Motherhood is hard.

Motherhood is hard. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. Being a working mom is the hardest.

Before I had Porter, I worked as a 5th grade teacher. I love teaching. I loved my students. Teaching is a really hard profession. Very emotionally and mentally draining. I worked with a lot of women who were working moms. I couldn't grasp the idea of being a working mom. I would often think, "You deal with this all day and then go home to more of the same?" Working moms - I applaud you. It is hard to balance all that you do. It's hard to feel the guilt that comes from neglecting some part of your life (home, family, work). Single moms - I have no idea how you do it. Gold ribbon + gold trophy + all the applause in the world to you.

I got to experience a little taste of what it is like to be a working mom. I worked for only a month and a half and then I quit, because it was too hard. So hard. I don't think anyone can understand how hard it is to be a working mom until you do it. I figured once I stayed home with Porter, things would get easier.

I'm home with Porter full-time, now. I still work part-time (20-30 hours a week) teaching online basic writing courses through BYU-Idaho. It's a great job, because I can do it while Porter sleeps. I am with that baby every moment he is awake. I love him. He's great. Motherhood is hard! Staying home full-time is a different beast all on its own. I still don't think it's harder than working a full-time job and then coming home to turn that mom switch on full blast, but it's hard.

I get frustrated really easily with my son who is only (almost) 10 months. I get tired. I get lazy. I feel guilty. I get bored. I am busy. I always wonder if I'm doing enough. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. Parker has been home the past few days, because he has a 2 week break in between semesters. It has been awesome! He spent most of the day with Porter on Friday. That night he was full of complaints - his back hurt, his arms hurt, and he was tired. He said, "This is really hard." Yeah. It's hard!

I think about the women who haven't had the opportunity to have children in this life, yet. That's hard. Longing for a little one, without the chance to have one would be really hard. I think about the women who have lost a child or children. I can only imagine how hard that is. To love your child, but to be separated from them. Really hard.

Ultimately, the past two weeks I've realized that motherhood is just hard. Whether you work outside of the home, work inside of the home, have yet to have children of your own, or grieve the loss of a child - it's really hard. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father that has put so much trust in us, as women, to take on the role of mother. For me, it's the greatest gift and the greatest sacrifice all rolled into one little, blonde boy learning to say, "Ma Ma."


Spin Class

We all know that I joined the gym. I really love it. It helps to counteract all the crap I eat throughout the day. Just kidding - I don't eat that much crap. Just some.

I took a spin class on Saturday. It was rough. First of all, I sat behind the fan. Big mistake. I was ready for a break after 10 minutes in, so I was really wishing that I was in front of the fan. Every time the spin instructor told us to move up a level, I pretended to move the knob on my bike, but I didn't really. When I saw that everyone around me was struggling to push the peddles because their resistance was so high, I pretended it was hard for me, too. I still left drenched in sweat and out of breath. Luckily, there was a 65+ year old woman that totally dominated the whole thing and could probably run circles around me.

Which reminds me. As this is my half marathon blog for the time being, I remember when I "ran" my half marathon in college. My brother and I ran together. He could have finished an hour sooner had he left me on my own, but he stayed by my side. There was this little old lady that was speed walking that would pass us, stop for water and get behind us, and then pass us again. This is part of the reason I decided to speed walk most of this half marathon in September, because I remembered how fast that old lady did it.

In other more important news, today is Lincoln's first birthday! In honor of Lincoln's birthday we had a little celebration tonight for Family Home Evening (sorry the picture is so dark. I'm no Elisse Weinert). My mom put together a really sweet memory book about him, so we read it to Porter. He always laughs at the first page, because there is a big picture of Lincoln smiling. Thank you to all of those who have donated to my run! I reached my goal and am so grateful! I am still going to post about my progress and you can always donate in honor of the sweetest little guy by going to my fundraising page here.


I joined the gym.

I haven't posted in a long time, I know. Boo on me. BUT I do have some news - I joined the gym. I am getting to the point with my walking/jogging that I am bored and I don't feel very challenged. I joined a gym to add some variety and also get some muscle (and alone time for once in the day). I am far from fit, but I am trying. I don't want anyone to think that I lace up my shoes everyday and go for a run. I DO lace up my shoes everyday and go for a really, really long walk (1-2 hours) and sprinkle some jogging in there.

