About a month ago, I walked into the boys' school to drop off Daniel after an appointment. I had Noah on my hip, and Josh and Daniel were running along beside me as I pressed the buzzer, waited for the 'click' and used my hip to swing open the heavy office door. There was a huge lunchtime crowd in the room as I tried to make my way in, and the mom waiting in the seat right by the door reached over and grabbed the handle and started to hold it open for me so I could wiggle through with my crew. Then, she reached her other hand out. . .and put it on my belly.
Then it got even more awkward. . ."OH MY GOODNESS," she gushed in a sing-song voice. "Just looooook at that growing little baby bump!"
So in my head I'm all like, "Oh no she DIDDDDNNN'TTT." I was about to look around and see if she was referring to someone else, but since she was touching me I was pretty sure that she, in fact, diiiiiiiiiidddddd.
Also, I am 99.999999% sure that I am not pregnant, am not planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, and spend a lot of time trying to not look pregnant. I mean, I had on Spanx LEGGINGS that day, for Pete's sake. Not even Spanx under leggings, actual leggings made of the Spanx.
I just sort of scuffled by and pretended I didn't hear her and didn't feel her hand on me. I was so frazzled I failed to click all of the right buttons when signing Daniel in, then I hustled out of the office with head down and tummy sucked in to my van where I proceeded to drive home with all of the spirit of a deflated balloon.
My pity party continued as I dragged my Spanx and two youngest boys into the door, where I first had to look up the phone number of the school and call them to tell them that I never actually managed to sign Daniel in. Then, I called Paul and told him my sad story. "Ridiculous." He said. "You don't look pregnant. What is wrooong with people."
I love my darling husband, and my heart wanted to believe him but my head decided to believe office lady instead. Paul won't let me feel down for long so his new plan was to engage me in abdominal exercise. There is really only one kind of exercise that speaks my language and that is yoga, so Paul offering to do yoga with me was just about the sweetest thing ever, right up there with buying me a cat when we first got married. He's not a cat man, or a yoga man, but he's a good man. So, we've started doing yoga every night after the kids go to bed: Twenty solid minutes of deep breathing and Rodney Yee kicking our abs. Sometimes the kids come downstairs and giggle at us as we rock back and forth on the floor holding our feet like giant babies or our cat comes down and tries to wrap herself around my head, but for the most part they all leave us alone and yoga is our special time.
The only hangup with the abs yoga is that I am pretty sure I no longer have abs, as whatever I may have had before has been completely stretched apart by whole the four giant babies in six years thing. So, I tend to get a teensy bit discouraged. And by teensy, I really mean that I start to mentally beat myself up when Rodney flawlessly positions himself in half boat pose and encourages me to relax my eyes, neck and inner body, his soothing, gentle voice a total contrast to the internal screaming of my abs-or-lack-thereof.
Last week, Paul must have grown tired of hearing me sigh dramatically, so he looked over at me and tried to make me laugh. "Jen!" He said with a big grin on his face. "That's Rodney F@*kingYEE!! OK?"
We started to crack up and as I fell out of my pathetic half boat pose and realized that this was a defining moment.
Paul is funny, but he also serves me some truth.
I am not Rodney F@*king Yee.
There's only one Rodney F@*king Yee.
I'm just Jen, and that's OK.
No more "should-be-able-to"s. Why should I expect myself to be as good as Rodney, when even Rodney himself doesn't? I'm also not whomever else might be on the TV screen or Pinterest feed or Instagram or Facebook at the moment being more awesome than me at having abs.
New mantra for everything: I'm not Rodney F'ing Yee.
Feel free to extend this to any other comparison-based situation in life.
I know I will!
I'm just me. Doing my thing. Taking care of myself and of my health. Celebrating the gift of my body through some not-very-expert-looking yoga moves. Loving my four kids, thanking God for the stretched out belly that helped bring them into this world, and wearing my Spanx leggings so hopefully random strangers stop touching it.