I know a lot of moms and I know they all struggle with the balance between being “Mom” and being whomever they were before they were “Mom”. Yesterday I was having one of those moments until my husband gave me the greatest gift….he let me go for a run by myself. I get this every once in awhile and it really helps me to stop feeling like I only live to serve these two little boys.
My latest struggle with this concept of mom vs. me has been a product of the weather. It has regularly been in the upper 80s and low 90s here for the past few weeks and reaching this temp by 10am, if not earlier. My kids are late sleepers. The earliest we are up is 7am, whereas I know a lot of families are rising around 530am. Therefore, by the time everyone is changed, breakfasted, pottied, and ready to go out for a run or walk in the morning, we are now at scorching temperatures. This is not conducive to any of us and therefore the walk or run has been put off until late in the day or abandoned all together.
Yesterday this was really getting to me. It was library day and I think it’s good practice to take the kids to at least one activity each week to get them out of the house and around other kids. However, I knew that it was going to be really hot yesterday and I hadn’t gone for a run or walk the day before. I hate skipping days and I dreaded waiting until evening as there was a chance of rain. Plus, it always puts dinner late and then I feel like I’m taking kids straight from the table to bed. So, I sucked it up and we went to the library anyway. I felt a little cheated. I started to feel like I was going to be short with the kids if they were noisy or asked for things. I took some mental notes about my mood and remembered that I signed on for this by choosing to stay home with the kids.
(A little side note. I realize that moms that work face a whole different set of challenges than what I face. I can’t imagine the fortitude it takes every day to leave your children in the care of others in pursuit of your career. I often wish I would be able to do the same, but have chosen this route as what is best for OUR FAMILY, not EVERY FAMILY. )
On top of it all I was thinking about the fact that I had committed to signing the oldest up for some more activities as he is currently doing a preschool online curriculum at home and craves learning. We will be doing all kinds of preschool experiences staring this next month and that means a whole lot more mornings devoted to the kids and less to my training. So, I started to think about how feasible it would be for me to be up at 6am to run without the kids and then be ready to tackle the day ahead and not to worry about the weather and schedules etc. But honestly, my youngest is still getting up two or three times a night and I am exhausted at 6am. I don’t think it would be a wise decision.
I started looking through my notes at the point for this quote I’d found in the Amy Weintraub book before I had to return it (I didn’t get to finish it and I will check it out again this fall when I start to travel again). It said, “….break your heart no longer. Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart. ~Swami Kripalu” If you don’t know much about Kripalu you can check it out here. (I like to link not to the selling page of organizations so you can actually find out what they’re about instead of how they want your money.) But the quote was important because I was starting to get down on myself for wanting time for myself.
Then, my husband came home from work and the kids were napping and he told me to go out for my run. It was hot….too hot really, but I went and I let my head clear and I let the judgement fall away. I thought about how it’s funny that when I run I can actually understand more clearly the lyrics to some of my favorite songs. I thought about some more ideas for topics to write about here later this week. I thought about how I want to frame my thoughts on my life. And the answer to the last one is the following:
I am me.
I will always be me before I am any other title and after I am that title.
I am not a competitive athlete, so if I miss a day; I miss a day.
I love what I do and how I do it.
I do not need to judge myself against anyone or any ideal.
Life is what it is and right now it’s pretty darn good.
My run was a good one for most of the run, despite the heat. I felt the dizzy coming on and I walked a little coming in around 9:12/mile for 3.14 miles. I got to take a shower without rushing and I faced the rest of my evening with a positive perspective. It is ungodly hot again today and this morning I took the kids to sign up for more activities. We played UNO and did laundry and didn’t run or walk. I may still take them out this evening as my husband is making dinner tonight, but if it doesn’t happen today, I won’t feel like I’ve lost anything. I am getting to where I want to be, breathing freely, and enjoying the ride.