When I first started blogging in 2005, it was all about parenthood – sleepless nights with a baby who was probably colicky, refluxy or sensitive to something I ate. We never figured that one out, I just didn’t know the right questions to ask and every professional I saw just said he’ll grow out of it. Thankfully my mother came to help us out 6 months into our parenthood journey just as we were both starting to hallucinate on a regular basis from sleep deprivation.
We survived the first year of parenting and moved to the UK to be closer to my family. Within the first year here we thought we’d give this baby thing another go but pregnancy didn’t happen very fast. When it did after almost a year, we found out at the 12-week ultrasound that there was no heartbeat. That Christmas was not a lot of fun.
After almost another year, many tests and a cycle of Clomid, little brother was on his way. Whew. Troubles over. Or?
Well… his birth was traumatic for me to say the least. I soldiered on for almost 2 years but by the time my body started showing physical signs of emotional struggles I put the puzzle pieces together and had a meltdown at my GP’s. She diagnosed postnatal depression. Amazingly right after I actually verbalised it all and let it out, a lot of my physical symptoms disappeared (my shrink said later that I’m very ‘talented’ at turning psychological issues into physical ones – how about that for a ‘special skill’!).
I started taking medication and I started running more and more. Running became my me-time, my peace & quiet, my meditation time, my time to just pay attention to MY body and mind…
I started blogging more and more about running, it was new and exciting and it made me happy – I was tired of writing about insomnia and sick kids and tantrums and toilet training and PND.
In January this year I closed the doors to my ‘parenting’ blog after 7 years and started this new one. I am really enjoying my kids now that they are 7 and 4. I am really not a baby person and although there were many, many lovely moments when they were little and I often look at old videos and photos with a grin on my face, I really do love life a lot more now that all the dramas and issues of parenting babies and toddlers are behind me.
Of course parenting a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old also has dramas and issues but – now I’m a runner. Not just a mother. Not just another foreigner in London. Not just a web publisher in a big bureaucratic organisation. I’m a runner.
Amazingly that part of my identity gives me incredible strength – both physically (I’m getting faster and faster) and mentally (parenting doesn’t overwhelm me these days and PND does seem to be in the past – 9 months without meds :) ).
So I naturally write more and more about running and not so much about parenting. And increasingly read blogs about running and also fitness and nutrition in general. Writing about it and reading about it is encouraging, and it pushes me to be a better runner (I’m sure I run faster than I would if I didn’t have a blog and Twitter to ‘announce’ what my pace was).
My mind used to be so totally consumed by sleep issues, then going through a missed miscarriage, then secondary infertility, then PND. Now running is helping me not only put my body back together, but also put my mind back together – one mile at a time.
Running has given me a strong new identity other than that of a mother and that is priceless to me.