For almost 5 months, I’ve been changing my life in a way that I never thought possible before. First, I joined a gym and was working with a personal trainer 3 to 4 times a week. Then, I revamped the way I eat.
My son became used to “Mommy, are you going to the gym?”, when I kissed him in the morning if he woke up before I left for my 6 am session.
He’s getting used to it.
My weight has been an issue that I battled for years. As an emotional eater, my weight went up and down like crazy over the last couple of years. I tried many things, from crash diets to those magic ‘drinks’ that are supposed to make you lose weight. None of them worked, they were only temporary fixes.
I didn’t sit and plan that I was going to start changing my life. Actually, it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. (more…)
As I sit here watching the U.S. Olympic team trials, I am thinking about all the work these hopefuls have put into getting to this amazing place. They are all so young; the gymnasts are 16…mere children! Two of the swimmers competing for the “women’s” 50-free are 14 and 15. Michael Phelps is considered mature – he’s 27!
I smile as a swimmer jumps out of the pool and runs over to hug her mother as she makes the U.S. team. I choke up as the camera pans to a very proud mom who watches her daughter do an amazing floor routine, which seals her fate as a competitor to represent the U.S. in London. As the commercial says, none of them could have gotten to this place without their mothers. It was probably their mom who ran them to the early morning and after school practices, who hugged them when they didn’t win and encouraged them to just do their best. It was their mom who celebrated their victories (I’m sure there were many) as they progressed to get to this amazing point in their career.
I sit here wondering if I would be able to do that for my children. How do you even start your child on the road to be an Olympic hopeful? In New York City, there are so many sports available to children starting at such a young age. My son, who is 5, has already tried soccer, gymnastics, t-ball, and swimming. He has taken guitar and language lessons, art and music. When he starts Kindergarden in September, he will add martial arts to the list. I keep asking him if he wants to keep doing a certain sport, or try a new one, and inevitably his answer (for the most part) is to try a new one.
They showed some videos of the gymnasts doing routines as 5- and 6-year-olds, which means at my son’s age they were already on the road to the Olympics. I’m not capable of being a mom that “pushes” her children, but how else could they become the best in the world?
Don’t get me wrong. I would be that mom who takes her children to all of the practices, early morning and in the evenings. I would be the one who would console a loss and praise a win, who would mend an injury and be the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines. I just don’t know if I would be able to identify that my child was so gifted in a specific sport that they should seriously compete.
When my son was 3, we joked that he would be the next Michael Phelps. He loved his swim classes, and had a long and lean body. But being in New York, with cold winters, we did not continue his lessons once it got cold out. One thing led to another, and we haven’t really started them up again. I now ask myself, did we miss his chance to realize his full potential?
Now, I’m not expecting my children to make it to the Olympics. What I am asking, is what if there is a sport or activity (dance, a musical instrument, chess club, etc) that they are naturally gifted at, and, as a mother I don’t come across it? How do we, as parents, nurture our children to their full potential if we don’t figure it out?
I know enough to realize that I don’t have the answer. I want to be able to help my children find their natural abilities; I want them to try everything until they find something that they really love. And then I hope that I will be able to keep sending them to lessons/practice/rehearsals. I hope that I can help them be the best that they can be, and help them reach for the stars…if that’s what they want to do.
Have you noticed a natural ability/talent in your child? How have you nourished and supported them?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York City, USA.
Photo credit to Andrew Evans. This photo holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.
This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison. She asked our writers,
“Pregnancy/baby weight….where are you with this? What are the social norms about pregnancy/baby weight where you are from?”
Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…
Hamakkomommy of Japan writes:
“In Japan we are told the optimal weight gain is 7kg (~15.4 lbs)! Pregnant women are scolded, shamed, and berated for gaining too much weight. Women are told gaining too much weight will result in difficult labor, and often blamed when their labors are difficult. The flip side of this is that most women are able to lose the weight quickly. The average newborn baby weight here is 3kg (~6.6 lbs).” (more…)
When I step onto my mat, there is nothing else that matters. There are no toys to be picked up, dishes to be cleaned, or clothes to be folded. I am no longer mom. I am me. There is just myself, my mat and my yoga practice.
As I take the first downward dog of the day, I can feel my whole body open up. My spine gets longer, my hamstrings and calf muscles stretch out, and my sinuses clear. For the next 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes, all I have to do is listen and breathe and move.
Over the years, I have taken many yoga classes. Some mediocre, many (thankfully!) not. While on my mat, I often get more out of my practice that just stretching my muscles. I often get a life lesson. Sometimes it is a psychology class about my ego. Other times, it is like therapy. Yoga calms my mind. It reduces my stress level both physically and mentally. It makes me a better mother. (more…)
This Saturday Sidebar question comes to us from Tara B. In the midst of all the holiday planning, she asked our writers…
“What is one thing you will commit to do for yourself in the upcoming week?”
Here is what some of our World Moms will be doing for themselves:
Diana @Hormonal Imbalances of Texas, USA writes:
“I’m going to make an effort to exercise daily only for the boost it gives me in dealing with my anxiety. No pushing to lose weight, no guilt trips. Strictly for the energy and feel good hormones!” (more…)