It’s Mardi Gras time, y’all!
I know all of you Louisiana moms just caught your breath after the whirlwind of online shopping, Christmas merriment, and family obligations that is the holiday season. And the thought of diving headfirst into another holiday makes you want to curl up into the fetal position and ugly cry. Or maybe you don’t even have the energy to leave the ugly-crying fetal position you’ve been in since January 1st. I get it. I feel you.
But Mardi Gras season is different.
Mardi Gras doesn’t want you to spend a bunch of money on gifts for other people or force your children to wear itchy sweaters and take pictures with old men. Mardi Gras just wants you to laissez les bons temps rouler.
I mean, can we take a moment to appreciate that we live in a state that throws a fifty-day party and demands that you celebrate? And, it’s not a suggestion like “You can let the good times roll if you want.” Nope. It’s “Let the good times roll!” (#doit) Your kids get a week off from school, and there are numerous parades and balls to fit anyone’s schedule.
Nothing can keep you from the party.
Mardi Gras season even conveniently takes place during the only part of the year that Louisiana’s outside temperature is inhabitable for humans. Then, to guarantee that you will live up to the name of the party, there are giant, icing-soaked cinnamon rolls with a built-in mechanism for recurring feedings (i.e. the baby) available at all hours of the day.
I lived outside of Louisiana for a decade and had to endure the cold, depressing wasteland that is the period between New Year’s and Easter. For ten long years, the only distractions I had to look forward to were the possibility of a chocolate heart and a day that forced me to wear green. This is not okay, rest of the country. At the end of my hiatus, I came back to my hometown ready to party, only to find myself pregnant or chasing a toddler for the next six years.
This year, it is finally time for me to laissez les bons temps rouler, and I am taking advantage of everything this holiday has to offer.
Since early January, a day hasn’t gone by without a King Cake on my kitchen counter, and I plan on attending a King Cake tasting party in a couple of weeks to help me prepare for next year’s feast. I have three parades on my calendar, one for me (because we all know the Spanish Town parade is waaaay more fun without having to explain what “hiney-sight” means to your kids) and two with my family (because it’s the only time of the year that day drinking in public with your kids is acceptable). Not to mention, it’s like a free trip to Chuck E. Cheese when you take your kids to a parade. Without purchasing tokens or counting a single ticket, your kids are entertained and come home exhausted with a bag full of junk.
I recently attended a ball that necessitated I engage in all sorts of frivolous, self-care activities to prepare for said ball. I had a reason to buy a gorgeous dress, get my hair and nails done and book a hotel room. Mardi Gras wants me to look pretty and spend time with my husband. Mardi Gras is looking out for me.
It’s time to stop viewing Mardi Gras as just another holiday that requires more time and energy out of us already exhausted moms and start seeing it as a chance for us to actually enjoy ourselves for once. I grew up watching my parents have a great time with friends and family, and it has encouraged me to find my own balance in adulthood. I want my kids to see that adult life can and should be fun. And what better way to embrace that mentality than to celebrate Mardi Gras?