Monday, January 30, 2012

Yoga Mom: Fact or Fiction

I worry a lot about what other people think. Most people tell me I shouldn't do this....but I do. And I realize it is because I make assumptions about others, often crediting them with things they didn't do or making them out to be people they are not. It is like being judgemental but not in the typical negative way.

For instance, one of my dark secrets is that I drop The Cowboy off for pre-school in less than appropriate attire...mine, not his. Oh sure, I look normal as I jump out, hand The Cowboy off to his teacher and hustle back behind the wheel. But under that parka is the rest of the story. From toe up: shoes, no socks, yesterday's jeans, my pj shirt, no bra. I brush my teeth but only because they cannot be hidden under a stocking cap. My giant bug-eye sunglasses hide that I have not put my face on. I am a royal mess at best.

I worry each day that something will happen and I will need to go inside the school. How long could I sit in the director's office with my winter coat and stocking cap on before I pass out from overheating? Would I look like I was nursing a hangover or hiding a black eye if I wore my shades inside? What would people think?

Not that I really find my dropping off outfit really that bad, certainly there are a few other moms in similar get-ups, but I judge myself against a handful of moms who I think must be featured in some I Heart Momming Magazine. They drive the squeaky clean SUVs; I drive one too but it's hard to tell it's an SUV under all of that dirt. They have happy laughing kids; I have those too except mine are mad and crying. They have awesome trendy clothes; I do too if it were still 1996. So you can see why it's so easy for them to judge me.

Yesterday my system of measuring up and crediting others was rocked to the core. The leader of the Wanna-Be Moms (named not because they're faking being moms but because I wanna-be as cool as them) hopped out of her 2017 Suburban for pick-up. It was 11:20 in the morning and she had on her yoga gear. Certainly she had just finished a private session with a ridiculously attractive yoga guy.

As the teacher handed Yoga Mom her son she said, "Oh, how was yoga?"

Yoga Mom turned beat red and laughed, "I know it's almost lunch but I'm still in my pajamas. It's been one of those days." She buckled her son and practically peeled out as she left the school. I had witnessed her embarrassment. The curtain had been pulled back from the mystical Wizard of Oz.

So Yoga Mom is really Pajama Mom. And since each day at pick-up I've noted her yoga attire, that means this is not "one of those days" but really it's her everyday. Hmmmm. Perhaps this means Yoga Mom has watched me in the mornings at drop-off and felt envious of the fact I was already dressed for the day. Except I wasn't. I too was Pajama Mom.

Now it seems I have to be a little easier on myself. If I want to weigh myself against the other moms (and really, I shouldn't) I need to cut myself some slack. They are hacking through their days the same as the rest of us. We can all find things about ourselves to get hung up on, and finding another mom who is succeeding in that area somehow makes us feel right. See....see, I knew I was screwing up....look at that mom, she's so__________. But maybe instead of making fake success stories for other moms we should create our own. Or at least accept that what we're doing and how we are surviving is okay. We're all in the same boat, even if we're not all Pajama Mom.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Game of the Name

I think there is a lot behind a name. It is not really that I pay attention to the meaning of a name, but rather that a name takes someone from being just another unknown to being a very specific person. That is precisely why I named each of my kiddos before they were born. I felt more bonded to them than if I had spent nine months talking about "The Baby" or "It". But of course there were some hiccups.

First, we did not find out the gender with our first born. Therefore, we needed a gender-neutral name. When I was little, my dad lovingly referred to me as Munchkin Breath. And much like the quandary of The Purple People Eater (did IT eat only purple people, or was IT purple and ate all different kinds of people?) my dad's nickname left me to wonder if my breath smelled of Munchkins because I was one and this would be expected, or was I some kind of Munchkin Eater who dreamed of dining in Oz. I never did figure it out. But to this day I smile when in my head I can hear my dad's voice calling, "Hey, Munchkin Breath". So I wanted my first born to share in that delight and from the start she has been The Munchkin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time to Grow

Ignore for a moment the fact I have told you I have a black thumb, and think about the following:

You've planted a garden. Thinking of what you wanted to grow, you threw some seeds in the ground. But you didn't take the time to prepare the soil, or even find the right kind of seeds. As time passed you didn't water the garden often. The few times you went out to weed you were unable to tell the plants you wanted from the plants you didn't. As the growing season drew to an end you looked over your garden in dismay. The bounty you had anticipated was not there. The little effort you gave produced little results.

This passive way of gardening produces little, as does a passive approach to managing your finances. It can seem pointless at times to worry over every single penny in and out of your hands but failing to do so ensures that your financial dreams will be as disappointing as the garden mentioned above.