Carly asked: "What did you do before you became a stay at home mom? Do you miss it?" And Katie A asked: "Do you expect you will ever go back to work or do you think you will stay home until they are all in school and more independent?"
Carly, the short answer is NOTHING. The long answer is slightly more complicated.
During college, I worked in sports media for my university. And by the time I graduated, I had been promoted from lowly work-study to Athletic Communications Assistant. I served as the media liaison for several sports. Which included producing media guides, newsletters and programs for each sport, as well as writing press releases and feature articles. I also was heavily involved in the coordination and execution of the Penn Relays (one of the oldest track meets in America). I loved it. But, it was super time consuming and paid very little. I knew it was not a career path I wanted to continue to follow, especially once I started a family.
Once I graduated, I lived at home for six months and worked in banking. I never really saw a future in it. It was just something I did until I moved in with J and started my "real career." Six months after graduation, J and I got married. I still didn't have a real job. So, we talked it over and decided to start a family and I would wait to start my career until the kids were older. Now I'm not 100% sure that I will ever go back to work full-time (great use of that Ivy League degree, right?). I loved that my mom was always there to help with our homework, to make after-school snacks and to taxi us from place to place. And as annoying as I thought the supervision was at the time, I know her presence really helped to keep me and my sisters in line. And I'd like to do the same for my girls. So, to answer the questions - No, I don't miss it AT ALL.
Kilax asked: "How do you balance running as a wife and mother?"
Just like anyone else I guess. When you make something a priority in your life, you find away to make it work. For me, being a runner is equally as important as being a wife and a mother. I try my best to give my all to each aspect of my life without taking away from another area. Plus, I want my kids to see that I am more than just their mother. And running helps me do that. So, I have no choice but to balance it all.
As for the day to day logistics, I tend to do my runs when my children are not around. Like when one (or more) of them is busy with preschool or dance class or soccer. And a ton of my runs are done on my treadmill after they go to bed. J travels a lot and it is often the only way I get it done. The exception is my long run. 99% of the time I do those outside with my friends. J watches the kids and I get to escape, even if it's only for two hours ...
Jen asked: "I haven't felt like I necessarily like who I have become after being a stay at home mother. How did you own it?"
Being a stay-at-home mom is a challenge. It's a sacrifice. But that's just part of being a parent, regardless of whether you work or not. I think that I have been able to own my status as a stay-at-home mom because I have learned to take pride in what I do. Not everyone can handle being home all day with their children (or would want to), but I can. I have made that choice. And I am proud of that. I am proud that I am able to set an example for them everyday. To show them how to live their lives. To teach them what they need to succeed.
But, I think the thing that has helped the most is that I have found things for me, outside of my children. I run. I blog. I follow my passions (like becoming a running coach). The only true difference between the me I used to be and the me I am now is that I've lost that "me first" attitude. Now, I strive to find a way to fulfill myself, without adversely affecting my family. Some days it it harder than others, but in the end it seems to work. And no matter how bad the day might have been, I just try to remember to take pride in everything I've accomplished.
Robyn asked: "Did you ever think you'd have 3 kids by the age you are now?"
Three kids by the age of 27? No way, no how, no sir. I never even thought I would have three children at all. For most of my life, I had planned on two (perhaps delivered by someone else). But, after I had Doodle, I just didn't feel like our family was complete. Once Dilly arrived, I knew we were done. And even though things didn't go according to plan, I wouldn't change a thing. I enjoy being a young parent. It gives me an edge on being the "cool mom." Plus, when Dilly goes off to college I will only be 45. How sweet is that?