I never thought I’d miss the days of being selfish. Since becoming a mom, I spend about 95 percent of my day tending to the needs of others, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. (Well maybe just 30 minutes to finish a hot cup of coffee, but you get the idea.)
By “selfish” I mean I miss the days of putting time, effort and skill into accomplishing something that’s just for me — even if someone else gets to enjoy it.
I have some mom friends I’m jealous of because they have amazing skills and talents all their own. Some can sew entire outfits for their kids, knit stylish hats or applique anything that will hold still long enough. Some make creative scrapbooks filled with beautiful memories, or construct crafts like they own Pinterest. There are friends who get up before the sun to run 6 miles, or workout at the gym after their babies are in bed. Other friends could probably cook in their sleep and still make meals that taste better than mine. These moms are amazing. Children are exhausting, and to find time and energy to do these other things always seems daunting to me.
Take exercise for instance. I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Bless my college roommate’s heart for trying to get me into running, but it never stuck. The Hubby and I joined a gym, but it didn’t last.
My motto has always been that I’m not running anywhere unless something’s chasing me. And finally something was chasing me — two toddler boys. It was time for Mommy to find something just for Mommy.
One thing I did enjoy at the gym was the dance fitness classes — Zumba, Hip Hop, and Latin Dance. I always loved how quickly the time went by, and I didn’t even realize I was exercising! I wasn’t stellar at it, but felt such accomplishment when I’d finally figure out a move or remember a set. I’d come home all sweaty, stinky and super proud of myself.
As the boys grew older, it became harder to find time for the gym, and our wallet became thinner. I considered starting my own class at our church, but the thought of having to choreograph all my own routines was overwhelming. Miraculously, a woman started attending our church who was interested in the same idea — starting a family-friendly dance fitness class. We got together and found an organization that already had choreographed videos that were just what we were looking for. So we started leading a free class once a week at the church together.
It’s been almost a year and the class has grown into a wonderful, tightknit group of beautiful women who support each other and have a blast dancing together every Monday night.
This past weekend my co-leader and I attended a training seminar to become certified instructors for REFIT, the dance fitness program that we’ve been using. At the end of the training, I climbed into my car, stared down at my certificate and shed tears of joy for this new amazing thing that was all my own.
Sure I’ll share what I learned with the people in my classes, and my boys will get to watch their mom be strong and dance for something she believes in, but at the end of the day, the certificate has my name on it. It’s just for me.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 3-year-old James and 1-year-old Luke.