Sunday, August 28, 2011

When Mommy's Ego Needs Massaging

When our group of Stroller Strides moms meets at the local park here in Northern Virginia we're typically not looking to win any beauty pageants. 
Don't get me wrong. 
We look good.  We take care of our bodies.  We are strong and we are in shape. 
But the majority of us haven't showered (we're there for our morning workout, after all).  We are most often bare-faced, with the traces of a sleepless night evident in our under-eye circles. 
I, for one, look like I've just rolled out of bed, even though I've been up for hours doing laundry, preparing breakfast, and changing diapers.
We try to look as cute as possible in our workout clothes from Target and Old Navy.  But more often than not we show up with crusted Cheerios on our tank tops or spit up on our spandex.    
This is how we spend "mommy time" -- getting our blood pumping by pushing one, or two, or three children through the park in our jogging strollers, singing "The Farmer In The Dell" in between sets of sumo squats, and toning our triceps while intermittently tickling our toddlers' toes. 
I love this class, as you already know if you've been following this blog for awhile.
But I sometimes envy husbands who are able to exercise freely, without having to tend to a tot during chest presses.  Of course, I could have kept my gym membership and dropped Mackenzie off at the day care there, but I just didn't feel comfortable knowing she'd be crying for me while I rode the elliptical.  For me, that situation would've made for a shorter and less effective workout, so what was the point?
Alas, the "glamorous" life of a SAHM leaves little room for independence.  Which is why we may look a little frazzled when we're sprinting through the park, sippy cup in hand. 
So it's no surprise that when creepy men gawk at us, it's a little disconcerting. 
The other day while we were racing down the road, one particular guy was especially creepy.  He ogled us as we passed, cheering us on and urging us to run faster and harder.
Give me a break.
It's not like Brooklyn Decker is running down the street in slow motion wearing nothing but a bikini. 
No.  We are huffing, puffing, sweaty MOMS who swap stories about C-section scars and Kegal exercises. 
This guy was grody to the max. 
As we strode by him we rolled our eyes and cringed. 
But oh, how the tables turned 30 minutes later while we were recovering after some cardio drills. 
We were all mid-water break when suddenly, out of nowhere, a guy in his mid-30s walked across the field, flashed a winning smile, and said ever-so-casually, "Good job, mamas.". 
Well, you would've thought we'd never seen a man before.
It's a good thing we had been exercising.  Otherwise our flushed faces, rapid pulses, and wobbly knees would've been a dead giveaway that this guy had flattered us beyond belief. 
It's not that the guy was insanely hot.  He was good looking, for sure, and his confidence was admirable.  But the thing that got us moms was the fact that a young, handsome man -- who was not one of our husbands -- gave us some attention.  He didn't need to do it.  Not like our spouses who have the unfortunate and unenviable task of doting on us even when we look like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining". 
No.  This guy's attention wasn't required and it wasn't solicited.  He wasn't being creepy and he wasn't flirting.  He was just being nice (at least that's the story we're going with). 
I suspect he knew this simple gesture would make a significant impact.  Perhaps because he was a father and presumably a husband (he had a little girl in tow, which made him ten times cuter). 
Maybe he saw an opportunity to make a group of selfless, hard-working, sleep-deprived mothers feel good about themselves. 
Whatever his motives, he certainly did his civic duty for the day.  And I know that each one of us moms had a little pep in our step the remainder of the afternoon. 
Now, I just hope my husband never feels the need to flatter women who happen to be bending over in short shorts and tank tops... even if those women have Gerber oatmeal stuck in their hair. 

To find a Stroller Strides location in your area please visit and don't forget to "Like" A Mommy Is Made on Facebook.  Thanks for reading!

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