Monday, July 02, 2007

Mothering Four with Poise

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!


  1. Poise? You are way too focused so soon after baby...I like to nominate myself for mother of the year each day that I make it through without yelling at my kids or asking "what were you thinking?!"
    And you're right about the swim suit thing...there will always be someone out there in a swim suit that it exponentially bigger and with more confidence...takes the focus of the rest of us.

  2. My title is called, "Dressing with Poise-- so you can't see how being a mother took it all away..."

  3. I still call it suntan lotion! I didn't realize how taboo that was!

    Wow...a trip to the pool with four? You are definitely out of the ignoring phase. Way to go!

  4. You are my inspiration. I have yet to make it to the pool with two kids.

  5. I loved that Seinfeld episode with Miss Rhode Island. POISE is right. See, real women like you should go on Oprah instead of those whiney women who say things like, "I lost who I really was once I became a mother." Duh, maybe who you really are is a new woman who can take a butt load of children to the pool and still maintian POISE. Oh, and last time we went to the pool the lifeguard was about to jump in to save a child with me (a neighbor kid). I yelled at the life guard, "Hello, I can get him to safety just as easily as you can minus the giant red hot dog floaty!" Guess that's the opposite of poise.

  6. And yes I'll make you a church bag. Email me at I've made exactly what you're talking about.

  7. I am glad you are back.
    I was at the pool yeterday wit the two kids and my 9 month pregnant self. I was feeling prettty bad since teh woman next to me had three kids and looked like she had just walked off of the set of Baywatch. Then I realized she was the Nanny and I'm pregnant, I still have an excuse. So then I felt a little better.


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