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Fayette-Mom: Cutting the apron strings

Jennifer's life changed when she had kids, but she doesn't want to say so long to all of her old self. So she's daring to do something she hasn't done for years.

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Jennifer Joyner
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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