Here’s the thing: I write a fitness blog, which I hope is a resource for many when it comes to all things fitness. I write a lot about past struggles and I write a lot about overcoming struggles. It is usually after the fact though, and sometimes that can be hard to relate to. My goal with this post is to show you that I too am human, and I struggle. I struggle with aspects of my fitness, and my life in general. Whenever I encounter a struggle, I like to solve the problem by putting together a plan to resolve the issue at hand. Honestly, a lot of this is second nature and I don’t always realize I am doing it. Also, in the interest of full disclosure: I like to problem solve and talk issues to death. I do not like when Pat problem solves my struggles, even though I always want to solve his problems. This is 100% irrational, unfair, and I am sure infuriating. I try my best not to be close-minded when he does troubleshoot my complaints, but this can probably be added to the list of things I struggle with right now. On to my current struggles and what I plan to do about them!
Running – In May I ran my first marathon. I respond really well to a set training plan, so race training always gets me super excited about running. When I am not race training I still love running, but I have a harder time making it a priority. Once we moved, the elevation took its toll on my ability to run with any sort of speed. We also travelled a ton when we first moved here, so I didn’t really have the opportunity to adjust to the elevation. Then I got sick for the 29078094385 time in a one month period, so I just took 5 days off of working out altogether to really just let my body recuperate. It has been a long journey with some awesome runs, and a lot of terrible or non-existent runs. We also live in an area that is great for running, but not superb for stroller running. Where I used to sometimes just take my son for an afternoon run, we really only have a one mile loop here where that would be feasible. I could always run it a few times, and some days I will end up doing that. It has simply been an extra obstacle for me.
I told Pat last week that I want my running to be more of a priority. He is always so supportive of my goals, so when I put it out there I feel more accountable because I do have that extra support. I am not looking to run any really long distances or train for any long distance races. I am looking to get back to my four consistent days of running, and running those without feeling terrible after. I have signed-up for a 5-miler trail run, just to have something to work toward. Right now, I am working back toward my four days per week of running. From there, I will add in some speed work so I can actually race!
Being A Good Mom – I 100% know I am not alone with this, but man it is so hard to feel like a good mom. I don’t even know what a “good” mom looks like. I mean, I keep my kid alive, and I am kind to him. Is that enough? Not for me. I know I will probably get a slew of responses saying “you’re a great mom!” and it is not about the validation. It is just that, in general I question my parenting decision every single day. I don’t know if men do this, but I have never spoken to a mom who doesn’t do this. Our son goes to day care half days, four days per week. I struggle with this of course, because I don’t feel I work enough to justify this, but I also know it is beneficial for him to be around other kids his age. I am seeing that benefit because skills that I have been trying to teach him for OVER A YEAR (bangs head against wall) he is finally starting to do, and it is probably because he sees other kids do it. When he comes home, he naps (haha, that’s the goal anyway) then we spend the afternoon playing. I usually try to bring him to the library, or the park, or somewhere fun. On his day off from daycare we usually go to the aquarium or children’s museum, etc. Here again I get torn. I worry on the one hand that I am not spending enough time with him, teaching him, exposing him to experiences. On the other hand, I feel like I am spoiling him – setting an expectation that we will always do fun activities. It is such a crazy spiral! I am sure some of it has to do with the fact that he is my first kid. I get that. I am also sure some of this is just the crazy cycle that we as moms (and probably dads too, I don’t know) plunge ourselves into.
To combat this, I remind myself that my parents were also human. Nothing was more jarring than the realization that my parents were in fact just doing the best they could, and were probably as clueless as I am in how to raise kids. I am not sure if this is a common “a-ha” moment or not, but I was sitting with my son when he was younger, feeling completely unprepared (I have read every parenting book and blog under the sun) to adequately raise a child. Then I realized, my parents did not have the internet when my brother and I were born, and we both turned out pretty decent. My parents must have been in over their heads! We survived though, and we still like our parents! It was comforting to me to realize that my parents weren’t superhuman, and that they just did the best they could. That’s all you can ask.
I also used to go to a new parenting class run by a therapist. She talked A LOT, but one piece of advice she said really stuck with me: “No matter how hard you try, you cannot be a perfect parent. No one is. And no matter what you do, your kid will dislike you at some point. It is just a reality.” She wasn’t being mean spirited, she was simply stating that it is pointless to make yourself crazy about whether or not your kids will like you. Whether you are a strict parent or a super laid back parent, your kids will probably take issue with SOMETHING you do as a parent. That’s OK. There is no perfection. Breaking down that standard has definitely helped me to stress less about all of therapy bills I constantly assume my son will be racking up. Mom guilt is so real and so ridiculous, but I totally buy into it.
Meal Prep – Irony is so real here. I preach all the time about meal prepping, but I have been AWFUL about it recently. I have just not been prioritizing it, which makes my weekdays way more hectic. I still prioritize my nutrition, but I have been making the world’s laziest meals lately (caulirice and meat with taco seasoning has been our tune this week). Part of it has been that on the weekend when we normally have a little extra time, we have still been moving into and organizing our house. Part of it is that I usually will make a casserole or something early in the week for dinner, that we can have as leftovers, but my son has taken to crying at my feet the second I walk into the kitchen, and I just don’t have the energy for it. Also, our oven is garbage. I cannot cook anything over 250 degrees (per the oven face) because the oven continues to heat and is off by 50-100 degrees!! We have discussed this with our landlord, but these things take time.
To combat this, Pat and I have already discussed setting goals for this weekend. We have been tackling one big project per weekend (i.e. organizing the garage, organizing our bathroom, etc). This weekend we have separate projects we want to work on (mine being meal prep) and I think having that extra time this weekend for meal prepping will be helpful in getting me back into a meal prep routine. I also have to get over my frustration with our oven, and just work around the problem until it is resolved. I also plan to remind myself how good this is for my son. He is better set up for growth and development when I have food on hand that nourishes him. It makes our mornings and lunchtime much smoother and happier. Less tears and screaming from him also make me much happier.
Overall, we all struggle. EVERYONE! EVERY SINGLE PERSON you know struggles with something! If they tell you they aren’t, they are lying. I have always been a problem solver, so I try to be proactive about my struggles. If I am struggling with something and it is really impacting how I feel about myself, I like to make a plan to change that. I have no interest in being a victim to my circumstances. I am always striving to change what makes me unhappy. It is not easy, but it is my reality. I encourage to look at what is making you unhappy right now. If it is something that you have no control over, accept that; however, if it is something that you can work toward changing, make a plan!