I realized in looking through the five posts that I wrote during my third pregnancy on this blog that I never did write here about the fact that I walked in a 5k at 28 weeks. I really want to say “ran,” that I “ran” in a 5k during my pregnancy, but that didn’t happen. Well, it didn’t until strategically timed moments when I decided that running slowly and being pregnant would “look” more impressive than walking slowly and being pregnant. But I mostly walked. Kind of fast. Kind of. Or, maybe medium paced, or…
…this is all is beyond the point.
I meant to write about that race and not writing about that race was an oversight on my part. Well, it was that, plus the fact that I was pregnant and, thus, lacked the energy needed to say anything meaningful about it online beyond “Yay me!”
But I do have the energy now to talk and say that I am proud of taking part in a 5k while pregnant. I’m proud that my three-year old also ran in a tot race and that my two year old (who was then one) patiently sat in her stroller the whole time.
So, the race. To say that I “trained” for this race would be an overstatement. I walked in the weeks leading up to the race, but I walked with no mind for time or improving. I had assumed, kind of, that I could walk a 15 minute mile, so I figured the race would be easy. And it was easy, kind of. I do not really walk a 15 minute mile while pregnant. I mean I can and did walk a 14 minute mile in the race, but it was tough. With each fast stride, I felt as if I had to yell at my legs to move faster, faster, faster! And sometimes they would go faster. But, often, they would not. So, I was in a battle against that, it felt. Well, that and my ego which seemed to be inspired by onlookers who I am assumed were judging me because I was pregnant. “She can’t do this!” I felt they were saying and that made me “do it” even more. I ran twice in the race– across the finish line and down a hill. It was tough to do, but, again, my ego made me do it. And in the end, with wobbly legs and my ego, I did it. And so did my three-year old.
She looked so serious as she ran among the other children. And she took her race seriously. As my husband looked for parking, she kept demanding/telling him to “hurry” so that she could make it in time for her “race.”
It was a good day. And that it was a good day was worthy of this post, but also there’s something I realized after that race in editing pictures.
There was a bigger picture, “a-ha” parenting thing I realized then, or in editing the pictures (only six months later!).
Sometimes, when you’re in the moment of parenthood you forget the bigger picture. You focus on smaller details because you think it’s the smaller details that should define your day. And most times you’re struggling in your day, perhaps, from exhaustion, frustration, or something else, and it’s focus on the smaller picture that seems all you can mentally stomach. But then, you’re given reason to reflect on that big picture and everything else that seemed big really isn’t big anymore. I had one of those moments yesterday as I edited the pictures. The day of my editing, I decided that my girls, my toddlers seemed, to me, to be shrinking, like really, they seem to be smaller than normal. So, I made it my plan to feed them more, more snacks, more food, more variety. So, I did that during the day. I went to the grocery store and bought more of the things I assumed would make my life easier as a parent and planned that the next day would be great because of that.
But, the opposite happened.
While enjoying the snacks I bought throughout the day, they hated dinner. Exhausted and annoyed, I made a big deal about them hating it, too. “You can’t (fill in the blank), until you’ve eaten your food.” I said. And they cried. And I got annoyed more. And they cried some more. It was like a cycle that didn’t seem to want to end because I didn’t want to budge on being right. And in the moment of thinking about that small thing, or them eating the rice pilaf I “slaved” over, being right mattered most. But, here’s the thing: It didn’t matter most. If I had the foresight in that moment, I could have stopped and given them something else without the fear of habits (which are never forever) or giving in. But I didn’t. I didn’t budge and I was miserable for it. I finally did offer Spaghetti, which they still refused. This was upsetting but instead of being upset, I should have used it as a lesson and just taken a moment to take a breath. But I didn’t. I chose to still be bothered about the paid for groceries, the fact that I am have three children under four, and the fact that the more they protested, the faster their 8 PM bedtime seemed to be slipping through my hands.
I bring up this whole scenario about dinner in a post that should be about our race because it’s related, kind of. The race photos show my children in their best light. It shows the bigger picture: that they are still small and growing and that this time in our lives can be as hard or as easy as I make it for myself. Sometimes, in parenting, you have to do things that aren’t anyone else’s ideal so that you can get that easy that allows you to see what you’ve really got. I’ve really got three wonderful girls, three intelligent girls. And having fun and enjoying them is my big picture. Bedtimes will happen, meals will be eaten, and tantrums will be thrown. All that will happen, and all that should never stand in the way of me remembering what I’ve got.
What’s the most “amazing” thing you’ve done during a pregnancy?
p.s. I’m on Vista Imaging Group talking about some interesting things you can do with exposure compensation. Stop by and say “hello!”