Friday, April 22, 2016

Being everything to everyone - including yourself.

Sometimes I'm a better mother.  Sometimes I'm a better wife (rare lately).  Sometimes I'm a better housewife (again, rare lately).  Sometimes I'm a better version of me and taking significant chunks of time for myself and my running.  Sometimes I'm a better co-worker at the office or running coach.
Don't we all try to be Super Mom?  I know I do.  I try to fill my day with all the good stuff that makes my family happy.  Making them happy makes me happy.  I plan ahead.  I work things into my day that need to be there.

And now I'm learning to work things OUT of my day that don't need to be there.  Learning to say NO.  Saying NO is hard.  I want to be everywhere.  I want to be everything to everyone.  Including myself.  I want to be everywhere when people need me.  Being there when I THINK that people need me, but maybe they don't. 
I've tried to limit my coaching schedule this season because of life changing events.  But, I've still managed to take on double what I initially committed to.  I love sharing my passion with others (primarily women, mothers and small children).  My plate is unfortunately full and I'm having to say no to extra commitments and say no to things that don't help me find my family's balance.  It's hard.  Saying no to opportunities is hard.  It means that a lot of positive things are coming my way and I don't want to let people down. 
I have an extreme fear of missing out.  I see post after post of friends running races or running twenty miles.  I ran a half marathon this past weekend.  I finished ten minutes slower than my pre-baby pace.  I was not fast, but I did it.  And I did it less than four months after I had my third child.  At least I have a starting point for the year and for this new life as a family of five (plus one crazy dog).
I told my husband this morning that I feel like I am being a hypocrite.  I'm not doing what I preach.  Telling everyone to fit in time for themselves.  I'm not pulling off two to three hours of running before sunrise.  Not focusing on speed.  I'm not running with my husband every free moment when my older two are at their dads.  Now I have a little one at home that I miss tremendously when I'm not with her.  I have to be fine with running a few miles when I can.  I'm still making time for myself and my training - just not as much of it.  As I said in a previous post, sometimes the running just fits into your life and your schedule differently from year to year.  Life isn't always the same.
Am I being hypocritical?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe I'm just showing my clients and readers that I struggle with the same things that they do.  Maybe other women identify with me.
So, I'm saying no to things.
But, I'm also saying yes. 
I'm saying yes to volunteering at my sons's school every Friday morning and having lunch with him.  I'm giving him something to look forward to during his school day.  I'm getting to know his teacher and his classmates and helping out where needed. 
I've also starting a mother/son book club with him and piling into my bed most nights to read chapters aloud with him and the baby.  These quiet moments and the endless cuddles mean more than anything.
I'm texting my daughter out of the blue to tell her how proud I am of her quite often.  Then she asks me what's wrong.  Nothing.  You are just a good kid and I'm proud of the amazing young woman she is becoming at twelve years old.
I'm trying to shut off the electronic devices while I interact with my little one.  I'm taking breaks to read her books.  Instead of running errands around town (like I did with the older two), I'm staying home a little more and making sure that she gets in the nap that she needs. 
I've turned off all notifications on my phone while I'm at work so that I can focus on returning to work and what's expected of me.  I try checking for emergencies and reply only in case of an urgent issue.  I'm using my time pumping and on the bus to respond to messages and read books.
I'm doing most of my own runs with our dog.  This makes him happy, gets out his energy and we both get exercise.
I'm staying committed to keeping Thursday evenings free for my husband and my little one.  No commitments.  Just us.  Last night, instead of getting things done around the house, we went to bed at 8pm while I read and we cuddled.  Lights out by 8:30.  Recharging and rest was just what we needed.
And for me ... I'm just trying to cut myself some slack.  Make sometime for myself everyday.  Whether it's running a couple miles.  Crossing a few things off of my to do list.  Reading a few pages in a book before I fall asleep from exhaustion. 
My life is full.  My life is full of commitments and obstacles.  It's full of really, really good things, too.  I'm grateful that there are dishes to put away because we had food to eat and enjoyed a family meal around our dinner table.  I'm thankful that my kids are eager to follow their passions and that I have to drive them around town to rehearsal and practice.  I'm happy that I have a great partner in life that is willing to help share the household responsibilities, vacuum up all of that dog hair and scrub the toilets for me.


  1. Hi I have been following your blog from the beginning. I love your honesty. As women we often feel like we have to have it all. I am slowly realizing that having it all means I loose - sounds like you figured this out early. Enjoy your life in the season you are in now. Thanks for being honest.