Saturday, January 26, 2013

Don't Sweat It!

me 7 months pregnant w twins!
There are some things we mothers come to expect about parenting like: diapers, laundry and parent teacher conferences. But as a grown woman there are just some things I never saw coming.

I hate sweating. I always have. Always will. Incidentally, I used to wear makeup when playing softball in high school. My immature mind rationalized that if I was going to go to the trouble of applying cosmetics for a game it would be ridiculous to exert myself in any way that would risk sweating it off. My coach assured me my big hits would warrant a homerun if only I would run faster. But running incited sweating. I hate sweating. So I stayed on second or third base and thought "I look good."

My preference for staying cool didn't matter once I became a mother. At least that is what I realized as I sat in sweltering heat at my son's baseball tournament last summer. With a packed cooler, a shade umbrella and hours to kill between games I was feeling shafted. Except for the fact that I pushed the kid out from my very own womb, I would not tolerate these conditions for any other reason.

Need I mention my love/hate relationship with my van? I love its functionality. I hate that I need it. Do you think I ever, in my wildest dreams aspired to grow up to be the kind of woman who drives a passenger van as a personal vehicle? Of course not! It's not cool. Once I was cool. Now I fear I've driven my van for so long that I am doomed to be mistaken for a delivery driver for the rest of my life. My mojo is officially stripped.

Another unbelievable habit I've picked up involves clothes sniffing. Pre-motherhood if I wore a shirt I promptly put it in the laundry basket. Now it is virtually impossible to have an effective laundry strategy. It is more common for me to examine a shirt for dirty evidence than to pull a fresh one out of the dryer. Look how low I've gone!

Would you believe I have sunk so far as to hide food? You would too if vultures swarmed in as soon as you unloaded the groceries. I can never find a kid when I need help in the kitchen but when food appears I suddenly have an excessive amount of hungry, grubby hands. Sometimes I plan my grocery trips around their schedules so they can't witness my purchases. Other times I take treats and strategically place them behind the vegetable shortening and boxes of rice. Don't judge me. I bet you'd come up with some unique, money saving strategies if you had five mouths to feed.

Finally, I attend plays, swim meets, ball games and scholastic bowls and call that a social life. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to going to such events (when there is air conditioning). I just can’t believe those activities have become the extent of my fellowship. I used to get dressed up and go out on the weekend. Now I sniff my "Team Mom' shirt, wear it proudly on the bleachers and call that fun.

But that is the thing about motherhood; giving birth means we choose to relinquish our preferences during the child raising years for the well-being of our kids. And we do it with joy. But mark my words, someday I will wear what I want, eat what I want, stay as cool as I want and go wherever I want. Why? Because I’m the mom and I said so! That’s why!

This article appears as a part of a weekly series; Practical Parenting for the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas a GateHouse Media Company. Stephanie is a mother of five highly active children and is a Parent Educator for the Monmouth-Roseville Tiny Titan PreK program. She can be reached at

What about you? What things do you do post-motherhood that you can't believe you would ever do? I'd love to hear your stories.....

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