Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Age Appropriate Reading

You can tell your age by the magazines you read.  Or at least where you are in life at the moment.  My fitness and celebrity magazines have long since been replaced.  First it was parenting magazines...starting with pregnancy publications, reading month by month to see how the baby was developing (and seeing what to expect in the coming months.)  Yes, to a pregnant woman it is fascinating to know exactly when her unborn baby no longer has webbed toes.

Once the pregnancy is over, the parenting magazines take over the house, providing information on everything from stages of food, to how to survive on no sleep.  This stage surprisingly does not last long, however.  When a mother is inundated with everything child....when the visions of the sweet tot dressed in the perfect Gap outfit with the perfect nursery outfitted by Pottery Barn make way for the reality of hand-me-downs that you don't mind getting stained, the footed pajamas that they reside in because they are just so comfortable, and the constant battle to pick up the pots and pans on your kitchen floor and take away those parenting magazines, which they are gleefully tearing to shreds on your floor, while the very cool expensive educational toys gather dust on the cute Pottery Barn shelves in their rooms.  This....this is when the parenting magazines begin to lose their luster.  As a mother, I have enough things related to children in my life.  My entire life revolves around children....the last thing I care to read about is what it is like to be a parent.  I could probably write a few articles myself (although I'm not sure how helpful they would be...but I'm sure there would be some entertainment value to them.)

No, now is the time one wants to focus back on herself.  That person that lies somewhere deep inside...buried under the sweatpants covered in her child's lunch and streaks of toddler snot.  The person who used to know all the words to Greenday and Aerosmith songs, but who now sings the theme songs to "The Backyardigans" and "Imagination Movers."  The person who used to dream about Johnny Depp, but now checks out Mover Scott...and Dave.  Dave's pretty cute, too.  Somewhere buried under diapers and legos, there is a woman there who is more than a mom.  And we turn to magazines to find her. 

There is my absolute favorite, "Real Simple."  This is my dream magazine...the way I dream that my house will look, the way I dream that my organizational skills will be, the way I dream I will be put together...a hip young mom with an immaculate house.  You may laugh...but if we don't have dreams, we don't have much.  I notice that I have also subscribed to what I call my "mother's magazines."  Not parenting magazines...or magazines on how to be a mom...no...MY mother's magazines.  The ones I remember my mother subscribing to.  Did I really reach that point in my life?  I'm reading Better Homes and Gardens...Family Circle...and Woman's Day.  Articles on cooking...on how to make your home more organized, decorating, and the occasional article about kids.  However...there are always articles on make-overs.  You know...the stressed mother who has let herself go, who gets a new hairstyle, make-up tips and new clothes.  Oddly enough...those are the most inspiring.  Because you see that even though you are stressed, wearing your husband's tee-shirts, and probably don't remember how to properly apply eye make-up, let alone know what shades are in season...there is hope.  There is still an attractive woman there. 

I did subscribe to one more magazine.  I keep it hidden in my nightstand.  It was a total vanity purchase.  It has nothing to do with kids.  It has no advice on how to organize my home, or be a better wife.  It is a fitness magazine, plastered with pictures of women with rock hard abs, the time and money to go to a gym, fill their iPods with the latest tunes, and don the best running shoes.  Why would I waste my money on such a thing?  I suppose it is another dream magazine.  There are still quite a few years before I can focus on myself in that way.  But in the five minutes I have in the bathroom, where I lock the door and skim the pages...it somehow rejuvenates me.  It reminds me that somewhere under my muffin top and stretchy pants there is an attractive woman there.  And someday I will find her. 

I just hope it happens before I start subscribing to senior citizens magazines.

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