I am in the middle of training for my second half marathon and at the point I need to start adding on the kilometres to build my stamina. As I had some time today, I decided to do a longer run. My goal was 15 kilometres. However, as I was nearing the first half, I could tell I didn’t have the energy I needed for the run. I was recovering from having the flu earlier in the week and didn’t eat very well today. On top of that, seasons have started to change and I had not brought water with me, which ended up not being a good choice! I looked at the road ahead and thought how long it looked.
How was I supposed ever going to finish this run? As I often do when I run, I started to distract myself by thinking about my life and what is currently going on.
My mind made a connection to what I’ve been going through with my 6 year old daughter. Seasons have changed and she is in a new stage. I feel ill prepared just as I felt like I was not ready for my run today. There are days I look ahead and see that long never ending road. Parenting is tough. Just when you think you have it all figured out, kids change on you and everything starts over again.
That bought me to thinking about what I can do about this new season. Just as I know for my next long run I should try to be more prepared (better sleep, eat well, bring water, etc), I can prepare for each day of parenting.
What does this look like? Great question! I am still figuring this out so today is really more questions than answers. At the moment the little things are making the most difference in being more prepared. This means more conversations with my husband about how we are handling new situations. This means setting up new rules and boundaries to follow. This means finding myself a balance in how to be kind while still being the bigger, stronger person. This means taking care of myself so I’m ready to deal with big emotions and new situations that come with little warning.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. With each stage we go through, I find myself seeing my own parents in a new light. As kids it’s easy to see our own parents as the ones who have it all figured out and blame them for anything that didn’t go the way we had hoped. Now as an adult and diving deep into parenthood, I see how my own parents were (and are)really just human as anyone else, doing the best they could.
I think we all have to take it one day at a time, doing the best we can. Some days might just be “good enough” but other days will be great. Just as I did my run today and lowered my expectations a bit (13 k instead of 15), sometimes I have to give myself a bit of grace for those not do great parenting days. Some days I might walk or shuffle to finish rather than run.
People tell me I’m crazy to put myself through running longer distances, but there is something about the thrill of running somewhere new or finding that moment of peace alone on a run.
The same can be said for when I think I am crazy for having children. I push through the day, doing the best I can but wondering if I can make it. But then there is a great moment with my daughters. We reconnect and things are just right.