If you thought this was going to be one of those blogs where we tell you how we find all the energy we need in chia seeds, sunlight and the radiance of our children’s smiles, you were mistaken. Yes, being healthy is great, and we love to go outside (our kids’ yells reverberate less out there), and I’m not a monster, I do find my children’s smiles adorable. Unless I think the smile is meant to throw me off my game and distract me from whatever nefarious activity they’re plotting, but overall in general, yes, smiles are good. But sometimes the sun and the smiles and the all natural ingredients are just not enough for my day. I need a kick they just cannot provide.
Moreover, I’m done pretending they do.
Now, I am ashamed to admit that I have been THAT Mom, the one that smugly says, “we don’t keep soda in the home.” Which, for all factual purposes is completely true. But there’s a shady little me sitting on my shoulder reminding me, “no, you just drive through McDonald’s every day for a $1 soda as big as you head.” But it’s not IN THE HOME Lil Shady! And when I DARE to say that I don’t order Coke in a restaurant? I certainly don’t mention how the REAL reason is because I’m too cheap to spend more than a dollar. And if I AM going to spend more than a dollar it’s going to be on something with a slightly higher alcohol content! But that damn Lil Shady doesn’t let up….”Uh, so is Chick-Fil-A not a restaurant?? Because I could swear they basically hook you up to an IV drip of Cherry Coke when you roll in waving to the manager like he’s your best friend.” I must again check my little friend. “First of all, Chick-Fil-A carries CHERRY Coke, so basically it’s a special occasion once a week. Second of all, they say ‘my pleasure’ when I thank them, so I’m pretty sure I’m making their day. And last, yes, of course I wave at Mark. I don’t care if he acts like he doesn’t know me, Because he’s my hero.”
It’s at this point in my inner dialogue that I realize a few things….I am stronger with my Coke. I am happier with my Coke. And dare I say, I might just be a better mom with Coke. It’s there for me when I’m not sure I can spend a whole afternoon pushing swings to say, “yes, you can!” It’s there when my kids want to get out the Play Doh and make every animal in the zoo. Just when I think I don’t have one more zebra in me, the Coke says, “you got this.” And it’s there when my husband is out of town for work and I have to do ALL the things alone to say, “you’re not alone. I’ve got your back.”
So yeah, I’m consuming more sugar than I should. And I’m part caffeine fueled robot. But my kids are happy. I’m happy. And I’ll go to the YMCA this afternoon and have some kale for dinner. (I probably won’t).
Oh, and rather than roll my eyes at next smug Mom that tells me about her all organic, holistic lifestyle fueled only by rainbows and the sound of her child singing the Moana soundtrack on repeat, I’ll give her a gentle smile and a knowing nod. Because we might be more alike than she’s ready to admit.