The Ultimate F-It Moment.

I vividly remember my first public, parental f- it moment. My daughter was about two, and we were at the mall, waiting for the valet to bring our car around. (Yes, in Los Angeles, they have valet parking at the mall. I know.) The valet area was packed with people, and my daughter started singing, and all of the strangers looked at her and smiled, because there is, of course, not much that’s cuter than a singing toddler. But then she asked me to sing with her. No, I said. You sing. You’re doing a great job all by yourself. But she shook her head and demanded that I sing, too. Now, I am not known for being able to carry a tune. In fact, at sleepaway camp, when I was eleven, I was cast in the role of The Princess Who Can’t Sing in the musical Once Upon a Mattress, and let me tell you, I did not disappoint. But anyway, I looked around at all of those people, and I thought to myself, f- it. I mean, I’ve exposed my vagina to a roomful of strangers while giving birth, so it’s not like there’s that much farther to fall on the public humiliation scale. And so I sang. Loudly. And very off key. And all of the people in the valet line looked at me, and judged me, and smiled at me, but not because they thought I was cute. But I didn’t really care. And you know something? It was fun, and liberating, and I promised myself that from that point on, I would never care again. But then cut to: a beach/pool, and suddenly, my not caring goes straight out the window.

 

Anyway, I bring this up because last week, we were on vacation in the Bahamas - a trip planned and paid for a year ago, back when we still had a discretionary income. It was an awesome trip. Our hotel had water slides and a lazy river with waves and rapids, and there were a million different pools spread out over what seemed like miles. But to get to all of these pools and slides, it required a lot of walking around, far from wherever your chairs were located. And, if you wanted to have any fun at all, you pretty much had no choice but to dunk your head, because every slide ended with you in a face plant in the pool. All of which meant one of two things: either you stayed on your chair and looked pretty while your kids went off and swam with daddy, or you succumbed to it and just walked around in your bathing suit with wet hair and no makeup, because it would have been too hard to schlep a cover up and a comb and lip gloss around with you all day and have nowhere to put it every time you went to a different pool. And so I did it. I had the ultimate f-it moment: I walked around, shamelessly, in a bikini. And do you know what? I had the time of my life. Yes, I could feel people judging my mom gut, and my ghost-colored legs, and my frizzy, tangled hair. But I didn’t care about any of it anymore. By the end of the week, I wasn’t even bothering to suck in my stomach.

 

Janelle
05.15.09

Wow...I can't believe it took you until your child was walking and talking to have a f-it moment. I think my oldest child was all of 2 months old when mine came...Shopping in the grocery store after she was born, a cart load of groceries and she is starting to fuss and cry...and of course the only thing that would calm her down (besides nursing right then and there) was to sing "Rubber Duckie" as we worked our way through the store.
When you're a mom, you do what you've got to do.

Alonsosa1
05.04.09

i'm not even finished reading the article and have to comment over how much I can identify. I'm literally laughing my head off.

supermomi
05.01.09

I LOVE THIS!! I have been the ultimate F-It mom, to the point that my kids have had to reel me in a few times :) To be honest, I didn't really notice some of us on the seats with the makeup and blow dryers - I've been having waaayy too much fun! Please, come join us, you won't regret it. Not to mention that we'll probably never meet again in life anyway, so what do you care???

Ladyv10
04.26.09

I agree to just give in to it when your kids ask you to do something embarrassing in public...you may never have the chance again. The best advice I ever got was not to give your power to strangers. It was when I was deciding to buy shorts but I thought they were too short for my Mom legs. The sales lady laid it on the line when she told me, "you give strangers too much power". She was right and I wear them!!!

lfayed
04.25.09

Thank you for posting that article and sharing. That was very liberating. I am surrounded by skinny people who are very judgmental and I find myself sometimes frustrating not being able to compete nor to let myself be me..

I will definitely take after you and follow your lead from now on.

CinRoberts
04.22.09

Hurrah for this article. It was very liberating. If we can all overcome our inhibitions and just have fun. Maybe I will just join the choir that I've been too intimidated to audition for. But, beware! My daughter is a terrific singer and sometimes asks me NOT to sing and asks Dad NOT to disco dance. Enjoy the moments when your children encourage you. It won't be forever. Thank you Risa for this article. And, readers, sing your heart out.

Laureen08
04.22.09

You are SO right! When my son was about 2 (now 5) he LOVED to dance and he was dancing in front of the stage at an outside fair concert - oh so cute! He really wanted me to dance with him and I said no because I would be seen by EVERYONE and I'm not exactly the best dancer. Instead I just bopped to the music in my seat near him. I will never forget the slightly sad look on his face and the fact that he soon decided to stop dancing and come sit with me. I swore then and there to never miss a moment like that again. The next time my son asked me to dance in public I did and it felt so good and the smile on his face was worth SO MUCH more than anyone else's opinions! Now that I have two kids, I barely even notice when I'm singing in public - we do it all the time together. I even play on playground equipment with them. I really could care less what other people think - what my kids think is what's important! It is so liberating. I'm proud to model this kind of freedom and spirit to my children. As the song says, I hope they will dance when they get the chance! I hope you all dance too! I've also come to realize that people aren't really paying attention to me anyway - usually they are too wrapped up in their own dramas or worrying about their own appearances!

cyn
04.21.09

Good for you Risa. I feel sorry for those moms who think they have to maintain appearances instead of have fun with the family. It is so much more fun to jump in!

freeves
04.21.09

This is exactly what it is though moments. We can't say f*&ck to everything. My boss would not appreciate the fact that I didn't come dressed to work properly even though somedays I feel I could do my job better in a pair of jeans and tshirt. My daughter's school wouldn't appreciate the fact that I showed up in my old tie dyed shirt and flip flops. I do try very hard to live this way and get told to grow up alot. I am 35 and have 3 children. I have had my share of embarassing moments and life is too short to sit on the beach lounger.

maxmom
04.21.09

Totally agree! I recently lost my Mom unexpectedly and she was the queen of f-it moments. She taught us not to take ourselves too seriously or worry about what others thought. I am trying to live the f-it mantra too. So I am with you - I'll keep singing out loud and off-key, playing silly games in the grocery store line and enjoying life. Keep up the great work on the blog!