“Remember to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs.”
That’s the safety protocol on any flight you take. Let’s face it, you aren’t much help in an emergency if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. The same thing applies to parenting. Sure you want your kids to eat healthy, sleep well and exercise, but what about you? Are you taking care of mom?
For a while, I haven’t been taking care of myself. I have just been keeping my head above water. “Just keep swimming” has been my motto. And there are times in our lives when that is all you can do. Seriously. But for those other times, like when I find myself glued to Facebook or watching movies at night— I need to wake up and realize what’s important. And I haven’t, honestly. I’ve escaped to Hollywood or to my friend’s lives on Facebook. Not my own life.
Not anymore. I have taken a break from Facebook and started to run. Started to eat better and started to feel better. I am taking care of myself. And guess what? It feels great! I forgot how good it feels, honestly. I have energy, I feel strong, beautiful and excited to start each day. But I couldn’t do it alone. I needed a person. Someone to push me and motivate me.
A Running Buddy
That’s where Autumn comes into the picture. We met cheering for our 4-year old sons at t-ball and found common ground: our son’s have the same name, play t-ball together, consider Starbucks a sanity saver and we both like to run. Only think was, she was actually doing it though… and I was just thinking about it.
I was ready for that change. So we decided to go for a run together and it was hard— my lungs burned and my legs felt heavy. I left the talking to her while I huffed and puffed along the trail. Few months later, we still run together and take turns talking. I like to say: “we run slow but talk fast.” That’s how it works for us. It’s our outlet in more than one way.
We entered a race
As the distance increased, we finally decided to enter a race. It was a 3.6 mile off-road adventure— dirt trails, treading across rivers, jumping through tires and hurdling over obstacles. It was a run that I needed to do to remind myself who I am. Yes, I’m a caring, involved, and creative mom. But I am also a really strong, determined, passionate woman. I just kinda forgot that about me this past year.
So Autumn and I went to my least favorite store on Earth and bought some cheap shoes to wear for the mud/water/crazy run. I didn’t want to ruin my running shoes, but I would happily ruin $7 Wal-mart shoes. So we rocked our hideous shoes and ran a fun race together. Ryan and the kids cheered for us along the course and it was awesome! Funny how I did this for me, but afterwards I realized I was also doing something for my family. They enjoyed watching me do something I love!
The start line of the race. We were going so fast that Ryan missed us in the frame.
That’s Autumn and I in the middle there (talking of course)— enjoying the beautiful Florida weather before heading out to the ocean to tread through 4 feet of water.
We had to run out to the buoy and come back around… in our running shoes (see why we opted for $7 running shoes?).
Taking Care of Mom ideas:
Have you forgotten what you like to do? Maybe it’s time you found something to help you come alive as a woman again! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Run a 5k race
- Take yoga classes
- Join a reading group
- Sign up for cooking classes
- Join a knitting club
- Organize a mom’s weekend for you and some friends