I remember in college playing the "never have I ever" drinking game. You remember the one? Someone proclaims something they've never done, and if you had done it, you would have to drink. I would generally end up drinking a lot. But that's neither here nor there.
I started thinking about this game as I have been thinking about the myriad things people have told me I will or won't do once I have a child. A few years ago I remember snarkily declaring on Facebook (as I am wont to do) that I don't understand people who leave their house with their hair wet. How hard is it to dry your hair? And I got the "just wait until you have children" answer. I left my house with wet hair exactly one time ever, and it was when we were leaving for vacation last summer. My hairdryer broke, and I ran to Meijer to get another one with wet hair. It was 7 am, and I was mortified. It won't happen again. We all know my stance on comfy pants in public. Again I've been told that once I have a child I'll wear leggings in public too.
Here's the thing: I won't. I declare now that never will I ever leave the house with wet hair, wear comfy pants in public unless I'm working out or walking my dogs, or phone in a work outfit. As we all know my list of inexcusable transgressions is long, and having a child doesn't mean I just phone in life. Will is more than two months old, and I have showered every single day since he was born. I've dried my hair. Unless I was not leaving my house at all (which is unusual), I put on pants with a button. These things take two seconds to do.
Last week I was teetering down the ramp while picking the baby up from daycare in 4-inch red patent heels. He's getting heavier in that car seat, and walking in the heels is a challenge. However it takes what, 30 seconds, to walk from the door to my car? I can walk slowly for that 30 seconds in order to fabulous shoes.
Being a mom is REALLY hard, and I only have one child. I know there will be varying levels of hard as my son gets older, and if we decide to have a second child life only gets more difficult. We make choices though. It would be so easy to let myself go, to always run late, to stop caring how I look and say it's because I have a child. Lots of people do it.
Or I can wake up early on Saturday morning for the baby's first feeding, leave him with my husband for an hour and go for a 6-mile run like I did last weekend. Because that's critical to keeping me sane. I will take a shower every day because that makes me feel human. I will wear impractical high heels because they make my legs look great. I don't want my son to look at me someday and think 'wow, my mom really let herself go after she had me. It must've been too hard to take care of me and herself.' That, my friends, just is not going to happen.
Most of my friends are talented, put together, rock star moms, so I have a lot of great role models. I'm not saying every one of them has to wear heels or run every day, but they make time for those things that are important to keep their sanity. Heels, running and showering just happen to be those things to me.
Being a mom is so awesome/hard/amazing/challenging...the list of superlatives is endless. Being myself is also critical to my being a good mom. Never will I ever forget that. And now drink.