I started running a couple years back because I had to do SOMEthing. I couldn’t sit around anymore. I didn’t want my kids to see me so blah. I reached that point in parenthood where you start questioning what happened to yourself. I didn’t know what I liked anymore. I didn’t really know anything other than Feed Baby, Change Baby, Bring Child to Bus Stop, Make Dinner, etc… it was time. When my sister-in-law asked me to run a 1/2 marathon with her, I laughed so hard…I think I even did a spit take right in her face! She is a physically fit specimen…played soccer her whole life. Joined a women’s rugby team. She is in constant motion. At that point in my life, I was a slug. The very thought of running 13.1 miles in a row was so foreign to me I let it flow right out the ear it came in on.
But, guess what? A little of that thought stuck with me and I started running… and I ran a little more. Then more. Then last year I ran my first 1/2 marathon! It really feels good to run. It has helped me find myself again. And in the process, I think it has helped me be a better mom for my family. Here’s why:
1. My kids see that being physically fit is an easy thing to do. You just have to run… that’s what they do best!
2. I can escape just long enough to miss being with them. I get a small break – freedom- from being a caregiver. I can run as fast or as slow as I want. I don’t have to abide by anyone else’s whims.
3. I can listen to music with swears in it. That makes me happy. Well, not necessarily the swears, but the fact that it’s not the Bubble Guppies theme song…again.
4. I do my long runs on Sundays which forces me to go to sleep at a decent hour on Saturday nights. I don’t have “just one more” Mike’s Hard Lemonade because I don’t want to be dehydrated for my run the next morning. Bonus: That not only saves my waistline, but it saves money for the family!
5. My 7 year old daughter decided that if I can do it, so can she. She signed up and ran a 5K last month. She did great! She even got a medal for “1st Place Woman in the 12 and Under Category.” I was so proud of her…all the pictures of her crossing the finish line are beautiful . The ones of me are terrible because I’m bawling my eyes out with pride.
6. Running has given me much more energy. It’s much easier to deal with kids when you have energy. Especially the little ones…they never ever stop.
7. It also helps with my 3 year old son’s seperation anxiety. He knows I’ll be gone for a bit, but I’ll be back. I’ll be sweaty, but I’ll be back.
8. Most importantly, running makes me happy. It gives me a pride in myself that I never really had before. I think showing my kids that I’m happy is a good thing.
I never thought I could do it. I never thought when my sis-in-law asked me about that race that I could seriously do it. But I was wrong. I am more than just some kids’ mom. I am me and I can run.