Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Remember when it was fun to dance? Do you even remember a time when you didn’t feel the least bit self conscience about “shaking a tail feather,”  letting loose and just having fun?  Me neither. Until I discovered ZUMBA.


Recently, I realized that I had Spin class fatigue, and was really tired of it being my only source of recreation.  It was time  to mix this physical fitness thing up a little bit.  As luck would have it, I ran into Melissa Kerpel, one of the Northshore’s most renowned Zumba instructors at the Highland Park Fashion show. I asked her if it was true that a little Jewish woman with absolutely NO RHYTHM, and responsible for a 9 year old girl (i.e. I couldn’t get a sitter) could actually get a great workout if she attended a ZUMBA class.  Melissa insisted that (a) having “white man’s rhythm” (MY WORDS, not hers) was not a good enough excuse to miss out on the fun (b) I could bring my 9 year old with me and (c) the class was about having fun, not following the steps perfectly.  I was convinced.


What did I have to lose?  The first class was free and K and I didn’t have any plans.  We decided to give it a try.


Tonight K and I put on our dancing shoes, grabbed some water bottles and drove the .2 miles to the child care center by day/Zumba instruction facility by night.  Note: it’s only taken me 3 years to muster up the bravery to go to one of these classes and even now I need to hide behind my child!   Anyway, the first thing that I noticed?  I was one of the youngest women in the room and (thankfully) I knew absolutely no one!  So, I relaxed a bit, did a few warm up stretches and tossed as basketball around with my daughter while we waited for class to start.


Once it began, it started with a bang!  I mean literally A BANG! Melissa and another instructor, Kate Wettergren, kicked the dance class off with a combination of Samba/Afrikana music and the class started moving!  Forget my initial impression that ladies older than me couldn’t bust a move!  There were moves busting all over the place!  I could not keep up with the more veteran Zumba dancers.  That room was rocking & hot.  And I can honestly say that the hour FLEW by.


It wasn’t always easy to keep up with the class but both instructors were energetic, funny (yes, facial expressions count) and encouraging.  They looked like they were having a great time and as a result, I had a great time too!  By the end of the class I was sweating (that’s a good thing), a bit out of breath and K had not started wandering the halls of her old pre-school out of boredom.  She got in on the dancing too and even, at one point, told me that I was not “thrusting my butt enough!”  Hmm… not sure how I feel about that. I didn’t even worry that someone would see that I was making tons of mistakes.  I don’t think that anyone noticed or cared.  Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing anyway.


So will I take another class again?  Absolutely!  It was so liberating to just let loose and dance my heart away without concern that I wasn’t doing the steps properly or following the class perfectly because I was just having fun!  So I encourage you to give this Zumba thing a try.  I promise that it’s not the old aerobics class you remember from the 80’s.  This class is actually a workout masquerading as a PARTY!  And that, in my opinion, is the best kind of workout, don’t you agree?

Photo courtesy of http://www.plumdistrict.com

Being a Sh*tty Mom Doesn’t Make Me A Bad Parent

Being a Sh*tty Mom Doesn’t Make Me A Bad Parent

See that picture? Yep, that could be me! And I am no longer ashamed to admit it!


I am a Sh*tty Mom.  There’s just no other way to say it.  I am also a Sh*tty housewife which shouldn’t surprise anyone since I am a Sh*tty Mom (the two seem to go together.)  Some might say that I am a Sh*tty blogger but that’s getting a bit too personal, don’t you think?

For some time, I have kept my Sh*tty Mom guilt closeted and have shared one or two stories with only my closest friends who either won’t judge me or have already decided that I am an eccentric who needs to get a full time job already!


Thanks to the following book:  Sh*tty Mom The Parenting Guide For The Rest Of Us, the shackles of shame have been released!   I am not alone!  There are Moms like me who have, for example, avoided taking her child’s temperature in the morning so she can honestly tell the school nurse that “I had NO IDEA Katie has an 103 degree temperature and has a nasty rash!”  When did that develop?!? She was fine when I dropped her off this morning!” (page 76)

Actually the four fabulous women who wrote this laugh-out-loud, no nonsense bow to mothers, Laurie Kilmartin, Karin Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner clearly love their kids.  But they also understand that as much as one can love her offspring, it’s okay to admit, nay declare, that we are still people and have not been transported to some magic “Leave It To Beaver World” where we are transformed into a form of Stepford Wife.  Somewhere in the Mothering world, a mom needs to reclaim herself and be reminded that, at one point or another, we are all Sh*tty Moms.  We just are.

The book reads like you are speaking with your best girlfriend and she is giving you absolution (and solutions) for some of the stickiest situations in Mommyhood. In Chapter 39, “How To Get Rid of a Mom Who Wants to Stay Over During the Entire Playdate”, I felt like I was getting advice from one of my sisters.  The authors outline the scenario: child and mom enter your house, kids run to your daughter’s bedroom and mom lingers. (In my case, Mom not only lingered but watched the children jumping on the trampoline, invited her younger (3 years old) child to jump as well and then interacted with the kids for the entire play date.)  How I wish I had received the Sh*tty Moms advice: either open a bottle of wine and offer some or be honest by saying “you know, there’s so much laundry and cleaning that I was hoping to get done while the girls played…”! Heck, I never realized that I could have started working in my garden and offered the offending mom the rare opportunity to weed it!  But no, because I did not have this amazing book, I was trapped,  like a dummy, trying to engage the other mother in boring and gossipy conversation.

Talk about a waste of a good opportunity to get some free labor or get the woman out of my yard!

Sh*tty Moms really don’t have time (or the attention span) to read long involved books.  If you are a long book reading mom, either you don’t work from home and can take a lunch break or you are ignoring your child BIG TIME and better go check on him PRONTO!  The Sh*tty Mom book is short; only 175 glorious pages!  And the chapters are short: I can read one while in the drive-thru lane at Starbucks.  Seriously, I did that!

Bottom line: Guess what my sisters are getting for the holidays?  You betcha! The Sh*tty Moms book!  Surprise!  And if you are looking for an unusual gift to give a new mother?  Look no further than this book.  You can get it from most book sellers.  It’s also on Amazon if you are like me and download everything onto my kindle.

You’ll be saving the mom many hours of intense guilt and assuring her that she is not a bad mom, but she may be a Sh*tty one–and that’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect to be a great mom!   If that’s not enough, she can probably get through the first half of the book during a 3:00 am feeding.  Follow these gals on twitter too (@shttymoms)!  If it’s the middle of the night, it’s nice to know that there is someone out there feeling your pain so connect to them on their website: Sh*tty Moms.

I won’t judge.  Will you?



So now it’s your turn: What is your sh*ttiest Mom moment?  Remember, I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me!