Sense of Self

Sense of Self

I admit it. Sometimes I feel guilty. Amelita is in swimming lessons. She does ballet. We paint and read and do puzzles together at home… most days. I have friends that cart their baby/toddler/child from activity to activity. A seemingly endless stream of fun and learning. I am not that mom. And Ama is not that kid. I drag Ama around from the gym to work to the grocery store and back to work. They have a rule at the Strong Start program that kids can only attend three times a week. Three times a week! I’m lucky to attend three times a month. So yeah, it does make me feel a twinge of guilt when I see Facebook picture after twitter feed of a flurry of child-centric activity. A twinge of maybe I should drop everything and put myself aside. A twinge of wondering if I have been selfish in my fitness/motherhood pursuit. Maybe you can’t have it all.

Then I realize that I am the best thing that I could give my daughter. That my lifestyle is what is best for her.

I think that’s an important piece to parenting. I know countless parents who have eschewed everything they loved in sacrifice for their children. I know passionate pianists that have become passionate parents of pianists. And I can’t understand why they wouldn’t demonstrate and model their passion instead of attempt to wrestle their children into it. I know people that have given up all forms of physical activity to shuttle their kids around to their physical activities.

Ama joins in on my Crossfit classes, runs with me in the stroller and jumps on me as I stretch. I love seeing her doing burpees or pull-ups or teaching me a running drill. Best of all, since these are things that I know and am passionate about, I get to teach her. Too often we contract out learning opportunities because we take our skills and interests for granted.

Ama spends more time running in the stroller than most kids. Hands down. But it’s not time wasted. We sing, talk and tell stories (it helps the mileage click off faster for me too). And when I am not running, she’s not I the stroller. She walks to the store, to the park, up the mountain. Kids love to copy and they need mentors for that. Who could be a better mentor than a happy mommy doing what she loves?

OF course, there has to be a sense of balance. I feel at my optimal happiness when everything has a space in my life. When my house is clean enough, we have enough nutritious food in the fridge, enough playdates in the calendar and enough muscles both our bodies.

4 thoughts on “Sense of Self

  1. Ali,

    I agree. I do take Tav to planned activities but this year it’s one of my goals to do less structured activities and more things that are fun for all of us. Xc skiing with the chariot and tavs skis in the back, skating on our many local ponds, swimming for fun, sledding and letting him explore the park. I have to say the weather here has made me less likely to head outside so I’m making a 1 hour a day rule no matter what as there’s no option for fitness here for me that I enjoy and I can’t run!! You’re doing a great job and I can’t wait for Ama to teach tav how to do burpies!

    1. I miss you both. Loved the pictures of you guys skiing. We went down to Callahan and loved every minute. We were worried though because Ama couldn’t see out the Chariot when the snow started to fall really heavily… so we kept on asking if she was OK. She started just randomly yelling, “Ama OK!” without prompting. Super cute. When do you come back?

  2. I was just feeling guilty the other day about all the indoor time Sydney gets, as opposed to being outside and getting to play. Alberta is difficult in winter at the best of times, but we do end up spending lots of time inside making up games and songs, playing on the trampoline, colouring, etc. Like Ama, Syd’s not in a ton of organized activities. In fact, gymnastics is her only organized activity this winter. So here I am kicking myself for being a crappy Mom, and then I remember that even if we are indoors quite a bit, we’re together. And that’s really the most important thing. Hope to see you this summer if you guys make it down for a visit!

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