Motherhood can be exhausting. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Children take a lot from their caregivers and a higher rate than what they put in. One can only take so many cute dimpled smiles while being tugged at, whined at, climbed on and such. Everyone, but mothers especially, need to find what fuels them and take time to fill up on that.
I have several fuels. I love to plan events, be with people and write. I always come home from time away with my girlfriends so energized and ready to be a better mom. However, weekend jaunts to great locales with my closest friends are really not in the budget. I also have to make sure that in filling myself up that I am not draining from my family, especially my husband. So for me that fuel has become running.
I have always enjoyed running and have been doing it since I was a teen. Now that I’m a mother runner, I need to run like some people need to read or keep up with Downton Abbey. Running has become a mental lifeline for me. My husband and family are learning that if they can give me just 30 minutes every other day to get a run in, I’m happier. And everyone knows that a happy moms means a happy home.
This winter has seemed especially dark and long. I’m on day four of a new training routine that has me missing the witching hour only once and having to run with the double stroller only once. I am so pumped and happy my husband thought that I had changed meds.** Really. It has done so much to improve my mood and feelings of “having it together.”
Now I know not everyone is a runner, or an exerciser for that matter. I am hoping that you haven’t tuned me out already. I used to feel so guilty about leaving for runs. Especially when I was out for longer runs where I would be gone for 2-3 hours running and would need to stretch, eat and shower when I got home. However I, and more importantly, my husband, have learned that the oxygen mask analogy is true. If mom isn’t getting the oxygen she needs, whatever that may be, she can’t possibly take care of anyone or anything else. It may not be running, or exercise. It’s not for my husband and no amount of cajoling or pressuring can make it a fuel for him. It’s always a drain. What it is doesn’t matter, just that you find it, have one and feed it. Feed the flames of that fuel now.
Motherhood is all consuming, but it’s a fast moving fire. Before you know it, those all engulfing flames will die down as the children are off at school and beyond. By finding, nurturing and feeding that fuel now not only will you feel better, but you will be teaching your children that they have to take care of themselves too.
Find your fuel mama and feed it.
**Yes, I’m a medicated mama. Maybe I’ll elaborate on that sometime. What you may not know if you or someone you are close to is not medicated, is that meds that help regulate chemical imbalances frequently have to be altered or changed due to hormones, time and weight fluctuations. I can joke about it, but it’s serious and I always do it with and under the guidance of my physician.
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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