Wednesday, October 29, 2014


As a runner I struggle all the time.  Every day I question myself in some way.  Are you good enough? Are you strong enough?  Is this what you really want?  Is it worth it?  Can you do it any differently?  Can you do it better?  Do you need a break?  Are you having fun?  The list goes on and on.  And, I suppose, in a way, the questions....having them, asking them, answering them....are what help me keep at it day in and day out.  This week I am struggling a little bit with parenting.  And I find myself asking the same exact questions.  Sure, they are more specific to my role as a mom, but the information I am seeking is very similar.  It's almost spooky.  (sorry, Halloween is on the brain).  My girls are amazing.  I love them more than anything.  They make me laugh, a lot.  They keep me guessing all the time.  And most importantly, they force me to push myself to be a better person every single day.  Sometimes, this is hard.  REALLY hard.  They continuously challenge me in these crazy 7 and 9 year old ways.  They're savvy without even realizing it.  Well, actually, my 7 year old probably does realize it.  Sometimes, I find, I don't really want to be a better person.  I really just want to sit in the corner and fume.  In a nutshell, my older daughter struggles academically but could make friends with a tree.  My younger daughter is smart as a whip but won't go anywhere without me and has a really hard time with change.  I won't go into the details here.  If you are a mom, you already know.  If you work with kids, you get it.  If you don't have kids but you've seen a mom in full deal mode, you likely understand.  If you are a kid yourself, well, you're living it.  Last night, I was trying to help my older daughter with her homework, never a good thing, and we were both almost driven to tears.  Meanwhile, my younger daughter was bouncing around the kitchen, begging for my attention which I couldn't give her because I was focusing on her sister.  My husband was out of town.  I was slowly unraveling.  We all kind of were.  We sat down to eat and my older daughter could sense that something was up with me.   Here's how our conversation played out:

Rosie: Mom, are you okay?
Me: Yea, Rosie.  Thanks for asking.
Rosie: Why aren't you talking?
Me: I just have a lot on my mind.
Grace: But you're just eating.  Isn't that all you have to think about?  (what did I tell you?)
----> No response from me here, though I might have rolled my eyes at Grace.  I could tell that Rosie wasn't ready to be done with the conversation.
Rosie: What's on your mind?
Me: To be honest, Rose. I'm just frustrated.  I want to be able to help you with your work and I can tell that it's making you upset and I don't really know what to do.  
Rosie: Me neither.
----> Insert AHA! moment when I realize that she might actually be feeling the same way I do.
Grace: Mom, if I eat half of my cucumber and half of my pepper then I've eaten one whole veg.  So, I'm good to go, right?
Me: Really, Grace?
Rosie: Mom?
Me: Yea, Rose?
Rosie: What's for dessert?

In the end, we all moved on to dessert.  We needed a shift and we were all craving something sweet.  I went out to walk the dogs in an attempt to unwind a bit.  My mind was on overdrive.  And I found myself asking - in Rosie's case - what can I do differently, how can I make learning more fun for her and less painful for both of us, how can I find the patience to help her, and in Grace's case - WTH??  Yes, these are my mom issues at the moment, and I am fully aware that they are not big ones.  It's all relative.  But, lately I've felt as though I'm kind of treading water.  I'm trying to work through it, but I'm never really making it up to the surface.  As a mom, I'm wondering if you ever really do break through.  Or maybe, we just have a lot of little mini breakthroughs but the pool is just so damn big.  In reality, it's probably not supposed to be easy.  What would be the fun in that?  Maybe the challenge is the whole point.  Much like running.  At least for me.  And as a mom, and a runner, I'm learning that a little bit of crazy is not such a bad thing.

Listen to this:
Baby Don't Lie - Gwen Stefani  

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