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.
Lately, I’ve been ‘breaking a lot of rules’ – whether it’s allowing my youngest
to sleep with us at night or letting them eat more candy than usual!
This is my most recent project, our 2015 Fit Mom Calendar, pleases support our movement
and pre-order HERE.
As much as I try, I’ve been having these days more often then not. I have to remind myself that yes, we’re mothers, but we’re also human. *hugs* Thanks for being such a role model!
Thanks Shanon. I still look at my own mom as a superhero – amazing and humbling to become one and realize the perfect imperfection of it all…
Earlier I was pondering posting on the NEM fb page begging for someone to encourage and lift me up today.. Your words have spoken loudly to me momma. I’m currently “hiding” in my room having a mommy time out lol. But seriously I am. Spilled milk on the couch, cranky toddler, wild boys, mealtime mayhem, one shaved leg because of a shortened naptime and a crazy momma with little patience. Today I had a feeling of defeat much like you but I’m gonna take a deep breath, count my blessings and continue on. Thank you for sharing your story and instilling strength in fellow moms like me that have have a rough day also. We’ve got this <3
It is quite okay Maria, I am a 53 year old wife and mom, and still have those moments that quite take me to a Zombie mode as I always tell myself or in the “lala land” and mind you , I do not work after 10 plus years in the US NAVY, then 5 years working in the civilian world basically a single mom then, from duty days, to deployments , wherein I did not stop being a mom , I called my daughter who was then 5 years old when I first deployed in the Middle East read a story and sang to her, now she is 22 and I am still the same to her, she just live in Seattle about 30 minutes away from us I make sure that I still do my duty as her mom. I do not believe in taking a break for being a parent my parents did not take those breaks why should I. I am not a perfect mom but I love her truly and she knows it. No one can ever tell us as mommies how to raise our children, you are doing a super GREAT JOB KUDOS TO YOU. When you feel overwhelm step back, pray count your blessings and the real blessings you have are your husband and your children, as one of your avid follower, I support you 100%, as we say in the US NAVY BRAVO ZULU MARIA KANG.
Sometimes a good cry is all we need. I’ve been there at that last three feet. I think this is my first time reading your blog. I started following you on Facebook after that controversial, “What’s your excuse?” photo. I loved it and totally promoted and defended that photo in my mommy circles. As a blind mom, we can take that same question to another level and ask blind people the same things. It’s about taking control of our lives in order to get the results we want.
Oh yes…I’ve been there at the edge and all seems to be going downhill and life sucks…I have 6 kids and at the end of the summer…I had a break…I was done. ..so angry and tired…I had a good cry for a couple days and then felt better…sometimes that happens and we just gotta keep going…All the best!!!
Thank you for this. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one feeling this way at the moment. 🙂
There is healing in tears… I really enjoy reading your articles. This one is perfect for me today, thank you.
Been there, done that, yelled that, cried (wait! I’m a dude… can’t say that oh HEdoublehockeysticks!) cried that… yep, you got it right… take a breath – as much as it seems hard/wrong/tiresome/etc… like an itch if you just sit there, breath and watch it……………. It WILL go away. amazing! Keep it up. – Dennis
This is the first time I have ever said anything on your page but as a single father of 4 kids, I know all about not having the energy to go 3 feet or not having the energy to reply to a text you just got. More than 2 years ago I threw my cell phones in to the ocean and have been free of them since.
It may be hard to believe but my blood pressure dropped, my hypertension level dropped. Later I started going for walks 3 times a day or more that also helped with the hypertension, now I go to a gym 3 days a week, work out as well as I also work out at home too.
Yes I am a single father with 4 kids and yes I have somehow managed to do all of this but my children may be a little over than yours, one of my daughters fully supports what I am doing for my health now. When your kids get older more than likely the same will happen for you, hang in there Maria.
Maria, thank you so much for posting this. I too recently had a rough couple weeks where I just needed to break down and cry. New job, 2 boys, busy schedules and no time or energy to work out, let alone find quality time with the hubs, I was at a breaking point. I felt like a failure. Some days I still do. But I try to remember that I need to take care of myself first, so that I can take care of them. Today I learned that I lost a dear friend to a heart attack at 42. It hit me. Life is short. Life is precious. Having a quality life means not only healthy relationships and strong family, it alsp means knowing your limits and taking care of yourself. Thank you for being an inspiration. I will make myself get up tomorrow and run. Because this momma needs to take care of herself and destress a little.
You never pass up an opportunity to post pics of your immaculate mansion, do you? Get over yourself.
Jealous much Linda?
Oh yeah, I’m positively seething with jealousy. If only I could pull the oldest trick in the book and get pregnant so I can steal a vet from his wife and children and force him to support me while I preach from my high horse and belittle other women for their looks.
Well, as the “vet” I can speak first hand and tell you; I left my first wife. We were good people but we were not good together. Maria met me years later, so she didn’t steal me away from anyone. Maria and I got pregnant, plain and simple. We were already planning on marriage so it was a stressful surprise but a good one none the less. Our mansion is a house with a nice kitchen. We rent 🙂 I would be glad to correct you about any more misperception you have. And no, I am not Batman 🙂
So you bitch that fat people need to be “accountable and responsible” when you can’t even remember to take a pill everyday? Hypocrisy at its finest.
Why would I take a pill when I wanted to have kids?
Oh, and you deserve better, mr casler.
Good God, Linda. Pull that stick out of your ass, will you? Get over yourself. Grow up. No one needs your negativity. Stop being such a cunt and just accept the fact that people are allowed to be happy and healthy without you bitching at them all the time. STOP BEING A BITCH. That is all.
Hello there, Ive admired you from b the beginning of your whats your excuse article.
My excuses are all those that you just mentioned on your most recent article. .no sleep, busy schedule, little children and no time for hubby and myself. These are my excuses that I emotionally eat and am too tired to work out. I just cant seeem to find a way out of this little rut..although you are doing a great job, I just cant get over these excuses (reasons) and I dont know how..
I have those days too. And I have only one child. A very headstrong child, but only one. Plus a husband I spoil horribly. I’d like to say that my stress isn’t of my own creation. But it certainly is as it’s ingrained in me to take care of everyone around me, always putting myself last. This just serves as a reminder that we are all human. Thank you for sharing.
Hot Mom Is Back. I just saw on Yahoo you have a new calendar coming out. I just want to say Maria you are an inspiration and a goddess. You have given me the idea and the motivation to release my own calendar. I am calling it HotMess Guy! Coming In 2015, a collection of 12 of the biggest Hot Messes of Men (Myself Included) you will hang on your bedroom wall. Happy New Year You Big Hot Mess! Thats my mantra.
I agree that getting to your breaking point is sometime necessarily to then rebuild. It is worth noting that some people’s breaking point may be a “long” period of time. I for example found myself at home with a 2 year old and newborn and a husband newly diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment. I wasn’t able to prioritize myself during this phase, I did the best that I could, but honestly was not able to achieve happiness/health/a sense of self. Once this time passed, yes, I could start to work towards my own personal goals. Not all mum’s have the same struggles, and to some taking care of a newborn/lack of sleep…is not an excuse, but just a reality of life. It is important to reevaluate your life circumstance on a regular basis, at some point each individual person will know if they are making excuses.