Weekends are exhausting. It’s not the marathon training that wears me out, running over 36km on a weekend is nothing but pure joy and freedom. What makes me tired both physically and mentally by every Sunday evening is nothing other than being a parent to two little boys.
Even more so than with running, when it comes to parenting it’s ALL about ‘mind over matter’.
‘Matter’ is simple: boys are loud, messy, energetic, often ignoring you until you have to say the same thing 5 or 6 times.
‘Mind’ is all about how I deal with them being the little crazy boy children that they are.
They are old enough to hear criticism, guidance, to be asked to tidy up their toys and practice good table manners. Where I’m trying to be mindful is to make sure that every day they hear encouragement and praise just a little bit more than discipline and instructions… that every day they get a few more kisses and cuddles than stern looks… that every day I joke with them and sing silly songs with them more often than I tell them to calm down… that every day they hear ‘I love you’ more times than they hear ‘you could have done this a little bit better’.
Weekends are full of long homework sessions and often long walks that they find boring – making it fun for them and distracting them helps both them and me. They do homework much easier when I get really into it with them and make it a bit fun and silly, they walk with us much easier if instead of just telling them to quit asking whether we’re there yet, I ask them questions about what I know they’re interested in or just talk a bit of nonsense with them so they are distracted and therefore not whining (there ARE monsters hiding in the gutters, you know).
Parenting is such an exhausting game of being a disciplinarian but also making sure that your children grow up being certain of your love no matter what. When I am tough and let them know that I expect more of them, I always try to show kindness straight away as well, hopefully that will help them understand that I only have their best interests at heart.
I’ve said many times that running is teaching me a lot about myself but I have to admit that nothing makes me more mindful of my actions/reactions/attitude to life than being a mother does.
At times I go to bed on Saturdays feeling a bit blue and worrying whether my kids will indeed grow up to be strong, confident and mindful, but then the next day I get yet another glimpse of them being on the right track and I think that maybe, just maybe, I don’t totally suck at some things: running AND parenting to begin with…