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The Real Reasons Motherhood Is Like a Marathon

Photograph by Twenty20

People keep telling me that motherhood is a marathon, parenthood is a marathon, life is a marathon—not a sprint. Blah, blah, blah. OK, I get it.

I see where they’re going with this and I know they mean well, but I ­so don’t agree. After having experienced both (motherhood, four times over, and race running), I can honestly say that motherhood is sort of like running a marathon … that never ends … while holding a baby with a poopy diaper … and chasing a toddler gripping a lidless, permanent marker.

If motherhood is a marathon, here are the real reasons why.

· You’re so excited when it begins, but at one point or another you may say, “What was I thinking?” or wonder if you’re actually going to survive.

· It’s a lot of work. A LOT of work.

· You’re up early.

· Sometimes, you pee your pants.

· It hurts but you keep going, then it hurts some more.

· You wear spandex and sports bras.

· You’re sweaty.

· You’re tired.

You just want to stop for a drink, but there’s no time for that.

· You cheer others on around you, even if they pass you up.

· Your feet hurt.

· Your back hurts.

· You just want to stop for a drink, but there’s no time for that.

· You see other “marathoners” struggling and know just how they feel.

· Some miles are better than others.

· The road is looooooooooooong.

· You hit a wall and literally can’t anymore.

· You cry because you’re hurting.

· You push yourself to do your best.

· Sometimes you have people cheering from the sidelines.

· But most of the journey is alone.

· You know it will all be worth it.

· You cry happy tears.

· You feel overwhelming pride.

· Then you pee your pants again.

Motherhood might be like a marathon, but a marathon can’t hold a candle to motherhood. While I don’t profess to be a great runner—I’ve definitely lost my “runner’s status” in recent years—I do have a couple full marathons under my belt, a few half marathons and some muddy obstacle races. I mean no disrespect to the incredible people who do this, because it’s definitely a physical feat that deserves mad respect. But being a mom is intense.

So, to all the mamas out there doing their best, feeling like they’ve hit a wall or like the road is never-ending: YOU’VE GOT THIS! We are all on the sidelines, cheering for you. We’re in this together and will see you through. Keep going, one foot in front of the other, as those know-it-alls like to say.

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