A Mom’s Sacrifice

You should see me right now.  My arms, legs chest and face are streaked with this horrible brown-orange stain—a blotchy, streaky reminder of the sacrifices I make as a mom.  It’s pretty embarrassing.  I’m not sure I want to leave the house.

Okay, so I’m definitely dramatizing this:  it’s just a airbrush tanning job gone bad.  But still.

It all started out so wonderfully.  My friend called me and asked if I’d do her a favor.  She was writing an article on “Hot Austin Spas” for a magazine and asked if I’d be willing to be a “beauty tester” and test this fancy schmancy new airbrush tanning spa downtown.  Even better, since it was for the magazine, my spa treatment would be on the house.  I’ve never had an airbrush tan (or, if I’m being honest, been to a fancy schmancy spa), so I couldn’t say “sign me up” fast enough.

The spa treatment was amazing!  After an exfoliating wipe down, I stood in a shower-like stall and a tech carefully airbrushed me for a “healthy summer glow”.  I stepped out and I was literally glowing.  And, considering the fact that my natural skin tone is the color of paste and my only experience with a “healthy summer glow” involved gallons of 100 SPF and streaky self tanner, I felt pretty amazing.

As I left the spa, I sized my new tan self in the mirror as the owner shouted her warning:  Whatever you do, do NOT get wet for 8 hours or you’ll streak.  Easy enough, right?  Wrong.

Two hours later, I was sitting on the patio with my husband while my kids played in a kiddie pool on the lawn.  And, my superhero-son took a flying leap from the top of the slide and instead of landing feet-first with spiderman-like reflexes, he landed on his back and started screaming.  And that’s when my mom-like reflexes kicked in.

I leaped out of my chair, ran to my screaming son and sat down with him in the kiddie pool.  Hello motherhood.  Goodbye perfectly applied airbrush tan.

So, for the next seven to ten days (depending on how well I “take care of it”), my arms and legs are a walking reminder of the fact that I’m a mom.  And, really, what do I expect?  When was the last time I left the house with my hair dried and flat ironed?  Or without spit-up on my shirt?  Or with perfectly tanned skin?

But the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I don’t want to be the mom with perfect hair and skin and nails.  And, the truth is, if I have to walk around with streaky orange legs for a few days, I’m okay with that.  Because I want to be the kind of mom who’s willing to dive into a kiddie pool to give my kids a hug.

Question for you: What little sacrifices do you make as a parent every day?


  1. Love this post because I am seriously one shade away from being deemed albino. I love spray tans and feel so much better with a darker complexion but hate that they are so temporary…and streakable! That’s not a word but I’m going with it.

    Sacrifices? There are a ton, aren’t there but they are so worth it. I sacrifice good eating habits, free time, writing time, or any other time that I would normally have for myself. I guess that’s part of being a mom though and even though sometimes I struggle because I need that time, it’s all good in the end.

    I hope the streaks wear off soon. :)

  2. LOVED this! I absolutely adore how we moms forsake our own selves for our children. I once caught the point of a kitchen knife falling off the counter with the top of my foot just to protect my son who was directly underneath it! And it wasn’t even a sacrifice, really! Just like your perfect tan wasn’t a sacrifice compared to making sure your precious son was okay. I love what motherhood does to us! Thank you, Lord!

  3. Reminds me of all the times I’ve made a perfect fool of myself in public to keep a smile on my son’s face. No one will accuse me of being stylish or even well put together, but everyone who matters (especially my son) knows that I’m a great mom.

  4. Sleep, certain parts of my body, hygiene, quiet…but when you get slobbery kisses and big ‘ol hugs from these little persons we love more than life, you realize it’s not sacrifice, but a great exchange–like handing over an ice cream cone to get a lifetime supply of Blue Bell.

  5. These ladies have all put it so well – I can’t even remember now what I was going to write! Oh yeah, I don’t wear designer clothes because I know they’ll get stained in a matter of days -but who cares?? It’s SO worth all the sacrifices for these little ones.

  6. Well let’s see. 15 week pregnant me is saffrificing my skin to lots of pimples, my body to bloating, discomfort, peeing all the time, eating everything around me, getting fatter (finally) and not being able to find a thing to wear or that fits (maternity clothing is not made for ghetto butt women is it?)

    I may write a pregnancy book now. This is a fun, wonderful, and nutty experience.

  7. Ow wow. This story is so funny. I love it though. Your devotion as a mom is inspiring and that “mommy instinct” in something to admire for sure!

  8. Heh. I don’t shower as much as I used to…yeah, that’s gross, but until baby gets out of newborn mode, it’s hard 😛 Also…I miss putting on makeup and getting all pretty. That doesn’t happen anymore either, LOL. But it’s all worth it! Even if I look like I just rolled out of bed every day.