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May 10, 2019

The Art of Momming


There's no "right way" to be a mom. And there's no instruction manual that comes with motherhood (other than Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions of course). But there is wisdom that comes from being parented and parenting. So as Sally says, this Mother's Day we wanted to "pull back the curtain and share real shizz" about moms. We asked Nesters and our Haute Volée to share their lessons of surprise, rage, fear, strength, and their mantras from being mommed or momming. And yep, "mom" is a verb. 

Something that surprised you:

"How visceral my "mama bear" instincts are…" - Shal Fullove

"I wasn’t really prepared for how hard the first few months would be. Some fathers warned my husband the first six weeks are crazy, but most moms just told me how amazing it would be and how overwhelmed with love I’d feel. Instead I felt overwhelmed with anxiety and exhaustion and guilt that I wasn’t full of the unbelievable joy moms are supposed to feel. Fortunately now I think more women are  talking about the reality of the postpartum period (especially online) but I hope even more moms can be real with each other about the spectrum of emotions and not try to claim that everyone feels nothing but joy amongst plummeting hormones, zero sleep, and seemingly endless crying. At the time it seemed unbelievable that it would ever get better or easier, but of course it did." - Teal Burrel

anita_1.jpgOiselle Nester Anita and her little one

"Real talk - Why did no one tell me I was going to pee my pants on every run I go on for the rest of my days!  I know, I should go do my pelvic floor exercises now." - Anita Campbell

"That I like my kids as humans and not just because they are my kids. They have taught me about my own inner child and forced me to grow and become a better person." - Alisoune Lee

"How much I would miss only being responsible for myself." - Tiffany Bradford

"The quickness with which a smile or giggle can reverse the anxiety of ‘Am I doing this right?’" - Lyndy Davis

Something that filled you with fear or rage:

"Social media posts about “getting your body back” filled me with rage. My body does bounce, but it’s not back to anything it was before haha!!  This pissed me off. It’s a whole new body, why can’t we make that a thing and embrace the new. This is what I’ve me use it! New moms, you’ve got goals! Work hard toward them with the body you have!" - Becki Spellman

"I am now raising two teenage girls (15 and 13 years old) and my oldest struggles with mental illness. I am fearful daily of how hard life is for her and how she copes with that. I try to educate those around us about her challenges but I know that that there is often judgment. When others judge her or treat her unfairly based on her mental illness that takes me from fear to anger." - Catherine Watkins

"When I lost my own mom, it hit me (fearfully) that one day my boys will lose me." - Tiffany Bradford

Kara-Goucher.jpgKara Goucher with her son Colt

"I was, and maybe still am, a little raged about how little support there is for elite mothers in running.  Whether it was sponsorship, race directors, etc, I was shocked at how the industry was not accommodating to mother runners and high level racing. (Before I met Oiselle of course!)" - Kara Goucher

"Right before becoming a mom, the thought of how I was going to be able to care for my baby and maintain my normal work routine was overwhelming and at times terrifying.  I knew things would change, but I couldn't envision exactly how the next year was going to play out." - Anita Campbell

Something you'll always remember:

"About mom life - the many people that have helped me by sharing their experience, love, GRACE, and time. About my kids thus far - their laughter. There is really nothing like the sound of a kid having fun." - Becki Spellman

Teal-Burrell.jpgTeal Burrell and her little one

"The first time I saw my daughter cheering at a race, it was like rocket fuel. Later when she started saying, “Go, Mommy!” my heart nearly exploded. It’s so special to have family watch you and support your dreams, even when they’re two feet tall and don’t really understand this running business." - Teal Burrell

"The first time I said "Hello" to my daughter after she was born and she immediately recognized my voice, and she looked at me like I was the only person in the world she knew and that she had known me forever." - Shal Fullove

"My baby held my finger as I cried the whole ride home from the hospital." - Lyndy Davis

If you have one, a "mom mantra" that kept you strong - and that might help others:

"Trust my gut - I know my babies better than anyone, I don’t have to do everything today, give my babes quantity time so quality moments can happen, I’m a better mom if I take care of myself (including taking time away from them once in a while)." - Tiffany Bradford

CatherineWatkins.jpgCatherine Watkins and her two daughters

"You don’t have to do it alone, be honest with yourself and seek help when needed." - Catherine Watkins

