The smell of chalk and sweat made my shoulders grow broader and my head tilt towards the sky. 8 years old and determined to kill it on my floor routine, I knew what came first. Before I could perform, or even attempt to practice, I had to be stretched.
It was the stretching that always made me cry. The tears would flow down my face, without a word out of my mouth. My coach pulled the right leg over my head first, stretching every muscle to the limit,then the left without skipping a beat. I knew even in my young age this was necessary. This is what made me a good Gymnast. This is what made me perform well, and gave me strength for the next routine. Even still, I hated it.
I still hate it, the stretching.
As Mothers we often wear so many hats. The hats come on and off as we rush from one job to the next. First I am a maid, second I’m a bar bouncer breaking up a toddler fight and third I’m a cook. Because they eat all the time. Like they never stop. And I have to feed them every night. Is this normal for everyone else? ok.
How many times a day are we stretched to reach the potential of yesterday’s you. Yesterday you were great and wonderful. Your house was spotless and you fed your kids all organic food, not the Great value whales you’re throwing at them today. But what about today’s Mom? Is she any less awesome than the Mom you were on your ” good” days?
When we have so many endless jobs demanding our attention, time and energy…. it’s easy to become that eight year old girl in the gym. I don’t want to be stretched coach. It hurts and I feel uncomfortable. Can we please shorten this work out? I just want to eat chocolate and drink red wine. We can try again tomorrow. I’ve already failed today. Look at my kids, they are eating marshmallows for dinner. Is there any real ingredient in those things?
As Mothers, if we cannot learn to stretch, and bend a bit ….we snap.
We have GOT to learn to cut ourselves some slack. The stretching really hurts, but I swear it makes you flexible.
Think about it this way:
If you had perfect kids that never sinned, never drew on the bathroom wall with sharpie, never hit their siblings upside the head with a plastic baseball bat, and they always ate all of their asparagus at dinner without gagging, you wouldn’t have any lessons to teach.
Your muscles would be so tight from not stretching them out that you would be one boring woman. It’s the experience in the learning to mother that makes it comical. Know how many times I’ve called my Mother asking:
” Is this normal that I ?!”
The answer is always yes.
Kids need to make mistakes, so they can learn from them, and in return we learn from them as well. In reality the stretching of our patience is torture. I agree. It hurts and we want it to stop. But in the end it makes us one thing.
So consider yourself blessed when you have a hard day. It’s only stretching you to be a better Mom, on the good days and the horrific ones. That stretching hurts like mad @#$#$#$#$ but…. it’s necessary for a loving Mother.
When our children use their human nature to exert their opinions in life, we can simply stretch a bit, then correct them. We must be careful not to take their faults personally. They are people too. But it’s our job to stretch and allow ourselves TO be stretched for their good. And ours.
Stretching creates flexibility, and absolute strength in performance. So allow yourselves to be stretched tonight. You never know what tomorrow holds. Maybe you need to perform.