It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve run away from my kids.
Not permanently, of course, but for a morning. To restore my sanity and make me a stronger mommy for them. With the holidays, and traveling, and entertaining family, I haven’t had a chance to run away. And boy am I feeling it! My patience is stretched thin. I am quick to anger at anyone about anything…in short, I am not myself right now. It is still several days before I will return. Worst of all, I am starting to take it out on myself with a ton of negative self-talk and routinely calling myself a bad mother.
When I say, I run away…I mean it quite literally. Friday night, when my twins are safe in their cribs for the night, I sign off. My hubby takes on the night duties (if there’s a wake-up, that is) and when I get up bright and early on the Saturday, I pull on my running gear and I head out the door for a nice long run with my Saturday runner girls. A nice long run, followed by a nice long coffee and adult conversation. If I want, I follow that up with toddler-free shopping to stores I want to dawdle in and maybe even a lunch.
My Saturday run is the most important run of my week. If I am training for something, it helps me build my endurance. Running is the only thing that can clear my mind properly – it is just my feet and the pavement. It’s a heckuva lot cheaper than therapy for the benefit it gives me. It also helps me keep my weight in check. Probably the biggest aspect of that Saturday run, though, is that none of my runner girls have kids so the kids are really only a passing topic of conversation and not something I dwell on. I can truly de-mommy for a few hours with them and be just Cori again. It’s nice.
I don’t worry about how long it takes me to finally find my way home, but when I finally get there, I am refreshed and recharged. I can speak in full sentences that do not include the wood “Shooka” (one of Goobers latest favourite nonsense words) and I have enough patience to calmly meander through the rest of the week until I can run away again. I also get to enjoy the enthusiasm of my girlies when I walk through the door and they run to give me hugs! Best. Hugs. Ever.
I was never a runner before I had the twins. I only became one when they were about 10 months old because I decided to honour a friend and join a charity marathon team to raise money for the cancer she had just been diagnosed with. Part of that team included a Saturday morning training run. It was on this team that I got to know my runner girls and we decided to keep up the Saturday runs after the half marathon. It is something we all look forward to, but for me it is something I can’t do without. I’m not giving that time back. No one can make me. Sure, sometimes life intervenes and I need to be flexible, but for the most part Saturday morning is mine. All mine.
Mommy escape time has become an essential part of my week. Without it, it would be far too easy to fall into a mommy rut and forget who I actually am. I don’t want my kids to grow up and gain their independence and for me to look back and see that I gave them everything and left nothing for myself. My hubby is fantastic about my mommy escape. He never complains that it’s taking me too long or questions that I deserve it. I think it is as important for him to take on 100% of the parenting for a morning as it is for me to shun it.
Cori is a running supermama to toddler twin girls. She lives in Langdon (just east of Calgary) where she blogs about staying active with a family at Read.Write.Run.Mom.