This week, Maria Kang, a “fitness enthusiast” and former personal trainer, caused a huge uproar on the web by posting a picture of herself with her three young boys, exposing her washboard abs in a skimpy workout outfit while posing the one question most women don’t want to be asked -- ever -- pretty much about anything.
She asks, “What’s your excuse?” Well, Maria, let me tell you.
I don’t have one.
And not because as a Work-at-Home-Mom of three I can’t find any time for soul cycle, Pilates, or whatever the exercise du jour for trendy moms may be. I could make time for all of that if I really wanted. I just choose not to. Not when napping feels so good.
I don’t begrudge you your fabulous physique. It’s obviously what you want. But do you know what I want? Cake. I want cake at my son’s birthday party. And I want cake at your son’s birthday party, too.
I want to teach my kids the art of making an omelet (mainly so that one day they can bring me breakfast in bed and I can say, “OH! You made me an omelet!”) and bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch so we can dip the warm crispy goodness into a tall glass of cold milk. And not that soy crap either.
I have never cared that much about being thin even though, in all fairness, I was a rail until my 30s. But seriously, what else is there for a young single woman in the city to do anyway but work out and drink in excess? As a 40-plus-year-old mother of three, there is just so much more to savor in life. And I’m willing to give up the hot bod in exchange for it all.
I don’t care if I have washboard abs and I don’t care if my derriere has lost its youthful “sproing.” I don’t care that my “Hi Janes” jiggle when I wave to friends from the bread aisle at the super market and I don’t care that I have a hint more of chin than there used to be. Okay you got me there…that one burns a little.
Have I “given up”? Have I “lost myself” in motherhood? Quite the contrary. I’m a huge advocate for moms looking and feeling great. Heck, I even wrote the book on it (literally). But I embrace the curves that time has given me and would rather spend my free time actually living life than in a gym working out so I can look crazy good for the time I have left over to live.
Am I lazy? Not in the least. I am well aware that without your health you have nothing. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and teaching my kids good habits are important to me. But I just don’t see the need to go the extra miles (literally) to perfect my looks when I could be having coffee (and coffee cake) with friends.
I’ve just come to realize in my wise-old-soft-around-the-middle age that you can’t have it all. We all have to make choices. And my choice is life. And cake.
I’m not saying that women who choose to make fitness a priority are wrong. And I am not saying that being a good mom means being “unhealthy.” I am just pointing out that everyone has their own priorities and I don’t believe it’s fair for any of us to say what should be most important in somebody else’s life. Least of all when it involves the most precious commodity a mom has: time.
Sarah Maizes is a freelance writer, parenting humorist, comedian and the author of “Got Milf? The Modern Mom’s Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan”. For more parenting wisdom and unsolicited advice, check out SarahMaizes.com, follow her on Facebook, and tweet her on Twitter @SarahMaizes.