Friday, February 18, 2011

Adventures in Solo Caregiving and Running

Flying solo in caring for children of any age is an extreme challenge, whether temporarily or permanently. The needs can be the size of a tsunami, and just as overwhelming. Whether it is through single parenting or a partner who travels or works extended hours, we are vulnerable when we are caregivers.  I have a hard-working husband who works extended hours during peak seasons of the year. Flying solo is something we each will probably face at some point for some reason and it will definitely not be a convenient time.  Nor, will it help our commitment to running and staying healthy. As we speak, I am in day 3 of flying solo while my husband is traveling for 7 days. My children are ages 6,4, and almost 2. Teething toddlers, constipated four-years olds, and head-strong 6 year olds make our days a breeze. Please hear me laugh. It is anything but easy. Yet, I often ask myself…what, are you afraid of a little hard work? If I can run a marathon, I can certainly do this! Patience, patience, and more patience. Marathons and motherhood definitely requires large amounts of patience. And it is these times, especially, when the world is out of balance that we need to maintain some semblance health and balance.

Our days often progress as yesterday did with a life-is-funnier-than-fiction example, we attempted to leave the house. Those who care for high need small people know this is not as simple as it sounds. At 1 pm, we needed to leave. Everyone had a meltdown, all at once, and right on time. Honestly, that doesn’t happen a ton, but of course with Daddy traveling it does. Andrea decided that she would no longer go upstairs by herself. Not at all, which poses a problem since our only restroom is on our second floor. Next, Nathan froze his lip to a spoon he had secretly frozen in the freezer in true A Christmas Story style. Blood was everywhere. At least we didn’t have to call the EMT. Bleeding stopped, Ethan had the blow out of the century. It took us 1 ½ hours to get out the door. My incredible neighbor Cathy Honaker gave me permission to do anything I wanted for any length of time. As the children went to be happily loved at the Honaker “Disneyland,” I headed to run much over-due errands. I stopped at the fairgrounds in the center of our city to run. It seemed like a luxury with so much to do hanging over my head. Two 8 min/miles in the whole grand scheme of things did not put me back that much time wise. 16 mins could be lost in traffic, I justified,  but instead I was happily exercised and enjoyed the fresh air. I even received a nice complement from a little old man walking there. He said in passing it was great to see a young woman running – I’ll take it. Around the lush pre-Spring fairgrounds stand the most stately birch trees I have ever seen. They are at least one hundred years old and create a sacred quiet surrounded by the noise of a busy city. No huge revelation today from this run. Just survival. Flying solo and still getting a run in, no matter how short…that, for me, is enough.

How do you fit in exercise during the extremely busy seasons of life?

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how even 1 or 2 miles can help you get back into the scheme of life at home. I am currently getting my mileage in by pushing baby girl when it is warm out but even with her there it helps my mental capacity so much. Things are not nearly as hard!