Mama Aspirations and Criticisms

by Heidi on November 19, 2012

Last week, after I blogged about wanting to run marathon number five next year (which I kind of forgot about since but after being sidelined earlier last week by my Physical Therapist, it hasn’t been on the forefront of my mind), I posted the same question on my facebook page. Not so much a question rather, but a statement. And a friend of mine responded and I was kind of bummed by her comment:

Oh, sweetie — do you really think you will have time to train? Maybe if you have a nanny and don’t nurse! Otherwise, I would love to know the secret of post-baby moms who can find time to train (and aren’t rich celebrities). I am trying to train for a 10k and it is next to impossible.

Here’s the thing, my aspirations of being a working mother who is in shape and also involved in the community may be just that, aspirations. I don’t know how life is going to be and I imagine it’s not going to be nearly as easy as I like to think. But regardless, my passion for running and the community are not going to be pushed too far to the wayside after Baby Schmidt is born.

I want to be a good influence to my son. I know that when I wasn’t prioritizing my health and general well being, it was not only detrimental to myself as a person, but also to my marriage. When you don’t care about yourself, you stop caring about those around you – a lesson I  learned the hard way. And I want to be a good influence on little boy Schmidt as far as caring about his health, and I want to be a good mother – I don’t think that it has to be one or the other. I do believe it can be both.

As a soon to be mama, I really hope to keep those priorities – obviously realigned – but with the support of the husband I like to think that getting out for 30 minutes even if at the end of the day, is so super unrealistic (it might be harder than I think, but I don’t know that yet). I don’t see how on the weekends, I can’t leave baby with Adam while I go for a long run or better yet, we go for a long run together with the baby in the jogging stroller we inherited.

I’ve read some amazing bloggers – who granted, (most who seem to be full-time bloggers – how do I get me one of those gigs? Hint self, perhaps make more time to blog no?) and who seem to find time to work out. Caitlin wrote a great post on life/work balances that really hit a chord with me, also I read this great post from (never)homemaker about being a running mama.

When other mothers or soon-to-be mothers say something about setting personal goals, why would you want to knock them down or otherwise scoff at their statements. This is one thing that hugely bothers me about the whole “mommy blogger” crowd, excuse me, not even just mommy bloggers, but mommy’s in general – why are women/mothers so critical of one another? 

Listen, I know I have a few months to go before baby Schmidt is in the world, and I’m not oblivious to how difficult it will be to raise baby without the support of our families nearby (as many of my cousins and friends have been blessed with) but Adam and I are a team, and he supports my goals and we’re going to work together to support one another.

Ultimately, me making time for running and/or yoga is my way of ensuring that I maintain a certain level of mental health.

Setting goals, and teaching baby Schmidt the importance of being healthy in every way possible and to set big goals for himself is beyond important to me. And if that means I don’t get 30-45 minutes to watch television or if the dishes don’t get done for a night, well then I’m okay with that. Life isn’t going to be perfect or peachy I’m certain but teamwork with the husband goes a long way and I’m certain that even if marathon #5 doesn’t happen next year, it will happen in the next couple of years. Do I think I’ll be running the Zooma Half in June? No. Am I bummed? OMG Yes. Will I be running the Army Ten Miler in October? I hope so. And I’ll definitely be toeing the line at the Annapolis Half in December 2013.

How do you prioritize yourself? If you’re a mother, weigh in and share your thoughts on how you find time for “you time.”

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  • kell

    I have three kids and here’s what I know to be true: you make time for yourself a priority, you make sure your partner knows that time to yourself is a priority (ditto for him). You realize that life with a child is hectic and crazy and you have to roll with it so sometimes you get 20 minutes, sometimes you get a few hours. Beyond that? Do what works for your family. It may not work for every family, but as long as it works for yours, who cares?

    As for the critical aspect of motherhood…it calms down after everyone has had their second kid and the pressure (by what or who…no idea) to produce a prodigy who sleeps through the night at four weeks, potty trained by 11 months, speaking in full sentences by 18 months, reading at a Kindergarten level by age 3 has abated. Usually. I’m learning that, for some parents, it never ceases to be a competition. Don’t rely on those people.

  • J W

    I’m glad that you’re stating now that you plan to make time for yourself a priority. TOo often, I see women who totally had it together before the baby just stop doing EVERYTHING because they will only do for the baby. They let themselves go and stop doing what they used to because they think they can’t leave the baby for 30 minutes. I hope you can stick with your plan and do something every day for yourself, whether it’s actual exrecise or just sitting down without a baby in your arms!!

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