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Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter – With My Husband

Today, before I had to pick the kids up from school, I wanted to run into the mall and pick up a couple of new bras.  The ones I have aren’t working with my repositioned “girls”, and I wanted to get something more comfortable than what I’m wearing.  Oh, and I needed a new mascara.  That’s five minutes at the Lancome counter for a Definicils mascara in black, then off to get undergarments.

Except I took Jim with me.  The fabulous lady at Lancome asked what I needed, and I said, “Definicils in black, please.”  Then Jim said, “Don’t you need something else?” to me, then to Rose, the person at Lancome, he said, “She probably needs some of everything, do you want her to sit down?”

This isn’t going anywhere good.  I have kids to pick up in an hour and a half, and it will take me that long to realize that they don’t make a bra in any store in the mall that is going to be comfortable beyond a doubt.  And now Rose wants to do a makeover.

But, my typical method of purchasing makeup has been to just walk up to the counter with my list, let them fill it, and move on.  Maybe I need a makeover.

Rose told me I had great skin, which is always nice to hear, especially when you’re old.  I made the comment that I don’t buy Lancome moisturizer, because it’s too heavy, and she tells me that she doesn’t work for Macy’s, she actually works for Lancome, and the moisturizer they’ve been trying to sell me is not what I need.  She uses the product that she thinks will work better.  I LOVE it.

She takes the time to teach me a few techniques that I can use not only with my favorite eye shadows, but also with the ones I don’t love that I got for Christmas last year to blend them in and make them less bold.

I was really happy with the things she did – I don’t think you can see a dramatic difference in the way I do my makeup myself, but there were definitely subtle differences that I could see and I liked.  You be the judge –


Oh – and the best part about a makeover at the makeup counter as opposed to grabbing your stuff at the drugstore – the free samples!  It wasn’t a free gift day today, but Rose gave me a cutie bag with a bunch of free stuff.

The Silver Boxes Were Not Free

Bras?  Yeah, I didn’t have time.  I barely made it to school in time to pick the kids up.  But I was the best made over mom there!

Mommy Guilt – Let’s Share, Shall We?

I have pictures of a child in a laundry hamper.  I am so damn proud of that picture.  Not because it shows what an awesome mom I am, but because it shows that at one time, in this very house, all of my laundry was done!

Forget that somehow, my child, who was not even two, climbed her way into the hamper, risking falling head first, developing a concussion, brain swelling, and possible death.  My. Laundry. Was. Done.

My friend Jodi wrote an awesome blog post today – go read it, right now. http://www.multitaskingmommy.com/ It’s phenomenal.

It’s about Mommy guilt, and the things we all feel guilty over.  And you know you do.  You can’t be a mommy and not have guilt.  It’s right there on page one of the as yet to be written book “What to REALLY Expect When You Become A Mom”.  It’s not written yet, because if us Moms really spoke out and told pregnant women what they were in for, they’d be looking to invent a time machine, kick those husbands out of bed to root through the dresser drawer for that last condom he thought he had in there, but that’s okay, he’ll get more tomorrow.

You can’t be a mommy and not feel like you’re doing something wrong, even if everything is turning out alright.  You’re always doing too much, too little, not enough like your mom, too much like your mom.  It’s never going to be perfect.

And that’s why we have guilt.

I love the way Jodi ended her essay.  It wasn’t with “You’ll Get Over It” – because the truth is, you NEVER get over it.  Not when your baby is 9 months old or 19 years old.  You learn to live with it.  You learn to get out of bed every morning in spite of the fact that you’re going to do something wrong.

And it all turns out okay.

Bad Mom or Good Mom? Sports Injuries and Our Kids

On my way home from school this morning, I tuned in to find a radio program featuring Christopher Nowinski, author of the book Head Games:  Football’s Concussion Crisis.  

You can find the program here –


Because of the nature of the sports, there have been numerous studies done on football players and boxers for brain trauma from the massive blows their bodies take as a matter of routine.  There have been studies done on baseball pitchers, to determine the maximum number of pitches a young pitcher should be permitted to throw to avoid damage to a developing arm and shoulder.

They don’t really have these tests and studies for dancers.

When Brighid began dancing, at the tender age of about 8 years old (she dabbled before, but got serious around 8), we thought nothing of having her do an hour long group class, and as she developed her skills, two hours.  Then, when it became clear that she had serious talent, it was not only the group classes, but private lessons as well.  Then group ceili lessons to get ready for Oireachtas.  Not to mention the practice at home – hours of it, even when she wasn’t thinking about it, this kid was dancing in the aisles of the supermarket and in puddles on the street.

We encouraged her to practice, because, as we all know from the time we are young, practice makes perfect.  Brighid was a great dancer, but she wanted to be perfect.

We took her to parades; we took her to competitions; we took her to performances meant mostly to promote the school she was with at local fairs and festivals.  During St. Patrick’s Day week, she would go to school from 8 AM, I’d pick her up and take her immediately to the performances, as the dancers are always more popular that week than any other.  She might not be home and in bed until after 11 o’clock, scrambling the next morning to do homework in the car.  But she loved doing it, so I let her.

And at some point, she started to hurt.  Go figure.  A sport where you are pounding your toes, your heels, your whole foot into the ground to effect a certain sound, or look a certain way, and it hurts you after a while.  Using all of your energy to leap yourself off of the ground and into the air, only to land hard on your tip toes – it’s gonna be painful at some point.

I told her to back off at home.  Then we started missing dance classes.  When it got bad enough to go to the doctor’s, he scared me with his theory that she had broken her hip.  What kind of mother was I, carting around a kid with a broken hip, telling her to take it easy, but keep getting out of bed each morning and going to school.

It wasn’t broken.  But it was damaged.  Damaged from all the years of practice, performances, and pounding.  That was it for her, the end of her dancing.  The end of a dream she had to become professional.

But was I a bad mom?  Or a good mom?  I allowed her to go to so many shows, performances, and practices.  She loved it; it gave her an after school activity; and we all know kids with after school activities stay fit, have friends, and get scholarships.

I’m not sure whether or not I was a bad mom or a good mom to let her to what she wanted, but I will say that I have both Eilis and Granuaile dancing.  They wanted to try it, and I allowed it.  But knowing what I know, I don’t push as much practice.  Perfection is not our goal, pleasure and fitness are.  So does that make me a bad mom?  I am not pushing them to reach their full potential by not forcing them to practice.

It seems I can’t win.  But we can all take a lesson from Chris Nowinski’s book, and recognize what sports can do to our kids.  Keep an eye on your kids.  Be proactive in terms of when enough is enough before it gets to be too much.  Nothing is worth risking damage to your child.