So Much For Relaxation

I am MOM, hear me roar!

A $60 pedicure? Ya, that's exactly what I thought. But, after taking care of my seven month old son, pretty much on my own since birth (my husband is a 6th year Resident and the hospital sees more of him these days than I have in the last 2 years), I decided to treat my deserving feet to a relaxing hour of pampering at one of London, Ontario's prestigious spas.

As I approached the front desk on my rainy day appointment, I was greeted with an evil eye, despite the red bracelet my mother has me wear at all times. At first I thought it was the rain, but I began to realize the strange glares were targeting my "little dude" the name my mother in law refers to my son as.

I know every mother preaches about how wonderful their baby is but my son really is one in a million. I never even considered missing my appointment because I had to watch him. When we're out and about he happily plays in his stroller with his Twirly Whirly toy and when he's in my arms he chews away on his favorite board book of colours. Yes, he has his cranky moments, which is why I was fully prepared to leave the spa as soon as he should start to fuss or whimper, which is his version of crying.

Fortunately, I didn't have to experience that because unfortunately, I was turned away from the spa and what I thought would be a relaxing afternoon for myself - something doctors, family and friends encourage us new mothers to do. The reasoning for my dismissal - the spa doesn't "accept" babies, children or cell phones. Yes, my sweet, little boo (what I like to refer to my son as) was being compared to the annoying rings of a cell phone and unwarranted chatter.

Just to set the record straight, I have frequented that spa before and have seen and heard women on their cell phones and not one of them were shown the door.

Now don't get me wrong, I completely understand the philosophy of a having a quiet, Zen, spa atmosphere. I understand busy women and men like to escape to the spa to pamper themselves during their hectic lives. But is it fair to dismiss the moms, whose life during their children's first year is probably the busiest, hardest time in a women's life?

Not only do most of us spend 24/7 with our little ones - but please don't forget our hair is falling out, our bodies are "flab"ulous,  and 75% of us are trying to feed a growing child but finding it impossible to find time to prepare healthy food to feed ourselves. We want to take care and pamper ourselves too, we really do!

As I was explaining my experience to one of the moms in my Stroller Fit class, one of the few places babies and children are "accepted" (sorry, I had to get that in!), she replied with "why is there only one day of the year where moms are celebrated? Why isn't every day Mother's Day?" I can't help but agree with her. Like all busy, deserving, worthy people, we are people too! In fact, we are the people who raised you, fed you, sheltered you, protected you, put our lives on hold for you! G-d I sound like my mother!

Really, all I'm asking for is a tiny bit of respect when I want to do something for myself with my little one. Mothers this goes for you too. If you're out and little one is misbehaving, causing a scene, bothering your peers, have a little respect for others. We have to look out for each other. A 30 min pedicure with a well-behaved baby to lift a tired mom's spirits should be accepted!

A native of Toronto, Lauren Rabin studied art, fashion, and graphic design in her hometown and New York City before embarking on a career in publishing.

Lauren currently lives in London, Ontario with her family where she is a stay at home mom to her seven month old son, Aron. She continues to work on her art (see her illustration at the top of this page) and writing everyday.