I'm a mother to three. Three fantastic little children. I adore them. I am proud of them. I am very very grateful to have them in my life. Not everyone gets the chance to be a Mom. I know this and I feel lucky that life has gone my way and I'm a mother to three healthy children. They are kind, thoughtful, well behaved and funny.
They do really well in school. Other people tell me how well mannered they are. I know I must be donig something right.
Despite all this goodness, some days I feel like I am floundering around without a clue how to Mothers these boys.
It is overwhelming at times and also, scary.
Some moments, I feel like I fail them. Many days, I feel unable to solve the problems around me. Each day is almost like an experiment. "Let's see if this works..."
Sometimes it does. And sometimes it doesn't. And I don't always know why.
As Mom, and the one who is with the boys more hours of the day, I tend to feel like the 'bad guy.' After all, I'm the one who gets mad when wet towels are left on the floor. I get ugly when the same child leaves all his clothes on the end of his bed day after day after day. I am incredulous that they are unable to turn off their lights, flush the toilets, put the seats up to avoid making a mess for the next person. Most of all, I can't stand it when they bicker and fight with each other.
Deep down, I know I am just doing my best to teach them. To help them.
I feel like the same little battles are fought day after day after day after day after day after day. It may never end. I may never succeed. That's what I feel like. No matter how hard I try to remain patient, or calm, nothing works. I try new methods and revist old methods. Nothing.
I am spoiled with sweet snuggly hugs and I-love-you-Mommy kisses at night. My recovery drink. They are charming and loving and that is my daily boost.
However, I feel like a lost soul trying to figure out how to do something nobody ever taught me how to do. I am a girl with three boys. Now that they're not babies, I feel out of my league.
I've alluded to the many reasons I continue to fill my days with workouts. Why I keep training. Why I race.
While I think I might, in the big picture, be 'succeeding' as a Mom, on the day to day level I often feel a failure. I feel lost. I feel like I'm wandering around without an organized training plan!
My sport squashes that distressful feeling. I feel successful and capable and strong when I am training. I never forget how to swim. I can run right out the door on a moment's notice. I don't talk back with myself. I don't have fights with anyone about my schedule. I don't push anyone over "by mistake." I do what I am asked to do. That feels good. It fills my needs. My raw need to feel good about what I am doing in life. To feel like I know what I am doing.
I figured it out by writing it down.
I know what I'm doing when I train and race. I understand it. I may not always do it well. But I try! In fact, just today, I failed. I couldn't do what was asked of me. However, I know Why I failed. I understand it. And, I am confident I will do better next time.
I don't think I feel the same confidence with motherhood. The stakes are too high. I'm molding little people after all!! It's a massive responsibility.
My training and racing are for me. That's it. If I succeed in my goals, I feel great inside and am lucky to share that excitement with those close to me who understand. With those who support me and know how much it means to me. If I fail, I need to reach deep inside and deal with it. The consequences end there. I haven't missed an opportunity to teach a person right from wrong. I haven't said words that I'll regret in 15 years.
If a day comes my way that is sprinkled with personal frustration as a Mom trying to figure things out, I can still run 10 miles hitting whatever pace I set out to hit, and call it good. My psyche intact, I hammer on with the rest of things.
I don't think I ever viewed it this way before.
Simply put, my training hours are the hours of my day that I feel truly confident in what I am doing. That, gives me peace. It's my peaceful, uncomplicated, conflict-free place.
My role as Mom is way more complicated. It's a million times more difficult. And it's the Most important thing I'll ever do.