I’ve always said that my greatest accomplishment has always been my children.I have a son, Josh, who is 19 and a freshman in college 14 hours away from home; I also have a daughter, Juliana, who is 15 and a sophomore in high school. To say that I love my children is an understatement and if I went into any more detail about how much they mean to me, I would embarrass the heck out of them, so I’ll refrain from any further details. However, know this, from the day they were born, my children have been my everything and they will continue to be until the day I take my last breath.
No mom is perfect, but I know from the depths my heart that I did the best that I could given my life circumstances. My children were raised with love, a strong moral compass and confidence in their ability to take on life’s challenges and I’m very proud of that. I’d like to think that as a working mother, I have been a good role model for them, but there were many years, when they were younger, where I felt guilty for working as hard as I did. I felt that it took me away from spending time with them. I remember working 50-60 hours weeks at the office and spending too much time away from them traveling on business. I missed out on a lot of their childhood and the guilt consumed me. I wanted to be that mom who took them to soccer practice and helped them with their homework every night. That was’t my lot in life, so I worked with what I had.
I wanted to be part of their world in every respect, so when I wasn’t working, I was with them, doing homework, working on projects, going on playdates with friends, cheering them on at soccer games, having fun, doing whatever I could to make up for lost time.
I was burning the candle at both ends and between the cycle of guilt and overcompensation I somehow lost myself. It wasn’t something I did intentionally or consciously, it just happened. I focused on everyone and everything in my life but ME and in the end, I stopped caring about who I was or what I needed physically and emotionally.
I didn’t even care about my health. I remember going to the doctor every year for my annual check up and every
time the scale would go up another 10-15 lbs. My physician would tell me that I needed to get things under control. I would reassure him I was on the right track, but I was trying to fool him as much as myself. I knew what I needed to do, but I didn’t prioritize myself enough to put forth the effort.
I felt guilty for not taking care of myself and I didn’t know how to deal with that guilt, so I ate. I did’t think that there was enough time in my life for me to prioritize myself. Nor did I think that I deserved that time.
I never regret the time that I spent with my kids doing the things they enjoyed. I do regret the time that I didn’t spend on myself. Looking back, I could have incorporated our time and been more active with my kids. We could have gone for walks or hikes in the mountains. I also regret not losing the weight sooner so I could have been a more active mother for them. How I would have loved to run more 5K’s with the two of them together!!
Would losing weight sooner made me a better mother? Absolutely not. I’m an incredible mom, no matter what size I am. However, I’m happy with myself now and I wish my children would have had the opportunity to see me smiling more, well balanced and so much less stressed.
So here is my best advice to you, my readers, my friends….don’t wait. Life is too short to wait for that ‘ah ha’ moment. If you want to lose weight or change something in your life, start towards that goal NOW. Don’t wait another minute. No matter how much you love the other people in your life, you MUST put yourself first and take care of your health.
I didn’t run any 5K’s with my kids when they were little, but I’ll be damn sure to run as many as I can with them as they grow into adulthood. I look forward to the adventures we will have and the memories we will continue to create together.
Bee healthy. Bee happy.