"Real" Moms

Moms of the world, let's give ourselves a break. The reality is life is more difficult once we have kids. Often there is no one standing on the sidelines cheering us on, and letting us know we are doing a great job. Instead, we are running as fast as we can to keep up with the new demands of motherhood. In fact, I found myself still trying to lose that "baby weight" before my last child celebrated their fourth birthday.
Suzanne Hansen

"Real" moms
We hardly have time to keep up on the current events of the world. When we do get a chance to catch up on the activities of the adult world, our self esteem can plummet simply by seeing someone else who seems to have it all together and effortlessly manages kids, marriage and maintaining a gorgeous figure. Catching a glimpse of a Hollywood actress on a talk show, six weeks postpartum, promoting her new film and explaining how her weight just happened to "fall off" can send many of us into weeks of depression.

Motherhood is complex enough without having a television star sharing how simply by meditating daily, following an exercise routine, and eating a healthy diet life can be joyous and easy to manage. Of course I know, this is all excellent advice on how to have a balanced life. It just depresses me when I realize, that my health and beauty routine is comprised of washing my face before bed and having my eyebrows waxed semi-monthly. My diet program consists of inhaling a Power Bar, as I rush out the door to get the kids to school on time. My exercise schedule consists of the cardiovascular work out I receive when I become winded running to the car.

We all have girlfriends we talk endlessly about these issues, in an attempt to feel better about not being able to, do it all, and look good in the process. Unfortunately, my mommyhood confidantes and I have always ended up with the same conclusion. Taking care of ourselves doesn't seem to rank on the hierarchy of maternal tasks. Some of us feel lucky to get a shower daily and shave BOTH legs.

During my time as a nanny in Hollywood, I discovered some differences in Motherhood amongst the rich and famous. Non-celebrity mom resources are usually a far cry from the options available to tinsel town residents. Sadly, I think this vast difference is often forgotten by celebrities during interviews -- most stars seem to be desperate to convey the message "my life is just like yours in every way, except I am recognized in the organic produce aisle and other moms are not." Not only is this not the whole truth, but it raises an unfair question for many of us moms: "why can't I do it all too?" If an actress mom is just like me, driving car pool, helping with homework, and maintaining a flawless complexion I must be doing something wrong.

I would like to suggest to the A-list actresses who are juggling their careers and mommyhood: please just tell us the truth!

Even though I sampled a wonderfully luxurious lifestyle working in Hollywood and I enjoyed meeting celebrities and visiting resorts that were featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, I am grateful for the very different world I live in now. Currently my "vacations" consist of a weekend at home with my husband, when the kids are staying with my parents. Lunches back during my nanny days were prepared and served by someone else, and were so delicious you couldn't even tell they were low fat and sugar free. Now, my children think a gourmet meal is grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Parenting without my own 24 hour a day staff does mean less sleep, less intimate time with my husband and certainly less time to work on my loss of "baby fat." But I wouldn't change it for all the awards and glamour (well I might consider a partial trade for a live-in masseur) that Hollywood has to offer.

I realize I will never be stopped on my way to a dentist appointment or ballet lesson to be congratulated for my wonderful performance in this year's blockbuster. However, I don't let that dampen my sense of accomplishment when I have made it to the grocery store without accidentally leaving someone in a parking lot, or prepared a meal without yelling and cleaned up the entire kitchen and living room before bed!

So, fellow moms of the world, give your self a break and acknowledge a little applause every now and then would be kind of nice. It's just a question of where the applause is coming from. We might have it better after all. I sure do in my home.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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