Your body changes after having kids, but I love my boys and I love chocolate:
I grew up as a dancer – tap, jazz, ballet, modern and even a little flamenco. Many hours a week from age 5 through my late 20s were spent dancing — moving through life in steps and combinations, expressing joy and sadness and love and pain through motion, and, apparently, giving me greatly toned muscles in the process.
Enter my 30s. And slowing metabolism. And glorious motherhood! And my absolute, undying, un-interruptible love for chocolate. Not dark chocolate with all its “health benefits,” but pure, sweet, creamy, delicious milk chocolate. And my demanding job. And my long commute. And no time for dance class, and almost no time for exercise. Enter the jiggly mom-tush.
I have spent a lot of time hating the jiggle, longing for the days of the past where any pants would fit wonderfully over my perfectly poised posterior. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize we can learn a lot from this jiggle. So, my three sons, here are some lessons for you:
1. Love people for who they are, not what they look like.
I hope by now you see me as a sweet, loving mommy, a smart, driven professional, a caring wife, a fun-loving friend, a manager of the house. It doesn’t take a firm tush to be great at all those things. Just a big heart, a lot of organization, an amazing ability to multi-task, and the ability to prioritize. I hope when you’re old enough to date or marry, that you will place value on these same characteristics I display, and that you’ll love someone for those reasons, jiggly tush or not.
2. I jiggle because I love spending time with you.
Sure, my tush is a little flat from all the time I sat on the floor building block towers with you. It’s a little bigger than it used to be because of our special trips out for ice cream sundaes or making brownies together. It represents the hours I chose to work on homework with you or make up a silly game with you instead of going out running or working out at the gym. Hours are hard to come by as a working mom, and I wouldn’t trade my time with you for anything. Not even for a firm tush.
3. Health is multi-faceted.
I’m not in any way suggesting that busy moms shouldn’t exercise or that they shouldn’t find time to focus on themselves. I believe they should, and when I’m able to, I try to carve out time for that as well. I’ve gone running in 20-degree weather at 5am – not enough to firm up the tush, but enough to jumpstart my day and stay heart-healthy. And I’m certainly active with my boys all the time – impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, chasing after little D when he calls “Come find me, Mommy!” and zipping around the yard catching tennis balls and basketballs with R and E.
Right now, that’s what healthy means to me. Staying active, but first and foremost making time for my boys. (and the chocolate helps keep me happy, so that’s in the routine, too.) Staying active is important. Demanding a firm tush is not.
4. You, too, may someday jiggle.
My mom has always told me that the one thing that is certain in life is that nothing stays the same forever. My sons, you may face a day when your hairline recedes or your belly juts out farther than your chin. You may even have a jiggly tush of your own. And if you do, I hope that everyone around you loves you just the same as they do today.
5. Appearances matter.
We’re heading on our family beach vacation soon. I could worry about all the jiggle and hide on the beach blanket while I gaze at your amazing energy and watch you splash in the ocean with our friends. Or I can stand up, stand tall, build a sand castle and let the waves crash on my jiggle. Because to me, the only appearance that matters is that we show the world what a loving, happy family looks like.
Jiggle on, friends.