“I’ve got too much time to do the things I want,” said no mother ever. As moms, it’s
impossible important to remember to take care of ourselves and make time to do the things we love. Today we’re thrilled to introduce you to two mamas who battle through the tug-of-war that is being a mom and following their passion: running. Meet Dimity and Sarah, the authors of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving–and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity.
“Born out of a feature for Runner's World magazine, Run Like a Mother is written like girlfriends talking to each other on a run. Witty, conversational essays and advice cover everything from hills to husbands, from mental toughness to getting your period on race day. The authors, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, are longtime runners and moms of a daughter and son (Dimity) and three children, including boy-girl twins (Sarah). Through Another Mother Runner, the social media community they've developed, Dimity and Sarah lead from the middle of the pack, while giving women runners a gentle kick out the door.”
Without further ado, words of wisdom straight from the pages of their book:
Maternal guilt seems to be in opposite proportion to a child’s age. The younger the kid is, the guiltier you feel for leaving him. When you walk out the door, unsure if your wailing two-month-old will take a bottle of freshly pumped milk, your heart weighs heavy. When you walk out the door, certain your six- and three-year-olds will stop their dramatics in approximately 15 seconds, your heart kind of laughs. And when you walk out the door, leaving behind a moody, monosyllabic 13-year-old who is driving you crazy, I’m guessing your heart wonders if it’s fit enough to run for three hours, not one.
I also think guilt subsides when you accept that the time you spend alone running—time, in other words, spent strengthening your spirit, confidence, and spunkiness—is far more valuable than simple kid face-time. As any cubicle jockey could tell you, the amount of time you’re at the job is insignificant to the amount of time you’re actually working. Plus, running is actually a very practical thing to do for a mother who is interested in keeping an even-keeled house. The miles defuse frustrations, create mental order, instill calmness, and reignite flames barely flickering. Delicious memories of my kids and husband often come to me randomly during a run, and they help me remember why I am where I am in life.
After a run, I’m much more willing to spend time rolling trains around a wooden track for 30 minutes with Ben than I would be if I hadn’t run. With no run, I become both antsy and ditzy. I half-empty the dishwasher, then half-read an article in the paper, then half-help Amelia put away her laundry, then play with trains for three minutes before I remember I have to go send an e-mail I’ve half-composed. Then the kids get frustrated because I mutter, “Just a minute,” to their countless requests for my time or help, and the house turns into a pressure cooker. Until one of us—usually me, I’m sad to admit—blows.