Friday, April 4, 2008

Balance

When I decided to start racing triathlons instead of an occasional road race, I was warned by some to make sure I balanced everything. Of course. That seemed obvious. I gave it a lot of thought however. My brother and another good friend must have said that to me 10 times each the first year. I wondered if they thought I was lopsided.

I came to this conclusion. This new endeavor of mine actually created my balance. When my oldest son was 2, I quit my job. I had been working hard as a Speech Pathologist for about 6 years since obtaining my Master's degree. I enjoyed my work. It was rewarding at times. However, I longed to be with my child every day and I lost focus at work. And then, my 2nd son was expected. It was time for me to stay home and I was lucky enough to be able to do that. I Love being a stay-home Mom. I really do. I have an Aunt that asks me EVERY SINGLE time she see's me if I'm still happy. "Aren't you bored?" she'll say. Bored? No, I'm busy. My 3rd son was born in 2004. Yes, I'm still happy to be home with the kids. I truly feel blessed that this is a choice that I can make.

That said, there was something missing. Something for me. I am happy to devote my entire day to the boys. However, now that they are all walking and talking and doing more and more without me, I realized I needed a little piece of time that was devoted to me. To nuturing my own soul. I had to make myself happy and complete in order to give myself back to them. This is a very hard thing for Mothers to do I believe. I have slowly learned to accept that my time away from them is not time I'm wasting. I am not giving up my time with my boys. I am taking care of my self (not just physically I must add) so that I can walk in the door ready to share my heart with them. I think this sport is what gave me Balance in my life. It gave me that small piece that was missing.

It is not easy to make these long training weeks work. Even as a Stay home Mom. I have to wake up in the 4a.m. hour and fight the fatigue. I have to put the trainer in the living room and squeeze in a fast 60 min ride while my son watches the 2 shows he's allowed each day. I run around town in my workout gear with sweat all over me. I smell like chlorine for half the day. I interrupt treadmill sessions 5-6 times to: get dry mittens, stop bickering kids from whacking each other, help the 4 year old take snowpants off to go pee and then alas, get new undies. All this in a recent 30 minute workout. We all do this. It's not easy.

As I head into the spring and hopefully nicer weather, my time out of the house training will increase. I will one day be able to take my new bike outside and therefore I'll be gone for a whole 3-4 hours some days instead of in the playroom watching them run around. I have to find a way to justify this some days. I have full support from my husband. I hope I can continue to make my schedule so that I keep that from him.

I hope that it is ok. I hope that I am teaching my children valuable lessons. I hope that watching their Mother work hard to achieve goals will teach them to do the same in their lives. I hope. I really really hope I am doing this the right way. It means a lot to me. Racing triathlon that is. But, my children and my husband mean more. I will continue to work to balance this new lifestyle.

I think about this almost every day. Will the answer ever be there?

6 comments:

Marni said...

You are doing the right thing. Give time to yourself and be sure to lead by example. Your family loves you and most of all, wants to see you happy!

IronMatron said...

Hi,
I don't know if we're doing the right thing. What is the right thing? I do believe that we need to take care of ourselves by allowing ourselves to be passionate about triathlon. If nothing else we are showing our little people how to be passionate--and how to go for it.

Melissa said...

I would rather have a mom who was active than a mom who is sedentary. I am GRATEFULL that my parents introduced me to so many activities in life, running, golf, aerobics (I didn't say I liked them all)...

Rural Girl said...

The answer will probably never be clear. Always reassessing and trying to balance means asking the questions. You are definitely teaching them valuable lessons. These things are much easier to see from an outsider's perspective. You may be too close to it; but you definitely sound like you're on the right path.

Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

You are doing the right thing! You kids are watching you work hard and chase a dream. Sure you don't get a paycheck doing that but you LOVE doing it!! Happy wife, happy Mom...happy life!

kodiacbear said...

Hey Angela, Great Blog. I am new here. Found it through Mary's blog.

The Right Thing? It's all there! It's the Balance, it's the love and the passion and the joy and happiness that goes into your family and your life. There are days when life gets in the way but the challenge of getting in the workout and the happiness that you get from it overpowers even the worst days...and your kids See It. They Know It and They Feel It..and they are proud of their strong Mama (a trait that you would want them to look for when they grow up).Yes.."happy wife, happy mom, happy life."