Tag Archives: WORK

“And She’s a Mom!”

3 Aug

Yesterday marked my first run after work postpartum. I set out to sweat but also to quickly return home to be with my babes.

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I woke at 4:30a. Bus to metro to work by 6:45a. Returned home at 6p ish. Showered my baby girl with kisses, squishes, and cuddles (a proven test that my lip stain is indeed a stain as there was no evidence of my smooch fest on her cute little cheekies 💋). Little O fell asleep shortly after so the guilt of leaving her for my needed “mommy time” aka “run” didn’t sting so badly. I returned home around 7:30ish to find my little rosebud giggling with daddy. 

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Seriously peeps, coming home is the sweetest gift ever!

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But let’s get real about some things…

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The Monday-Friday grind, the commute, and wanting to spend every waking minute with little O while also training for a marathon, training to get my body back, and making sure my relationship with my better half continues to thrive is a challenge.

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The transition to motherhood has been blissful. But the transition trying to find the time to connect to my mind, body, and soul as well as trying to connect with my partner is nothing shy of a taxing adventure. It’s an adventure plagued by my own heavy guilt (because of societal standards) coupled with the subtle microaggressions from others and the ubiquitous endorsements, advertisements, and stepford-esque wives evangelizing the glory of motherhood and condemning any other activity that taketh your attention away from it. 

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Not all dialogue centered around motherhood is riddled to make you feel guilty. But my point is, some dialogues about motherhood actually reject mothers carrying other roles; thus, rejecting women and the whole feminist evolution. The content strikes me as callous because the words scream to me that when motherhood “ails” women it deviates women from their previous multifaceted construction to that of a singular dimension. We are not one dimensional! It’s as if having a child suddenly diminishes a woman to carrying one title only – a mother. Is that all that is expected from us? Being a mother? Anything on top of that role is an attaboy moment – “She managed that project, delivered her pitch, ran a marathon, and she’s a mom!” Why is there the qualifier, “and she’s a mom!”? What purpose does it serve? We are whole without it. We should not be typecast as if being a mother abates us of all competencies. (Thanks to Lauren Fleshman for pointing that out in her podcast with Dr. Melody Moore.)

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I’m a mom. A new mom! I was a runner first. And people still don’t understand my desire to run, especially post pregnancy because it means I leave the house and my babes after being away all day for work. I think it makes people uncomfortable because they couldn’t fathom leaving the house and their newborn. Maybe it’s a fear of separation anxiety from their baby (I did experience this). Or maybe it’s their fear of being criticized for putting their own needs first. I don’t feel the need to repent for continuing to put my needs first. I’m on call all day and night – a little time etched out of the day for me is reasonable, not selfish.

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Yet I’m criticized on the daily – I’m sure of it. Some days I feel assaulted by negativity because of the opinions of others about how I “mom.” No one explicitly criticizes me but their comments are back-handed. Do you know what I do? I smile and nod. I play dumb. While it’s hard to ignore the undertones of chastisement, I pretend I’m not competent enough to understand their insults because hey, I’m a mom – remember – all competencies were removed with my placenta – part of the deal.

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Why is there this brazen epidemic to mommy-shame? I question if I’m a bad mother because I’m trying to do it all. Intuitively, I know I’m not a bad mother. But yes, I leave the house after working all day to run. And yes, I’m a breastfeeding mom who drinks wine with dinner. At least it’s not the bottle! I’m not a bad mother.

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But do I need to explain myself so that my actions make others feel comfortable? No.

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I still have a commitment to myself while also holding the torch of motherhood. Becoming a mother doesn’t dissolve me of my identity. Rather, it highlights it. 

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So there you have it. In a culture that pretends there is equality among sexes, why is it that we celebrate motherhood but impose insidious maternity leave policies? Why is there gender inequality in the workplace? Why do we celebrate men who become fathers with a pay raise but women who become mothers don’t see that same jump in income? Why is it that our culture preaches women can do it all but then women are ruthlessly assaulted and shamed when they try to {cough cough} and do so successfully? For a culture that is so politically sensitive about the most paltry of matters, why is it so crass towards women and women’s rights? The whole empowering women movement is just a dog and pony show. The kicker, why are some of the hardest critics of women those that share my gender – women? It’s pitiful. We can’t rise when we are anchored down by our own kind! Come on ladies!!! 

