Tag Archives: parenting

Running For My Life by Cindy

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.


A Tiny White Flag by Siobhan Carroll

Pina Pie

Ah, the mommy wars. The only sure thing I can tell you about motherhood is that half the time you won’t really know what you’re doing, and the entire time someone will be there to criticize you for it. The latest person to wade into the morass is Erica Jong, via a Wall Street Journal piece published this week entitled “Motherhood Madness”. I get where Jong is coming from: there is extraordinary pressure exerted upon mothers as a whole and working mothers in particular these days. But here’s a revolutionary thought- why don’t we stop sniping at each other and work together to alleviate it?

Jong takes aim at the attachment theory of parenting. You know, the one with the family bed and the breastfeeding until the child weans herself. I think it’s crazy. Have you ever slept with a two-year old? I imagine that when a mongoose attacks a cobra there is less thrashing about. But it is none of my goddamn business how you choose to raise your child. You feed him, you keep him moderately clean, he manages to learn his ABCs at some point- how you get choose to skin that cat is up to you. My unscientific estimate is that 98% of the time the kid’ll be fine. So why do we have to be catty and mean? In a recent internet meme, a video entitled “Why I Don’t Have Mom Friends” made the rounds on Facebook. Its hilarity is rooted in the bizarre sense of competition amongst mothers these days, and its popularity in how widely that experience is shared.

I’m rambling and I know it- but I have a point. Imagine if instead of bickering with each other about the safety of vaccines, mothers banded together and demanded a long-term, objective and thorough study untainted by pharmaceutical dollars in order to have a definitive answer. Imagine if women nationwide went on strike until a national maternity leave and breastfeeding at work policy were put into effect. (Don’t get me started on that half-measure called FMLA. Mostly because I’m saving it for another post). Imagine if we mandated and funded pre-school for all children. Imagine if instead of arguing the finer points of when life begins we recognized that there are thousands of children born into poverty every year and did something about that. Imagine if lactation consultant visits were covered by insurance and mandated by law. I could go on, but I’m concerned Yoko Ono will come after me for royalties.

We deserve better. We each deserve to make our own choices as parents. We deserve a social foundation that allows for the best possible start in life for our children. We are an economic and social force to be reckoned with. Why we continue to fight with each other and not for each other is beyond me.

The gorgeous thing about Jong’s piece is the complementary essay by her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast. After acknowledging her mother’s strengths and foibles, she ends by writing “My mother made sacrifices so I could have choices, and perhaps that makes her a better mother than I will ever be.”

And perhaps we should be doing the same for each other, in order to be better mothers all.