I had been going for what seemed like forever. I could see the finish line. It was RIGHT there. Well … it was like a mile away. When you’ve already been 12 miles, what’s another mile? Forever, that’s what it is! I just mentally could not pull myself together. I could not make my body run any more. Let’s face the facts. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t even jogging any more (since I don’t actually ever run). I just couldn’t get over this “wall” that was there. I had a goal though. This entire race was a goal … but my goal was to finish by a certain (lengthy) time. When I finally got close enough to see the clock, I had to RUN. I had to run hard and fast. I had about 90 seconds before my personal time was up. I came in 50 seconds to spare in my personal goal time to finish.
As a mother I often feel over worked, and under appreciated. I feel like my kids aren’t grasping ANYTHING I say, or try to teach them. The point that every experienced mother tells me when she says, “When they’re older …” or “You’ll miss this stage”, seems SO far away! As I look back at their short little lives, it has gone quickly. Looking ahead is daunting some days though. It’s like running. The end is there, I know it is! They will be gone and grown before I even blink (or so “they” say). Will I reach my goal? Will my kids grow up to be wonderful humans? Will they be kind to their friends? Will they be able to get through the rough times? Will I ever have a house that is ACTUALLY clean again?
The day before the race I was talking to my husband about how I was nervous and not sure I’d be able to reach my goal time. He said, “You have 6 kids, this should be easy.” I laughed. I wasn’t prepared for my race like I should have been, or could have been. I’m not always prepared for the things that life throws at me either. However, we can all do hard things. Every single one of us can do hard things. Taking care of 6 kids all day long, is not always easy. It has challenges. Know what though? So does taking care of 2 kids, or 10 kids. Working is hard. We all face challenges. They are all different. There were people that finished the race in half the time I did. There were people that finished after me too. We are all in different places in our lives. We all have different experiences (training levels, if you will). That is why we need to love each other. We need to support each other. We need to reach out to each other.
Maybe next time we see a child or a mother do something we don’t agree with, and we start to judge them as we stand by and watch (as I’m sure we’ve all done at some time or another), try to think about how hard that mom might be trying to help her child or that you just don’t have any clue what is happening in that family that could cause them to do what they do. I think we all try to appear to be put together. None of us are ALWAYS put together. None of us are exempt from trials and hard ship. However, with the help of loving friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers, we can all help each other do better. We can make someones day when we try to serve and help them. We can make our own day when we render that service and kindness to others. In turn, it’s a great opportunity to teach kids the same principle.
I finished my half marathon. More than 2 weeks later, I still haven’t even attempted to run. I need a LONG break from it right now. However, if (huge big fat IF) I do another half, I will prepare better, and I will beat my time (by a LOT). I will take the time I need. As a mother, the end will come and sometimes, I just need to remember to take the time to BE with my kids. Walk away from the computer, turn the TV off, put my phone DOWN, and BE with them. Engage with them, and enjoy them! It’s true what “they” say … I can see in the time that is already gone, that some days it’s going too fast. If I don’t help them, be with them, teach them, love them, then who will be there at the end with them when they still need someone?
Remember that we’re all trying to do our best in our every day race of life, and we’re all at different training levels and strong in various areas. It’ll help us all to be better people, mothers, and friends and help our kids do the same. We are all hoping to have wonderful children who become wonderful adults. We are all Running for Motherhood together.