Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: July 2017

Friday, 28 July 2017

This Mum Runs...

I run almost every day. This is not a brag or a challenge to others but merely a statement of fact.

Running has been my go to exercise ever since I was an awkward teenager trying to battle the weight gain that the new found freedom to choose my own lunch had inflicted, but it was always a battle to get myself out the front door and meet the 'three times a week' target that I had imposed upon myself.

However, since having my second child, running has ceased to be a chore and has morphed into something of a love affair. It enables me to take time out of my hectic and all-consuming life (which I love) as a working mother and centre myself. It allows me to reflect on everything that has happened, everything that is currently being endured and everything great that is still to come. It enables me to breathe which is ironic because often I physically cannot. .

I was recently asked by a friend to give my reasons for running in a three word story for the purposes of Instagram and it was something I had never really dwelled upon before but on reflection I think I narrowed it down to the most important three reasons:

1. For me
Since being diagnosed as a type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetic I have struggled with the lack of control that I have over my own health and all the problems that the future may present for both myself and my family. Running has given me both an outlet for my anxious energy and a way to increase my body's sensitivity to insulin thereby reducing the likelihood of damaging high blood sugars. What is not to like?

2. For him

My husband is a natural runner and could easily leave me behind in a competitive race but we regularly book the babysitter and take a few hours to plan the future while we plod our way through a scenic few miles. So many life decisions have been made in our running shoes.

3. For them

Apart from keeping me fit and energised I think that having my children see me being committed to doing something that is hard; something that I am not the best at but something that I love and makes me feel better is good. My daughter can often be found telling her nursery friends to run around more as her "Mummy loves it and it is sooooo good for you!" I sometimes think it is a shame she doesn't recognise that attribute in vegetables, but i'll take it.  
The Ultimate Running Partner (and the toddler) 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Road Less Travelled...

My daughter is 3 and a half years old. As anyone who has been or who is currently delighting in being the parent of a toddler that ‘half’ is very important and should never be forgotten. Now I will admit that my 3-and-a-half year old is rather on the small side and works hard to mount the 2nd centile on the world recognised growth chart following a rather cruel start in life, but in every other respect she is holding her own. She will count to twenty, hold conversations with adults where they genuinely feel engaged, remember conversations you had six months ago, hop on either foot and reel off all the colours and numbers in Spanish (which is awkward as my Spanish is limited to “una cerveza por favor" and still can be caught pronouncing “chorizo” as cho-ree-sio.) As it stands, I am one proud mother.

But here is the thing: when trying to dress herself the other day the “label to the back/label to the side” conundrum had her stumped and her reaction was to say that she is “rubbish at everything”. On more probing, it came to light that her nursery friends had commented that she wasn’t very good at running races. This is something I suspect may be true and could be due to the fact that she is not the tallest or could be because the vast majority of her friends are at least a year older and whilst I am sure the children meant nothing by it (other than the speaking the brutal truth that children are so often prone to do) this negative comment has seeped into her entire self belief, leaving her feeling defeated and inept.

This is the one thing I never wanted for my children. I am a slave to my insecurities. They have led to make questionable decisions as a burgeoning adult, chased me out of the medical profession and plague me on a daily basis should I be relied upon for anything (and by anything I literally mean anything from a deliverable at work to making a cup of tea for someone else.) This is the one thing I did not want my children to inherit (well that and the diabetes). Like a feral dog I am constantly sniffing out the next way to secure external validation and prove (albeit briefly) that I am an satisfactory human being who errs on the side of competence.
This has led to numerous post graduate professional qualifications, psychological evaluations and daily checks with my long suffering spouse that I am not a bad wife/mother/friend/daughter/person and yet I still am no further forward.

How can I save them from this blighted existence? How do you instil confidence in your children when you cannot monitor every comment that will be uttered about them or how they will interpret them? How do you show them just how incredible they are and why they should love being themselves? How do you stop them being you?

All anyone wants for their children is for them to be happy but how do you navigate that path when you fell off the precipice yourself?

Everything Changes: Working Out the "Working Mother" Bit

It's been a big week this week and, no, we haven't sold our house. In fact, it is no longer even on the market which was both a hea...