Monday, February 25, 2013

Dance Moms

I am a Dance Mom.

Why when I say this do I feel like I am standing up at a self-help meeting? Maybe it’s because Dance Moms are a lot like attorneys – they both have heavily stereotyped reputations.

Of course it doesn’t help that the extreme ones always get the attention. The crazy greedy attorneys are featured in newspapers or on Court TV, and of course the crazy dance moms get the reality shows. So it's no surprise that people naturally assume what they see is what they get. So normally when I talk about being a Dance Mom, I get “REALLY?” or “Like the ones on TV?”.

Yesterday, I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to get my daughter ready for a dance competition. Somewhere between the eyeliner that makes her look 30 and the dark reddish brown lipstick I can never manage to get cleanly on her small lips…I smiled completely loving the fact that we are on this journey together. Then several hours later when my daughter and her team took 1st AND 2nd place for their junior small group division, the excitement I felt sealed the deal for me.

Yep, I’m a Dance Mom.

My daughter J started dance just before she turned 2. That was the year I started looking for a variety of activities for J to do. Picture if you will a person throwing 100 darts and seeing what sticks. That was J’s life from 2-3. J tried everything under the sun: ice skating, soccer, gymnastics, tumbling, I even enrolled her in a one time pottery class. But after she cried hysterically on the sidelines of the soccer field begging her Dad to get her off the field and announcing to us that “I just wanna dance”… I think we knew what dart stuck with our daughter.

Yep, She’s a Dancer.

Of course this meant that I was recruited to be a Dance Mom. And I have to admit I didn’t think the role would suit me initially. I mean, I can’t dance to save my life, I know nothing about the sport. Second, I can’t do hair to save my life, I can’t sew and I am way too dramatic to deal with disappointment if J doesn’t succeed at something she was passionate about.

But the years passed and J continued to love dance…the 1 half hour class a week grew to 3 classes and hours at the dance studio. So, to quote one of my closest and wisest friend…I had two options with my diva daughter: I could “Jump on the Diva Train or get rolled over by it”.

All aboard the Diva Train!  

My daughter is a competitive dancer. So at the start of the year she became a member of Youth Group Green at her studio. I knew J was ready (I know, I know, I’m biased)…she knows the steps, she is good at remembering dances. I knew she’d be okay. But then there was me. When she started I knew nothing, had no dance Mom friends, knew nothing about how to do anything, and almost had a heart attack to think that I had to put fake eyelashes on my daughter.

But it’s through the course of living the life of a Dance Mom that I have learned why Dance Moms get so involved and crazy about dance...they actually participate in it along with their daughters!  

Now, I don’t mean literally…although me in ballet shoes would be hilarious. What I mean is that Dance is a sport where the mothers have to be extremely involved because they participate in getting their dancer ready to go. It’s here where dance differs from other sports. I mean when my son plays baseball for example, my role is simple…I am the cheerleader. I stand on the sidelines and cheer (probably a little too loud) for my #2. I have no responsibilities, I have no jobs. I just get to sit and watch…they don’t need or want me to do anything.

Dance is not like that. When J signed on to dance, I signed on to not only pay for everything that goes with dance, but to become a makeup artist, hair stylist, and yes even a manager. In between my emails with clients and judges, I find myself sending emails on behalf of my daughter “Yes, she can practice at 11:00 a.m.”, “Let’s get the team cookie bouquets”, “Yes she will take Lyrical, jazz, and tap”.

So I think that is where Dance Moms get their crazy reputation, because anyone who is so involved in something is going to get passionate about it. And passion often appears as craziness for those outside of the “circle”.

So now I’m hooked. The fact that J has 2 hours of dance on Mondays, 3 hours of dance on Wednesday, plus often Saturday and Sunday practices never bothers me because it’s my social time. I get to go and sit and vent, laugh, and talk with my fellow Dance Moms who have become my “crew” and are part of the crazy world. I truly feel like J has her team and I have mine.
I'm a Dance Mom

I now can manage a poof pony and low bun with semi-ease, I have yet to glue my daughter’s eyes shut with the lashes and we are both having a great time.

Yes, I am becoming a functioning Dance Mom.

So, I’m going to proudly announce my member of the Dance Mom club, even with the stereotypes. After being an attorney for almost 10 years I’m used to stereotypes. I’m not the typical attorney, I’m not a typical Dance Mom. I’m just….me!   


