I must be doing something right.
I feel like some days I could count on one hand the number of things I do right as a mom, while the number I think of things I do wrong probably could number in the thousands.
Just this week for example:
- I let Ben eat a donut for breakfast. Yes, it was my husband that gave it to him, but I did nothing to stop him nor offer him anything healthier to eat
- I cleaned Matthew's face off with spit. Yes you read that right. I've turned into a spit-shiner just like grandma.
- I let Ben have chocolate milk at bedtime. In fact, I let him have chocolate milk at bedtime nearly every night. Something I said I'd never do, yet here we are.
- I forgot to brush my children's teeth for two days in a row. Yup. Sure did.
- My car, while it's not a minivan, (I should get some points for that, right?), is a disaster. I can't even believe how much crap seems to find its way to my floors.
So those are just a few things off the top of my head that make me a "bad mother". ;) (If I can't laugh at myself, then it's not worth it, right?)
But every now and then I get it right. Last month, Matthew came home from school with a paper that he was very excited about. It gave the details of a new program called "Kids of Steel." The motivation behind it is to help make kids healthier.
The program has kids keep track of the miles that they run or walk. The plan is that they will run or walk a marathon over the next 10 weeks. They will do 25.2 of those miles at home, then they will run the last mile of their marathon at the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon in May.
I'm sure that many kids came home with this paper and either thought it was cool because their friends would be doing it or thought it sounded horrible that they'd have to exercise every day.
So here comes the part about me being a good mom. You knew I'd get to that, right? :)
Let me tell you my story. I used to be very overweight. I lost a lot of weight several years ago (75 pounds) and have tried to keep it off, but it's always struggle.
Two years ago I decided to take up and running as a way to lose weight. I never did lose a single pound from running :-) but I learned to love the sport. For the past two years my children have seen me and my husband run many many races. They're used to waking up to a babysitter, knowing that mommy and daddy are off running a race. They wait patiently while I run on the treadmill several times a week. They've cheered me on through a half marathon and several triathlons.
Last summer, after Matthew showed some interest, we decided to let them try to run a kids' race. They both loved it asked to do it again. We did another kids' race in late summer and a kid's triathlon and I think I've gotten Matthew hooked.
He was so excited about participating in the "Kids of Steel" program that he has asked me every day for several weeks when it starts. We told him to wait until the new year and now that it's here he's asked me to teach him how to walk on the treadmill. He's very serious about getting his mile in every night. I sit and watch him and am just in awe that my 6-year-old finds exercise (and especially running) so enjoyable. I know that's a direct result of my lifestyle rubbing off and that makes me so incredibly proud.
So the next time someone makes a comment on my "parenting choices" I'm going to show them Matthew's marathon medal and tell them to stick it in their pie hole ;)