Being a mom is hard. I know this because I've hidden in my closet and cried hot tears of exhaustion and frustration. I know this because my body has sustained injuries, aches, and pains as a result of becoming a mother. I also know this because our culture reminds me at every turn how hard motherhood is, but how worth it!
It's all true. It's hard and also worth it.
But sometimes I fall into this trap of feeling at once self-satisfied AND indignant about everything I have suffered in the name of motherhood.
In the past, my options to whiten my teeth were to use white strips from the drugstore or get my teeth professionally whitened at the dentist. I always found the white strips to be a bit slimy, and I could never get them to stay on my teeth long enough to do what they were supposed to do. Getting my teeth professionally whitened would be extremely expensive and would mean bringing a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 9-month-old along. That does not sound fun or relaxing.
My third baby in 4 years just turned 9 months. It feels like I've been pregnant or nursing for eternity! This stage of life can be depleting, both physically and mentally. All of your extra energy goes toward growing and raising these little human beings who can't fend for themselves.
Our baby is finally sleeping through the night, so it's time to start restoring balance to our home life. I'm back to setting an alarm to wake up before the kids, my husband and I are both working out first thing in the morning, and we're starting to prioritize our marriage again.
My Nana - my mom's mom- was from London. She used to tell us how when she came to the United States as a young bride, she was horrified at how people would dress in public, to run errands, and especially when traveling. She firmly believed that one should look put together when out and about because it would be respectful to others.
Packing granola bars, apple slices, bags of cereal, animal crackers, an entire rotisserie chicken, and 3 water bottles in your purse every time you leave the house just in case someone gets hungry. Even if it's just a trip to the library.
Drawing out a game plan for how you'll get everyone safely in and out of their car seats in a parking lot.
Feeling victorious when your FitBit registers getting the kids in and out of their car seats as a workout.
Yesterday as I was leaving my OB-Gyn appointment with all three of my young kids in tow, my doctor made the kindest comment to me. Before I share it with you, though, I need to set the scene:
The baby was screaming in his stroller with snot running down his nose. The two-year-old was trying to put his toy laptop in the basket of the stroller, effectively tripping me and getting his foot run over in the process. The four-year-old was asking questions about my "yearly exam" while standing directly in the path of my stroller in that narrow hallway. I tried to answer her as vaguely as possible over the din of my unhappy baby while smiling apologetically at the nurses.
The weather in Florida lately has been pleasantly chilly, and we've been reveling in the chance to wear pants and long sleeves. Ever since we moved here two years ago, it hasn't really gotten cold until at least February, and even then the chill only lasted for a few days.
Temperatures in the 60s and 70s are prime mom uniform weather, and these days my "momiform" starts with a base of black leggings or black skinnies. Almost any top looks good paired with them, and they can be dressed up or down.
If you ask most moms of young kids who are "working on their fitness," there is very little time or money to spend on their health habit. Of course as moms we make due with what we have, but it often means skimping on equipment we could use or washing and rewearing the same workout clothes multiple times a week.
If you have a woman in your life who also happens to be a mom, and if she loves all things health and fitness (or wants to), here are a few items she may not spend the money on herself that would make the perfect gift.
I've never been good at doing holidays. I'm a classic under-buyer, so I hate spending money on decor. I'm a very type B personality, and love winging it when it comes to plans. So what ends up happening is that a holiday rolls around, and I haven't decorated, haven't done any seasonal activities with my kids, and haven't prepared how we're going to celebrate.
I was the perfect parent before I had kids. My kids would NEVER get snacks at church, and they would sit quietly with just a crayon or pencil for the whole service.
Needless to say, that is not my reality.