I don’t care if you are new to the gym or have an ass I could cut diamonds on; if you are a mother who exercises, I bet you have had these thoughts:
“Oh, good, the workout calls for jumping. I was hoping I would pee myself today.”
I thought that two years after having my second child I would have this whole “peeing a little when jumping/sneezing/coughing” thing under the control. Nope. If I even look at a jump rope, I have the urge to run to the bathroom. “Excuse me, sir, let me just wipe up this wet spot from where I was stretching. No, no, it wasn’t a hard workout that made me sweat that much. It’s just my shame and embarrassment materialized as urine, hence this very noticeable wet stain on my crotch.”
“I will never be the woman who takes off her shirt in the gym.”
To the 20-year-old woman with abs I could use to grate the extra cheese on the burrito I plan on having after this workout: I sort of hate you but cannot stop lusting after your stomach. I know I’m supposed to wear my stretch marks with pride like they are damn tiger stripes, but I prefer to keep them hidden safely under a shirt that provides extra support for my now-sagging breasts.
“This workout feels harder than childbirth.”
Mother Nature is a mother something for allowing us to forget the pain of pushing eight slimy pounds of neediness out of our bodies. It makes us say things like, “I want to have another baby,” or, “Oh, childbirth isn’t THAT bad.” Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was painful. And yes, it was definitely harder than doing burpees. Me thinking that 20 minutes of high intensity interval training is worse than 30 hours of labor is precisely why my stomach does not look like that 20-year-old’s. Well, that, and the post-workout burrito.
“How is that chick lifting heavier/running faster than me? She must not have kids.”
Even if it isn’t true, don’t tell me. Please let me live in my fantasy world where “I have children” is my magical pass for everything, including being late, forgetting to put mascara on one set of eyelashes, not knowing who the hell Ariana Grande is and not being in the best shape of my life. If you are prettier than me, more fit than me, more organized than me or more rested than me, I’m just going to assume you don’t have children. It makes me feel better.
“Do I hear a baby crying? More importantly, is that MY baby crying?”
I think I could hear a baby crying even if I were swept up into a tornado. The second I became a mother, I developed this dog-like obedience to focusing on a child’s cry. The wail starts, and I drop everything, perk up my ears and stand at attention until I figure out if it’s my kid or – DEAR GOD PLEASE – someone else’s. This is especially true at the gym because children cry extra loud when getting parted from their parents at the drop-in care area. I rip my headphones from my ears, cock my head to the side and try to determine if the piercing crescendos mean my workout is getting cut short.
“YES. Workout done and I still have 20 minutes of child care.”
Hallelujah. Halle-freaking-no-kids-for-20-minutes-more-lujah. I’m going to grab a trashy magazine and sit in the lobby until 10 seconds before my kids’ time at child watch is up. This 20 minutes is what makes working out worth it. OK, this, and the burrito.