A few weeks ago, my kids and I overslept for school, a bad situation made worse considering I run the morning carpool. I cut many corners to get everyone out the door on time, including brushing my own hair and teeth, and changing into actual clothing. I crouched down low in the driver's seat when we picked up the neighbor kids, and had to use my forearm to secure my unrestrained boobies from smacking me in the face every time we hit a speed bump. With every passing block, I threw up a prayer not to be rear-ended so I wouldn't have to get out of the car.
I was not rear-ended, but as my daughter jumped out of the van, she hit the curb wrong and landed spread-eagle on the sidewalk. At this point I was faced with a life-altering decision — get out of the car wearing an ensemble illegal for public viewing in seven states, or pretend like I didn't know her and speed away. Fearing the latter would end with her seeking revenge by putting me in a nursing home when the time comes, I took a deep breath, held down my boobies once again with my forearm, and ran around to help her up.
Since having kids, so many of my standards have become laughable, only one of which is wearing pajamas in public. Here are a few other lines I swore I'd never cross:
1. Eating at McDonald's
A lot of my family is in the farming business and I could tell stories about what really goes into that fast-food mystery meat that would make you wretch for weeks. I haven't totally gotten over it; however, even most horrific atrocities can be overlooked when weighed against the snappy convenience of a drive thru.
2. Shopping at Box-Marts
Big-box stores are the death of the Mom and Pop and I vowed to always pay the little extra to support the locally owned corner store. That is, until I had three kids in diapers and that little extra turned into a small mortgage payment. I still try to support the little guy as much as possible, but every once in a while I'm a sucker for a good 'ole Blue Light Special.
3. Driving a Minivan
Before kids, I looked at the number of minivans on the road and wondered how people could just decide to give up on life like that. Minivans represented a sad cliché and there was no way you would ever catch me behind the wheel of one of those monstrosities. But then one day I noticed someone open their door with a simple click of the key fob. A door that, by the way, kids can't throw open to ding the car next to you. And the floorboard was low enough that even my 1-year-old could crawl in by herself, freeing my hands. I caught myself drooling a little and before you can say "sell out," I was cruising to play dates with a gently used Honda Odyssey strapped to my back, whistling "Little Deuce Coupe." It's been four years and now I can't imagine not driving a car with a hallway.
4. Turning Into my Mother
Oh, I'm going to catch hell for this one, but hear me out before you write me out of the will, Mom. I'm saying you were right. No less than five million times a day something comes out of my mouth that is straight from my mom, like "Watch that sass" and "Because I said so, that's why." Things that didn't make sense then and don't make sense now, but they do the trick of getting the kids out of my biz so I just let 'em fly.
In a nutshell, having kids made me realize that no matter how unappealing something may seem, anything is possible. And now every time I see senior citizens shuffling in for the early bird special or yelling at kids to get off their lawn, I take a deep breath and remind myself to never say never.
Hannah Mayer is a nationally award-winning blogger, humor columnist and exponentially blessed wife and mother of three. She would trade everything for twelve uninterrupted hours in a room with Jon Hamm and two Ambien. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or at her blog, sKIDmarks.