The truth about low maintenance? It’s often a cover for feelings of unworthiness. When a woman says she’s low maintenance, she might really be thinking “I’m not worth it“.
While this isn’t true of every woman, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was certainly the case for me. When I prided myself on being low maintenance, the truth was I simply felt unworthy of spending money.
When I shopped, I often settled for something I didn’t really love. Price meant more to me than obtaining something for my wardrobe that “sparked joy“.
And that meant that I had many functional items in my wardrobe. I was proud that I got them inexpensively. But, I didn’t truly love or feel great in those things. This isn’t frugal in the long run. And it’s not exactly emotionally healthy either.
I vowed to change this. It started with a new purse. I desperately needed a replacement for my current handbag (yes, I only owned one!). And since it’s an accessory that gets lots of use and abuse, I decided not to settle for a $5 thrift store find. Instead, I hunted for a high-quality leather purse.
I picked it up at a consignment shop I love, with tags still on. I may have had to perform deep breathing exercises while I handed over my debit card. Later, I found that this particular purse retails for $150. It’s Italian leather. Score!
To further battle my tendency towards low maintenance, I restarted my Stitch Fix subscription. And I love it. I dislike shopping, but I do want to look stylish. I like having a minimalist wardrobe of pieces that I truly love and feel comfortable in. Someone else (who probably enjoys her work!) does the selecting and sends me a box of clothes I can try on, in my very own bathroom, at my convenience. What could be better? I have a few tricks that have helped my stylist choose what I love so the picks are getting better and better.
Do you think of yourself as a low-maintenance kind of gal?
The type who would never pay more than $20 for a haircut? Who wouldn’t dream of getting regular manicures or pedicures, or indulging in other common girly delights?
But do you want to hear the truth about low maintenance?
The truth is that for many women, low maintenance is code for “I’m not worth it.“
While we label ourselves this way, we may simultaneously envy and judge women we deem high-maintenance. Since we feel unworthy, we’re uncomfortable with women who didn’t share that sentiment about themselves.
Have you ever met a little girl who is low maintenance?
I haven’t. My four daughters love a little maintenance. They love to play dress up, to do their make-up and their hair. Mani-pedis are de rigeur. They take their appearance seriously. And they have fun with it!
Even the “tomboy”, who is usually hanging from a tree all day, is not low maintenance when it comes to wanting to look pretty. When it’s time to go somewhere, she takes great care with her appearance.
My girls have definite preferences for their clothing too. And I applaud this. Because low maintenance sometimes means…
“I don’t feel good enough about my personal style to project it into the world, so I’ll just accept whatever to avoid being judged.”
If you discover that under your label of “low maintenance” you’re also struggling with feelings of unworthiness, what can you do?
Start small. The next time you need something, whether it be a purse or shoes, don’t buy the cheapest thing available. Wait until you find something you really love. Spend a little more for quality. Stretch a little.
Spend time pampering your nails. Instead of shrugging it off as a waste of time, enjoy how your lovely hands make you feel more sophisticated and ladylike. (And wear gloves when you do housework!)
Find a grooming mentor. Maybe she’s the stereotypical French girl who masters the art of being effortlessly chic. Or your stylish Aunt who wore pearls to the grocery store. If she’s just an idea, give her a name. “What would Gabriella do?” Would Gabriella wear sweatpants to run errands? Non!
Take care of your skin. Falling asleep without caring for your skin isn’t low-maintenance, it’s irresponsible. Just as we clean our teeth carefully before bed (because we only get one set!), we should also care for the skin we’re in. It’s good stewardship! Take just a few minutes to remove makeup and apply a nice face cream. Skin care can be a relaxing mini-spa you indulge in every day. See also: My 5 Favorite Makeup Products (for an everyday mom look!)