"I am a better mother for taking this time for myself." - Kara Goucher

"Mom mantra - you ARE a good mom, even if you don’t like what you’re doing right now. I had guilt that I didn’t love every step of mommyhood. I felt like a bad mom. My therapist said “you don’t love it? But you do it. And you do it with love. You’re a bad ass mom.” And that really stuck with me." - Becki Spellman

In the future, motherhood will change to be _____________:

"More accepting of everyone. There is still a lot of judgment among mothers and we need to be less judgmental and more supportive." - Catherine Watkins

"More accepted and more effortless for elite athletes." - Kara Goucher

"Robots - No but seriously, I think motherhood will evolve and it will not require women to become or try to become selfless. That the burden or challenge of balance in motherhood will be realized as falsehood and people will come together to help every mother raise her children as needed." - Alisoune Lee

"Whatever the f you want it to be! Mom's are essential and unique. There's no way to package a mom and make her conform to the Beaver Cleaver ideals that were once admired. Keep in mind that being a 'mom' is just one role that she plays throughout the course of her day. Don't box a mom in! Give her some space to be whatever else she wants to be!!" - Rita Dory

"In the future, motherhood will change to be nurturing life without labels or boundaries." - Anna Weber

"In the future, motherhood will change to be something that society truly supports. The rhetoric around motherhood’s importance is encouraging, but policy, attitudes, and actions don’t always mirror that." - Siobhan O'Connor

"In the future, I hope that motherhood is more protected, so that it doesn't have to be a career setback." - Maddie Strandemo

"In the future, motherhood will change to be more powerful. It’s an act of infinite optimism love and respect." - Malaina Payton

For non-moms, about moms:
Something your mom taught you about your own strength.

"We are both naturally strong willed and expressive people—so I guess I got that from her implicitly. Explicitly, she taught me that we had to work to channel our strength into the right places, and then it could be used to do powerful things." - Cate Barrett

"My mom has modeled and mirrored strength for me in such a way that enabled me to both see it as a default way of operating in the world and simultaneously discover it for myself. She really nailed the balance of high expectations without putting me in a pressure cooker." - Siobhan O'Connor

"My mom has showed me that it's never too late to keep becoming who you want to be. It takes strength to change and stand up for your priorities in life, it takes determination and character to not let what's urgent crowd out what's important, and my mom has been a strong example of that." - Bethany Drake

ally_roemer.jpgOiselle Nester, Ally, and her mom spectating her first track meet at Hayward Field

"Adulting is hard, but you are stronger than you know, and you can do hard things. And you can do all the things the boys do. (Big shoes to fill, my mom is tough as nails, thanks mom)!" - Ally Roemer

"Do not seek validation from others for their opinions do not define you. Use your power of confidence to guide you to your purpose." - Malaina Payton

"Strength isn’t just appearing tough and strong. Sometimes strength is being something else - energetic, empathetic, patient etc. She used to call me a 'tender tuna,' and I didn’t like it until I got older and realized that it was a strength of mine she was trying to show me. And tuna can still be fierce!" - Mel Lawrence 

Valarie-Allman_0.jpgValerie Allman with her mom

"You’ve always been my favorite teacher. Through all of life's twists and turns, you are the person who has been my rock and role model. I admire you in so many ways Mom, but especially for everything you’ve taught me about strength." - Valerie Allman

A quote or mantra from a mom you respect:

Carrie-Mack-and-her-mama,-Janie.jpgCarrie Mack and her mom Janie

"Before I ran the Chicago marathon last fall, my mama told me I was 'strong as a mountain.' I repeated that mantra no less than 100 times on race day and it has since become one of my favorites."  - Carrie Mack

"Lauren Fleshman told me when you're a dreamer, heartbreak and failure come with the territory. But I can tell you it's worth it because it's a way of living that is both movable and memorable" - Rebecca Mehra

"Be strong, brave, and true." My mom, Lee Lawrence - Collier Lawrence
**it also should be noted that Lee Lawrence randomly gives points to Gryffindor when we do something strong, brave, and true which makes it all the better. We don't have the heart to tell her Mel is a Hufflepuff.**

kendrachambers.jpgKendra Chambers with her mom

“Stay Focused.” I respect that because there are so many distractions in the world, especially growing up as a young woman. She always told me if I wanted to achieve any goal, I’d have to stay focused to a point where nothing else mattered. - Kendra Chambers


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