John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guilty

If I hear one more time this week, "How do you do it all... I mean, don't your kids suffer?" in regards to my running and training, I think I am going to scream!

Actually, my kids are NOT suffering. Children in Japan after the devastating earthquake are suffering. Homeless children, hungry children, children with out someone to love them ARE suffering.

Just because I am training... A LOT, does NOT mean that I am not giving my kids the attention and love they need. And the judgments that other mothers put on us for taking time for ourselves... NOT COOL!

I am obsessed... I admit it. Guilty as charged there, but my kids are not negatively affected by it. 90% of my workouts are while the kids are in school or when they are sleeping. So, tell me how this is affecting them? Affecting my husband, and house work; maybe, but my children? I do not think so. And are you telling me that working mothers who DO take time away from their children, love them any less?

Sure there have been times that my kids break into tears when I leave for a long run on Saturday morning or ask me, "Can you not run today!" I remember a very clear moment about a year ago where my closed my front door on two crying children staring at my through the glass begging me to stay home. My response, "Mommy needs to run. It makes her a better mommy!"

Any one looking into our life at that exact moment would be thinking... "Ugh, what a selfish mother". But seriously, they missed the 2 hours I spent just before this making their favorite breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes is our Saturday morning norm here) and playing whatever game they asked me to play, which often times is them hanging all over me. Did I purposely devote those 2 hours to them because I knew that I would be leaving for a long workout and they would miss me? ABSOLUTELY. I mean, I could have slept in and crept out of the house without them noticing... but I didn't. I could have thrown laundry in the washer and started my Saturday morning chores, but I didn't. I laid there, squashed on the floor, while my daughter sat on my back and my son tried to stand on her shoulders (yes, we are training for the circus) thinking, boy this floor needs to be vacuumed.

I think a LOT of these guilty comments that other mothers give us is because they are unhappy with their situation. The idea of getting up at 3:30am to get a run in outside before their husband leaves for work sounds insane... yeah... it was pretty insane (only did that 1 time last summer). The idea that fingerprints can remain on doors, and floors can go a day without being cleaned is crazy. The idea of leaving two crying children at the front door while daddy is home is DEMENTED!

But it does make me a better mother. When I return from these workouts (okay, after I shower), I feel relaxed (not just tired) and ready for whatever they throw at me. Have I snuck in a workout with the kids (hey, lets go bike riding and mommy will run and chase you)? Yes! Have I given up runs to be with them? YES! Have I missed races because they had something going on? Of course!

Love that I caught them in a giggle!
I am a mother, who cannot imagine this world without my children. They are the loves of my life. I am so blessed to be given the chance to be their mother, to love them unconditionally. I do not take that for granted!

Oh and by the way: my house is probably cleaner than most of "those" mothers who pass judgement on me... just say'in!

16 comments:

B.o.B. said...

Well said Jen. I don't have kids but I've been given the old, aren't you obsessed and is this taking a priority over other stuff? And blah blah blah. YOU know what is best for YOU and YOUR children. Yes, it's difficult to juggle but I imagine you are a great mom and even better b/c you take care of yourself so that they have you around for a long, long time. :)

Catey said...

I love this post!!! You said this so well. I have started getting this more and more, probably because I have a half a million children. Ok, well, only 8, but most people feel like that's half a million (and truth be told-sometimes it does feel like that). I was admonished again last weekend "be sure you aren't neglecting your children!" Ouch.
It is hard to hear the judgements of others who didn't see that I had two in the stroller and two riding their bikes alongside me while I ran, but only know that I went running and assume that I left my kids to fend for themselves while I did so. Those who think it's mean that I'm taking two kids with me to my Tri this weekend while Daddy stays home with the others-not to get them up early as a punishment, but because they want to be there and I want them to see how fun it is! Having a cheering section vs being there alone doesn't hurt either. :)
I could go on and on, as I'm sure most moms who read this post will be able to as well! I think this is a real sensitive spot for a lot of people, and you tackled it very well!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

amen. that is all.

SupermomE12 said...

Amen! AMen! Amen! To all of it.
I don't understand WHY moms and women in general have to be so dang judgmental of each other. I decided a while ago that I was DONE letting people try to make me feel guilty for my running. 95% of my running is done while my kids are asleep, and the other 5% they are spending time with their Dad. I am setting a good example for them and making myself a better, happier and healthier person. And yes, it seems like the most critical people are those that are unhappy with their bodies or their lives in general... it is easier to say "that is crazy" or "she is doing something wrong" than it is to make a positive change for themselves.
And yup... my house is super clean to.
This is why I love reading other running mom blogs...
Us running moms have to stick together! :)

Gaspegirl said...

I hear ya!! Great post... love it!

Michelle said...

Great post! My husband and I don't have kids yet because I know that I wouldn't be able to devote the time and attention to them as they deserve. Right now we are both just too selfish. I hate when other people butt in with their two cents. You are right in that it usually means they are unhappy with THEIR life or are JEALOUS of yours.

Melissa Cunningham said...

omgoodness!thank you so much for posting this!!!
can i get a big AMEN SISTER!!!!!?
you def hit the nail on the head here. i too,have gotten tons of critisism about the amount i train and still have time to be with 3 small kids...
like you,im up before dawn,or get in a workout while at preschool/school,or even after hours when they are in bed.
heaven forbid daddy watches them for 2 hours on a weekend morning while mommy runs...and usually those 2 hours are spent having tons of fun with dad!
keep on doing what your doing girl,cause i agree 100% with this post...
rock on supermom!!!!!!

My Life and Running said...

People judge whatever the case is. Do what's best for you, best for your family, best for your path. Great post!

cql said...

Great post! I don't have kiddos, but I know running makes me a better (nicer, more patient) wife:)

Rene' said...

Great Post! Amen sister!!!!

*~*~* Tracy said...

Preach it, Sista! The haters are usually people who are miserable with their life and jealous of yours.

I've written a similar post countless times in my head re: homeschooling and fitness. The haters in my life are family members so I've kept quiet, nodded and smiled politely to keep the peace.

~K~ said...

well said!

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Bravo! Say it again!
As a full-time working mom, of 2 very active/driven kiddos I can totally relate to these types of comments. I jump through hoops to fit my workouts in and and around my family's sports/activities schedule. I NEED to do this, not only for myself but for my family. I am a million times better once I've gotten in my "me" time. Besides, being away from your kids for an hour or two isn't going to hurt them!

Richelle said...

Amen!

Laurie said...

Very well said. I agree with every single word!

Janet said...

You are only sharing half the story. Appreciate this post :( Next time sister will keep her mouth shut.