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Years of false paradigms have flooded our minds with what it means to be a woman, a wife and a mother. It’s such a narrow definition of success. We should stop expressing concern about a woman’s (a mother’s) well-being because of a false idea of what she should be. 

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I am a woman. A mother. A daughter. A sister. A granddaughter. A niece. A cousin. A wife (soon). A friend. An employee. A runner. A lover of all (especially my Boston terrier, Mika). A pseudo chef. A wine lover – bring on the Malbec. A tequila nut. A frozen gummy bear spaz. A book worm – I can never have enough books. A terrible singer. A shoe fanatic. A luster of the new Garmin Fenix 3. A woman who loves dressing up my sass but equally loves to be accessorized in sweat. Whether I’m in stilettos or my laces are tied, in conference rooms, or starting lines, or singing lullabies, you can’t define me. I don’t fit in a box. 

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And so, I will continue to defy the norm. I invite you to do so as well. If you’re reading this and you are a mother, I ask that you acknowledge that you are more than just that, albeit being a mother is a privilege and a gift! The only qualifier I want referencing me as a mom is, “and she’a badass motherrunner” – because let’s get one thing straight, I’m am!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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XO

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Valgal, badass motherrunner 

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D for Destination

29 Sep

Hello lovelies!!!

 

Wishing you all a tantalizing Tuesday!

 

A Quick Recap of My Life Between the Miles

 

I’m currently riding the metro into work and the commute is burdened with delays. I’m totally fine with it because it means more time my eyes can be buried in a book, scoping out my best move with Words with Friends, reading the news or  blogging  of course!

 

The delay got me thinking about final destinations. I know I’ll eventually end up at the metro stop where the cinematic sounds of ordinary appliances play a melody of music. I always look forward to it enrapturing me. It puts a permanent smile on my face that is fixed there for the duration of the day, despite any blunders. I know that I will get there. Soon.

 

My point is delays, a euphemism for obstacles in life in general, often only interrupt the arrival time to your final destination.

 

Who says you have to be punctual to get to where you’re destined to go…you’ll eventually get there!

 

Case and Point

 

I received a notice on September 21st that September 17th marked the date of my divorce. This is a cause for celebration! It means that both he and I are legally free to embark on the separate paths towards our final destination without feelings of malice (I have none).  In my belief my final destination is predetermined and I’m one step (one divorce – ooohhh that’s heartburn) closer to getting there.

 

Blip

 

My marriage was a blip on the roadmap to my destination. I was operating with an atlas in my mind without a properly tuned compass. The compass (i.e. my heart) urged me to take another route but I am incessantly stubborn. Others who warned me to take a different path themselves got lost in their own potted and sheepish journey to numb reality. A few were also blinded by obstinate presumptions.

 

Truth is I think we were all half-blinded by disappointment.

 

Fortunately this was all temporary. Repeat: temporary!

 

Today

 

Believe it or not, my divorce doesn’t symbolize anything negative. It was a journey that repaired my vision. I see clearly for the first time in years what I need and expect from myself and from others. I look at my divorce as a right of passage that helps me accept my current destination. It personifies my ability to take a few bumps and bruises to my ego, to take the smear of my name and move forward with my head up.

 

D for Destination

 

Life is a series of capricious events. Just because you take a detour (a big one) doesn’t mean you won’t end up exactly where you belong. “An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” Ancient Chinese Proverb.

 

And where I belong is exactly where I am! 

 

D may stand for divorce but divorce is also a part of the destination.

 

Life is but an incandescent journey. The colors of the ebb and flow: mistakes, blemishes, soiled reputations, misgivings, love, compassion, empathy, peace, acceptance, passion, fondness, ardor, and love affairs that last through the barrage of it all it’s one inexplicable masterpiece. A masterpiece tousled with some opaque colors married with the rouge of fate.

 

With that, I propose that you own your story. Paint with unabashed freedom! After all, the monotony of drab circumstances help to illuminate the artistry of life, love and its longevity.

 

Enjoy your unprecedented journey to your destination!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Valgal

 

XO

 

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