A couple years ago I overheard a two-sentence conversation that really stuck with me. It went like this:
Person: “What do you do?”
Other Person: “I do triathlons and I’m a mom.”
Um, what. Who responds like that? Clearly the answer that should have been given was simply, “I’m a stay at home mom”, right? WRONG. In one simple sentence and with one very important word (“and”) that person took ownership of the fact that they are more than “just a mom”- they are a triathlete too. Hearing someone say “and” when asked what they do was the permission slip I didn’t know I needed to take back ownership of my own “and”.
Person: “what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a mom AND an athlete.”
I am more than just a mom who raises kids and shuttles them all over God’s green earth in my awesome minivan (the deets on my awesome minivan can be found here.) I am also an athlete. I run AND walk AND lift AND yoga AND bike AND hike AND climb. And sometimes, when I’m not giving my bathing suit the evil eye, I swim. (I don’t evil eye it because it’s a bathing suit. I evil eye it because have you ever had to put on or take off a sporty one piece bathing suit?? It’s impossible. It makes me want to scream and throw things across the locker room. Why do they fit so tight? Are you supposed to be a contortionist to able to get it on and off? Argh!)
Being an athlete makes me a better mom. I have a lot of energy to play with my kids, I can pick them up and hold them and not get tired, I can take them on hikes and bike rides, and I get to share my love of all athletic-ly things with them. My kids are learning patience when they have to sit in the stroller while I run. They learn perseverance and determination through our bike rides. They learn to love and appreciate nature during our hikes. They learn to overcome their fears when we climb. There is so much that I can teach my children when I step back and let myself own who I truly am- a mom AND an athlete.
So now I encourage you to find your “AND” in your life whatever it may be. Take ownership of it, be proud of it and try to find ways your kids can be a part of it. The possibilities are endless if we continue to add our own “AND” to what we thought was the end of our story. We are moms AND…..