I’m leaving town this week with a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known my entire life, to visit another dear friend of ours whom we’ve known almost as long. We will be traveling to this place called Austin, TX. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s fun! One really cool aspect of my friend going with me is she loves to run as well!
The plan is to definitely get at least one run in, because, how could we not run when it’ll be warm and sunny?! Unlike where we currently live, when my latest long run took place just this past Saturday with a -21 degree Fahrenheit windchill! 🥶
But I’m kind of getting off topic here. Let me circle back. Aside from running, my dear friend and I both have children that keep us very busy. She has two and her youngest is a little younger than my oldest. So while I’m dealing with toddler meltdown mode much of the time, she is dealing with worrying about her children’s appropriate use of social media, or making sure they stay off of potentially threatening apps.
Who am I kidding…I’m also there with my oldest!
Which brings me to my main focus.
Life as a mom who runs…I’m constantly balancing my need and desire to run with my need and desire to spend time with my children and my need, though not so much desire, to get laundry done! I have so much laundry to finish before I leave town. But I’m still running tonight. Sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do-and my happy place is running!
With the stress that happens every single time I prepare to travel, I need to run! The laundry will get done one way or another…and I will get packed and be ready to travel…because I always get it done.
Life as a mom who runs has made me more productive than ever! I get more done in 15 minutes of my day than I did in an 8 hour day before children.
Take this morning. My son was in an especially clingy mood and did not want me to put him down. But I needed to fix my oldest daughter’s hair. So as I’m fixing her hair, he is clinging to my leg, and even trying to wedge his body between me and her! Good thing I do a lot of stretching because as a mother runner I’m flexible and could reach to still fix her hair despite the barricade! 🤪
After this fun incident, I held him on one side of my body while applying eyeliner, because of course he wanted me to hold him and not let go! No joke! So thankful for all those push-ups I do! 😂
This is just a snippet of my experience as a mom, and the real treat is that all three children of mine have insisted that only I can do ‘fill in the blank’ while their dad is good enough to just continue to do whatever it is he may be doing, which sometimes may be a very important Facebook search, as y’all know how important that is! 😆 But this is not for his lack of trying-he tries to be helpful and when the children are willing to not whine about how mom’s attention is THE most necessary, most important type of attention, he is the best partner and so very helpful!
Unfortunately sometimes it’s just easiest for me to handle it-and I do. That’s not to say we let our children walk all over us. There are plenty of times I verbally set them straight and sternly let them know that their dad is perfectly capable of helping them find something, or, in my son’s case, helping them get dressed, and he does, despite the protests otherwise.
That’s the part of parenting that is tough…the part where you have to stand your ground when you just want them to stop being upset, so it’s easy to just give in. I’m especially bad about that with my son. Probably because he’s the youngest! However, I don’t want to raise entitled, lazy jerks, so I try to keep that in mind while parenting! Either way, you really have to pick your battles when trying to rush off to work in the morning.
Which also leads to this point…I am not always physically there for them. I will always BE there for them, but mommy goes and does other things outside the home. I’m not even referring to my day job. I’m referring to the simple idea that I have a life outside of them. Raising them is my most important job, but part of that is teaching them independence and confidence that they can succeed without me. So when I’m gone some evenings to run, for example, and their dad is around, interestingly enough, some stuff they normally rely on me to do, they do on their own. Or, at the very least, they are able to ‘allow’ their dad to help them when I’m not there.
I will be out of town for 4 days, and while my daughters ‘need’ me to do their hair daily for school, I know they will somehow miraculously figure it out on their own-because that’s one area their dad is just not strong in! In addition, I did ask one of their aunts to assist with hair styling for their upcoming father-daughter dance that takes place when I’m away. What can I say? I am also good at delegating, and have figured out the best people to help with all sorts of things related to my children. Though it does help immensely to have wonderful family willing to spend time with them! ☺️
Remember, it does take a village!
As a mother runner I’ve had a better quality of life. The time with my children is that much more wonderful when I’m running regularly. I’m more patient with my children after a run, and I’m setting a good example of living a healthy lifestyle as well as goal setting and the rewards that come from hard work. My middle daughter loves to run with me and really likes to look at my race medals! My oldest has completed 5ks, which is more than I did at the age of 10.
Life as mom is really pretty great. Life as a mother runner is amazing!