Saturday, September 15, 2012

Marathon Mothering

 Cooper's soccer team.

We met our friends, the Coreys, at the playground.  The boys were so excited to help with their dog, Bella.

We met at an hour I can't even bear to type.  It was dark and the trail was barren; even the devout runners were still snoozing.  My fellow runners and I assembled a make-shift refueling station, littered with water bottles, power drinks, and energy chews.  With watches ready, we fell into stride, side-by-side, in two rows.

With the marathon inching closer, we settled in for a long run.  We ran. refueled. tinkled. ran.  refueled.  tinkled.  repeat.  repeat.  until at last we hit 18 miles.  

As we parted ways and I gingerly hobbled to my car, I realized the most grueling leg of my day had just began.  The moment where I turn from runner into mom...a tired mom at that.  For the rest of the day, I knew my job was to maintain that marathon mentality in my role as mother.  I needed to (cheerily) keep up my momentum for the rest of the day, even when tired and easily tempted to quit.

The first part of the day was easy.  With raging endorphins, I breezed through the morning.  Beaming, I escorted boys to a soccer match, pushed a toddler on a swing, and even attempted a little housework.

Then came the afternoon; my runner's high was beginning to wane.      Fights erupted between the boys.  A trail of mud snaked through our kitchen.  My husband left for work.  I began to putter out and desperately yearned to plop down on the couch in defeat.  

Finally, we landed at the bewitching hours.  Even when rested, this portion of the day can be cumbersome.  Ideally, I'd like four little boys to cooperatively scarf down dinner (even the veggies), bath thoroughly, and slip into bed with little fanfare.  But when tired boys mix with one exhausted mama, things don't always play out so smoothly.  Nonetheless, we made it through the evening and finally I tucked them into bed, feeling confident I reached the day's finish line.

Not so fast.

Two little boys reenergized.  

Just like that, I was back into the race.  

I hit the wall...big time.  

But that's why I train.  Marathoners train to run distance, even when tired, and I knew this race (mothering) was more important than anything I accomplish on the trail.  I pulled out my last burst of energy and made it through until the last boy landing in REM.

I finally collapsed on the couch, grateful for the recovery.

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