I yelled at my kids today.
I don’t usually yell. I’m usually the loving but strict mother, with a strong undertone in her voice, who’s glaring eyes can persuade their kids to clean their rooms, eat their vegetables and stop fighting in 1 …2…, well there is no 3. Because we never get to 3.
But we got to 3 today.
After an intense several weeks of non-stop working, a late wake-up call and a rush out the house to drop my eldest to Kindergarten, I was already pressed for time. I had to write several emails while one child hung on my back and the other complained that he received the wrong cereal. After realizing I would have no time to work out, I instead opted to run some errands at my favorite de-stress place, Target. What ended up being a “don’t touch that”, “no you can’t have that”, “get back in the cart” and “what, you don’t sell individual fitted bed covers?” I was able to hurriedly leave to make it to my care home to drop paperwork and supplies before heading over to my No Excuse mom group – a group I’ve lead for nearly 6 years every Tuesday morning.
So we arrived all safely, but not without my youngest crying because he couldn’t bring a bag full of art supplies we just bought at the store. Then he cried because he said his tummy hurt, that he had to go number two, and wouldn’t budge all because I wouldn’t come back three feet to carry him.
Today was not the day.
I couldn’t budge three more feet.
That’s where I am emotionally right now. I left the park and appointed my co-leader to finish the workout she already began instructing. On the way home, time and space seemed to shorten and everything in my vision was skewed. Cars in front of me stopped at every stop sign longer than the 3-second requirement (when no one was around), cars turning seemed to cut too close to my vehicle and that annoying humming sound in my car – the white noise everyone says they can’t hear – was buzzing louder than usual.
I dropped the kids’ home with my husband and grabbed my work supplies.
And I began to cry.
Tears streamed down my face as I realized I have again failed to eat breakfast, exercise or even comb my hair. I was tired of getting the energy zapped out of me and seemingly getting nothing in return. Sure, you get the hugs, kisses and long-term satisfaction of raising good children. Yes, there is satisfaction when you service others and see people positively impacted by the ideas you put forth. But when does three feet, become too great?
A year ago I posted a viral apology and image that exploded in the media. I asked, “What’s Your Excuse?” As someone who intimately knows the pain of growing up with an unhealthy mother, overcoming an eating disorder, dealing with being overweight, working stressful jobs and bearing three children in a row, I knew I could confidently answer any defensive question regarding my message and intentions.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t make health a priority, after all, in the end, if your body declines, how will you continue to function and be of service to people around you? I understood the reaction, since the majority of our nation is overweight and deals with daily stress, an abundance of processed foods, unrealistic media images and a personal environment that unconsciously promotes complacency.
Today I felt the defensiveness of my critics when I asked myself, “how would I feel if I saw that image today, of me – a woman I can’t even recognize these days – with the caption, what’s your excuse?”
I would cry and say it was because I didn’t sleep enough. I was overworked. I didn’t have ANY time for myself. My adrenals were going haywire and the stress hormone, Cortisol, was making me gain weight regardless of how little I ate or how much I exercised. I would admit that deep inside, I was unhappy. I would admit that despite all the things that seem perfect in my life, there was a part of me that felt like she was suffocating and missing the young, vibrant girl she once was.
I never wanted to be the picture of perfection. The past nine year’s blogging on this website is a testament of how imperfect I truly am. I am striving. I am trying. I am not giving up. At the end of the day, I will come home and hug my kids, cook them dinner, workout – even for just 20 minutes – and be thankful for the ability to choose.
Failure is a choice. Success is a choice. Happiness is a choice. And for most, Health is a choice.
The power of choice and the ability to recognize your free-will to reflect, act and transform any negative energy is power.
There comes a point when something as small as three more feet, becomes too much. But, sometimes it takes that moment for you to break down, wake up, and rebuild once again.
So here I am, internally saying, “Deep breath momma….” as I pick up that painful Lego I just stepped on and try to be more like my son, a Master Builder. (LOL.)
Happier times with my kiddos. Sometimes you feel so ashamed when you’re not perfect,
especially when you ‘lose it’ while parenting. I feel so much better after having cried
today. I hope other mothers take the time to cry when they need to.
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