Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Parenting: A Love Letter to My Children

Today I want to talk a little about being a parent.

Before I had kids, I dreamed of having them for many years. I certified in prenatal yoga and fitness, so I felt totally ready to be pregnant. Whenever I saw a baby, my uterus hurt. I wondered for a few years if I had missed my chance, since I had waited until my 30s.

I had absolutely no idea what it would be like to be a parent.

In January 2007 I found out I was pregnant. I was surprised in a way, because I’d almost given up. In April, I found out I was having a boy, and suddenly it became real. And scary. I had no idea how to be a mom of a boy.

But then, I fell in love with him. And, as he grew, and went through the stages, and really did turn into a crazy boy (he’s 3 now), I loved him more every day, even when he drove me insane. I look at this child sometimes and feel my heart breaking because I love him so much (and I realize that may sound strange).

I had the urge to have more kids, and I wondered if it would happen Again, I thought I may have waited too long. But, at age 35, I found out baby number 2 was on the way. Oh, and this one had all that “Advanced Maternal Age” stigma attached to it. I worried and worried, but had another problem free pregnancy… I found out a girl was on her way, and felt like my dreams had come true.

So here I am, the mother of 2 children, and I feel incredibly blessed, but also incredibly responsible. Some days, I think, “What on earth am I doing with 2 kids? Who decided I deserved that kind of responsibility?”

But (and here’s where I come back to fitness), I am determined to teach them. As a child, I was terrified of exercise. Both my parents smoked, and as a musician, my “sport” was practicing piano. I remember the issues I had as a young girl… self-esteem, eating disorders, body image… and I am determined to do what I have to to keep my children from feeling that way. Well, I know I can’t protect them from everything, but I can give them the tools and the confidence to deal with it.

One of my favorite days so far was when I took my son with me to the Borodash on Thanksgiving 2010. Our family friend was there to watch him while I did the race, and he was at the finish line saying, “Go Mommy!” He still talks about “Mommy, you took me to a race!”. I want both of them to watch Mommy set goals, and achieve them, and know that they are truly capable of anything.

So, I admit that I do these things selfishly. I love races. I love working out. I love losing weight and looking good. But, really, in my heart of hearts, I hope that what I’m doing is teaching my children to strive for more.

So, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.

Kids, Mommy loves you!

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(Originally published 1/20/2011)

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