Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Fit Mom and Other Lies We Believe

I was the fit mom who accomplished all her exercise effortlessly with her children.

... before I had kids.

A small tale: 

After breakfast this morning, I decided I would attempt a 20-minute exercise DVD. 

If you're already shaking your head, you're a mom.
First, I tripped on the baby twice, then as she toddled off to the kitchen to empty ever single drawer, my three-year-old burst into tears, wailing "HOLD ME!" and clutching my ankles.

This is the thing they don't tell you about children: If you give them your attention, you are reduced to invisibility within seconds but as soon as you purpose in your heart to accomplish a task, their radar goes off and all hands are on mom deck immediately. 

So after about 10 minutes of:

         I'm hungry. 

        I pooped, wipe my bum!

       Gabby's climbing on the counter! (It's true, she figured out the stool)  and

       I'm STILL hungry!

I gave up. I turned off the DVD and then I made my second error in judgement.  

I decided I would run to the park. Fit mom style.

I threw on some running tights and a long-sleeved-shirt and got the kids haphazardly dressed. Then I went out to the garage to unhitch the running stroller from the bike. After fighting with the wedged-in attachment for 10 minutes, I struggled it loose and jammed in the jogging wheel. No luck. It had rotated after being packed in the move and finally, I just put on the regular wheels. During this process, I re-closed the garage door since Gabby kept wandering out into the street as Emily repeated over and over, "No. Not THIS water bottle."

Undettered by the ominous foreshadowing, I strapped the kids in and off we went down the road, Raffi blasting, weaving a little more than if we had used the jogging attachment, but I felt accomplished. No hiding in the bedroom from the kids and no TV this morning, folks. We're getting fresh air! We're starting the day RIGHT!

...Except it was hot outside and I suddenly realized that I couldn't take my long-sleeved-shirt off because underneath it, I was wearing my sports-bra over my pajama shirt in true trying-to-exercise-in-my-own-living-room style. Valiantly, I joggled soldiered on and we made it to the park. 

There were approximately three glorious minutes where I gasped for air and drank 6 gallons of water gently did yoga stretches and both girls played delightfully. 

Then, Gabby pooped. 

Of course I didn't have any wipes. I was lucky to have an extra diaper in the last-minute stroller choice. The park was soaking wet from the morning dew so I eyed up the situation, glanced around furtively and decided to attempt a spray-down with the water bottle on the little table under the play structure, the only dry spot in the park. 

Unfortunately for me, this is when I noticed the cool mom and her preschooler who had somehow materialized at the edge of the park. This mom was also dressed in exercise wear, only her sports bra was not only inside her (weather appropriate) sleeveless shirt, it matched perfectly with her adorable running tights and fancy kicks. Her makeup was done and her non-smudged sunglasses complemented her perfectly careless cascading hair.

It's also exactly when the cool mom noticed the purple-faced sweaty girl wrestling a poopy, half-naked, tiny dervish on the play structure while holding a water bottle under her chin. Gabby almost succeeded in her suicide mission to leap headlong from the table, but I caught her halfway down, dangling discontentedly above the wood-chips.  The cool mom was immediately engrossed with her phone, kindly pretending not to notice (while likely snapchatting) the unhygienic disaster transpiring in front of her. 

Composing myself,  I thought, "Shake it off. Whatever. She's a mom. She's been there." 

This is when I realized that my running tights were on backwards.  

As I watched my unkempt shoeless, pyjama bottomed three-year-old attempt to become friends with the fringe-sandaled perfectly coiffed offspring of the cool mom and I managed to keep my maniacal one-year-old from further terror, I thought "This is my life now" and I sweetly sang out, "Five more minutes, Emily!" 

The adrenaline of shame powered me all the way home and I must admit, I likely burned a decent number of calories. 

As I ran and my kids squabbled and thrashed indignantly against their bonds, I made eye-contact with a younger lady driving by in a sparking clean SUV and I picked up my pace just a smidge and straightened up imperceptibly and, moms?  I bet, I just BET, that as that sweet young daisy glanced over and caught the slightest glimpse at the purple-faced, sweating, tights-on-backward, sports-bra over-shirt woman casually jogging with both children protesting loudly, she thought...  

"Look at that fit mom. 

I'm going to be that fit mom one day."

*The alternate title of this piece is "How not to make friends at the park." 

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