Thursday, June 19, 2008

Marathon Mom

Changing diapers, sleepless nights, endless feedings, nap times, bedtimes, piles of laundry – by the time your baby turns one year old, it can feel like you have run a marathon. Their first birthday is a celebration that you made it to the finish line of the infant stage, and you are in shape to run a new race with your toddler.

I barely found the time to get back to the gym the first year after Sophia was born, but this Supermom actually ran a marathon just a few weeks before her sextuplets turned one year old! She was featured on the Today show (will all six children) this morning, so check out the article and videos if you have some time.

While reading through this article, I was amazed at her endurance and drive to run 26 miles. It must have something to do with having a child that makes you believe in yourself, that you can push yourself to new heights you never dreamed were possible before because I was also inspired to start running about 6 months after Sophia was born. I trained slowly and sporadically for awhile, and then I signed up for my first 5K which I finally ran when she was 14 months old.

I have to admit, however, that I questioned if training for a marathon was a healthy thing to do for a new mom with infant sextuplets. I was starting to judge this “Supermom” for neglecting her babies to take the time to run. Why wasn’t she home taking care of her SIX babies? I had a hard time running when I was nursing (it must have been the physically different proportions I had as a nursing mommy). In my mind, I reasoned that she probably was not nursing because there is no way she could keep up with the feeding needs of that many babies. Still, was this good for her babies? Soon I realized that my judgment had nothing to do with disapproval of her decision to run, but it was that little green monster named envy. When I started running, I decided to add “run a marathon” to my bucket list with the idea that I would get around to it in a few years. However, my doctor recently dashed these plans after discussing the problems I have with my knees and hips. Long distance running is out, but Pilates and yoga are my new replacements.

Just like every overworked and overwhelmed new mom out there, one who has six infants needs to take time off from being a full time mommy – even for a few hours a day. I went back to work when Sophia was less than two months old, and I realized that my time spent away from her was actually a great mental and physical break from the monotony of diaper changing, feeding, and endless crying. This mom cared for her six infants every day, then took some time for herself each night to exercise. This was not a bad choice she was making by running, but it was an improvement to her health. How did she find the time to train? “Because they’re good sleepers” she said.

I credit her for taking time for herself, in an effort to be healthy for her children. Can you imagine how much she will be running in about 12 years from now when she has 6 teenagers in her house? She will definitely need some new running shoes to keep up with her marathon life of raising six children. Since I can’t run a marathon along side her one day, I will cheer her on from the sidelines and hit the gym for a Pilates class this weekend. Sophia deserves a healthy mommy too.

1 comment:

Amy Lyon said...

I saw this "supermom" on the Today show too Miss Stephanie! She did amaze me with her will and motivation to find the time to TAKE time for herself. (and ultimately for her husband and kids as a healthy woman)

Thanks for your perspective on this. It's time that this mom gets active again too! Have fun at Pilate's!
ps. I've loved your other posts too little miss writer! Who knew?! You're really onto something here. Keep it up!