Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mom Prophesies

I'm going to tell you something I don't like.  And if you've ever done it, know that I like YOU, just not this one thing.  And my capacity for letting things go and forgiving perceived wrongs is huge.  It is my one gift.  I am an awesome forgiver.  I'm not bragging because that's really the only thing I do well.  But ask anyone, I can't hold a grudge for anything.

So with that said, on to what I don't like.  I DO NOT LIKE Mom prophesies.  A mom prophesy is when a current mom tells a new mom or a mom-to-be what it will be like to be a mom.  What she will do and what she won't do.  What she will love and what she will hate.  What she will eat, how much weight she will gain, and how she won't care.  And when people tell me these things (and they usually are not happy, exciting, positive things), I want to look at them and say, "I AM NOT YOU!  YOU ARE NOT ME!  How do you know what I will do?"

First of all, I know moms who don't fit whatever prophesy I am being told.  Second of all, sometimes you don't want to hear that you will never look post-pregnancy like you did before you had kids.  Come on!  I'm already freaked out enough to be walking around with my pants unzipped all the time (actually, I think that's kind of funny, like a secret I know and you don't - but you know it now so... anyway).  I do get freaked out.  My body is changing in all kinds of freaky, amazing ways.  I love it and it scares me.  And then I have to get this thing out somehow.  Yep.  I think about that.  Also, I desperately want to go back to running, loving running, racing, beating my times, and looking like a runner who does all of those things.  Call me vain all day long and maybe I am.  But there it is.  I sat on the couch the other night and planned my post-birth race schedule. Yes I did.  Jason cautioned me and kept me somewhat reasonable, but I could not be deterred.  I WOULD be running THIS race on THIS date and after that I WOULD be running an ultra. Even if I'm wrong, let a girl dream!  (And if you tell me I can't or won't, that's just gonna make me more determined so better to keep it to yourself). 

So the other day one of my dear, sweet friends told me that the way my belly looks now (like I hit the Oreos a bit too hard after a few hamburgers) is what it will look like after my second kid.  Forever.  Even if this is true, this is horrifying (vanity, vanity, thy name is Jane... I know).  And in my mind I come up with all the reasons I am the exception to that rule.  I tell myself about the running I did before I was pregnant and the running I'm doing since being pregnant and I can't believe that once I have a kid I just won't care about running or health or skinny jeans any more.  I admit, I'll probably only care about sleep and staring at this new amazing bundle for a while but... eventually I'm going to be Jane the Runner again.  And I want to believe that when I return to my former self, my belly is not going to hang over my running shorts...forever.

And the mom prophesies don't stop at health, weight, energy, belly fat and running.  But those are probably the ones that stick out the most in my mind.  The thing is, I can list a TON of moms who do amazing things with their running and are amazing moms at the same time.  My friend, Katie, for example.  For that matter, all of my running girls who are moms inspire me daily. The blog I've recently started reading: NYC Running Mama.  My friends, Shannon and Jane.  My sister, Julie. And you know I can't help it, but I also think of Kara Goucher.  No, I do not consider myself on equal footing as a runner but if she returned to her beloved sport and improved upon what she'd done before she became a mom, surely in my own way, I can do that too (although my stomach never did and never will look like hers).  And while I am more excited than words can possibly express about this amazing honor of motherhood, I am now and will always be in love with the sport of running. 

I have to believe this.  I believe if I love it and if I want it, I will go get it.  If I can drag this body through 50 miles of insane trails, I can drag my sleepy, newly-mommied self out the front door for a few miles (when cleared to do so by the doc, of course).  Even if I'm walking.  Even if I'm slow at first.  Even if the stroller goes with me.  I am mentally preparing as best as I can for those moments when it is hard.  I don't have a history of giving in when things get hard.  So why would I start once I'm a mom?  And if I am wrong, if you are shaking your head thinking, "she has no idea..." please let me believe.  Remember what it was like to do all of this for the very first time, think about what your most favorite thing was, and tell me about that!  Because right now, all I'm seeing is blue skies and rainbows, and while my brain knows there will be so much more to it, my heart is refusing to listen.  Just for now.  And when those mom prophesies come to fruition, let me come to you and say, "What in the world did you do when this happened?"  Then I will want to hear it.  Then I will want to know.  But not now.  Not yet.


