So, I had some friends who ran in the Baltimore Marathon this morning and a friend who participated in the Autism Walk. All of these women are amazing because they spent time preparing, raising money, finding childcare, and thinking about these events. But in the end, they're still just a Mom.
When they get home, they can't take a hot shower and relax on the couch all day catching up on their DVR programs. They need to fix meals, do laundry, clean up toys (that they didn't play with), empty/fill the dishwasher, decorate for Halloween, change sheets, give baths, read books, entertain, complete Halloween costumes, deliver kids to birthday parties, go grocery shopping, and soothe many random "owies."
Their kids aren't really going to be impressed that Mom just ran several miles. They aren't going to be impressed that their Mom spent many weeks raising money for a great cause. They won't be happy about the fact that their Mom accomplished something wonderful. They won't admire the dedication that it took for their Mom to wake up when it was still pitch black to train for this race. They won't even care that their Mom feels more accomplished than she has in years b/c she actually started something and finished it (coming from a Mom who finds it a miracle to get all of the laundry done in one day). In the end, they'll just expect her to wipe their nose or ass, ask her to make them something different for dinner, and request that she puts a different pair of pajamas on for bedtime....and she will do it. That's how Moms work...it's just what a Mom does. I'm not suggesting that these kids are ungrateful...they have no idea what compassion is...it's not their fault...they're kids.
I give these women a lot of credit b/c not only did they commit their time, but their energy. There is a lot of energy expended being a Mom, but when people somehow find more, I marvel. I don't know how they do it! When I turned 30, I really learned a lot about saying "no." I may even say it more than I need to, but it's what I've learned over the years. If you say "yes" too much, people may start to take advantage of you or just expect you to say "yes" even if you don't really want to...then the obligations start.
I want to let these women know how much I respect and admire them for saying "yes." I want to let them know that if I could, I'd give them the day off. I'd take their kids to the park while they recovered from their races. I think they deserve it and I doubt any of them got it. Even if their husbands (who are wonderful in my opinion) offered or gave them some "time off," these women probably didn't take full advantage of it. I love you guys (even if you're not reading) and all of the other women who find time outside of their homes for something more...something more is never easy to make happen, but you do it every day. Just imagine what the "normal" is if the "something more" is this great!