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Insert Title Here

As I write this blog post over the remaining time in my lunch hour, in between eating my soup and trying to get my hair to look professional after my 25 minute work out in the gym, I am trying to think of something fabulous to grab your (the reader’s) attention. If I were tech savvy, I would insert an audio file here with LL Cool J’s “Don’t Call it a Comeback.” (Did anyone watch the Grammys?) Or find some awesome graphics that would jump out at you, showing that I am a more awesomer (yes, I just made up that word) mom than I was when we last spoke.
But, I’m just still me. I’d like to think I am older (but not that much older) and wiser…but I am still battling the same challenges as all moms do. Balance between work and home, eating right, getting enough exercise, worrying about my girls, finding “me” time, finding “hubby-wife” time, finding “friend” time.
Luckily, I have this blog (and my fabulous fellow bloggers) to help sort through those challenges. I can’t say that every post will be articulate and insightful, but I will try to make them enjoyable. Because I know that every moment of your day is spoken for…and when you make time to read my post, I hope you come away a little happier.
So welcome back. You have been missed.
Thanks for reading,

Jean Anne

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for a comeback...
I have to admit my fingers are excitedly running across my keyboard as I type this blog entry…

If you followed JD Moms before, you know that last year we decided to take a blog break. We are a blog team, and so when life got crazy for one of us, it was crazy for all of us. I think we all knew the blog wouldn't be the same without all of us involved. So we stopped.

From the moment we stopped blogging, I must say I missed it. I honestly didn't think I would considering I already have so much on my plate. But I never realized how much I used our blog as an avenue to vent. After all a blog is the perfect place to vent…you can talk and talk, complain and complain, and no one interrupts you. Mothers are used to being interrupted. In fact, I’m not sure I have finished a complete sentence in my house since 2006. But with the blog I can write my entry – hit send, and poof….instant (and complete) venting.

I also missed reading the entries of my co-bloggers: hearing the stories that sound so much like my life. It's nice to know when you are living the crazy life of a working Mom that there are others just like you, secretly feeling guilty as you drive through McDonald's for the 3rd time in a week, secretly wondering when to fit in time for a much needed workout. And yes, even secretly wondering how that Mom in the grocery store line manages to walk through calmly with her silent and polite children holding hands, while I  open a bag of still un-purchased goldfish hoping it can stop my toddler from wanting to stand up in the child seat to surf on the cart, while my other two are yelling "Mom he looked at me" and trying to convince me that he'll DIE without the checkout lane toys and candy that raise my grocery bills $10 every trip. Let's just say it's nice to not feel like the only Mom juggling the world.

So during the absence I realized something…JD Moms is a free form of therapy. Therapy that in my crazy world, I desperately need. And so you can imagine my excitement when us girls started talking again about starting it up... 

So let me catch you up  on my favorite blog “topics”, my three kids.  My oldest child, my daughter J, is as divalicious as ever. She is 6 ½ years old (she’d kill me if I didn't throw in the half,) in 1st grade, and still on the go. Between competitive dance, tumbling, and yoga class (yes she does yoga while I snack on a Cheeto breakfast since I had no time to eat this morning). She continues to show me that if I had to, I could easily live in my minivan. I mean why not? I'm already in there ALL THE TIME!!

My middle child, H, has probably made the biggest changes during the blog break, he went from a crazy toddler to a 5 year old laid back, but still funny kid. But the biggest change has been one you mothers of boys may relate to as I am now dealing with the reality that I have gone from being his entire world to just his Mom. H was always a notorious Mama's boy, but now Dad is SO much cooler. Dad = the pitcher of countless baseballs in the front yard, the recorder of WWE wrestling specials, the parent who doesn't flip out if he accidentally burps at the table. Mom is still preferred at the vulnerable moments = the boo boos, colds, and bedtime lullabies  But Dad is the star of the show now.  

And then there’s my baby, my son L. L is coming out of the terrible twos, and yes I have survived without having to turn to psychiatric care. L is growing up before my eyes and talking up a storm. He’s addicted to cars, Lucky Charm marshmallows, and fruit snacks. He has shown me that one can survive eating peas for nearly every meal (thank God for single serve frozen veggie packs). And yes, I have learned my lesson from H and taking in every minute of L's Mama's Boy years! 

For me the comeback couldn't come at a better time…because boy am I need of a comeback. 2013 has not been the best of years so far for me. Nothing catastrophic has happened (knock on wood)…but 2013 has piled on the stress. It really is a whole bunch of little things that piled down. My law firm is relocating, purchasing a new building, gutting it and building a whole new space. Yes for my HGTV-addiction and Pottery Barn-loving self I am super excited…for I love brand new spaces. But for reality this means as a partner I am footing part of the bill…so yes, stress. Then there was the series of mystery injuries the likes of which are blog worthy and so I will save them for another day. Don’t worry we managed to survive with only a “molehill” of medical expenses.

So I’m finding myself entering 2013 in simply a bad mood, a poor attitude…an Eeyore outlook if you will. And that is exactly when a comeback is needed. I’m ready for a change, a new outlook. Bye to the doom and gloom and hello to happy and hopeful! So, I’m taking this blog comeback as a symbolic comeback for me as well…time to turn this year around before it gets worse.

So blog readers, welcome back to the crazy world that is JD Moms. I know I speak for Karen, Jean, and Christine when I say we are very happy to be back and look forward to sharing adventures with you this year!

So buckle up working Moms...let's get started!