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?