I was putting my 4 year old daughter to bed last night and we had this conversation:
Me: OK, time to sleep. You have school tomorrow.
Her: Why do I have to go to school tomorrow?
Me: Because that’s what kids do. Kids go to school and grown ups go to work.
Her: You don’t go to work.
Me: I go to work. I just work in the home. Some grown ups work outside the home like in the office, but I work in the home. I clean and do laundry and go grocery shopping. I make sure our family has everything it needs to do all the fun things we do. Like going to school.
Her: No, Mom. You just go running.
Several thoughts run through my head during this exchange:
1) Maybe I should stop doing all my cleaning, cooking, etc. “behind the scenes” i.e. when my kids aren’t around so they know that I am actually the one doing these things and not some magical elves.
2) This is the response I get for not going back to work after moving to CA. Am I not being a good role model – that a woman can work IN the home and still have value?
3) My daughter sees me as a runner – YES!!!
4) But she thinks that all I do is running – hmmmm…
I am much more than a runner. But truth be told, I would rather run than clean the bathroom or do laundry or go grocery shopping. And there have been days when I have decided to extend my run and my family ended up eating leftovers for dinner. I think I am a much better runner than I am a housekeeper or cook.
Runner, however, does make me a better mom and wife. My mood is better after a run and I have more energy to do all the cleaning and cooking and listening and caring and driving and everything else that comes with the title of “mom and wife”.
One of my favorite things about running is being able to enter a race and get a medal or some other type of recognition, for all the time and effort I had put in to prepare for the race and finish it on my own terms.
Maybe when my kids are grown, they’ll give me a medal and say, “Great job, Mom!”
And maybe if I finish 1st in my age group, they’ll even give me a tech shirt…