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.