  1. LOVE the term mom prophesies. :) cracks me up. my favorite one is when a friend predicts that you're having a boy/girl, and then when she's wrong, she is adamant that she had changed her mind the night before and didn't tell you. mmmhmmm....

    i have surely learned that every pregnancy is different and every baby is different... and with that, every MOM is different.

    my only mom prophesy is this: YOU are going to be a wonderful mother, and that sweet child will MOST DEFINITELY be loved and cherished. oh yeah, and your baby will be adorable. that's it. mom prophesy over. :)

    1. Em, I LOVE your mom prophesy!! :)

  2. You definitely have to learn to bite your tongue or turn and walk away. I was told most of the same when I was pregnant with my kiddo and I did, in fact, go back to prepregnancy weight and shape within a couple of months and prepregnancy activity a little later simply because of working my little one into my schedule :).

    All that really matters is that you can accomplish whatever you want to after having a baby that you did before. And you will love every minute of his or her babyhood and childhood. Cherish goes fast! :) (Hope that didn't sound like a prophesy)

  3. Oh I soo know what you are talking about and I hated it when people did that to me when I was pregnant!! I was told I would never get back down to my former size...I am still's been a year since I had my baby however I did gain 74 lbs...gulp...(I was told not to run)...but now I've lost 70 and I won't quit! Everybody's body is different and everyone's story is different, just because it happened to them does not mean it will happen to you. Stay positive, don't listen to the negatives, I started to and got super depressed until my mom had to help encourage me out of it. I've seen many mamas go right back to running and down to their pre-baby size in a couple of months. Dorothy Beal of Mile Posts is one of them. She has 3 kids and looks awesome!! Check her blog out :)
    Babies are amazing and it is one of the most beautiful experiences when you hold you’re newborn. I'm excited for you :)

  4. This is a great post and I promise you won't get any mom prophesies from me. I don't have kids and I can't stand being told what things will be like once I have them. I can't imagine all the things you hear when you are actually pregnant!

    Just let it go and do your thing! You know what you are capable of!

  5. Jane, I just saw the news! Congratulations and God bless you and Jason! Our prayers for you as you go through the pregnancy. :-)

  6. YES!!!

    Reject the mom prophesies!! People (including me, more than I'd like to admit) LOVE to be a know-it-all. I think this is especially true in mom-dom, because (speaking for myself) we have no idea what we're doing! Oh the irony of a know-it-all know-nothing!

    Also, as you mentioned, people only know their OWN experiences, which will not be YOUR experiences.

    (It was super funny when I was going through the adoption process, because most people have not experienced it themselves. So I got a lot of "just wait" prophesies in terms of what it would be like to be a mom. The funny part, is I've experienced some common "post-preg" symptoms anyways, due to age and stress I guess, and a lot of the "just wait" prophesies never really took root!)

    You don't have to lose your identity when you become a mom. You will still be YOU, and while you will make a lot of sacrifices, you will also find time to pursue the things you feel passionate about.

  7. Jane, Thanks for the shout-out in this entry! I hope you and others can use what I have done to inspire you also. I remember CLINGING to the few moms that I knew who were still runners. One ran a marathon 6 months after giving birth. She became my example (and I would have done it after my first, except I got pregnant with my 2nd!). Blogging has opened my eyes to how many moms are runners. I remember getting stares and comments when I did an 8K pregnant and pretty far along. Now I know that I really WASN'T that unusual. Many pregnant women run---safely and slowly. I hope others will follow your lead!