Moms Kick Butts Nov. 18

When the kids were infants our baby monitor was always picking up cordless phone conversations. One afternoon I remember having both hands full managing a jar of Stage II carrots when I heard a mom of three from a street over on the baby monitor telling a friend: “I’m putting these kids down for naps and then getting myself a cigarette!” Although I’ve never smoked, I silently empathized, “I hear you, sister.”

Every mom has looked for a fix of some sort to cope, but there are plenty of benign options without resorting to smoking.  The American Cancer Society’s 35th Great American Smoke Out is November 18, and  it’s your excuse to join millions of other smokers in wriggling free of  a deadly habit.

Any parent who smokes has to be aware of the burden smoke places on her children such as asthma, infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, and ear infections (hell-oo, co-pays). This is to say nothing of the additional health risks to the smoker herself,. No matter how comforting a cigarette might seem, the price is just too great.

*One mom I know who has been married over 20 years swears the year her husband quit smoking was almost the end of their marriage. Many times he was so jittery and unpleasant that she says she almost wished he would exile himself to the patio with a cigarette. Fortunately, they’ve made it through him quitting and now he’s accusing her of hormonal mood swings. (Upon review, was the problem the nicotine withdrawal or is he just a cranky guy?).

*At a holiday party last year, one mom confided that she hides a pack of cigarettes in the freezer for “emergencies.” We had a laugh over this, since this mom appeared to have her lovely household and personal appearance well in hand. However, like my former neighbor, she has those moments when she craves something to help her cope. I wonder, why can’t we just designate chocolate as the modern Mother’s Little Helper? The only danger is to the family dog IF he can get into it.

*Have you ever known a true smoker who doesn’t wish she could quit? Most smokers seem to feel enslaved to their habit and truly want to stop. Isn’t it counterintitive to clip coupons or complain about  saving for college with a cigarette in one hand? Calculate your cigarette costs and see if you’re not shocked – shocked! – at how many massages or pairs of shoes you could be enjoying.

So if it’s any encouragement, think of the Smoke Out as your opportunity to quit with the support of millions . Download desktop helpers and review the tools to support your effort. If you’re cranky during your personal Smoke Out, we’re happy to overlook it.