Wordless Wednesday – The Answer to my “Momlife Crisis”

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I am sooo breaking the rules of “Wordless Wednesday” picture today because I have to explain the title.   I promise my next Wordless Wednesday will not have so many words, but for this one, I need some WORDS!!!  In the meantime, you can pop on over to Angry Julie Monday to see more Wordless Wednesday pictures from people that did NOT break the rules!

I am signing up for the OC 1/2 Marathon on 05/02/10, which for me, is seriously crazy.  But it has been  the answer to what I am calling my “momlife” { not “midlife”} crisis!  It’s not really a crisis, that’s a little dramatic, but the phrase made me giggle so I went with it.

The past few months I have been in such a FUNK.  You ever get in those?

Blogging aside, for the most part, I am a full time, stay at home mom.   Many of my days are filled with making endless snacks, attending to requests, wiping poops, listening to whines, making meals that are not eaten, making more snacks, cleaning the dishes, running interference on toys the baby is crawling to “steal,” avoiding new-crawling baby disasters,  loading up car seats for errands, preschool pick ups,  making more snacks, cleaning more dishes, trying to get a baby that does not like to nap to nap, nursing, wiping noses,making endless trips to parks or Target, giving baths,making more meals, doing laundry, folding laundry done days ago… well,  you get the idea.

At the end of some days, when the house is quiet and I sit down to blog, I seriously feel like a shell of a human. Depleted. Exhausted. I have given ALL of me to my kids ALL day, and there is nothing left.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE my kids more than words can express.  For the list I wrote above, I can name a thousand rewards too.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  But what has happened recently is I felt like each day was just running into the next.   And at the end of each day,  I realized I hadn’t done one thing to take care of myself or my health or mental/physical well being.  And, it bummed me out.

So, what did I do for a little pick me up?  A way to try to get some control in my life?   I cut my hair.   Not a good idea.  It never fixes things. Even my mom who is the sweetest, most encouraging mom in the world said, “Hmmmm…I think I like it either a little shorter or a little longer” which was a really nice way to say she didn’t like it.  I can say it – I hate it too.  Good thing hair grows back.

Take my advice – don’t change your hair on a whim.

Then it happened.  The signs of what I needed to do.

Two of my friends ran the 1/2 marathons last year and were going for the OC 1/2 in May.  One of which just had a baby in December. I was in awe of them.  Total rock star moms.  In the back of my head, I thought “I could NEVER do that.”   Then, one of my other best friends ran the 10K  Turkey Trot in November and told me she was going to do the OC 1/2 too.

Three of my best friends were all running, and loving it, and excited about this upcoming race.  They really inspired me.  I was 3 months out.   I asked them…could I do it?  Was it realistic?

With their encouragement, I started running a few weeks ago.   No promises to sign up yet, I just wanted to see how it went first.  In the beginning, I could barely run for 2 miles.   It really sucked, I am not going to lie.  I got that stitch under my ribs and it was painful.  But I kept going.  My girlfriend told me when that happens she “cranks up the iPod” and keeps going.  So I kept going.

My other girlfriend sent me this training schedule.  Roughly 3 runs during the week and a long one on the weekend, adding one mile on the weekend run each week up to 10 miles.

It is funny how something as scary as a 1/2 marathon can motivate you to not miss a workout!  I have been a little running fanatic, never missing a scheduled run.   I have also done everything I can to arrange it around a time so I can go alone.   It feels good to have one thing, whether it be 30 or 45 minutes that is just MINE.  A little taste of freedom. Time to focus and clear my head.  AND NOT HAVE TO  GIVE ANYONE A SNACK!

This past Saturday, I was able to run 4 miles.  I did it.  I have never been able to run 4 miles in my life.   It was hard and it kinda took me a long time, but I did it.  Yesterday afternoon I did 3 miles again and my time keeps slowly getting a little better.

After my runs this week, I am noticing a difference.  I FEEL stronger.  Running actually felt awesome. I never thought I would hear myself say that! I am really doing it!

