I’ve always felt I was a pretty good mom, as far as the whole mom thing is concerned. I tried my best to manage work and family, we made it to soccer games and family events. It seemed like I was getting by. I never wanted to be one of those moms with tons of activities to be headed to. It seemed overwhelming, and as it was, I had a messy house, and it seemed like I had no energy to extend to anything else. I didn’t have enough time to really take care of myself, never mind to add on extra activities. It all just seemed…so overwhelming. I spent a lot of time declining activities, and I justified it because I felt already stretched so thin.
A few months ago, I decided it might be fun to take the kids to the Y to go swimming. It was a bit of a whim, but I thought perhaps it could help them burn off some steam. While we were there, I suddenly heard some thumping music, and I turned to see the source. There was an aqua zumba class going on, and I found myself fascinated. Granted, many of the women were far older than I, but they were MOVING. They were SMILING. I watched much of the class, and I suddenly felt “I want to do that. I want to be like them. I can rock it with those older ladies!” The next week, I had the kids in the monitored childcare area to play and I went to the class. I had a BLAST and was so happy that I had gotten over my shyness and decided to go. I felt better for it. I got to thinking about all the things I had accomplished over my life, and the one that seemed to elude me was getting my weight back down. It’s not terrible, but I could improve it, and I could certainly get fitter. There was nothing stopping me, but me. I made the choice to challenge myself to get fitter.
A few weeks on, I have dropped some weight. I have more energy, and I feel happier. I am doing aqua zumba twice a week, and try to squeeze in some sort f exercise when I can. I’m not a gym girl, but I try to do what I can to get some exercise.
The biggest change in all of this, is not just the weight loss. It’s that my decision to say “yes” to the class brought me such happiness that I began to say yes more and more. I have been making a conscious decision to be more of a “yes” parent. This doesn’t mean the kids get spoiled or get to do whatever they want, but when presented with an option to do something, I am working to say yes more than no.
When our soccer coach couldn’t coach this season, we were faced with having to find a new person to volunteer to be coach, or to split up our team. When nobody seemed to step up, I decided to say “yes”. Meet the new head coach! It’s a learning curve, and I’m sure some people think I’m crazy, but my son has told me how proud he is that I am doing it. That’s all I need. I am actually loving it. I need to keep learning more and more about the game, but I know enough to get by, and to ask for help when I need it.
Last week, I balanced work, cooked a full meal, raced to and ran soccer practice, and attended a school kid/parent dance with the kids. They had the time of their lives, and both commented on how awesome it is that I was going to the dance.
Today, after a week of rain, my son was lamenting that he still hadn’t learned to ride a bike. My dad got him the bike few years ago. It’s a beautiful blue bike, and yet after a quick try at the playground to teach him to ride a 2 wheeler, it has sat unused in our basement. I’ve eyed it with a sense of guilt that he hadn’t learned yet(I LOVED riding my bike at his age) and self doubt (surely this is something my husband would have to teach him). It was raining. I was tired. There were all he reasons I would normally given myself to say no. Today, however, it was different. Today was the day I would make a change, and say yes. I stuffed the bike in the car, went to fill the tires with air, and decided today would be the day he would learn how to ride.It was drizzling outside. I decided to give him the basic rundown and my best advice: “Where you look, is where you will go. Look ahead and in the direction you want to go!” (I was taught this when I learned to ride a motorcycle and it was sound advice). In no time, he was riding like he’d been doing it for ages. The sense of pride he felt in himself was the best mother’s day gift I could get. My daughter cheered him on, and then hopped on her bike to follow him on her little bike. I took a video and sent it to my husband who was at work. His response? “This was the best part of my day!”
Today, I commented how funny it was that I went from hating having lots scheduled to actually enjoying it. My son says I have “evolved” into a better mom, one who is happier, more fun, and more energetic. My house, sadly, is messy as hell. My kids, my husband and I? We’re less of a mess. We’re making memories. My son, who has been embarrassed by any affection in public from me since he was 5, now tells me how proud he is of me, and that he thinks it’s great I am coaching. My relationship with the kids is better than ever. In just a couple of months, it feels like we have made big strides. I have lost weight as a side effect of being on the go, trying new things, and getting off the couch. I am now down at the soccer field kicking the ball with the kids, hitting my aqua zumba class, and running down the sidewalk while the kids ride a bike.
So for now, I shall be the yes mom. Just don’t judge my house 😉