Now that I am 35 and have 4 children I am moving into a new phase of my life. I call this phase, "Mothering Four with Poise." At least, that is what I am striving for. It's hard to leave behind the last phase of my life which I called, "Ignoring Three Without Guilt." Time to move on!
This phase could last a very long time. I hope it lasts long enough for me to actually achieve some poise. The phase was ushered in last Wednesday when I took all 4 kids to the swimming pool without any intervention from life guards. That counts as poise. I don't really consider myself swim-suit ready, but I squeezed into one on behalf of my kids. At first I thought I might embarrass them but then I realized that they don't see--like I do--my former skinny self with added layers of fat and stretch marks. To them those layers of fat and stretch marks are my essence. This allows them to accept the layers without remorse for my former self.
As I disrobed at the pool (5 weeks postpartum, ladies) I noted that while I was not the skinniest mom at the pool I was also not the fattest. And that was good enough for me. Hey, remember when sunscreen was called "sun tan lotion"?
But mothering four with poise isn't just about not feeling fat--even though that is a big part of it. The way I see it, mothering four with poise is about wearing cute and flattering skirts, teaching your children about the X-Files (when they are ready), and coming up with interesting (albeit unusual) punishments like scrubbing toilets at 10:00 at night. (So what if it isn't a natural consequence of not going to bed?) And I like to think it took some poise to set aside my own personal feelings toward Yoko Ono in order to explain to my son where she's coming from and to emphasize John Lennon's own accountability in the break-up of the Beatles.
Swimsuit, talent, evening wear, Poise!