I Ain’t No Mardi Gras Mama

As a child in South Louisiana, my family didn’t Mardi Gras too much. We usually went to one parade besides our shoe-box-float school parade. We picked up some boudin, drank some Coke, and ate some king cake. C’est tout fini.

As I entered into young adulthood, ERRRRRRYBODY LOOOOOOVED Mardi Gras. They were naked wasted at any parade they could get to, and whatever boudin or king cake was consumed was guaranteed to be found puked into a puddle on the side of the road somewhere in Acadiana.


And I just. didn’t. get it. (Did I mention that I have been the MawMaw of my friend group for as long as I can remember?)

I don’t enjoy Mardi Gras.

Does that mean I will have my Cadienne card revoked? idk

I don’t like the drunkenness. I don’t like the gluttony. I don’t like the crowds. I don’t like the smells. *Gag* I don’t like the late nights. I don’t like the loudness. I don’t like getting smacked in the face with throws.

It isn’t my thing. My 85 year old soul can’t hang.

And now that I have children of my own, my MG anxiety has skyrocketed.

Worries now include: someone stealing my child (honestly, this is ALWAYS in the back of my mind anytime we are in public), damaging my child’s hearing, hydration levels, blood sugar levels, potty availability, hand sanitizer availability, sunburn/sunscreen, hat/no hat, body temperature levels (do you need a jacket? will my child have a heat stroke with said jacket on?), WTH are we gonna do with all this CRAP we caught?!?!?!?!?!

It isn’t fun.

Now, my husband is my opposite. He enjoys him some Mardi Gras, and looked forward to going to a parade with a kiddo on his shoulders hollering “THROW ME SOMETHING MISTER!!!” from the time we were newlyweds. And his goal each year is to catch an even bigger haul than the previous year. #goalz My kids are lucky to have a Fun Daddy who can counter their Fuddy Duddy Mommy. He hauls out the wagon, packs the ice chest, drags the kids around in said wagon, and rigs up some sort of “bead transport system” to make getting back to the car easier.

If Mama had her way, we would be OUTTA HERE every Mardi Gras and come back once the streets are cleaned and Lent has begun. But that isn’t realistic, and my kids LOVE Mardi Gras like their Daddy. So this Mama copes by making sure she has her Mardi Gras essentials: boudin, king cake, and LaCroix; and then says a lil prayer to Mama Mary to watch over the revelry. Sometimes you gotta put a smile on your face and fake the fun so your family can enjoy one of their favorite holidays.

It is only once a year.

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


  1. Gotta celebrate that southern culture and put on your smile. It’s nice to see another mom honest about not enjoying the crowds, and the noise, etc. It is however a very nice part of our culture and it brings the state and cities a lot of revenue and tourism. So my feeling is we should do out best to participate in Mardi Gras even if we don’t feel like it. Thank you for the article!

    • Absolutely! It is such a culturally relevant holiday, and when I was away from it for several years, I did miss it. We always attend at least one parade, and my kids thoroughly enjoy it!


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