Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Namaste, Gwyneth Paltrow

I just attended my first PSO meeting.  No, I am not part of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra nor do I geek out regarding Particle Swarm Optimization, although it turns out that PSO is a very popular acronym.

This PSO is the new PTO, and stands for Parent Support Organization.  It is a group of parents that wish (or feel obligated) to volunteer time, funds or participation in a myriad of elementary school activities.

She was there…

Gwyneth Paltrow

As was she….

Elle MacPherson

And I sat next to her.

Reese Witherspoon
Ok.  None of these women were really there, but they may well have been because 95% of the women there looked just as good- or even better.  Then 3% were working moms, and the other 2% were Dads (who, thankfully, were not in lycra).  Me?  I was in sweatpants, a loose vintage tee, and a tube bra that I barely had time to throw on before sprinting out the door (which, btw, was my workout for the day).

Intimidated, party of one please.

I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident, or that I will have to put up with my insecurities only at the once monthly PSO meeting, but this isn’t the case.  Every morning the play yard is humming with perfectly made up yet beautifully natural women in fitted yoga gear that are seemingly set out to destroy me.

My head spins.  Are they all attending a class together?  Why wasn’t I invited?  What was her birth plan?  Who is her plastic surgeon?  And, is yoga wear the official wardrobe choice of SAHMs everywhere, or only those in Los Angeles?

I took to the experts, meaning that I posted this important question on my Facebook page.  Here’s what the gang had to say.

“Be happy it's yoga, girl. Here in Tribeca, it's full-on off duty model wear each and every morning. Like, who walks their kids to school in open toe'd booties? Not me.”
Lawyer & (Working) Mother of a Toddler in NYC

“It's to make us working folk jealous. As in, 'I get to go work out and sculpt my body while you go to work, sucker'… This mama fits in workouts when I can (and I do, and they are a priority)--but I'll be the first to admit the exercise will go out the window if either of my children need anything."
Stephanie Sulzbach, Working Mother of 2 Children in Connecticut

"I'm in awe of working moms. I'm a new stay at home mom and I can't imagine how you working moms do it. You totally rock. Being a mom is full time. If you are working full time as well, I applaud you."
Katy Oliver, New SAHM in Massachusetts
The bottom line is simple.  We all have vulnerabilities, whether about our bodies, our wardrobe, our parenting, our career choice or our decision to stay at home and work as a “Domestic Engineer”.

At first, I hoped just one person at the PSO would look at me and think, “damn, I wish I could spend my day at an exciting job like hers instead of heading to a boring pilates class before returning home to turn on the crock pot and watch Soap Net all day”.  (This one likes to change up her workout routine.)

But on second thought, I changed my tune.  I don’t wish for that.  Why not?  Because I was there learning how I could help with the Halloween Trick or Treat Extravaganza just as much as she was.