look.

5.    Love yourself. Your inner glow will shine if you love yourself — with wrinkles, eye bags, love handles and the entire lot! You may look different as you did 10 years ago, but it should all the more motivate you to look ageless despite the years. Stop dreaming of wearing that size zero dress again and accept your changed body with the knowledge that you have nurtured beautiful kids.

What are your secrets in looking fab despite being a busy mom? Do you have any routines that you can’t live without?