- Full time employee
- Nurse (in all senses of being a part of mom duty)
I’m over caffeinated, over scheduled, over committed, sleep deprived, anxious. I can’t recall the last time I DIDN’T say in a day, “Wash your hands you just picked your nose”. “What is that on the wall”, “If I had a nickel for every dish I picked up”, I’m a mom. Every mom who just read this can relate. Especially if you’ve ever had a little boy. But we’ll get more into that some other time. I’m sure you’re wondering what the list is about. Moms have a lot of jobs on a daily basis. Sometimes from minute to minute. “Runner”? It’s something I do, sometimes, when I have time. I’m committed to my own health and fitness, but I am more committed to my family.
The usual roller coaster week starts on Sunday. After “church” on Sunday. (That’s what I call Shake Out Sunday at RRC, 10:15 free run) I plan the crap out of the week. Meals, kids’ schedules, a grocery list, my weekly workouts go ON THE CALENDAR with everything else we have to do. (The calendar is law in this house. If you don’t put it in my Google calendar, you can forget about me knowing about it). Then Monday morning hits. It’s pretty much downhill from there with all the time I spent planning. An after school activity gets cancelled, so I pick up one of the kids from school, after work, instead of running as planned. Man-candy got the flu, so instead of that weight workout at the gym, I better go home and make sure he’s not scraping the paint off the house…. “I better scrape paint off the house instead of working out”. “This project is taking FOREVER” (she screams in her head). A kid has a dentist appointment, “Shit I forgot, I can run later for sure”. “It’s football skills night? Damn it”. It was on the calendar. I forgot. Thanks for the 30 minute warning SMART PHONE! I have to write that paper for stress management class, still. Then you realize……
My calendar. Every. Single. Week.
|4:30||Run||Not a chance|
|6:30||Dinner||(if mac and cheese counts)|
|7:30||CTC for E||We were on time!|
|Clean Front Closet||Yeah right|
You tell yourself, “I’ve only missed two work outs, no big deal.” Wednesday is finally here. Work is always stressful. Wednesday we have no activities. Yes! You think you’re going to run. Man-candy, reminds you without your help the house won’t get painted until September at this rate. *hangs head* gets a scraper. So much for that Wednesday run.
It’s now Thursday, work was a bear again, (see what I did there), you’ve picked the kids up from sports, and you finally made a dinner from your meal plan for the week (those carefully planned dinners turn into mac and cheese, and unidentified leftovers pulled from the freezer). You look at everyone at the dinner table and say “I’m running tonight”. The look on their faces sometimes reminds me of those old commercials about using your debit card. Remember those? Everything is running smoothly at the cash register when everyone is using their shiny debit card, then someone pays cash. The world starts to spin off its axis in the commercial! No one knows what to do. It is TOTAL CHAOS. That’s the face they make at me. Like, “how dare you take time for yourself”. In my mind the entire week has gone like that one cash transaction on the commercial. When I finally put my foot down and decide to do something for me, that’s when things feel smooth again.
My kids know when the Garmin gets turned on and the sneakers come out, that in an hour I’ll be like a normal human being again. So that perpetual look of confusion they give me about doing something on MY calendar, for me, doesn’t make sense. When I get back from a good sweat, I’m focused, calm, I have the answers to the world. Or at least for that day. Getting out and taking the time for me, where there is nothing but my breathing – no talking, no phones, not being asked for one. Single. Thing. It centers me. It feels well….like this.
As a mom or any parent we forget the importance of time for ourselves. My kids used to think I was being selfish. But as they have gotten older they realize the time for me makes our home happier. I yell less, I don’t blow things out of proportion, and I’m a better mom. And I’m a better partner to Mancandy. I feel less taken for granted when I can meet my own needs once in a while. As mothers, we let perfection consume us. I am not perfect, and have learned I can be dedicated to more than just my family. They are always first as you can tell by my rant. But I have my own goals. Sometimes I have to adjust my goals. But there has to be time for me, if I am going to be the best mom I can be. Running brings me that. I am less crazy (it’s true, keep laughing).
Coffee, smart-assery, and a little time for me, that’s how I power through the week. There’s no formula for a mom to get a run in when she wants or needs to. Rest assured, you are not being selfish if you hire a babysitter (I have a great 15 year old, first aid certified) so you can take 30 minutes for yourself, or tell your partner, when a kid is sick “I need a break”, and leave them in charge of the vomit for thirty minutes. Your child and partner will both live. I swear. We as moms need to learn self-care. It makes us better parents. If running brings you that calm, please do it. Your family will eventually understand.
In order for me to be the best I can be I will…
Just keep running.