Warning: This blog has profaninty. I have held onto this blog for some time...clearly since summer at least. Why share now? I am not sure exactly, but the new year seems as good a time as any especially as many make resolutions. I also would like to be clear that I do believe many things have value in this world including those things that are marketed to women and especially mothers. My primary issue is that if we don't do any personal exploration to fully understand ourselves and our tendencies then we end up booby trapping ourselves. And who has time for that while raising a family????
Mothers, it’s time to stop.
The only reason I am targeting you, another mother, is because I am one.
This past weekend, I was at the beach with some family. A family member asked, “You look great. Do you CrossFit all the time?”
“Does working out 2-3 times a week count as ‘all the time’?” I asked.
Yes, I do work out and sometimes hard. But I never skip sleeping or push myself beyond my limits just to brag that I sacrificed anything to get there. I don’t gorge on alcohol or junk food just because I worked out or had a hard day…not anymore at least. I work out to stay healthy in body and mind. And I absolutely prioritize sleep and rest breaks. I don’t force protein shakes or powders or supplements just to get through the crazy work out or even to get through my day. I listen to my body, and eat FOOD when I am hungry. Why? Because I deserve to feel good, not guilted into feeling bad about my body or my health or how much exercise I didn’t do. Here’s another secret, sometimes I do N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Yes, nothing, often actually. I sit in the middle of the day and just breath or soak in the rays or soak in the love of a child. I deserve to feel good so I can love my children the way they deserve to be loved.
Yes, I am an athlete just like you despite our sports being different. Yes, exercise is important, but why do I need to physically run a marathon? I am not an Olympic athlete making my money with sponsors. I run a marathon….every….single….day…its called parenthood. If I actually ran a marathon, I couldn’t run the parenthood marathon. I have certainly tried though.
I am tired of watching you succumb to booby trap marketing in the name of health. The markets have you, a mother, as a target.
Call it a support group.
Call it healthy exercise.
Call it a healthy protein shake.
Call it an alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Call it investing in your health.
Seriously. Let’s call it what it is.
It’s a marketing booby trap…targeted for you, a mother, to buy something. I have had many business folks try to convince me to target mothers because it’s financial security and an easy market. Yet, I resist. Why? Because I am a mother too and that simply pisses me off!
So why do we, mothers, keep falling for it?
It’s a way to cover up the real problem. The real problem is that you feel inadequate.
Inadequate because you aren’t skinny enough….or you aren’t a good cook…or you are working so you are failing your kids somehow….or you aren’t working and are JUST a stay at home mom…or you don’t deserve the love the children have for you unless you work for it….or your house isn’t clean enough….or you need to look better in a bikini.
Let me tell you something. This is all bullshit. Yes, you may look better in a bikini after exercising like a maniac every single day, but it WON’T make you feel better or have more love to give because you have now driven yourself further into exhaustion and adrenal fatigue…yes…yes…it will happen. The lifestyle is NOT sustainable. Just give it time.
You are worthy of the love that oozes from your children and husband….already. Accept it so you can give in return. Escaping to the gym or the alcohol binge or the bag of chips because you can’t accept that you are worthy of that love is only ignoring the problem…not to mention a waste of your time and money.
You are distracted with working so dang hard on making yourself better that you are missing the point.
Focus your energy where the investment is boundless, not shame driven. We brought these children into this world, it’s time to stop making excuses for ourselves because we are worried we don’t deserve the love they have for us.
You are strong already…cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry, lifting kids into big bear hugs, cleaning the house, driving kids to school, working your day job….
You are beautiful…. already.
You are loved…already.
Take that time to sleep. Take that money and here’s a novel idea…buy more fruits and vegetables for your family to eat. Have some girlfriends, but isn’t the foundation of your village right in your own home? Those kids are waiting for you. Your partner is waiting for you. Treat your body like a temple. Then treat your kid’s body like a temple too. Teach them how to do it for themselves. Take a break from it all for sure, but please stop punishing yourself with endless physical torture followed by drinking alcohol or sugary protein shakes to make it go away.
Yet…if you want to really be a competitive athlete because that’s absolutely where you want to be, then yes, you will need protein shakes, recovery shakes, goo, gluten, and whatever magical potion that helps your body keep going beyond its natural limits. There is no other way you can run two marathons at the same time with out magic.
We all want to feel like we belong. But don’t you belong right where you are? Bring people into your life that lift you up and support you actually living healthy…not just trying to sell you something that makes someone else money.
The reality is, making changes in how you invest your time, energy, money and even your love in what matters will make you look AND feel better in the bathing suit…I promise.
If this rant makes you uncomfortable, I am sorry, but I am not sorry.
If this rant feels directed at you, I am sorry, but I am not sorry.
If this rant seems directed at me, because it is, I am sorry, but I am not sorry.
If this rant doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t a parent, I am sorry. Maybe look again just to be sure because marketing booby traps exist for all humans.
In the end, I hope you, my fellow mother, takes a moment to pause and reflect upon the true source of the problem you are trying to solve, that which makes you vulnerable to the booby trap marketing.
I we can get clarity on understanding ourselves and what is driving us to be vulnerable than maye we can get to the root of the problem.
Remove. Replace. Restore.
Remove the target on your back.
Replace with awareness of the booby trap. Accept the love from the village that has no bounds so you can give to them in return.
Restore the endurance you need for your parenting.
Eat Well. Move Well. Sleep Well. Soar On.
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.