About a week ago, a fellow mom in my mothers’ club posted on our club’s web board about an issue she was having with her gym. I also happen to be a member of that gym so I was very interested in what she had to say. She had a grievance with the gym because her children were not allowed in the women’s locker room with her. She felt that the family locker rooms that the gym provides for people with children were inadequate. Her message to the web board sought out other gym members who also saw a problem with the “No Children Allowed” policy and rallied a cry for support, or at least additional thoughts.
I don’t usually respond to posts on our club’s web board because I try to keep my opinionated self out of things as much as possible. In the past, some of the posts have gotten a little contentious especially when dealing with opinions regarding different establishments or providers of care. I would just rather not say anything and keep my thoughts to myself. In general, we moms try to be on our best behavior but I think sometimes that all moms just need a place to vent. I, for one, value the opinion of these amazing women.
But, when I saw this post I almost went ballistic. “Oh, hell no!” I thought out loud, and then fear started to creep in. I hoped that no one was trying to get the policy changed so that children were allowed into the women’s locker room. I immediately jumped to respond.
“I think of the ladies locker room to be my private sanctuary. Often times, it is the only place I can get a shower without little hands pounding on the shower door….” I wrote. I just was horrified at the thought that I might have other people’s children staring at my naked rear-end after a sweaty workout. God knows I have enough ridicule by my own children. “Your tummy looks big, mommy” is a frequent comment by my five-year-old. Would I now have to endure someone else’s kid screaming as I try to take a shower?
Turns out a few other moms agreed. The consensus was that there needed to be a change to the family locker room so that moms could find it more suitable for Mom’s needs (i.e. put locks on the lockers so their stuff could be secured). That poor gym manager probably has an inbox full of emails from moms now.
In hindsight, perhaps my reaction was really cloaked in fear. Would a large gym establishment really change a major policy just because of a few of us breeders? I have seen the way those without children glare at me when my brood gets in their way as they try to make their way to spin class. As I settled down, I realized there probably wasn’t a real threat to begin with. There are just too many issues with allowing little kids in a locker room.
At any rate, the post got me thinking a bit about my arrogance as a breeder. I am in no way suggesting that the mom who posted this thread was being arrogant. In fact, I think she was just looking for some thoughtful feedback about what she experienced. But it got me thinking about my own expectations as someone with children.
I really enjoy having four kids and although it is a bit unique these days, I know I am not the only one and therefore not special. So I wonder why I sometimes act like I think I should have things easier just because I have children?
I have wished for special parking places before, like next to the handicapped ones. That way I could easily get in and out without much ado. I’ve wished for faster service at stores, special restaurants, drive thru service for everything I could ever need, and deals or breaks just because I have kids.
I even tote having kids on my iPhone signature, blaming not the phone for possible errors but the fact that I have four kids five and under as the reason why I could respond with typos. “I have four kids” I hear myself saying it over and over, using it with shopkeepers, on the phone when making appointments, and to whomever I might be talking to. The reaction I get varies but often I am told one of two things, “You’re a saint” or “You’re nuts”.
Maybe it is just a talking point for me or perhaps I am looking for some empathy. While I don’t expect to get anything in return from saying it, I’ll admit that an occasional “Whoa, you can go ahead of me in line then”, would be okay by me.
I have been thinking a lot about entitlement, particularly what it means and how to prevent teaching it to my children. Recently, I think I have had one foot in self-pity and another one in pride when it comes to my life with my kids. After some reflection, I do believe that it all depends on how I am feeling that particular day.
I love my kids more than anything but I don’t expect everyone to. I do think that there are some things that just won’t come easy to me because I have these little ones. But I have come to see that if I am starting to feel as though I am entitled to something, it is probably because I need a break or I need to get some more help. Either way, I am going to try and be a little more conscientious, because we breeders don’t rule the world. Or do we? Wink…wink…