Can Mom Power be fueled by doughnuts? Mothers & More member Heather Curlee Novak of the chapter in Porter County Indiana takes a humorous look at Mom Power, exercise and much more.
The phrase MOM POWER brings a perfectly slender, toned, happy and energetic Super Mom to mind. I’m no super mom. I was pretty awesome just to show up at my 5:30am boot camp class at the YMCA this morning. (Apparently I was supposed to do the workout too?) The woman in front of me was fit and full of energy. Of the entire class, she bounced and double timed and then instead of resting she kept right on going. I was jealous, sure, but I was also annoyed. I couldn’t keep up and I wanted to enjoy being the average mom. I just go to the gym to be a sweeter mama. I go to shed pounds or at least oh sweet lord at least not gain more. I don’t know if the Overachiever in front of me was a mom or not. I would like to guess she is a happy single woman in her early twenties. I am probably twice her age and she clearly enjoys working out a lot harder and more often than I do. I should admire her, be happy for her and strive to be more fit like her. But I don’t. I want to duct tape her to a floral couch and feed her creme filled doughnuts and Cheetos for a week. And eat some myself. I try to think happy thoughts about my mama body. I try to give compliments to everyone around me and myself. I am learning to reframe the inner voice that squawks as this forty year old body turns more creaky, more sluggish and plumper. Then I see this kind of Super Woman in my exercise class. I see my fitness magazine (I only read the articles; looking at the pictures makes me wish I could airbrush myself in daily life.) I eat another cookie or candy bar or piece of pie. The huge pleasure of eating in a stressful day of keeping the kids alive outweighs my healthier efforts. I feel defeated and annoyed by myself. I feel like giving up, just letting myself go and buying the most gorgeous mu-mus available. I do not do this. I am a Mama. I have two little girls who parrot what I say and do. My five year old has morning stretching exercises she does all on her own. My three year old does laps through the house when she needs to burn off energy and settle down. These beautiful girls with their smooth skin and nimble bodies are watching me. They are listening to me. I must remember this. Sometimes being a strong and powerful mama isn’t about reaching perfection. Mom Power can be about starting over again and again. It is about doing your best and loving yourself not only when there is progress, but during the entire process. I will continue to say nice things about my body. I will not blame myself when clothes do not fit me well, it is not my body’s fault. I will move my body so that I feel good in my skin even as it slides downward into crepeyville. I will feed my body better food so I have the energy to get down on the floor with my girls and back up again. I will dress myself as well as I can even if I am not going anywhere. I will wear makeup, especially red lipstick because it makes me feel lovely. And eventually, I will compliment the Overachiever in my Boot camp class. And maybe give her cupcake, too.
Enjoy more of Heather’s work at her website, www.liveyourloveoutloud.com.
Want to share your own stories, Mothers & More members are invited to share their blogs, essays and more, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.