The winter Olympics are upon us! Whether it’s curling or the bobsled, skiing or figure skating—it’s time to get excited about watching the best athletes in the world compete for gold. Those Olympians perform feats that astound! Amaze! Inspire! They’re pretty dang awesome.
As it turns out, all the moms out there are just as incredible and inspirational as Olympic athletes. Here’s how.
1. We train. Oh, do we train.
We sleep train and potty train and sometimes we even pretend to get excited when we watch shows about a train. We have regimented schedules that we meticulously follow, so our child is perfectly rested and adequately fed. We collect data on bodily functions and emotional outbursts, and we regularly chart progress with star-shaped stickers. We are disciplined and determined and we embrace every small victory.
2. Our bodies are temples.
Our bodies perform feats that dazzle the mind. We can make a human—a real miniature little human—right there inside of us! Our miraculous human-making little sac gets wedged tightly against our pancreas and our lungs and our bladder as our baby grows. Our bodies continue to amaze even after baby is born. Not only did we make that teenie little human, but we can now also feed it. The stunts we can pull off are truly staggering.
3. We make the impossible possible.
We quell piercing screams with only our bosom and our shushes. We sooth the angriest of all ouchies with kisses and cuddles. We find a mitten’s long-lost match wedged in the dark recess of an overstuffed closet—and not just ANY mitten—but the coveted buffalo-holding-a-cupcake mitten. The particular mitten that has been missing for months but is suddenly (desperately!) needed by our child right. that. second
We find that sucker and when we do it’s like a figure skater nailing a one-footed-tucked-lutz followed up by a quadruple-dodecahedral-toeless-axel. No one should be able to do it, but WE JUST DID.
4. Our routines are physically taxing.
We might make it look easy from afar but in reality, every move we make with our children in tow is exhausting. Sweat soaks through our clothing as we take our strollers in and out of the trunk. Sweat drips down our necks as we wrangle our writhing toddlers off of one hip and onto the other.
Our tendons strain when we carry our baby on our backs and our 26 grocery bags by the crooks of our elbows. Taking our kids in and out of car seats, unbuckling, buckling, re-buckling, and pulling that car seat strap tight to its regulation tightness? That takes some Herculean action right there. We toil day in and day out and we have the biceps to prove it.
5. Our bodies are vehicles for our sport.
The amount of wear and tear Olympians face from the continued stress of practicing and performing is enormous. They hold themselves together with prescription drugs, athletic tape, and physical therapy.
Moms have similar tricks to keep their bodies and minds up for the continuous challenge that parenting provides. They often rely on a medley of uppers and downers (coffee and wine), psychological therapy, contouring shapewear, and pee-proof panties. Every problem has a remedy, that’s our motto.
6. People REALLY care about our efforts.
But only during very limited and specific times of the year. Moms get one day in May. The Olympians might get a few days in a row, but it’s only during the winter or summer season and it only happens once every four years.
The rest of the time, well, let’s just say…we’re not necessarily being showered with praise and gratitude on a daily basis. It’s not the daily grind that’s attractive; it’s the occasional showy presentation people want to see.
We’re on our own a lot of the time. Which brings me to number 7.
7. We rely on our crew.
We are surrounded by authorities in the field and turn to them when we need to gain the upper hand. Just like athletes have professional trainers and coaches, moms have their own group of experts to help them meet peak performance.
We know to turn to Marsha for breastfeeding advice, to Katie for organizational strategies, and to Tameka for how to best hide those veggies in our mini muffins. Some call it a team, some call it a village.
8. We push ourselves.
Harder than we ever could have imagined was humanly possible. We do all of the things we used to look at other people doing and say, “I don’t know how they do it!”We do things that used to seem too hard, too scary, or too gross, but now seem like almost nothing at all because we are mothers. We are champions for our children.
9. We endure. We never quit.
Sprained ankle? Tape that sucker up. Got the flu? Bring a puke bucket. Bum hip? Walk it off. AND KEEP MOVING.
Athletes are known for their no pain, no gain mentality, and the same goes for moms. When it comes to our children, we do not let anything keep us down, and we’re in it for both the sprint and the marathon.
We’ll bring our kids chicken soup when they’re sick and we’ll call them just to check in until those babies of ours are old and gray. We know our time with them is more precious than gold.
10. We carry a torch.
We proudly lead the way and guide our children through the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms of life. We hope we have done our job well and our young protegees are prepared when it becomes time for us to pass the baton to the next in line. Have fun cheering on your favorite Olympian this winter season—and while you’re at it, go ahead and cheer on your favorite mom, too.