The busyness of Mother’s Day took over yesterday and I never got a chance to share all of my thoughts about how life has changed dramatically over the past decade… that’s right…decade. I can’t even believe that I’m even writing that word as if it has any relevance to my adult life, but it certainly does. It’s even been OVER a decade that I’ve been on this parenthood journey. WHAAAAAA??! It blows my mind when I actually get out of the weeds of the day to day grind and am actually able to see the bigger picture.
Didn’t sign up for this…
Nearly 14 years ago I became a Mama and as a 22 year old young woman, my life was flipped upside down in a way that I couldn’t possibly comprehend. I thought my life was over. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t have a support system other than my immediate family, and I didn’t think I was going to make it. I thought having a baby that young was some cruel punishment for something I had done wrong. I was ungrateful because mostly I was scared and couldn’t feel anything but fear and anxiety. I was the first of my college friends to “start a family”, I felt like I was on display because everything I had done was out of order. I couldn’t possibly understand how this circumstance….no, this gift, was no accident. It was perfectly chosen just for me.
Worth the wait…
I didn’t know anything. I had no idea that the start of motherhood was really just the beginning of an endurance event that, while I didn’t register for it nor did I train for it, I was going to have to get through it one way or another. In the words of Mama D “There’s only one way out…Forward.” I didn’t know Mama D or any of the other amazing Mamas in my life at the time when Charlotte was born. I didn’t know anyone else my age and in my situation… It would be 7 long and lonely years (and another child later) until the “serendipitous intersection” of meeting Mama E and Mama D at a Girl Scout Brownies meeting at the start of Charlotte’s 1st grade year… another gift that I didn’t realize was perfectly chosen and given to me… They were worth the wait even though I didn’t realize I had been waiting for them that whole time.
The birth of Soleful Mamas…
We bonded over our athletic yesteryears. I was a gymnast and lacrosse player and cheerleader for a long time, Mama D was a collegiate lacrosse player, and Mama E was a competitive swimmer. Athleticism and competitiveness was in our blood, so to speak. All three of us worked out, but each in isolation. It would be another 3 years until we would actually start running together *gasp* outside where people could actually see us! Mama D has forever been embarrassed by her “wonky leg”.
A short time later, in the fall of 2012, my 3rd child was born. I struggled to get back to where I was running wise and I thought that starting a blog would really help me to stay accountable. In March of 2013 I thought it would be fun to document what happened next as a full time working Mama of 3. Would I ever do another 5K? Would I ever do another triathlon? Would I ever have the time to train for an event again? I was hopeful that this would help me. Again, I had no idea that I had been given another gift.
I look at our team picture from the Coastal Delaware Running Festival finish line. We were a team of 15 women strong; old friends and new friends. My original friends that signed me up for my first race without telling me because I’d never have the guts to do it myself joined in the fun and my new friends that push me at CrossFit every time I walk in the box were there. We were a small community of strong women supporting and encouraging each other to the point of where we have become unstoppable. I never thought I would be doing any of the things I’ve done in the past 3 years. Half marathons, a full marathon, cheering others to do the same; the experience has been priceless.
The fact that I can run a 10K for a virtual race on a “bad” day is incredible to me. I’ve spent years not feeling good enough, being my own toughest critic, and not letting myself enjoy the process without being so hyper-focused on the end result. But today, I feel good enough. Today I’m impressed by the fact that I did a hell of a crazy WOD at CrossFit on Friday, then swam a mile on Saturday, then ran a 10K on Sunday. I impressed myself this weekend and that’s what I hope to do more of – crazy things that make me feel like I’m untouchable. That kind of #dangerouslyawesome feeling that drives away any sole blockers like doubt and fear and worry and “I can’t”.
Could there really be more?
Some days I still feel like I’m at the beginning of this journey even though I know that I’m not. And as I sit here brimming with gratitude for all of the amazing women and Mamas I’ve met and connected with over the years, I wonder…could there really be more?
I sure hope so. There are a lot of Mamas that I haven’t met and I have yet to cheer for. So, the adventure must continue!
Happy Belated Mother’s Day!