I don’t do a lot for myself. It’s not a secret nor is it a martyr thing: but with a long list of things that must get done each day, I often have to put myself on the back burner for me time and novelties.
It is just for this season, and I know it. Nine times out of ten when the option is to play or read with my kids or leave them to their own devices and read a book, I’m going to be there with my kids if that is what they want. Because let’s be honest, the years, days, of them wanting to play with their momma are dwindling fast. I’ve got way more years of good book reading.
I really like being with my kids. I just genuinely enjoy being around these tiny people I created. They drive me straight up bat shit crazy sometimes and I start thinking my theme song is “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind/ up in here/” but regardless, as tiresome, exasperating, and absolutely demanding as they can be at times, I still want to be around these people because I like them so damn much.
And because I’m a daughter too. I know that the time I have with my children will be gone pretty much tomorrow.
Y’all know this too. I’m not insinuating you don’t. I get a lot of grief sometimes for how much I genuinely enjoy my kids. My lack of desire or countdown to send them to school, camp, college, you name it. It always leaves me feeling like there must be something wrong with me because I enjoy them so much, even on the hard days.
But I also know that I’m important as well. And although my tiny humans are the center of my universe right now, I don’t want them to always know that, because although they may be the center of my world, they are not in fact the center of the world. And I never want them to forget that. Plus, their momma is a strong, intelligent woman who sometimes has to do things for herself, even if it is hard.
I don’t love going to the gym. You’ll rarely find me there. But I do like challenging myself. How strong can I be?
My kids watch me exercise at home. And I push them in the stroller while I run/walk and we bike together and hike together. And it’s all the same and fun to them. Not work.
Plus, I need it to be fun. I don’t have time in my life to spend doing things that are not fun and enjoyable and rewarding to myself.
So I took the time I needed to train for a half marathon. Some days it was hard. I don’t like leaving my kiddos with other people and dropping my boys off in the gym’s daycare went against everything in my core, but I knew it was for a short while and we’d all survive.
The end result was that I ran the Rock ‘N Roll marathon yesterday in St. Louis. I didn’t come in first. It wasn’t even a goal I entertained. But I finished it. And in less time than I’d hoped for, so that was a good feeling.
For the weekend, my kids had to drive four hours one way so that for once, their momma could do something for herself.
And I’m so grateful they were so fantastic about it. They were delighted to see me after I finished, and Miss H wants to run a 5k with me now.
Not because she worries about exercise or what her body looks like, but because she wants to be “strong and fast” like her momma. We will let her think I’m fast for a while longer. Eventually she will know the truth.
But that, my friends, I call a success. What time I did demand for myself became something very positive for my children. And it was for them, after all. And myself. Because I wanted that 13.1 sticker on my mini van.
Next, I want that 26.2 sticker…