In other news, I met with a personal trainer today (first time is free) and he had me do squats. I peed a little bit. Totally gross. #mom #neverthesame

Here is a picture of my walking crew yesterday. We attempted to go early in the morning, but it was a little too cold. I will have to be more prepared next time!

Even more exciting news! I am going to Girls' Camp with my church youth this summer and am in charge of the service project. We will be creating toys to put in SMA care packages through CureSMA. I am working with my sister-in-law to brainstorm some great ideas to motivate the girls and ideas for fun toys for the kids. 

I only have $175 left to raise for my run in September! If you'd like to donate, you can do so here. Just a reminder - this money goes towards funding research and helping families that have children with spinal muscular atrophy. Here's a picture of my cute nephew, Lincoln. 

His birthday is coming up in May! What a great way to honor him by donating to my run! 


The Walk-Jog

It's been a while since I posted. I'm not very good at posting every week... obviously. I'm too busy with work, baby, husband, home, and watching The Bachelor. I have been getting out and walk-jogging everyday (except Sunday), though! At least I remember to do that...

What's the walk-jog, you ask? Well, it's my modified training routine, because turns out I really hate jogging. I don't even use the word run, because that would imply that I can move faster than a swift walking pace. I have finally accepted the fact that I am not a runner. Nope. Not a runner. And that is just fine. After talking to my aunt who has run a marathon, she told me she did the walk-jog combo for the whole thing. When I ran a half marathon in college, I set the goal to jog the whole time. I accomplished the goal, so for some reason I thought I had to do the same for my SMA half marathon in September. The reality is, I am not the same person I was in college. I've gained weight. Had a baby. Hate running.

So, Porter and I still get out everyday, but I do 5 minutes of jogging and then 1-2 minutes of walking and repeat for 30 minutes - hour. Some days I just speed walk - especially when I have a walking buddy with me and heavy breathing interferes with conversation and gossip. I have noticed, though, when I am not forcing myself to do it, I enjoy the jogging much more. I have gotten to where my body is ready to go faster and jog a little longer. When I set my goals based off time, once I got to 10 - 15 minutes of straight jogging, I would get really nervous before. What if I can't do it? What if I stop? If I did stop, I'd always feel totally bummed out. This way, I can still get my body ready for this half marathon, but without dreading every workout.

Ashleigh - did you hear that? A walk-jog. I'll just meet you at the finish line... Let's just hope I don't get picked up by the Sag Wagon.

Enjoy these pictures of Porter's post walk-jog cool down. He's adorable and naughty all at the same time.

I am so close to my goal of $750! Thank you to all of you who have donated! If you would like to donate to my run, you can do so here. Anything is appreciated! If you're just joining me on this adventure, my sister-in-law (and aunt now! and maybe uncle...?) and I are running the Chicago Half Marathon to raise money for CureSMA. CureSMA does wonderful things for families with children that have spinal muscular atrophy. They also give money for SMA research to hopefully find a cure. You're money will go to a great cause!


Dear Donors

Dear Generous Donor,

I woke up this morning to an awesome e-mail that told me someone had donated $225 to my CureSMA fundraiser! I couldn't believe it. This isn't special just because I will reach my goal of $750 a lot easier, but because of the families it will help. I want to say thank you to everyone who has donated! Thank you so so much.

When Lincoln was sick, my brother and sister-in-law received a wonderful package in the mail from CureSMA. Inside it were toys, books, and other items that Lincoln loved and that helped him. They received a fur blanket, a special foam to lay his head on, and encouragement. Lincoln loved his blanket. His foam donut helped to keep his head comfortable when he laid down because he couldn't move his neck on his own.

My brother and sister-in-law knew that their time with Lincoln was short. They were grateful for the comfort that CureSMA brought to them in their time of need. To think that other families will be blessed with this same comfort because of your generous donations really does bring tears to my eyes.

To everyone who has donated to my fundraiser, whether big or small, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you on behalf of the families you will help. Thank you on behalf of Lincoln's parents. You have no idea what a difference you have already made!



If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Running update: I have been increasing the amount of time I jog without stopping everyday. On Saturday I have to run 10 minutes without stopping. Yikes! I am grateful my mom bought me an awesome jogging stroller. I think holding Porter and jogging at the same time would be a little tricky...