She Runs A Good Race

mothering is a marathon

Because I Deserve It, Right? Hmm…

As I checked my inbox of email one morning, all the retailers notifying me of 30% off deals, all stated in bold caps “YOU DESERVE IT.”

And depending on the day or week I’ve had, or the season of life I’m in, I just may choose to agree. 

Inside I may say “OH, YES I DO!” and start click-clicking away and fill up my cyber-shopping cart with lots of goodies.

It is so easy to get into the mentality as a mom, that because I work so hard, because I work 24/7, because this maternal hat squeezes my head daily, that I deserve…. (You fill in the blank for what your vice, escape, or your want-disguised-as-need is.) We moms could get together and have whole parties over this and fully justify it and rationalize it.

But something’s not right.  Deep inside this does not sit right in my soul.  As I go on year 12 of being a mother, I see how selfish I am.  Really.  I want to be different, more giving of myself, especially of my time, which I hoard, hoard, and hoard.  I hoard it Because I Deserve It.

  • I deserve to exercise 5-6 days a week.
  • I deserve mommy breaks to get a pedicure or lunch with a sweet girlfriend.
  • And yes, I deserve another pair of shoes.

Hmm…

Now I’m not saying that I, or any mother should turn into martyr-mom with no boundaries, and do everything for everyone and never take care of themselves. There are some moms who swing to this other side of the pendulum, which can be dangerous and detrimental although it may appear altruistic and selfless.   If I don’t take breaks, have date nights, girls’ nights, and make healthy choices for myself, then I am headed for a serious breakdown and major mommy revolt!

What I am striving for is a heart and attitude of giving to my family and community cheerfully.  To look for ways to reach out, and get out of my proverbial, comfortable box.  To give personal touches, to be generous, and to help those in need. (I must knock on my elderly neighbor’s door today.)

What I am striving for is to NOT be irritated by my little people’s needs (or my husband’s, lets be real here…) or interruptions while I’m cleaning, working on a “project,” emailing or reading or…you get the idea.

To be happily willing to stop, look at them in the eye and say, with true sincerity, “What is it, honey?”  Because, they are more important than my never-ending to-do list!!

If I am supposed to be an example of God’s amazing love and care to my children—

If I am to be modeling selflessness and generosity—

I can’t be all consumed with my to-do’s, my wants, my, and mine.  Not if I stay in my own little wrapped up world where my schedule is about me and what I deserve.  To say to my kids and husband, “You are worth my time,” is a powerful message.  It feeds their souls.  For a lifetime.

And THEY deserve it.  They deserve the best of me.

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 Black Toenails

Runner Silhouette“I am your mother, the first mile of your road.”  –Kelly Corrigan 

 

I run a marathon every week. 

Actually, my life is an ongoing marathon.

And so is yours, especially if you have a child with a disability, or any type of ongoing medical or special need.  As a parent of a child with Prader-Willi syndrome, I put in miles upon miles as I expend so much of my physical, emotional, and mental energy weekly, sometimes daily.  The tenacious spirit, perseverance, and endurance that is required to train for and run a 26.2 mile-marathon is what is required of you and me.

I crossed the “starting line” of my marathon when I first “knew something was wrong” with my infant baby Ryan.  Although your marathon and mine doesn’t quite have a finish line, we do have mile markers.  Our children have mile markers and so do we, and sometimes the difference between the two are completely blurred.

Some of Ryan’s past mile markers were when his G-tube was removed at age 11 months, and I could give him a bottle only.  No more carrying around the IV pole, tubes, and syringes, along with formula and bottled water.  His lips, tongue, mouth and jaw were finally strong enough to take in the milk and baby food his low-tone body needed.  Another famous mile marker was Christmas Eve, 2005, when Ryan, at age 2 ½, was able to stand up, take Chris’ and my hands, and walk from the family room to the dining room.  5 seconds of pure bliss.  The crowd (my family) hooted and hollered from the sidelines with tears falling out of their eyes.

Since then there have been other mile markers like Ryan recognizing his printed name, and subsequently learning to write his name.  Despite how terribly he grasps a pencil, we celebrate he can write his name.  Finally.  And someday he will be able to actually read and fully understand the books he obsessively looks through for hours at a time.

As Ryan accomplishes his mile markers, they feel like my own.  Because I was the one who was watching and waiting, teaching and coaching, hoping and praying, that with each baby step of progress, he would reach his finish line.  One of a thousand finish lines yet to be crossed.

As a mother of a child with PWS, I have my own personal mile markers:  1) Getting through a day without losing my patience over Ryan’s incessant questions; 2) Establishing a strong behavior program at school; 3) Resolving marital issues to maintain a close, unified relationship with Chris, despite our stress levels; 4) A proud moment when I’ve chosen to remain quiet and composed when I want to scream at Ryan (or any of my kids…). And for me, I too, have many finish lines yet to be crossed.

Runners feel like they are in a special universal club of runners. When we pass each other on the street during a run, we nod our heads, make eye contact, smile, say hello, wave, or any other friendly gesture.  “We know in our know-ers” how incredible it feels to run, to hit the pavement, to sweat and hurt, and to accomplish mile after mile.

Well, parents of children with special needs are also in a universal club.  Together.  We know the heartache and the blessing.  We know the triumphs and challenges.  We know the hurt, sore muscles, and black toenails of our ongoing marathons.  When I pass another parent with a disabled child, I always try to make eye contact and smile.  They have their unique marathon and I have mine.

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Why The World Needs My New “Mom Blog”

Because I love being a mother.

Because there are days that I don’t.

Because I’m not a perfect mother, and will never pretend that I am.

Because mothering IS an ongoing marathon week after week.

Because I have Luke, Ryan, and Kate filling me up with ideas for blog posts and yet I had no blog.  Till now that is.

Because I am real, raw, and honest.

Because I’m a mom who has more to say then “clean your room,” “please get in the car now,” or any other directives I spout out daily.

Because I have  a real need to share who I am and what I think, feel, experience, and observe as a mom.

Because I am a wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, runner, and writer. I celebrate all these parts of me and you should be celebrated too.

Because I wear a special needs mom hat for my son Ryan, who was born with Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

Because I love to be inspired and hope to inspire other moms and women.

Because I dislike doing arts and crafts and science experiments, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Because I promise to never act like my children are perfect, or my house is perfect, or my life is perfect.

Because I feel called to write. I always have. Since I was in 2nd grade.  And God keeps putting people in my path to ask me, “Have you started a blog yet?”

Because mothers need other mothers, just like girlfriends need girlfriends.  Badly. Wonderfully. Amazingly. Happily.

Because I finally got the darn courage to do this and it will be so cathartic for my heart.

Because my prayer is that this will be good for your heart as well.

So here I go…

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