Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Bike Ride

A special thanks to MOPS for allowing me to re-publish this article on taking care of yourself as a parent so that you can care for your children.

Bike Ride
Teresa Hollowell, Area CoordinatorMy husband and I have five children. To keep expenses down, we frequently travel with a camper. One benefit to camping is that we are able to take our bicycles. We love to ride.

As we prepared for our first ride of a recent trip, I made sure everyone had their helmets, water bottles and gloves. We went over the rules of the road and the importance of staying together. Everyone mounted up and off we went. My husband was in the lead, with our three older children riding in the middle, and I brought up the rear with the babies riding in the baby carrier attached to my bike.

I'd not gone half a mile when my legs began to ache. My knees were burning, and I struggled to keep up with the rest of the family. All I could think was how heavy the babies were, and how out of shape I was. I signaled my husband to stop and told him I had to turn around and go back. I couldn't continue.

With many moans and groans, we turned around and headed back to the campground. I struggled the entire trip back. I thought we would never get there. Once everyone was off their bikes and the kids were helping unload the two little ones, my son told me, "Mom, you have a flat tire." I didn't have just a flat tire. I had three flat tires.

I'd made sure the kids bikes were in good shape, and that they had their helmets and gloves. What I failed to do was look at my own bike. I hadn't checked my tires, nor had I thought to check the tires of the baby carrier.

In the same way, sometimes I forget to maintain my life. I make sure my children eat their veggies, say their prayers and get enough sleep. Yet I forget the needs of my own life. When I do take the time to care for myself, especially my spiritual needs, things are much smoother. I don't have to struggle so hard to carry the load.

The next bike ride my family took was much easier. My tires had been inflated, and I'd adjusted my seat. The load I carried wasn't as difficult to pull. I was prepared for the journey ahead!

Prayer From a Mother's HeartDear God, help me to be an example to my children in preparing for life's long journey.

Stop & Smell the Roses & Appreciate Family

So how many people does it take before the hard head relaxes? No, this is not an Aggie joke (although I know a few if you're interested.)

Yet again today, my orthopedic surgeon advised me to SLOW DOWN & in fact recommended that I take a short nap EVERY DAY. After I got back up from the floor in hysterics, I asked if he took a nap daily. "No, but I'm not as hard on myself as you are & I'm 61, not 32," he responded. Ouch! I'm working on it... really.

Even better is the Daddy Diary blog today that talks about over-booking our kids in one camp after another. Where is the balance between too much activity & lazy kids? Read the dad's blog for his complete thoughts, but he's not alone in thinking that it's okay to have some lazy summer days, curled up with your kids. Little K can make up a game of "Go night night, Grand" in about 5 seconds. Kids' imaginations will only grow when allowed the time & space.

So my new project -- wait, this is not work-related... it's a good wholesome vision for my life-- is to enjoy a balanced life with family & friends in a healthy, Christian way. I'm enthusiastic about this new approach & hope it's long lasting. Perhaps if I can quit over-booking myself, I won't do it to Little K or The Hubbie. What a loving mom I am!

Until the next nap time...