I admit it. Sometimes I feel guilty. Amelita is in swimming lessons. She does ballet. We paint and read and do puzzles together at home… most days. I have friends that cart their baby/toddler/child from activity to activity. A seemingly endless stream of fun and learning. I am not that mom. And Ama is not that kid. I drag Ama around from the gym to work to the grocery store and back to work. They have a rule at the Strong Start program that kids can only attend three times a week. Three times a week! I’m lucky to attend three times a month. So yeah, it does make me feel a twinge of guilt when I see Facebook picture after twitter feed of a flurry of child-centric activity. A twinge of maybe I should drop everything and put myself aside. A twinge of wondering if I have been selfish in my fitness/motherhood pursuit. Maybe you can’t have it all.
Then I realize that I am the best thing that I could give my daughter. That my lifestyle is what is best for her.
I think that’s an important piece to parenting. I know countless parents who have eschewed everything they loved in sacrifice for their children. I know passionate pianists that have become passionate parents of pianists. And I can’t understand why they wouldn’t demonstrate and model their passion instead of attempt to wrestle their children into it. I know people that have given up all forms of physical activity to shuttle their kids around to their physical activities.
Ama joins in on my Crossfit classes, runs with me in the stroller and jumps on me as I stretch. I love seeing her doing burpees or pull-ups or teaching me a running drill. Best of all, since these are things that I know and am passionate about, I get to teach her. Too often we contract out learning opportunities because we take our skills and interests for granted.
Ama spends more time running in the stroller than most kids. Hands down. But it’s not time wasted. We sing, talk and tell stories (it helps the mileage click off faster for me too). And when I am not running, she’s not I the stroller. She walks to the store, to the park, up the mountain. Kids love to copy and they need mentors for that. Who could be a better mentor than a happy mommy doing what she loves?
OF course, there has to be a sense of balance. I feel at my optimal happiness when everything has a space in my life. When my house is clean enough, we have enough nutritious food in the fridge, enough playdates in the calendar and enough muscles both our bodies.