Friday, December 2nd, 2011
When Roy was three months old, I decided to go to New York for the annual ASJA writers’ conference to throw a book idea past a few agents. I booked a ticket that had me in the city for the minimum amount of time necessary to accomplish this and meet with a few of my editors—literally 24 hours. I stockpiled enough milk and also lugged my pump with me, to keep my production up.
You know what’s not fun? Pumping in a LaGuardia bathroom. Even less fun? Pumping in the hotel’s public bathroom. At least the airport bathroom was busy and loud and anonymous. This bathroom was silent. The wheeze of that damn pump bounced off the clean tile walls, creating an all too vivid picture as to exactly what was going on in my cramped little stall: Me sitting on the loo in ill-fitting work clothes; amid suitcase, computer bag and purse; shirt hiked up; pump balancing on knees; with clear-plastic funnels machine-milking both of my oversized post-pregnancy boobs. I know. Super sexy. But I was not staying at the hotel, so. Had to be done.
The undignified experience behind me, I was chatting with a colleague in the hotel hallway when a women I’d never met suddenly grabbed my arm and looked me in the eyes. “I recognize your shoes,” she said quietly. “Do you want my room key?”
I could’ve cried. That woman turned out to be Kara Thom, a fellow Minnesotan, fellow writer and fellow mom. I humbly accepted her offer, and we’ve since stayed in touch. (In fact, it’s a wonder we didn’t already know each other, as we run in the same writerly circles here in the Twin Cities.) How beyond sweet of her to seek out my blue peep-toe wedges and offer that much needed bit of comfort and privacy.
Given the way we met, it came as no surprise to me that Kara’s latest effort is all about helping fellow moms. It’s called Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel, 2011), which she co-authored with another Minnesota writer, Laurie Kocanda. The book is all about finding time for fitness, whether you’re a new or longtime exerciser or mom. And it comes from the perfect place—from working women with multiple kids who manage, sometimes quite creatively, to make fitness a priority. These ladies truly do understand what we’re all up against. A brief taste:
Being fit before having children doesn’t necessarily give you the upper hand. Whether you were on bed rest, lifting no more than the remote control, or ran on the day you gave birth is irrelevant. Maybe someone else carried your baby. It doesn’t matter. Nine months come and go, but raising children takes eighteen years or more. Any mom who wants to get the sweat out of her system is left with the same dilemma: How do I get my workout in now?
Often, the perceived solution is based on preconceptions and misconceptions we acquired before having children. For instance: Work out when the baby naps. In a perfect world you would start that exercise DVD and turn on the baby monitor. In the imperfect world, where most of us live, ten minutes later the monitor is lighting up and you haven’t even hit your stride.
This book aims to help you break through such real-life obstacles in ways that benefit your whole family.
Interested? Buy the book, or enter to win your own copy of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas by commenting below by the end of the day next Friday, December 9th. Tell me why you could use it, or the most bizarre place you’ve ever pumped. Whatever you feel like sharing.
The fine print: Anonymous comments and those without a valid email address will be disqualified. The winner will be chosen at random, then contacted via email. If I don’t hear from a winner within five days, a new one will be chosen. Please enter/comment only once. Good luck!