Shocking confession time: I enjoy working out.
My first foray into anything remotely athletic was the flag corps in high school, and I loved that – but I would have chalked it up to the comraderie and the music and yada yada yada. Not the exercise (although in hindsight, I’m sure that’s from whence at least part of the ‘high’ came.)
And then a baby came along. And another, and another. And I wasn’t working anymore. And we moved four times. And there were a million reasons that I couldn’t join a new gym, and there were a million reasons that I couldn’t figure out how to fit in some kind of exercise on any given day.
Over those years, I forgot something: that I actually, really, truly did ENJOY working out.
On my 30th birthday, I had a blessingway. One very precious part of the ceremonies was the reading of a letter my mother wrote (since she couldn’t be present, as she was in the middle of chemotherapy at the time). She gave me advice and encouragement and I will always treasure that piece of her heart… and among other things, she urged me to work out. “Pick something you love to do, and do it regularly. I love to walk and I used to do five miles a day!” There was advice about marriage and parenting and memorizing Scripture, too. But this exhortation to exercise is now in my head as Something My Mom Wanted Me To Do.
Today, I’m a busy busy busy mother of three. I homeschool and I attempt to blog. I scrapbook (I’m a teensy bit behind… but in my heart, I’m a scrapbooker). I read my Bible every day and I waste way too much time on Facebook and I cook and I do laundry. I shuttle us to the library and speech therapy and karate class and Sunday School and pediatrician’s appointments.
But I started working out.
Even then – there is a part of me that feels guilty for trying to sneak in this time at all. There are other things I could be doing when the kids are asleep, and if they are awake I feel terrible for trying to quickly handle the immediate need and get back to the sets they interrupted.
But there’s another (admittedly, smaller) part of me that wants to just join a dadgum gym and drop the whole crew off in one of those kid-rooms and wave goodbye with a smile and go focus on nothing more than my delts and triceps and biceps for half an hour. You know? I wouldn’t do it – at least not at this point, with a 4 month old – but that little part of me does fantasize about it when I fix someone a third cup of water in the twenty minutes I’ve been trying to work out.
And that’s the final piece of the puzzle. I want to do this. I like doing this. I need to do this – obviously for my physical help, but judging by that last paragraph, probably for my mental health as well. If I ever hit on a beautiful, creative, fulfilling solution to the puzzle – where I get to workout, and not feel guilty about it, and not ignore my kids in the process, and not neglect all the other things I “should” be doing too… I’ll let you know.
I’ve had a lot of time to get ready to type this.
I’m still not.
We got a call Wednesday morning (9/28/11) from our midwife – one of the tests on the newborn screening came back abnormal, and the lab in Indiana wanted our pediatrician’s information. Urgently. I gave his name and number to Michelle, who called the lab, who faxed Dr Phillips’ office, who called me about two hours later.
Friday night, we put the kids to bed and Chris headed off to the mall to look for some new dress clothes for work. I settled down to watch some DVR’d shows (Next Food Network Star, anyone!?) and then I heard Jonas at the top of the stairs. “MOM!?” I could hear the wavering tears in his voice. I bounded up the steps as fast as my pregnant self could go. When I got to the landing, Jonas said, “I have to tell you something bad and sad that happened!” His eyes were filled with tears.
I have no idea what to expect when I go use this in a few minutes, but it seems like everyone in the world has hopped on the neti pot bandwagon and insists that I get one for my sinus pain and congestion (which has lingered, even though my other symptoms are gone – other than the cough).
Oh, the joys. Hacking and wheezing and feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. This past week has been rather miserable, really. It all started last Friday, when I had a bit of a sore throat. It worsened on Saturday, and then on Sunday my symptoms grew to include head congestion, runny nose, and feeling more lethargic. Did I mention Chris was on-call all weekend and there was no food in the house? Yeah, that part was fully awesome.
I woke up Monday morning with all-over achiness and pain and pressure in my chest. I had a new hacking cough that left me feeling like my chest was in a vise and like I was breathing in sharp needles. Not fun. I really don’t know how we made it through Monday – I’d stagger into the kitchen to fix a meal or snack for the kids and then stagger back to bed, where I played endless Disney movies and let Jonas & Susannah run around creating general havoc. As long as no one was bleeding, I didn’t care.
Monday night, Chris told me I should be taking plain Sudafed and I said we didn’t have any. “Well, you should go get some tomorrow.” And thus began my meltdown. Tired, sick, cranky, pregnant & hormonal, caring for two kids, and watching the laundry and kitchen begin to overflow… now go get my own medicine? It was just too much.
Tuesday morning, my sweet stepmother-in-law called to see how I was feeling. She said she could “hear it in my voice” that I was “about to have a breakdown!” (lol. I was pretty upset.) So she offered to head in to work that morning and ask for the rest of week off! The rest of Tuesday, I still physically felt awful — but knowing help was on the way made me feel much less stressed out about it.
She arrived on Wednesday, and set right in with a load of dishes and a load of laundry, reading books with Jonas and playing with Susannah. It was a great couple of days – even though I didn’t spend the entire day sleeping in bed, I was able to basically rest and take my medicine and let her handle most everything else. (Except Susannah’s bedtime, she won’t accept anyone but Mama for that still.)
Friday I was finally feeling well enough to run a few errands, so we went together to Target (Jonas had a friend’s birthday party coming up and we needed to pick out a gift) and to Hand-Me-Downs (because you never know what you’ll find – I got maternity pants, shorts, and a dress for under $15 altogether!). After we put the kids down for naps, I went to the produce co-op and got to stock up without little people underfoot ;-).
Today Nonna headed back home, and I’m settling back into my routine of housework and kid needs. I’m just sooooo thankful she was able (and willing!) to come up here and help. It’s the kind of thing you’d never ASK someone to do, but when they offer it’s so touching. That’s love, you know? I’m still coughing, but from what I’ve learned about bronchitis, that’s pretty common. I’ll probably have a lingering cough for a couple of weeks even though all my other symptoms have resolved. But considering how awful I felt a few days ago, I can handle that!
A cute moment with Susannah (taken a few nights ago) to celebrate Grandmama’s great news!