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Fayette-Mom: Cutting the apron strings

Posted April 4, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

It’s hard to think of an aspect of one’s life that is not changed by becoming a parent.

No matter what we say ahead of time, no matter how many pledges to the contrary, a woman's existence before she is a mother and after she gives birth is starkly different.

I can remember saying I would never be caught dead driving a minivan. Once I had two babies within 19 months of each other, I was sold on the convenience and safety only a “Mom-mobile” can provide.

What I'm trying to say is that style is often supplanted by practicality. It’s not that moms are uninterested in fashion or coolness or any of those kinds of things — it’s simply a matter of changing needs and priorities.

For the most part, this is a good thing. I want my kids to know that they come first and I do what’s necessary to meet their needs. But as they get older and their neediness changes (it never really goes away, does it?), I find myself thinking more about the things that I used to love to do, activities that fell by the wayside once babysitters became necessary and “extra” money seemed to vanish.

I used to love going to movies, but rarely do now unless Pixar is involved. My husband and I enjoyed dining out quite frequently before kids, but such a splurge is rare these days. And listening to music has always been a large part of my life — that is, until I became a mother. Suddenly, I worried about whether certain lyrics were appropriate for young ears, and it just became easier to give in to the Wiggles and Hannah Montana and leave Linkin Park and the Black Eyed Peas behind.

Well, I miss that stuff. And while I still don’t necessarily want to share all things with my children, I do want them to know that Mom has other interests, and that’s OK. It’s actually good.

And so it is that I bought tickets to a rock concert for later this month. It’s an adults-only outing, and I can’t wait to be my husband’s date. I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a little silly going to such a show — what if those young whipper-snappers in the audience laugh at me, an almost 39-year-old mother-of-two, daring to cut the apron strings, if only for a few hours? What if they see my driving up to the venue in my minivan?????

It could be a disaster. But it could also be — dare I say — cool.

Either way, at least I’m giving it a try.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.



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  • MomOfTwins Apr 5, 2011

    You'll be a better mom for taking up your hobbies, or finding new ones. When I'm feeling guilty for taking time by myself/on a date with hubbie, I tell myself that I'm teaching my children that it's okay to have interests that you can't share with everyone. And it's okay to take care of yourself. I don't want to teach them what my mom taught me- that when you become a mom that's all you are and you have no identity outside of that. I absolutely love my children more than anything else, and they know that. But they also know that mommy likes to do other things too.

  • kellypratz Apr 5, 2011

    I remember when my first child was born, we left her with my parents when she was 3 months old while me & my husband went to myrtle beach for the weekend. I hated leaving her for just a couple of days but we needed a much needed break and we had a great time.

  • moppie Apr 5, 2011

    One of the great things I enjoy so much with my children is music. My Daddy played drums in a jazz band and guitar in a bluegrass band. Don't be afraid to let them hear your favorites as well. My kids never liked the typical kid music. They still prefer classic rock, country, Jimmy Buffett, and yes, the Black Eyed Peas. They are now 8 and 10, and we go to all sorts of music events. I really wanted to take them to the Jimmy Buffet concert, but realize they're not quite ready. I was 8 when I went to my first Jimmy Buffett concert with my Daddy. Of course, that was 1983 in Key West, and quite a different environment. Enjoy the concert with your hubby :)

  • aloflin Apr 5, 2011

    Wonderful! Good for you, getting out with your husband and attending a concert. It IS hard to leave your children (I have a 2 1/2 year old), but it is necessary for your sanity and for your marriage! The children will be better for it! Have fun!