Hey...is this thing still on?
Okay, in the category of The Elephant In The Room, I, um....haven't been blogging a lot lately, have I? Yyyyyeah, you could say that. Huh.
So there's been a prolonged drought here at the ole blog farm, mostly for every reason and no reason at all. Every time I think about trying to explain my extended absence, I get caught up in a litany of all the stuff I've heard from every other blogger about my kids getting bigger and life getting more complex and blah blah blah by the time I'm halfway through listing the next reason, I've already bored myself and lost interest. And then I "save" that post, which means it's stuck in the online folder marked "drafts," there to die a lonely death from inattention. Every once in awhile, I poke through the flotsam and jetsam of my life, wondering if there's anything worth turning into a post, only to find out that....nah, there really isn't. The stuff that's uppermost in my mind right now is mostly job-related, and I can't write about that because it's too current and I don't want to be fired. The kids are cute and charming and hilarious and complex, but they're starting to move out of the parental orbit. At this point, most of their cute stories require so much background and context to understand, the tale gets lost in the telling. In the past, I usually could count on some stupid celebutainer to do something dumb that I could pounce on, but lately I can't get even get a good head of steam going about that.
Oh! I did sustain a moment of mild ire about the "No Excuse Mom" vs. "No Excuse Needed Mom" thing. For those of you who don't follow mommy stuff on Huffpo, "No Excuse Mom" is a movement led by Maria Kang, an exercise/parenting/lifestyle guru who advocates for extreme fitness. She posed for a picture of herself in her cute workout gear surrounded by her three kids under three, with the tagline "What's YOUR excuse?" So naturally that got another group of mommies all in a lather over the idea that anyone needs an 'excuse'.
Now I will admit, when I look at pictures of Maria Kang, I feel a pang of jealousy. Even when I had time for things like gym memberships, I never came even close to looking like that. So you'd think I'd be naturally sympathetic to "no excuse needed" moms, but honestly, if you don't need an excuse, then why do we need a movement to say you don't need an excuse? I did a little research on Kang (translation: Clicked around on the interwebs when I should have been doing something more productive) and discovered that, guess what, she works out a lot and pays a lot of attention to her diet. So am I jealous of Kang's flat stomach and slim hips? Yeah, sure I am - but not enough so that I want to rearrange my life and upend my eating patterns over it. Earlier this year, I came to the blindingly obvious realization that there is only so much time in a day, and what's more, we have to make choices about what we do with our time because we can't do everything. And so instead of putting more burden on myself about having! to!! exercise!!! , I just decided - screw it. I walk the dog twice a day, which takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes per walk, depending on the day, the route, and whether or not I can get the dog to stop chasing the damn squirrels already and walk, FFS, some of us have to stay on a schedule that consists of more than just lounging around the house, MURPHY. And that's it. Why? Because I made a conscious choice that I have other things I want and need to do more than exercise, especially since the girls are young enough that they still need their mommy's time and attention and are still willing to admit as much. Maybe sometime in the near future, things will change and I'll want to devote more time to exercise and fitness, and maybe not - I can't say at this point.
Having said that, I'm not as sympathetic to the "no excuse needed" crowd as you think I'd be. After all, if you look at Kang's website, it's pretty clear that she is a fitness fanatic and that's what makes her happy. Yes, we can interpret some of her message as 'fat-shaming,'. It's also pretty damn obvious that she's become a fitness guru because she's all skinny and buff, and that a more stocky woman of a similar fitness level probably wouldn't garner nearly as much attention. However, that brings me back to my earlier statement, which is that she's choosing to spend her time on fitness and diet, and I'm choosing differently. As hectoring as her message might be, I refuse to get defensive about myself and my life choices in return. Kang can use herself as a model of a fellow working mom who still manages to maintain a serious fitness routine, but the fact is, I am the only one who knows from the inside out what my life is like and what I have the capacity to do. I'm the only one who can decide if having cream and sugar in my morning coffee is worth not being a size 4 (Spoiler alert: it is. To me anyway.). And as long as I'm willing to live with the trade-offs that entails, then, I don't need to offer Kang or anyone else an excuse.