Someone asked me what I do and I explained that I'm a fitness instructor for FIT4MOM and I teach Stroller Strides. Their reply was, "Oh, like a 'Mommy and Me' class. How fun for you! That's neat."
Ew. That felt patronizing.
"Mommy and Me?" I mean, technically, yes for Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre we are a class where you can workout with your child, but the "Mommy and Me" label makes me think of 1990's big-banged ladies in denim maternity jumpers singing nursery rhymes. (Please don't ask me how many different Google searches I did to find an image similar to the one in my mind. I found no worthy pictures.) Somehow the phrase lessens what we do and doesn't show us as modern mothers in 2017 who are striving to improve fitness levels.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive and let me be clear, I'm not knocking anything entitled "Mommy and Me," but we're more.
Let me tell you what I see in the Stroller Strides classes I teach and the Body Back classes I attend. I see "mommies" getting out of the house for the first time. I see them shaking off the postpartum haze to do something completely new.
I see mommies in Body Back with college-aged kids and some with toddlers coming together to push themselves and encourage one another to go further than they ever have before because they love how being fit makes them feel.
I see my coworkers, mommies who have made a career change and become certified as instructors. They take time and care crafting classes that are challenging enough for mommies who are pushing their fitness level and modified enough for pregnancy and Diastasis Recti.
I see my boss. She's a mommy managing and growing her business. She started it from scratch and has grown it to multiple class offerings at locations across our area serving hundreds of mommies and employing dozens of other mommies.
I see tiny people watch their mommies set a good example of fitness as they sing along to songs during mommy's workout. I hear them learn to count as mommy does bicep curls. I've always joked that "All good Stroller Strides kids can count backwards from ten."
I see those tiny people play together and learn to share under the watchful eyes of their mommies after a great workout.
I see mommies comforting one another after a miscarriage or bringing meals after another baby is born.
So, yeah. We're "Mommy and Me." This mommy, that mommy, that mommy over there, and me. I get to help lead them. It IS "neat for me." It's a great privilege of my life. "Mommy and Me." We're owning that title now. Let's do it mommies.