I’m on the train headed into work and I’m in a much better mood this morning than I normally am on my 1.5+ hour commute. That’s because I squeezed in a 4 mile run. My hair might be in a soaking wet sock bun and my shirts a wrinkled mess, but I feel great. And I must say these past 2 weeks I’ve been feeling great a lot. The reason? I’ve been making time for me.
I will admit it’s not easy to find “me time” when you have a 4 month old and work full time. But I feel it’s a necessity. Yes, your whole life changes when you have a child, but it doesn’t have to end. It’s important to still do the things you loved before having kids. It might mean you do those things less often or when the kids are sleeping or maybe even adapt to do them with the kids. But I really feel it’s important to keep doing what makes you happy.
For me, that’s pretty much anything active. My favorites are running and Crossfit. I know (and my husband knows) I am a much better version of myself after I have gone for a run or have taken a class. These things give me energy, clear my mind, help me blow off steam, and make me feel stronger. So when I return from a good sweat, I can be a better mother and wife.
It was hard to transition from being a new mom to a working mom. And even harder to transition to a working mom who also works out. I felt guilty leaving my child to go to work, then even worse if I wanted to squeeze in a run when I got home. But I am learning to let go of that guilt. I thought my son would feel his mother didn’t love him as much if she was running off to work/workout instead of being at home for cuddles. The truth is, I love him SO much, which is the reason I DO run or go to Crossfit. If I didn’t, I would be an ugly version of myself. And I don’t mean physically. I mean tired, cranky, lazy, and grumpy. Who wants that for a mom? When I can squeeze in a quick workout, it’s not only benefitting me, but also my family.
I want my son to know me as a strong, fun, happy mom. Not as a mom who “used to run” or “used to be fun.” That’s why I think it’s important for moms (or dads) to do what makes them happy, and keep doing it. You might not relate to my running and Crossfit passion (I admit it’s a little crazy), but you might enjoy yoga, or Bible study, or having a cocktail with friends. Whatever makes you you, do it… And keep doing it. Let your kids see the best version of you.
And yes, it’s easier said than done. Right now I have a little more flexibility because my son is a good sleeper so I can usually get a good nights sleep and sneak out for a run in the morning or at night. However, it’s still a juggling act between my work schedule, Brendan’s work schedule, and breastfeeding. Today for example, my alarm went off at 4:30am. The baby was still sleeping and it would have been really easy for me to snooze. But I knew I would be going off to work grumpy, sluggish at my cube all day, and then make an excuse that it’s too hot to run tonight when I got home, and I would be a cranky mom/wife. So, I got up, nursed my half asleep baby, put him back to bed, and hit the ground running at 5 am. I ran 4 happy miles, took a shower, tag teamed breakfast with Brendan and was out the door by 6:20 for the train.
Now I am writing this blog, drinking my coffee, feeling strong and proud of the working, loving mom that I am working on. And I can’t wait to return for cuddle time with my son tonight 😊
Ok that’s it for my thoughtful Thursday (I’ll be back to complaining about work on Monday. 😉)