I talked to my mom this weekend, and she said she noticed a change in me,  I just seem a lot happier.

And, you know what?

I am happier. I am happier because I feel better.   The running has given me energy, a focus, a goal, something that I feel like is just for ME. I feel inspired and excited.

That doesn’t change the fact that I am really scared and really intimidated, but I think I can do it.   One of my favorite quotes I try to  live by is by Henry Ford – “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you’re usually right.”

And, someone out there HAS to be slower than me, right?!?

{P.S. Just yesterday, the fabulous fellow mommy blogger, Just Spotted posted a WHOLE post on 12 local upcoming runs yesterday…check it out! So even if you are not ready for a 1/2, there are lots of fun other ones to get you started.   And, if anyone else is running the OC one, comment below!  Would love to meet up at the race!  I might be wearing a Tiny Oranges hat or something.  Hopefully you don’t see me passed out somewhere along the Back Bay!  HA!}


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  1. 1
    Pam says:

    Jen, you are truly such an inspiration. And thank you for putting into words those “mommy funks” that we call go into at times. This is truly the best but hardest job in the world. I am terrified too but we can do it!!!!

  2. 2

    Ok, this is SERIOUSLY the kind of thing I’m an advocate for. Not necessarily the half marathon thing, but the Mom’s taking care of themselves thing! I cannot stress how important this is for you to do. It’s so tough to pour yourself in to your children (and for me a full-time job on top of the kids) and then find the energy to invest in yourself. But if you make it a habit, it will stick… and believe me, you will be MUCH happier for it!

    6 months after my soon to be middle child was born, I got a gym membership. The gym membership turned in to 3-day a week workouts, twice a week running sessions around Ladera, and twice a week tennis marathons. When I incorporated that in to my life I felt like a much better and patient Mom (and not to mention healthier). Oh, I could go on… but I am SO happy to hear that you are doing this! If I weren’t 3 months pregnant right now, I might consider joining you!

  3. 3
    Rachel T. says:

    I totally understand the momlife crisis! I think we give and give and forget about us until we forget who we are and feel lost. We also have to buoy up our own self esteem because when you say you are a stay at home mom, you get brushed off. It doesn’t seem like people have much respect for all the hard work we put into our kids. I’m in awe of you running your 1/2 marathon. I’ve done a few 5Ks and spent the next few days after hobbling, but 1/2 marathon seems out of reach right now. Maybe soon I will be brave enough to do it!

  4. 4
    Jen says:

    I think regardless if you are a full time stay at home mom, part time working mom or full time working moms, we have one of the hardest jobs in the world – raising humans!

    Jen,what you said is so true – I am definitely more patient and because I have more energy, I feel like I am a better mom.

    And it doesn’t mean you have to be running, it can be ANYTHING that you take time to take care of yourself. So true.

    My friend Pam above is one of my awe-inspiring friends running this May. Her and I were chatting one day and she had read a quote from Julie Bowen, the actress, that after having kids her doctor told her to give 70% to her kids and leave 30% for herself, otherwise she would end up resenting them.

    I thought about that and realized I was giving about 99%. Maybe now it’s not 30%, but even saving 10% for me has helped tremendously!

    Keep up the hard work mamas – thanks for commenting!! XOXO

  5. 5
    Annika Chase says:

    Congratulations! You go, girl!!!!

  6. 6
    Melanie M says:

    Go Jen!! Awesome on the 4 miles. You can absolutely do it!!!

  7. 7
    Jen says:

    Thanks Melanie for being one of the inspiring rock star moms!!!!! xo

  8. 8
    Stephanie says:

    You can do it!!! I’ll look for you pushing the double jogger with your girls!!!

  9. 9
    Jill says:

    Way to go, Jen!!! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck!

  10. 10
    jolie says:

    JENNIFER YOU ARE THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD!! There should be a book about you!! I want to take your honesty, throw it on my shoulders, and parade you around like the champ that you are. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!

    RUN JENNY RUN!!!!!!!!!!

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