In 2012, I was a mother and the Olympic Games still held allure, but in a different way. I imagined my child playing sports and how I would be watching him take on each event.
Now, in 2016, as I near 30, I'm beginning to wonder what I've done with my life. Children half my age are winning gold medals. But, just like Olympians Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Dana Vollmer, I have successfully created two human beings, so here's how I like to imagine motherhood is a bit like being an Olympic athlete.
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. You are constantly on duty, you've probably caught throw up at least once, and have been criticized for your parenting style. There is no time off from the sport of motherhood. Even when your children aren't around, you're worrying about them. Raising decent human beings is your gold medal and it takes constant vigilance. Many, many middle of the night wake up calls and almost no breaks.
Whether we're at home, school, or work we're always looking for ways to be better: Do more for our kids, keep the house more organized, throw better parties. It's no accident moms are the queens of Pinterest. We're always training and trying to be better than we were the day before.
Being a mom nowadays is by far one of the most difficult sports in the world. The sport itself hasn't changed much, but if you make a mistake you are bound to be criticized by millions. The parents of any tragedy know this. Those online, around the world, instantly judge them and their lives. They know what they would have done to win, even though they have no clue how to actually do so.
Have you been pregnant? I've always said the fastest way to slow down time is to get pregnant. Those 10 months basically feel like four years. Okay, okay, I know it's not, but it sure feels like it. Also, have you ever waited for a toddler to buckle themselves in? It's basically the same idea. Moral of the story: Moms are patient people. Just imagine all the stuff your mother has had to deal with over the years.
One announcer was asked how it felt when all your planning as an athlete came together at the Olympic Games. She said it was the best feeling in the world. I think many moms would say the same about motherhood. Even Michael Phelps expressed that becoming a father was the most amazing feeling, ever.
Much like Olympians watching review tapes to see how they can improve, mothers are constantly second-guessing. We have permanent playbacks going on in our minds and are reviewing each second. Did I make the right choice? Should I have told Tommy that? What is he going to think of me when he's older? Maybe I wasn't fair? We go over each moment, wishing we could do it again and store away a game plan for the next time.
Once we have children our dreams do not die. More often than not our dreams grow even larger and expand to our children's dreams as well. This is one of the reasons you see so many moms start their own blogs, businesses, and return to school. We only want to make our lives and our children's lives better.
As moms, we only want the best for our children. Hey, they could be Olympians one day, right? Even if they're no,t we will always be their biggest fans!